There’s a lot of buzz around account-based marketing (ABM). It can be a shining star among B2B strategies for boosting buyer engagement. Whether you’re launching a program for the first time of reevaluating your current campaigns, there are core account-based marketing tactics to set yourself up for success. Well, you’re in luck — we’ve collected a list of ABM practices you can start implementing today.
Tactic 1: Start with strategic ABM alignment
This account-based marketing tactic focuses on strategic ABM alignment. ABM alignment involves ensuring that all internal stakeholders are on board with various aspects of the account-based marketing strategy. This alignment is crucial for creating a consistent experience for clients and maximizing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your strategy.
For example, when the marketing and sales teams collaborate effectively, the overall team gets more done. The trick is to make it easy to work hand-in-hand with strategic ABM alignment.
Before you launch or relaunch an ABM program. Give yourself the time and data to do it right. Complete these steps to align your team and set expectations for campaign performance:
- Ensure direct involvement of marketing and sales stakeholders.
- Develop a joint strategy for targeting each account based on their stage in the funnel.
- Allocate appropriate ABM funds, time budget, and other necessary resources.
- Establish ABM objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for measurement.
Tactic 2: Establish ABM team roles
Leaders of your marketing and sales departments should be aligned on ABM and willing to designate representatives on their teams. An important part of an effective ABM strategy is establishing clear team roles.
Within these ABM teams, some roles will co-create and publish content for targets within accounts. Other roles will manage and close business deals with each client. This will be helpful for the team to effectively connect and communicate.
As with any marketing strategy, regular communication is key. Set a regular meeting cadence so that everyone is on the same page and updated on any developments.
Along with marketing and sales, it’s also important to involve internal members such as customer fulfillment representatives who are aware of customer requirements and pain points. Their knowledge could provide valuable insights for an ABM strategy.
Tactic 3: Identify your ideal set of target customers
Identify and select your ideal set of high-value clients based on your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Your ICP should outline characteristics including demographics, behavioral data, intent, psychographics, and buying groups of your best customers.
These customers are the ones you’ll target with dedicated time and resources. ABM works well when you can personalize content and experiences. You need to gain an understanding of what your accounts are searching or in marketing for and tools like an intent-led marketing cloud is one way to do that. Start where you feel comfortable and optimize.
Use these ideas to get started:
- Research and then search for your ideal client profile. Use intent data to see what this has looked like over certain time periods
- Create a plan that divides incoming leads based on categories such as industry, company size and value, and flag them as potential clients in your CRM
- Choose your potential clients based on industry category or geographical location
- Analyze companies currently using your services
- Analyze buyers who engage with your website content, but haven’t turned into clients and look for patterns
Tactic 4: Boost revenue when marketing and sales create account plans together
Throughout this, it’s clear that the most effective Account-Based Marketing is a team effort. That’s why it is important to make sure appropriate marketing and sales team members take part in account planning.
Have the marketing and sales team keep questions like this in mind as they work jointly on target account plans:
- How do we need to target each potential client?
- What are they searching for, where are they at in the buyer’s journey?
- What content will attract and engage clients and close the deal?
- Which channels will reach potential clients with a relevant approach for each individual?
- How will marketing and sales coordinate and provide support during each stage of the ABM strategy and the revenue process?
Tactic 5: Engage high-value prospects with personalization
Evaluate how long you’ve been in the market and look at the results of any previous ABM work you’ve done. You may already have contacts for specific accounts.
If you need to gather more contacts, you can use the data you already have to find similar prospects. Once you have your ICP identified, you can use that information to expand your audience. Run content syndication to gather more contacts by targeting specific companies using the ICP parameters you have set.
One key to successfully attracting similar high-value clients (and keeping those you have) is to customize content according to the client’s expressed interest through their online behavior. This helps promote brand awareness among targeted audiences.
Here are some proven, GDPR-compliant account-based marketing tactics that you can use to attract high-value clients. Take them one at a time, or assign them around the ABM team:
- Engage accounts on social media and share helpful information and relevant content you’ve created.
- Reach out to them by sending direct messages via social media and direct mail via email or post.
- Communicate through LinkedIn InMail outreach.
- Build customized landing pages tailored to the requirements, questions, and concerns of clients, as indicated by their intent behaviors.
- Provide gifts for engagement and interaction such as prizes, and discount codes.
- Share content like blogs or articles across channels such as websites, social media and digital publications relevant to each client.
- Create ad campaigns and social ads to target different clients based on factors such as location, skill, and job title.
- Invite clients for physical or virtual events and ask attendees to bring their colleagues as well.
Tactic 6: Analyze ABM results and make the required changes
While working on some of the tactics above, you’ll want to continuously monitor your accomplishments (or lack thereof.) An intent-led marketing cloud can be a game changer when it comes to analyzing and optimizing your ABM program. It can help with marketing personalization, which is very important when developing ABM programs. By capturing and analyzing ABM results, you’ll see any elements of your strategy that need improvement. This makes an ABM strategy more effective.
Here are examples of popular account-based marketing KPIs that give insight into how you’re performing:
- Lead generation scores
- Customer account penetration (net new contacts added to an account)
- Customer engagement (can be monitored via intent data)
- Deal-to-close time
- Gross New Revenue
- Percent of customer conversions
Next steps for ABM
Account-based marketing doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Start with these account-based marketing tactics and a small ABM program. Reach out within and across your marketing and sales teams to look at how to align and work together. Once you’ve been running for a while, look at your performance and optimize or scale as makes sense for your business.
Most importantly, remember that ABM is about building relationships with your accounts. While a valuable strategy, ABM doesn’t work overnight. Building relationships with these clients takes time. There should be ongoing metrics review and evaluation but adjusting and figuring out new ways to engage and relationship build with accounts could be helpful.