If you work in B2B – Account-Based Marketing is a term you can’t get away from. Not quite a buzzword, but not a million miles from it. At its core, ABM is a sales strategy that aims to unite the twins of sales and marketing around a useful north star goal – more effective revenue generation.
If that’s your focus (and it should be) a couple of quick stats illustrate why ABM has risen to prominence:
- 87% B2B marketers surveyed by ITSMA reported that ABM initiatives outperform all other investments in terms of ROI
- 91% of companies using ABM increase their average deal size with 25% reporting that increase by as much as 50% (SeriusDecisions)
While an entire industry built to serve an organization’s ABM efforts has grown in recent years (see this list of 15 software companies as a starter) the truth is that it’s a strategy that needs consideration.
Account-Based Marketing can be time-intensive and heavy lifting. Have a stacked team of marketers and sales reps? Fantastic – push on. But if you’re a smaller org, you may need to consider resources before pushing ahead.
There are plenty of guides out there that will give you the groundwork for implementing an ABM program – here our intention is to look at some of the more transferable lessons from ABM, that you can start to utilize today – no matter what level your business is at.
Account-Based Marketing Lesson 1 – The Customer Deep Dive
It’s all in the name – account-based marketing – focuses on the unique pain-points of a specific account, through the lens of a highly-targeted set of key personas. The name of the game here is depth – you want to put the right message in front of as many of the right people as possible simultaneously.
Truly understanding a prospective account is more than just checking out potential key prospects on LinkedIn (though that’s part of it). You need to get under the hood of what makes your target business tick. Like a cheap mechanic, if you’re selling solutions to bogus problems, you’re not going to win any favors.
A true deep dive can be bolstered by some of the following activities:
Search for and dissect annual + quarterly reports: most large companies will deliver a quarterly review of achievements and strategy which can be found online. These reports are gold dust – find words direct from the CEO – and use them in your outreach.
Employee social: don’t just look at company feeds – see what prospects are talking about on LinkedIn or Twitter. Is there a common link between you and a prospect? Headline your outreach with it – look for ways to stand out.
Hit the streets: does your prospect have physical locations? Visit them. Speak to employees – ask them what their problems on the ground are – how could your solution help them with their day-to-day?
When considering your own account deep-dives try to focus on the area that you believe will garner the quickest, most direct connections. There’s no bullet-proof answer – follow your intuition, and don’t be afraid to test and learn.
Account-Based Marketing Lesson 2 – Content Curation
Typically, most ABM campaigns are built on a combination of curated content (marketing) and personalized outreaches (sales). While a generic blog post on an issue you know might hook your prospect is a good start, the deeper you can get the better off you are.
Content curation can be time-consuming and expensive – but there are ways to give the impression of being highly personalized, without spending quarter-on-quarter in production.
The basics: add prospect logos to your collateral, use people’s first names, try, and identify a potential common ground hook to use in your first line – people are people, not business machines. Take a human-first approach – what would catch your eye in the email deluge?
Video Platforms: Wistia, Vidyard, Vimeo… there’s a plethora of relatively cheap and cheerful video platforms that enable you to create personalized, custom videos that don’t cost an arm and a leg and don’t require expensive videographers to complete – make it personal, a little goes a long way…
Landing Pages: want to package up a set of assets for a client that looks highly personalized? Why not create a landing page template with your prospect’s logo, that enables them to view multiple assets in one space? Swap that logo – rinse and repeat.
Ultimately there’s only one question you need to ask about your content – does this add value? If the answer’s no, it’s back to the drawing board friend.
Account-Based Marketing Lesson 3 – Be CREATIVE
We live in a world where 300+ billion emails are sent a day. So how to stand out amongst the crowd? Fortunately – creativity is something that is accessible to any business, no matter your size or budget.
In his book ‘How to Get a Meeting with Anyone’ – one-time New Yorker cartoonist Stu Heinecke relates how he got his first meeting with the CEO of the Sandler Sales company (themselves no strangers to a cold email) – the answer? A personalized framed caricature sent straight to the boss’s desk.
You might not have the skillset to drop award-winning art samples out every half an hour – but never forget the key – people buy from people they like. How are you going to make your prospect smile?
Account-Based Marketing is here to stay – but assessing whether your business is ready to invest in it fully, is not always easy. Done right, ABM is a go-to-market strategy. Done wrong. It’s a waste of time and money.
At Vehicle Media we love nothing more than to talk shop – if you’d like a casual conversation about where you’re at with your own marketing needs, we’re happy to give you our view, no strings attached. Get in touch today.
Want to learn a little more right now? Check out our previous article How to Make Account-Based Marketing work for B2B.