Account-Based Marketing (ABM) shakes things up in digital marketing by changing the focus from thousands of anonymous leads to a handful of cherry-picked individuals. An ABM campaign has the potential of generating far more value than most online campaigns since some businesses only need a few of the right type of client to hit their yearly numbers. But a successful account based marketing campaign is no simple task, and before you embark on your such an excursion, you should make sure you’re prepared.
1. A Successful Campaign Starts at Home
Before you set an account based marketing campaign in motion, make sure that your in-house systems and databases are up to the task. CRM, marketing automation/ABM platform – everything needs to be ready for action. You should also scan your database for prime accounts that are already in your system.
Since account based marketing (ABM) is an extremely targeted approach, precision is the key to success, and you can’t be precise unless your scour your database from obsolete or false information. This will make sure that, once you’ve identified your ideal account, you’ll be able to easily launch an effective campaign, and analyze and optimize as you go.
2. Analyze and Define
Targeting your marketing efforts to a focused set of potential account and contacts means that you’re not marketing to just the business personas, you’re marketing to specific people within specific organizations. Identifying the accounts you’ll be targeting accurately is a crucial step. For your marketing team to do this properly, you need to set a few definitions.
Define your ideal customer by combining data from both your sales and marketing teams. Start by determining the typical makeup of the accounts that currently bring the highest monthly recurring revenue (MRR) to your company. Define parameters such as industry, company size, location, gains and pains, etc. The accounts you want to pursue with your ABM campaigns will be similar to the accounts that yield your business the highest long-term profit
3. Get personal and Enrich specific individuals
Yes, you are marketing to accounts, but it’s people that are going to get your foot in the door. Once you’ve defined the organizations you’re trying to target, it’s time to identify the active players that you should approach. Is the acquisition manager the most likely to push for your product? Perhaps the CIO is the person who needs to know about your solution the most? Or maybe you aim directly at the CEO?
People are the reason that ABM works. You should spend the time to learn as much as possible about the contacts you’ve got in your crosshairs. Learn all the methods to approach your contacts, their interests, the people in their professional network, their work, their needs – any detail that will help you approach them throughout the campaign
4. Craft Your Message
When it comes to digital marketing, analysis and platforms are the bow, but the message is the arrow. The right message will turn the audience into leads. A strong and effective message in ABM is first and foremost personalized. You cannot rely on a generic approach. Your efforts must be tailored to the influencers you’ve identified in step 3 and made to grab their minds and attention – on an account base!
Remember, you are not aiming at a target audience of thousands or even hundreds. It should be well within the realm of possibility for you to create a custom message for each account and contact. A tailored message will result in the clients feeling that your solution is tailored to their needs as well, and will put you on the best ground to start a business relationship.
5. Measure, Optimize, and Repeat
Once your campaign has had time to run, you should measure its effectiveness and evaluate your efforts. Was it the email approach or the LinkedIn approach that worked best for leads? Did your content engage your targeted accounts? What could be improved? Is there any place your efforts are misplaced?
Answering all these questions will lay the groundwork to improve upon your campaign, and tweak it to ensure you get the best results. But even if everything is already perfect (it never is), there’s still one more step: repeat. That’s right, now that you’ve got new accounts engaging with your brand, it’s time to do it all over again, re-define or expand your audience and continue to new heights!