Today, account-based marketing (ABM) has moved from a niche tactic used by a small number of enterprise-focused businesses to one that’s embraced by many B2B companies. It enables them to segment their highest-value target accounts adopting a one-to-one or one-to-few approach that’s more relevant to recipients and more effective at gaining cut-through.
While much talk about ABM has focused on relatively simple technology solutions – retargeting website visitors or using anonymous visitor identification – true high-value ABM is a different proposition.
The kind of ABM that’s focused on securing six-figure+ revenue opportunities demands that sales and marketing teams work together to carefully target accounts, understand what really matters to them and plan a coordinated approach. Importantly, it demands a fundamentally different approach to developing content.
Effective account-based marketing means taking a deliberate, strategic approach. One where marketing and sales teams are clear about who they are targeting, why they are targeting them and the specific value they can offer.
It’s about spending time getting under the skin of specific businesses, uncovering the pain points of multiple stakeholders and creating high-value relevant content that’s impossible to ignore.
Of course, as with many approaches that have been caught in the B2B marketing limelight, the devil is in the detail.
Many marketers have bought into the concept (and often the technology) behind ABM but then struggled to implement account-based marketing effectively within their own operations. They get caught between the simple promises of martech vendors and the messy complexity of creating the content that will help make ABM work in the real world.
That’s where we come in.
An effective account-based marketing strategy will demand you create content that’s viewed as highly relevant to your target account’s specific business challenges. It will show you understand their real-world issues and can help them make progress on overcoming the obstacles that may be holding them back.
We’ve worked with clients targeting everyone from fibre networking backbone providers through to Premiership football teams. This has involved creating content that’s included impossible-to-ignore door openers and high-value multi-stage campaigns. And we’ve gone even further, helping clients with RFP submission and final pitch content to help close high-value opportunities.
Every engagement is laser-focused on delivering maximum value to our clients’ prospects. It’s about creating approaches and content that demonstrate knowledge, empathy and tangible reasons to engage.
What it’s not about is simply jumping on the next most-hyped piece of ABM martech or spending more time configuring a tech stack than delivering results.
We’ll leave that to others.
We bring together insights from your front-line sales teams with our own research into your target accounts and markets. We’ll explore what’s happening in your prospect’s industries and the pressures they face. At the individual level, we’ll look to uncover:
Together, this information will form the foundation for developing content that can both be targeted at individual accounts but also expanded and repurposed to deliver greater value.
Chances are, you already have content that could be used as part of an effective ABM content strategy. All too often, however, these assets are buried in siloes – anywhere from your public content library to that presentation your CEO gave at that conference last year.
We’ll audit your existing content, assessing and scoring its suitability for ABM. Some may be good-to-go as-is. Other content may simply need adjusting and personalising. And some will contain the core information we need to create something new.
We’ll then develop a campaign to attract attention, deepen engagement and provide a reason for your target accounts to interact with your sales team.
What this will look like will depend on the specifics of your sales cycle.
Sometimes it’s enough to create a small amount of highly personalised content to gain attention and provoke action. For extended strategic sales that demand you displace an incumbent, we may need to implement a longer-term integrated approach targeted at moving key prospects through specific opportunity stages.
Every campaign is different.
In the wider world of B2B marketing, the importance of personalisation is often overstated (despite what personalisation technology vendors would have you believe). However, when it comes to ABM, personalisation matters. A lot.
But let’s be clear, this is not simply about placing the prospect’s name into your communications. It’s about personalising your content to directly address their hot-button concerns, educating them about ways they could accelerate key initiatives and compete more effectively.
This is what will resonate with your target audience and make them engage with you (not the fact that you know their name is Susan).
Importantly, not every piece of content needs to be personalised to this degree. Within any ABM campaign, we’ll look to create a mix of ultra-high-value personalised items together with content that is focused simply on showing that we have relevant expertise to a prospect’s business objectives.
The result is a more effective and more scalable approach.
Compared to many B2B marketing tactics, the effectiveness of ABM can be relatively easy to measure. But, due to the comparatively small number of targets, simple engagement metrics are likely to be inadequate.
For example, if you are focused on just 10, 20, 100 key accounts, the difference between 5 responses and 10 will skew the numbers significantly.
Instead, you need to look deeper, taking onboard both hard numbers and subjective feedback from sales teams. While it’s encouraging that a prospect downloads and reads some personalised content, that’s unlikely to help sales hit its revenue targets.
So, when we assess the effectiveness of your campaign, we’ll ask questions
Taking a measured view of the results, we will adapt and evolve your approach, exploring new ways to increase results over time.