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ABM: From Strategy to Execution in 10 Days – Days 1-6

Naomi David

Executing an ABM campaign has great potential to generate quality leads for your business especially in today’s climate. Last year we produced our white paper From Strategy to Launch: 10 Steps to Drive Results with B2B ABM, with the ultimate goal of helping other B2B marketers run a successful campaign from start to finish. But with today’s ever-changing, volatile landscape and accelerated timelines, speed and accuracy are more important than ever.

In a two-part blog post series, we have taken those same trusted steps and set them to the cadence of two work weeks to help you get your ABM program off the ground in just 10 days. Here we will cover what you should be focused on during the first six days to set up your campaign for a successful execution.

DAY ONE: Set your goals

☐ Set program goals
☐ Set benchmark goals
☐ Select team members and schedule in-person kickoff for tomorrow
☐ Email your team to set expectations before in-person kickoff

No campaign can be successful without established goals to serve as a guiding light for all decisions and activities. By setting your goals, you’ll give your team (that you’ll build in the next step) something tangible to rally around. In addition to setting overall program goals, such as generating new opportunities to fill your pipeline, also set benchmark goals, such as web visitors or sales qualified leads generated, to measure success during your campaign. Make all goals SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound) to measure impact after the campaign wraps up.

Goals to consider:

  • Number of companies reached
  • Number of contacts at each company reached
  • Account engagement rate by channel
  • Touchpoint response rate by title
  • Content downloads
  • Sales qualified conversations
  • Open pipeline
  • Won business

DAY TWO: Kick off with your team and identify target accounts and contacts

☐ Assign responsibilities for each team member
☐ Identify accounts
☐ Establish ideal audience demographic profile
☐ Build out contact list

While marketing lives in the name, your ABM team should have more than just marketers. Establish a team made up of sales leadership, internal champions, creative designers, channel specialists and content specialists. As marketing leadership, your team should make sure all the bases are covered and keep others on track to launch an ABM campaign as quickly as possible. Take this day to get the whole team on the same page, assign responsibilities, address issues that might come up and determine how to effectively communicate with each other.

Responsibilities of your ABM team

  • Sales leadership
    • Build relationships with prospects throughout the campaign as their point of contact
    • Bring market knowledge of targeted accounts
  • Marketing leadership
    • Develop the strategy for the campaign
    • Hold all team members accountable
    • Test all assets and links
  • Internal champion(s)
    • Serve as the internal thought leader for the campaign
    • Support the ABM campaign by helping secure small wins
    • Help sales leadership build relationships with prospects
  • Creative designers
    • Own the visual brand and identity for the campaign
    • Design all creative assets needed
  • Channel specialists
    • Execute on developed strategy across multiple channels
    • Own paid and website strategy
    • Develop marketing automation outreach
  • Content specialists
    • Own the messaging for the campaign
    • Establish voice in the creation of all copy

Once the team of sales, marketing and internal champions is assembled, work together to build the list of accounts that you want to target. When building your list of target accounts and contacts, consider starting small. To maintain a hyperpersonal outreach approach, select no more than 5 companies for one person to manage at a time. Your contact list should be hyperpersonal, too. Consider all of the warm information you can compliantly discover about your contacts, such as where they went to school or any interests on their LinkedIn profile that you may have in common. Align your outreach team to these characteristics to help you build real relationships.

DAY THREE: Define messaging

☐ Work with content specialists and designers to build out messaging and visual elements for your campaign
☐ Tailor messaging to different stages of the funnel and contact demographics
☐ Develop unique selling proposition (USP) and unified call to action (CTA) for the campaign

Using the strength of your team and organizational knowledge you’ve researched about target accounts, define messaging for your campaign. Before selecting your channels and creating assets, your team must agree on a voice and tone, as well as a visual identity. Stay true to your company’s brand to avoid confusing your prospects as they engage with you across multiple channels. Think through how your message differs based on company and individual identifiers such as job title or pain points. For example, end users and decision makers should receive different types of messaging because their goals and the way they interact with your product or service will vary. Additionally, use the individualized information you’ve collected on your contacts to hyper personalize the message further. Work with your team to build out your unique selling proposition and your call to action to ensure that they are unified across all channels of your campaign.

DAY FOUR: Select your promotional channels and map out your content

☐ Choose your earned, owned and paid channels
☐ Perform a content audit

Account-based marketing is most effective when channels and content are designed to work together. Integrating your channel approach strategically will streamline your message and is efficient in getting the attention of your target accounts. Think through all channel options below to find what will work best for your campaign:

  • Earned
    • Public relations
    • Organic search
    • SEO
  • Owned
    • Emails
    • Website
    • Newsletter
    • Blog posts
    • Social media
  • Paid
    • Paid social
    • Display ads

Once you’ve decided on channels, switch your focus to your content. Content plays a key role in account-based marketing campaigns and should be targeted toward every stage of the funnel and every title or seniority level in your account contacts. Perform a content audit by assessing what you already have created that can be repurposed or revised for this outreach. Content can take on many forms, so consider changing up the delivery of your message with these varying types:

  • Webinars
  • Infographics
  • Case studies
  • White papers
  • Landing page

DAYS FIVE AND SIX: Create additional content

☐ Develop content based on gaps from content audit
☐ Ask for content review by sales leadership and additional stakeholders

Once you’ve assessed your content and identified the gaps, create any additional content necessary to reach your target accounts through all stages of the funnel while keeping in mind the specific messaging needed for different job titles. Use your channel selection and messaging as a guide when creating content. Do you have enough content created for each different stage of the funnel? If not, what types of content work best for each stage? How can you use your content to take your prospects from awareness to decision? Think through your full strategy and develop any missing content to promote across channels and audiences.

Use these two days to develop, edit, fine tune and publish your content. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and effective content shouldn’t be either. Ask your sales leadership and additional team stakeholders to review the newly created content to ensure you’re staying true to the messaging the team has established.

 

The first six days of planning are critical to the success of your campaign. By taking these six days to assemble your team, choose your accounts, define your messaging and address gaps in your content, you’ll be set up to make the most out of the next four days of campaign planning. In our next blog post, we will cover days seven through ten. Keep reading by clicking here.

You can also download a printable version of the ABM: From Strategy to Execution in 10 Days Go Live Checklist for your personal use by clicking here.