1. Why Personalization Is the Future

Account Based marketing

 

Personalizing content and engagement mediums isn’t just a nice-to-have. Nowadays, buyers expect it. They demand it. The truth is, customer experience is on the move to be the competitive difference-maker in a vast number of industries.

Regardless of marketing strategy (whether ABM or another), people need to be the focal point of the buying process.

With this in mind, some accounts have drastically higher potential value than others. This means it makes sense to apply a bigger effort to high-value accounts. A big effort means an ever bigger reward in this case.

This ultimately means more time and money invested. It means more program dollars, more high-touch engagement, and of course, more personalization. At the end of the day, ABM results in an incredible return on investment (ROI), as expected.

As Isaac Brower mentions, “The basic truth about marketing is that information rules. The more you know about the people visiting your site (and the more you can take action on what you know), the more likely you are to convert them into qualified sales leads.”

While this is true even outside of account based marketing, it’s the execution which is different. Traditionally, modern marketing aims to first drive traffic to your site, generate leads, nurture leads, and get them to buy.

However, ABM flips the equation upside down. Instead of driving traffic, you identify the few key targets (that are valuable to your company) you want to sell to. ABM marketing isn’t about targeting an individual customer versus another. It’s about targeting an entire organization.

 

Learn More About ABM and the Future of Personalization:

2. Where to Start with ABM

If you want to set yourself up for success with ABM, you’ll need to follow the right steps. Take one wrong turn and you’ll be wasting your time and money. Here are 6 steps to set yourself up for account based marketing success.

 

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Align Your Organization to an ABM Strategy

This is often the most overlooked step. Before you begin implementing ABM practices, you need to get everyone on board. This means ensuring all stakeholders understand the direction of the strategy.

For instance, your VP of Sales and VP of Marketing should be fully on board and spread the awareness to their employees.

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Identify Your Ideal Set of Target Accounts

Next, you’ll want to identify and pick your ideal accounts to invest your time and resources into. Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Set search alerts on LinkedIn for your ideal customer profile.
  • Create a workflow automation that filters qualified leads based on criteria (e.g. industry, company size, etc.) to be tagged in your CRM
  • Choose target accounts based on geographical location or a specific industry
  • Analyze major brands and leads who are engaging with your inbound content but haven’t done business with you yet
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Get Sales & Marketing to Create Account Strategies Together

Account based marketing is a team effort. You need to ensure your sales and marketing departments ask one another the following questions:

  • What decision-maker will we need to know at each account?
  • What content do we need to create to attract and engage accounts?
  • Which mediums will we use to spread our content with the decision-makers?
  • How will each team (sales and marketing) provide support throughout each stage of the sales process?
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Attract Decision-Makers from High-Quality Accounts

Next, you want to attract the stakeholders and buying committee members of your target accounts. The key to successfully reeling in high-quality accounts is to personalize content to them. This will increase your brand awareness and relevance among your audience.

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Create Strong Relationships with Buying Committees

Once you’ve reeled in high-value accounts, it’s time to create strong relationships with buying committees. Keep in mind, this will likely take your team months or even years to establish these bonds.

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Measure & Analyze Your Results

Something many companies forget to do is track your effort.

You need to monitor your success every step of the way. By measuring and analyzing your ABM results, you’ll be able to see any weak spots in your strategy that need to be altered. This will help you to iterate, creating an even stronger strategy for your

These are just a few examples of how much the industry has changed since the days of Mad Men and Manhattan ad agencies. And the industry will continue to evolve! Just look at other strategies continuing to grow:

  • Hosting or Joining Podcasts.
  • Automating your marketing efforts where possible.
  • Collaborating with your team through a project management platform.
  • Prioritizing local SEO.
  • Using tech-driven account-based marketing (ABM) as a B2B company.
  • Setting up automated email marketing campaigns.
  • Using social media to expand your influence.
  • Optimizing your content for voice searches.
  • And many more!

Learn More About What’s Working Now for Marketing Managers:

3. The ABM Toolkit

Digital Tools

 

There are plenty of moving parts when it comes to executing a successful ABM strategy. These activities include sales intelligence, lead management, marketing automation, content marketing, email marketing, CRM, and more.

