Although it’s been around for quite a while, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) seems to be the new holy grail for B2B marketers – and for good reason. Fueled by advances in data analytics and marketing automation, a well-designed and executed ABM campaign can speed up your sales cycle and dramatically increase conversion rates.
According to TOPO’s 2019 Account-Based Benchmark report, one in five accounts targeted through ABM created a new sales opportunity, far surpassing success rates for traditional mass marketing and funnel-based approaches.
Unfortunately, many companies have recently jumped on the ABM bandwagon only to discover that implementing a successful campaign is more challenging than anticipated.
So, whether you’re thinking about dipping your toe into the water or are struggling to generate results from an existing ABM program, our latest white paper, From Strategy to Launch: 10 Steps to Drive Results with B2B ABM, will show you how to streamline your process and turbo-charge your results through these key steps:
- Set your goals – ABM is so powerful, in part, because it syncs up your sales and marketing teams. So, it’s imperative to begin the process by having sales and marketing work together and agree upon granular-level goals for each targeted customer.
- Assemble your a-team – Create a small but mighty team of top talent to ensure success. On the marketing side, your ABM team should include someone with experience in demand generation, a channel specialist, a great content developer and a dedicated designer. On the sales side, be sure to include your sales leader, as well as individuals with market knowledge of the industries you plan to target.
- Identify your target accounts – ABM delivers efficiency and sales growth by focusing your marketing efforts on a smaller set of higher value prospects. Clearly defining your ideal customer profile is critical. Be sure to consider both quantitative factors such as win rates and profitability, as well as qualitative factors including company reputation and cultural fit.
- Define your voice – ABM lets you target specific customers with content that speaks directly to them. Your team should agree in advance on the right tone and look for all of your outreach. Should your tone be friendly, clever, cheeky or more professional? Whatever you decide, maintaining consistency across channels is key.
- Organize your content – You want to provide an engaging narrative that convinces your target that you understand their challenges and can help solve them. Step one is to audit your existing content – from landing pages and blogs to case studies and print collateral. Step two is to eliminate content that doesn’t address your target’s pain points, and identify any gaps in your content. To learn more about this process, read our Seven Steps to Generating ROI with B2B Content white paper.
- Create your campaign – You want compelling content for every stage in the buyer’s journey, from awareness and consideration to customer acquisition. Be sure to create both online and offline content and customize it for the specific channel you will be using. Additionally, it’s important to determine the best day of the week and time of day for each type of outreach. Last, but certainly not least, include a strong call to action (CTA) in every piece.
- Make your website a lead machine – Your website plays a starring role in ABM and should operate as a lead gen machine. Well-designed landing pages can enable you to track activity in both your web analytics and your marketing automation platforms (such as Pardot or Marketo). Additionally, by utilizing company IP address or Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) codes, you can show highly-tailored content to your targets. You may also decide to take customization one step further and build personalized landing pages for each target company. And, as always, ensure you have strong and prominent CTAs on every landing page and throughout your website.
- Identify your KPIs – Having clearly defined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will keep your campaign on track and help you achieve the goals you set in step one. Typical KPIs can include unique website visitors, open and click through rates and sales qualified leads generated.
- Test with a pilot – ABM requires a fundamental shift in thinking among your sales and marketing team. We always recommend starting with a pilot program and generating some success before rolling out an ABM campaign across your organization. Starting small will minimize disruption, reduce risks and ultimately maximize your ROI
- Get ready and go live – Before going live, it’s always a good idea to quality-check your assets one last time. Your pre-launch checklist should include revisiting your goals and KPIs, testing landing pages, sending test emails, double-checking for typos and ensuring your measurement and reporting is working accurately. Once you’ve tied up any loose ends, you are ready for a successful launch.
Interested in learning more about ABM? Download From Strategy to Launch: 10 Steps to Drive Results with B2B ABM for more on the steps above, as well as essential tools and key truths about ABM that every marketer should know.