Today, I’ll talk about account-based marketing and share three steps you should follow to succeed in it. Keep reading to find out more.
In this article:
- Account-Based Marketing Best Practices
- Account-Based Marketing Strategies
How to Implement Account-Based Marketing
What is Account-Based Marketing? This is a type of marketing that uses targeted campaigns personalized to win over specific accounts. Instead of running blanket campaigns over the market in general, ABM focuses on an individual account, which it considers as a single market.
Account-Based Marketing Best Practices
Everyone is talking about account-based marketing. Some refer to it as the company’s sales or revenue, but whichever term you use, ABM is still a buzzword.
Yet, not knowing what it really is makes it a bit hard to do, I think. This is why I want to hit on three key principles to master account-based marketing.
This topic can still go deeper — there are hundreds of things we can talk about. But, I’ll focus on three key principles that may not be the silver bullet you need, but are good steps to follow to master your account-based marketing.
1. Know Who You’re Targeting
I want to focus more on the strategic prospecting side. When I say “company’s marketing,” I’m talking about strategic prospecting, which is where you need to start.
You need to know who your target accounts and contacts are. If you don’t know what your ideal customer profile is, you probably shouldn’t be in business.
I say that jokingly, but being in that position is tough. It’s no joke to not know who you are targeting.
You need to know who you’re going after and who’s gonna buy from you, both on the accounts and contacts side.
This is the first step you should take when it comes to account-based marketing. It seems like an easy step, but I have personally seen people and organizations struggle with nailing this down.
2. Have a Digital Machine That Works
Once you know your “who,” the next big step is to have a working digital machine. Your digital machine should focus on your target accounts and contacts.
Ideally, your digital machine should produce messaging and offers that are enticing to your target market.
You need to put out quality and valuable content. Gear your digital activities, like webinars, eBooks, research studies, and display ads towards serving your target entities.
3. Implement Strategic Plays
Your digital activities are going to facilitate the next step in the process, which is implementing strategic plays. We break down these strategic plays as follows:
Strategic Play #1: Event Strategy
I really believe in a strategic prospecting initiative. You should have events.
Keep in mind, though, that people are already tired of industry events, especially in sales and marketing. This is because they’re all the same, and they’re often big events.
Sales leaders want something intimate now. They want to attend an event with their peers that’s not something they can get elsewhere.
Personally, I love inviting people to events that are hot on digital demand. That is one path they can take.
Strategic Play #2: Dream Account Strategy
Another path they could take is your dream account strategy, which is your one-on-one strategy. This can directly come after someone engages with your content or has some kind of digital interaction with you.
The dream account strategy can happen after an event, or it can be a stand-alone strategic play.
This is going to consist of the top 100 accounts that the organization is all rallying around. The dream account strategy is your “win at all costs” type of strategy.
Money shouldn’t be an issue here, and you should go ultra-personalized with any content you create.
Once you get a meeting from your dream account strategy, you should involve your executives. If you’re going to go on-site, make sure an executive is present.
In my opinion, that process should be ultimately overseen by an account-based marketer or a strategic/dream account marketer. Someone from the sales team can also oversee it.
Aside from those, business development should also support it. They should be integral to the process.
Strategic Play #3: Personalized Play Strategy
The next one is your personalized play strategy. This is the typical sales development-account executive type of play.
As suggested by the name, personalization is still important with this strategic play. Having core personas to refer to is a must.
You may now go down a drop here. Instead of your “A” or your dream 100, you’re now on your “B” or your next 100 or 200 accounts.
Here, you’ll pick personas, then develop plays. “Play” means thinking about a strategic prospecting initiative that utilizes personalization to build pipeline.
You’d want to be creative here. Bring all the channels into play — be it email, chat, video, voice mail, or phone.
Have a more standardized kind of sales development here.
Account-Based Marketing Strategies
There’s certainly more to learn when it comes to account-based marketing, but those are the three basic principles.
Again, number one is knowing who your target is, or who you’re going after.
Number two, push your marketing team to be strong on digital. You want to be out there.
You want your brand to target companies with the right message. Then prepare trails for people to go down when they respond.
You have the events trail, which can be very powerful. You’ve also got your one-to-one or dream account strategy. Then you’ve got the personalized play strategy.
Ultimately, your Marketing Team should oversee or quarterback these strategic plays. Bring in your Sales Team as well to oversee them, and have your Business Development Team support them.
That’s your recipe for success. The results may vary in each organization, but this general flow is powerful.
Remember these three steps and apply them to your organization so you can have a successful account-based marketing strategy. You can also use the strategic plays we talked about for your account-based marketing activities.
You may encounter challenges along the way, but when you implement this marketing style right, it will yield good results.
What account-based marketing practices have you found to be most effective, or even completely ineffective? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!