"2019 will be the year of account-based data and insights. More marketing and sales teams will use account-level engagement data and a broader set of intent signals to help them identify, prioritize and personalize outreach for those accounts that are most likely to convert. This will drive greater efficiency and will set businesses up to scale their ABM efforts in 2020." - Tyler Lessard, VP of Marketing, Vidyard
ABM -- one of the biggest buzzwords in the digital marketing world. A significant component in the marketing strategy, that took the pillars of marketing to its prime. And it still remains to be a continued success!
2018 was a fantastic year in terms of demand generation and ROI, companies that implemented ABM saw phenomenal results with more competition and larger growth goals. The result of advanced tech combined with brilliant minds turned out to be a huge success, which means that marketers are increasing their reliance on ABM.
Simply put, ABM is a personalized, targeted and precise strategy that nurtures relationships to increase sales. And it is said to have the highest ROI among all B2B strategies. Account-Based Marketing tactics are widely implemented because it boosts the sales process and generates higher revenues in a shorter time period. And with the glories of the past, it’s safe to say that 2019 will be rife with challenges.
We’re past that point where knowing ABM well was considered just enough. With the growing competition and everyone using the same tactics nowadays, it is crucial to always keep your eyes peeled.
Here’s some of the best ABM practices to ensure you keep killing it in 2019 and beyond:
Narrow focus with a targeted approach
“Account-based marketing increases TTEC’s marketing-driven pipeline by 366%” - Terminus
Today, a successful account-based marketer is seen as someone who leverages customer data to provide relevant content and personalized offers. Analyzing the existing customer base to identify those that fit your definition of an ideal customer can not only benefit your prospects of maintaining a long-term relationship but also deliver the biggest lifetime value. Account-based marketers primarily focus on a personalized set of targeted accounts, treating each account and stakeholder as its own market. Thoroughly researching your target prospects and being rigorous with the data will ensure that you don’t miss out on an opportunity.
Get connected on social media
According to Brandon Redlinger, Director of growth, Engagio, there’s been an increase in buyer sophistication as well as the number of smarter buyers these days. One of the key effective tactics is to follow and strategically connect with these potential buyers on social media. Once you’ve made a list of all the key ABM target accounts, find their associated accounts on social media platforms viz Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other relevant industry platforms. Be a good-listener and understand how your target prospects use social media before you can start interacting.
Make it hassle-free
Batch-and-blast is a thing of the past! Today, email marketing is seen as one of the most powerful marketing channels, that, when combined with ABM gives you better results. It helps you to understand your potential buyer’s priorities as well as to add value to the business. While ABM strategy targets the most relevant customers for promoting your brand, the goal of email personalization is to send the most relevant emails to your subscribers at a suitable time.
Cut through the clutter
A good content will get the attention, but a unique content will stand-out from the crowd leaving an impression. We’ve come to a point where everyone’s vying to stay on top and being the best is just not enough. To position yourself as the best of the lot, you must know all tricks of the trade. One of the key steps is to research your target prospects and create the kind of content that will align with their agenda. Share a perspective that will establish your positioning in front of the target prospects; make it relatable, informational and capture their demand. Make sure to audit the existing content and get input from the sales team so you can fill the gaps in the content program.
Maximize your content exposure through guides, industry segmented newsletters, blog articles, videos, ads etc. Also the topic should be available in at least 3 formats.
Once you’ve got everything in order, choose the right channel to distribute your content. And remember, timing is everything!
This is one of the biggest challenges with ABM. If the discrepancy between sales and marketing teams is not addressed and worked out, the probability of success will be low. Marketing team may be the key factor in generating high-quality leads and nurturing relationships but sales department bears just as much responsibility in converting those leads into long-term opportunity.
To ensure the success of what you envisioned in 2019, sales, marketing and operations must work together at all stages of the funnel.
REPURPOSE & REBUILD
Another important part of a successful ABM strategy is to revisit your existing target accounts list from time to time. It is observed that once the target accounts list is developed by the sales team, it is never updated.
Everything must be constantly tested and tried. Topics that do not work well in one format might end up doing really well in another format. Bear in mind that some content formats payoff faster than others, think of guides or ads instead of eBooks, or vlogs instead of blogs. Think of diving in deep instead of going wide, evaluate your existing customers. Find the accounts that are of high-value and sort them out into individual best. Make the most out of the omni-channel communication by putting a multi-touch point attribution model in place. Applying account-based approach to advertising will not only make your campaigns more strategic and target-specific, but also create a larger impact and cut-down on the cost.
THE NEED FOR ASSESSMENT
A key and effective way to ensure your continued success is to always keep track of your KPIs and metrics. This includes win and loss rates, funnel velocity and lifetime value of customers. Instead of evaluating quality-focused initiative using quantity-based channel metrics, look on the broader marketing initiatives.
Make sure to communicate your success in the form of central dashboards and share it across marketing, sales and operations. Maintain company alignment, ROIs of your campaigns and look for window of opportunity.
To quote Cara Caruso (Vice President, R2I) from her interview with MarTech Advisor, “ABM requires more than just a single ingredient (the marketing department). ABM is an integrated strategy to be holistically adopted across the organization.”
With the adoption of ABM efforts going off the charts, it is crucial to acknowledge that it requires commitment. And if done right, it will pay off amazingly. Incorporating these ABM strategies in 2019 will not only help to be on the lookout for what’s trending and what needs to improve, but will also maximize your marketing efficiency in the coming years.