By April Ducey
You’re sitting in a conference room—or maybe you’re on a Zoom call—with your company’s sales and marketing employees. In the past year, sales have stagnated. You’ve been brought together in a joint effort to bring in new business, a job that has historically been the responsibility of the sales division. You know that a synergy between these two teams could yield great results, and today you’ll be kicking off an account-based marketing strategy (ABM). In last month’s blogs, we introduced ABM and listed some of the top benefits of this strategy, such as efficiency, clearer ROI, and high-value targets. Sounds great, right? But if you’ve never worked on an account-based marketing strategy, you might be wondering where to start and what it could look like. In this blog, we will explain the key components of an effective ABM strategy, as well as different initiatives you can use to reach your goals.
Components of an Account-Based Marketing Strategy
Here’s a quick refresher on what ABM: Account-based marketing (ABM) is a B2B marketing approach in which the marketing team and sales team work together to create campaigns that target key business accounts and turn them into clients. With ABM, you’re able to choose your best-fit accounts, engage them across multiple channels, and measure and optimize campaigns to improve results. Here, we dive deeper into these three components:
Step 1: Who do you want to work with?When you sit down to choose the companies you want to target, you’ll probably consider revenue potential, length of relationship, and their market influence. In addition to these, we’d also challenge you to think about the kinds of people you want to work with. We’ve all had the pleasure of working with companies who make the job fulfilling. On the other hand, you’ve probably experienced working with clients who make the work dreadful. Target the former, not the latter. Go after clients who value the services you provide and who are a joy to work with. Step 2: Create personalized content and distribute it across the right channels.While companies have the right services, where they fall short, and potentially lose deals, is their communication. It’s that clients can see themselves working with you through your communications, using their language, connecting with them through their specific challenges, and through stories that they can relate to. Once you craft content that is personalized to their specific industry, you can distribute across the channels where they solicit business. Step 3: Measure, learn, and optimize.The benefit of an ABM strategy is shorter sales cycles and measurable outcomes. At the end of a campaign, you’ll be able to analyze what worked and what didn’t and adjust your strategy to optimize results for the next campaign.
5 ABM Initiatives That Hit Their Mark
Now that you understand the key components of an effective ABM, here are different creative tactics that you can use to make a meaningful impression on your target audience. 1. Educational ContentCreate personalized content via blogs and thought leadership pieces tailored to your audience’s industry and specific challenges. 2. Email MarketingAn email drip campaign, sent automatically over a period of time, or a monthly newsletter could be a great way to connect with your target audience. Include language and stories that will resonate with them, as well as solutions to their challenges.
3. Paid AdvertisingYou can pay tech platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google to target specific accounts with tailor made campaigns.
4. WebinarsHost webinars and virtual events on relevant topics and timely challenges that your target accounts might be facing. 5. EventsIn-person events are still one of the best ways for sales people to meet and influence business leaders. Through an ABM lens, events can be personalized to target key accounts—invite the right prospects, customize presentations to resonate with their specific business challenges, and personalize the follow-up process. The same is true for virtual events.
Cultivating Long-Term Relationships
With an ABM strategy, you’re not only trying to be more visible to your prospects—you’re trying to cultivate a long-term relationship. Through personalized content and messaging, you demonstrate that you understand their industry and business challenges. And by establishing a steady cadence of touch points, you become a top of mind solution when the need arises.
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