In part one of our two-part blog series on account-based marketing, we covered the basics of ABM — what it is, and why it’s gaining in popularity. In short, B2B sales and marketing teams find it to be very effective.
In this article, we’ll delve into the steps your organization can take to implement account-based marketing. Let’s get started!
1. Identify your target(s)
As a marketer, you probably know all about finding your target audience. But with ABM, the organization or company you want to reach IS your target —not an individual (don’t confuse this with developing personas, one of our earlier and equally informative blog posts).
It’s best to have both marketing and sales people involved at this point, because you’ll need data from both. Start with data such as industry, company size, revenue, etc.
2. Now, let the research begin
You’ve chosen your targets. Now, think of them like organization-level personas (again, not individuals). You do need to know who your stakeholders are, however. Think of those within the organization that are the decision makers or influencers. For instance, if you are targeting a large B2B organization, there could be as many as five (or more!) people in that company that will be stakeholders in a purchasing decision.
LinkedIn is a great resource for determining the names and titles of the stakeholders in your target companies. And paying for a LinkedIn Premium account is a good investment.
“In order for ABM to truly work, sales and marketing really do need to be on the same page. Marketing and sales leaders should establish a well-defined set of criteria for following up with targeted company leads, and that their team members are held accountable for upholding that criteria.”
3. Time to create your outreach plan
Once you’ve made the list of your target decision makers and influencers within each account, you’ll need to determine how you plan to reach them. The focus needs to be on a goal, or goals, you want to reach with the account, not the individuals. And it’s time to start creating content.
4. Choose your distribution methods
To make sure your content (which, no doubt is spectacular; if you’re having trouble with that, let us know) is effective you have to decide what channels to use. Since we are talking about account-based marketing as it relates to B2B companies, you’ll want to think about where members of your target organization(s) “hang out” (social media, tradeshows and events), and how they consume business-related information.
- Will you target your prospect organizations (and the key influencers inside those companies) through micro-targeted ads on social media?
- What about marketing automation through platforms such as Pardot, Marketo, or Eloqua?
- Will you incorporate an “old school” direct mail approach?
- Will a high-touch event be part of the mix?
5. Ready, set, go with your account-based marketing campaign
It’s go time. You’ve picked your targets, researched them, created highly relevant content , and decided where to place it. But wait! Yes, wait to make sure that your messaging is clear and consistent across your channels.
- How will sales align with marketing? To say that sales and marketing teams oftentimes don’t align would be an understatement. In fact, according to Sirius Decisions, “up to 65% of your marketing team’s digital content never makes its way into the customer’s hands.” Let that sink in.
In order for ABM to truly work, sales and marketing really do need to be on the same page. Marketing and sales leaders should establish a well-defined set of criteria for following up with targeted company leads, and that their team members are held accountable for upholding that criteria.