How to plan an effective Account-based marketing campaign?

what-is-account-based-marketing

Majority of growing B2B marketers are now adopting account-based marketing (ABM) as a part of their marketing efforts. Account-based marketing is a fairly new concept to many people. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of alignment between marketing and sales within many organisations. And account-based marketing is usually based on the alignment between marketing and sales. ABM is more effective when you know where to start. This article will help you do just that.

But first let’s look at what account-based marketing is all about.

What is account-based marketing?

Account-based marketing is a business strategy in which an individual prospect or customer is treated like its very own market by the marketing team. The marketing team can create events, content and whole campaigns committed to the people related with that account, rather than the entire industry.

From the above context we can see that ABM focuses on a specific customer, existing or potential. This is practiced typically by enterprise-level sales organisations and is lucrative to B2B companies. The reason ABM is critical to B2B is because it is specifically useful for organisations with multiple stakeholders and buyers. It caters to the need of an organisation by connecting with all of the stakeholders.

Here are some tips to plan an ABM campaign

Identify your target

Finding the right target audience is critical for successful marketing. Since we are dealing with organisations and not people, this should not be confused with developing personas. Identifying your target should be done together by marketing and sales, since it will need data from both teams. This is firmographic data, which includes things like industry, company size, location, and annual revenue, market influence, strategic factors, possibility of repeat purchase, and likely profit margin.

Market research is an important tool when it comes to determining this data but some of it is the kind of information that you can get using intuition and experience.

Research target accounts

Once you identify your targets, the goal is to treat those companies like big, institution-level personas. You have to remember that we are not trying to build personas for individuals. However, it can be helpful to have detailed information of your ideal customers.

Familiarity with aspects like company’s structure and who the critical players are can dictate how you introduce your product or service to those targets, especially when you know who the decision-makers are. Sometimes you might already have this information in your data. If someone from your team has previously researched this target but did not complete the ABM process of reaching it in the right manner.

Even if you do not have this information a little manual research may be required to get it. LinkedIn is an excellent social media platform to find data with simple advanced search. Once you have customised your search in advanced settings using different groups of options, enter the name of your target in the “Company” field. If you are trying to find out a certain role within the company, enter that in the “Title” field.

As you browse further, you can filter your search with the help of dropdown menus.

Create your content

Once you have the names of the key players in each account, you can start creating new content for them. The content should talk more about the pain points of those specific businesses rather than specific employees. As discussed above, ABM strategy is less about individual personas and more focused on covering new business. This is the reason why content should be focused on the single deals you would like to make with a specific organisation.

At this stage you can see how ABM and inbound marketing are able to work together. Engaging and good quality content is imperative in reaching your ABM targets.

Choose your channels

The right content will not be effective without the right channels to promote it. It is important to pick the right channels to communicate, and this is based on what is effective for that specific organisation or role. Doing some research on your target audience can help you understand which social media platforms they are more active on.

Start your campaign

Now that you have your target, content and have decided on the platform, it is time implement.

Running your campaign will take some careful consideration. You will need to coordinate your messaging across various channels. You do not want to send different messages to the same person, make sure everything is consistent. Choose the right channels and use them effectively without repeating the messages.

Measuring Results

A majority of CMOs have trouble proving the ROI of their marketing efforts. It is important to measure the results of each campaign properly.

Be sure to ask the right questions when you are measuring the results of an ABM campaign. Here are a few questions that you might want to ask:

  • Is our growing list of known individuals within the target account?
  • Are there any changes as to how these accounts interact with our brand or content?
  • How much revenue is being generated from these accounts?

When it is broken down into easy steps account-based marketing seems less overwhelming.

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