Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is certainly the hot topic in B2B circles these days, but like other trends, the term “ABM” can encompass a whole range of activity – from something as simple as an email drip campaign to a more comprehensive, sustained, integrated program that incorporates multiple channels.
In our experience, the most effective ABM campaigns share 4 common traits. Successful ABM campaigns typically are:
• integrated – so that targeted contacts see a consistent, cohesive message via multiple channels
• content-driven – so that it drives engagement and dialogue, vs. a program that attempts to sell a solution or drive meetings exclusively, and finally
• of a sufficient duration, vs. a short-term “one off” approach, so that that success relies less on an accident of timing, and more on a consistent nurturing and education of the targeted list.
Planning on integrating Account-Based Marketing into your demand gen mix in 2016? Here are 7 steps to developing and executing a successful ABM program:
1. Identifying target accounts either via sales input and/or predictive modeling. Predictive technology can help identify those accounts most likely to actually convert, independent of which accounts are simply on sales’ “hit list”.
2. Identifying and/or developing a critical mass of relevant offer content to support the campaign, content that is specific and relevant to target roles, for example:
– Power User
– Economic Buyer
– Technical Buyer
– Internal Champion
3. Establishing specific, quantitative goals for the campaign. How will you measure success? Will KPIs revolve around engagement, meetings, opportunities, deals?
4. Identifying the channels and tactics necessary to drive the target results. Again, a multi-channel, integrated approach is likely to be most effective. Possible channels for ABM include:
– Proactive, outbound email and direct mail as a “drip campaign” to the targeted list
– Programmatic display advertising, to reach ideal contacts at targeted accounts via ad networks, perhaps with account- or industry-specific ad creative
– Paid social advertising on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, via “custom audiences”
– Paid search advertising on Google via the new “customer match” program
– Telemarketing outreach, either scheduled to coincide with campaign “touches” or triggered in response to campaign engagement
– Real-time Web personalization to deliver account-specific or industry-specific content on campaign-specific landing pages or on the advertiser’s main Website
5. Developing the relevant creative for implementation via the selected channels
6. Putting in place the appropriate sales alerts or other triggers based on campaign engagement or Web visits by target accounts
7. Creating a campaign calendar to plan the relevant touches and the associated offer or creative development.
Account-based Marketing is not something to be undertaken, and invested in, simply because it’s the hot new trend. But as part of an integrated, cohesive demand generation mix, one that blends both inbound and outbound tactics, ABM can play a key role in driving opportunities at high-value accounts.