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For a Global ABM Strategy, Think Local

Posted October 16, 2017

For a Global ABM Strategy, Think Local

Posted October 16, 2017

The rise of account-based marketing marks a fundamental shift in the way B2B brands approach business development. Instead of casting a wide net, covering entire sectors of an industry, then sifting through the results to find organizations to target, the ABM process begins at the account level, enabling you to identify the biggest opportunities from the outset and proactively engage them with targeted messaging.

Because ABM focuses on a manageable number of individual accounts, rather than hundreds or even thousands of “prospects,” you can broaden your geographic horizons and globalize your search for potential clients. It’s as easy to target a business across the world, as it is to target one across the street, and starting a global ABM campaign is just a matter of broadening the scope of your local ABM approach … while also thinking locally.

From Global to Local

Globalizing a traditional marketing strategy is a huge undertaking, involving country-specific lead generation tactics, translations of hundreds of marketing messages, and customized design based on cultural preferences. With ABM, the process for targeting a company in another country is exactly the same process that works for domestic organizations:

  • Identify target accounts
  • Engage contacts within target accounts
  • Align sales and marketing
  • Measure and optimize campaigns

To globalize our ABM strategies, we need to “think locally” and direct our messaging to specific accounts that just happen to be located in other countries. Each account then becomes “a market of one.”

Best Practices for Globalization… with a Localization Twist

As you look to “go global” with your ABM process, here are a few best practices to keep in mind.

Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

Thanks to intent monitoring and other tools, we can learn more about target contacts than ever before, and personalization technology lets us put that intel to good use in exciting new ways, such as:

  • Creating customizable e-books with active fields that allow you to insert the name of the target company
  • Building account-specific landing pages with custom copy, images, offers, and forms tailored to the specific needs of the target company
  • Coding your website to offer a customized user experience for any visitor coming from one of your target account’s IP addresses

Develop Account-specific Offers

Because ABM involves a small number of carefully selected accounts, it’s far easier to globalize your offers than it would be in a traditional marketing scenario. Use what you know about the organization and about the contact to personalize your approach using offers such as:

  • Personalized reports
  • Custom demo videos
  • Customized resources such as checklists and assessments

Track Intent Signals

The name of the ABM game is to deliver targeted messaging which speaks specifically to the challenges your target accounts are facing. With intent monitoring, you can track employees’ “online body language” to discover what those challenges are. Remember to also track social signals, which leave important clues about what those contacts are interested in, and possibly looking to purchase.

Stay Top-of-Mind with Retargeting

In a recent survey, 74 percent of business buyers shared with Forrester Research that they conduct more than half of their research online, before making an offline purchase. If you can work some of your targeted messaging into that online research experience, you gain a head start in engaging contacts at your target accounts. Enter retargeting.

Retargeting is an effective tactic for repeatedly engaging an account as its employees engage with online content — either yours or someone else’s. If those contacts are seeking content in the form of blog posts, white papers, webinars, and other deliverables related to needs your product or service can address, you have an opportunity to insert your offer into that experience.

If you’ve been holding back from launching global ABM campaigns because you don’t want to overwhelm your team, relax. It all comes down to the same practices that are already part of your strategy: identifying target accounts, learning what their challenges are, and launching an engagement campaign focused on addressing those challenges. Whether your target is down the block or a world away, remember that people are still people, and when you show up with answers to what they need, you’ll almost always get a positive response.