Every business that aims to implement ABM needs to have the right tools. Many ABM products specialize in one or two areas while complementing a larger platform. On the other hand, there are some ABM tools that offer an all-in-one solution.

If you’re wanting to an all-in-one platform, you should consider one of the following:

  • Engagio
  • Triblio
  • Terminus ABM Platform
  • Demandbase

There are a variety of tools that hone in on one or two key ABM areas. If you prefer a more customized approach to your ABM software, you can mix and match different tools.

Here are a few examples of ABM tools you can use for specific ABM tactics:

Lead Management, Marketing Automation

  • HubSpot
  • Marketo
  • LeanData

Content Personalization & Content Marketing

  • HubSpot
  • Seismic
  • Highspot
  • Uberflip

Learn More About Finding the Right ABM Tools:

4. ABM Examples & Success Stories

Account Based Marketing

 

According to ITSMA, 85% of marketers measuring ROI state that account based marketing outperforms other marketing investments.

So how does ABM work in typical business scenarios? Here’s an example to illustrate how you can use ABM in your business with content marketing.

Emily operates a marketing agency. She’s focused on targeting a successful HVAC company in her region that does in-house marketing. She creates a long-form blog post about the benefits of hiring an agency like hers to manage HVAC companies’ marketing.

When the post is published, Emily posts it to Twitter and tags her target HVAC account. The owner of the company then reads the blog posts and reaches out to Emily.

That’s just one simple example of how ABM can be implemented in your company. But what about real-life examples of success with ABM? Let’s look at a few examples of some real companies.

 

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GumGum

GumGum is an artificial intelligence media company who wanted to land T-Mobile as their client. The CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere, is very active on social media and GumGum was able to get a sense of his personality. They learned, specifically, that he’s a big fan of Batman.

So GumGum commissioned and then published a comic book with Legere cast as a Batman-type hero named T-Man who saves his town from bad cell phone service with the help of his sidekick named Gums.

The result? Not only did John Legere give them a big shout-out on Twitter, giving GumGum a ton of free exposure... but GumGum landed the T-Mobile account.

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Intridea

It’s not easy getting a high-value client’s attention. The bigger the potential account, the harder it is to get them to notice you. For Intridea, they decided to think outside the box, taking a risk.

The developers and web designers at Intrida wanted to land Ogilvy & Mather as a client. That’s not an easy task considering how big they are and how many people are constantly trying to woo them. So Intridea rented a billboard right across the street from Ogilvy’s Manhattan offices. What did they put on the billboard?

On a bright red background with plain white text, they wrote, “Ogle this, Ogilvy”, with Intridea’s logo and URL below.

Guess what? It worked.

Taking risks is a part of business. When it comes to putting an effective ABM strategy into practice, sometimes you have to risk looking foolish and think outside of the box to land a client.

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Invoca

GumGum is an artificial intelligence media company who wanted to land T-Mobile as their client. The CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere, is very active on social media and GumGum was able to get a sense of his personality. They learned, specifically, that he’s a big fan of Batman.

So GumGum commissioned and then published a comic book with Legere cast as a Batman-type hero named T-Man who saves his town from bad cell phone service with the help of his sidekick named Gums.

The result? Not only did John Legere give them a big shout-out on Twitter, giving GumGum a ton of free exposure... but GumGum landed the T-Mobile account.

They sent every booking a free Apple Watch.

In the end, Invoca was the company that got noticed, and ultimately resulted in them exceeding their lead generation and pipeline goals.

Read More About Others’ Success With ABM:

5. Resources for Continued Growth

Account Based Marketing

 

Account based marketing is still an evolving strategy. What worked 50 years ago won’t work today. Even what worked 20 years ago wouldn’t work.

Due to rapidly changing technology, marketing strategies are dynamic. Because of this, there are few industries in which ongoing education is more critical to growth than marketing.

Creating a successful ABM strategy takes time. It won’t be easy defining which account based marketing tactics and examples will work best for you when you start. You need to learn how to create a winning ABM strategy by unifying lead and account-based efforts through your sales and marketing teams.

Here are a few resources to take your ABM plan to the next level. So, roll up your sleeves, develop your strategy and begin testing.

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