How to Decide on an Account-Based Marketing Strategy

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) — I’m sure you’ve heard this buzzword all over the place by now. You can expect almost every marketing conference to include at least one session about ABM; so it’s clear to see that this type of marketing is booming in popularity. ABM puts the spotlight on marketers’ abilities to target the key accounts that sales teams have been dying to land.

So how do we acquire quality leads that sales will actually be excited for? By doing what sales has been doing all along — going after dream prospects by using an account-based marketing approach. And thanks to marketing automation (MA), we have the ability to target the exact accounts our sales teams want in a powerful way.

It may feel a little overwhelming to get started, especially if you have a large sales team to appease or if your MA tool is a new, complicated platform you need to learn. Don’t worry. We have a few easy-to-follow tips to get you started.

Deciding where to start can’t happen until you communicate. Talk with your sales team to learn their goals. If they have a new initiative for the type of accounts they want to acquire this quarter, then that could be your starting focus.

Tip: Make a list of the top accounts you’ve already prequalified as the right type of accounts for your company. Then share that list with sales and ask for their buy-in. Make them co-decision makers.

Once sales has defined their top accounts, you can develop personalized messaging and determine optimal touchpoints for your engagement plan.

Tip: “75 percent of executives will read unsolicited marketing materials that contain ideas that might be relevant to their business such as success stories, research reports and webinar invitations” (Marketo). If you have content on your website that may be relevant to your target accounts, use it as an excuse to talk to your prospects and drive conversation!

When creating your engagement program, it is important to make sure you deliver the right content at the right time. You want to personalize your prospect’s experience as much as possible.

Tip: Your earliest marketing activity should be as targeted as possible. It’s all about alignment. If you can align with your targets early, you’ll get better results with less touches and discover how well ABM really works!

Fair warning — it may take some extra time to set up these campaigns, but if you invest the time in the beginning to familiarize yourself with the technology and organize your MA tool appropriately, you’ll find it much, much easier to scale and optimize later.

Once you set up your programs, don’t forget to  set up reports too. You can measure engagements through email and website interactions, allowing you to fill your customer pipeline from the top of the funnel downward. Doing so will provide insights that will help you discover when prospects are converting.

Tip: Don’t forget to ask sales how they think campaigns are going and ask about the quality of leads they’re receiving. Listen, take notes, readjust where needed, and optimize learnings from small wins. Continue this cycle indefinitely.

And remember, organization within your MA platform is essential if you want your ABM program to run smoothly and correctly.

Tip: Folders are your friends. Use them to your advantage. And make sure you name folders, files and reports in a way that’s logical and easy to remember.

Want to know more about ABM? Check out The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide To Account-Based Marketing by LeanData.

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Jennifer Gerhard

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