When done right, account-based marketing (ABM) will accelerate pipe, increase content ROI, and align sales and marketing through a unified strategy. It’s all fairly easy to accomplish to boot. While there are multiple approaches to tackling ABM strategy, this article will focus on getting started with one-to-one.
One-to-one ABM involves treating individual accounts as “a market of one,” and tailoring content to them. Some examples include personalized websites, landing pages, and unique content pieces based on an account’s specific challenges or objectives. This is only manageable with a select number of accounts, and not your entire prospect or customer base—leading to the first step:
Define Your Target Account List
Creating a target account list is the cornerstone of any ABM initiative. A great way to start is by looking at your current customers. Who are your most valuable, most likely to have the highest spend, or longest lifetime value to date? What things do they have in common that make them your ideal customer?
If you can start by building your ideal customer profile, you’ll soon have a great picture of the types of accounts you should be targeting. Your analysis should factor in demographic and firmographic details such as company size, annual revenue, industry, length of sales cycle, lead score, and overall fit with your product or service’s solution.
It’s also important to leverage your sales team and the data you currently have in your CRM. In a joint effort between sales and marketing, you can start to identify all of the top prospect accounts that exist in your database.
With a clear picture of what your ideal account looks like, you can then leverage artificial intelligence tools like Bombora and LeanData to find similar companies that aren’t even on your radar yet. After all of this work is done, you will have a list of target accounts that meet your ideal customer profile.
Sales and Marketing Alignment
This was alluded to in the first point—sales and marketing need to be aligned, well, always, but especially for a successful ABM program. Marketing should be working with sales to have a unified understanding of your accounts. Robert Lesser of the LAX Boutique says, “The goal of working with the sales team is to understand from their perspective where there is buyer friction, and more importantly, how can the organization get ahead of that friction.” This is possible by comparing a typical sales journey with the buyer journey.
Another key step to aligning sales and marketing is to assign the accounts to their respective account executives right at the beginning. This gives both the marketer and salesperson equal accountability on understanding and nurturing their accounts.
Broaden Your Approach
While direct mail campaigns, digital ads, events, and outreach can all be considered ABM, it’s important to not settle with only one. Broadening your approach involves a combination of all typical ABM tactics.
There are two critical things to consider when taking a more multifaceted ABM approach:
Is the message unified, and where am I directing them?
It’s important to ensure all of your collateral, from digital ad to mailer, is consistent—including the end destination. This is important to emphasize, as a critical misstep is not having a cohesive content experience that ties all of your ABM efforts together. A key example being a dedicated Uberflip stream of content, of course:
Once you’ve comfortably kicked off your on-to-one ABM strategy with your first campaign, you should always measure results, reiterate, and adjust. Seeing how ABM is a personalized approach to marketing, success may be different for each customer and audience.