3 inspirational ideas for ABM direct mail

BRIAN MASCHLER | April 3, 2020

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I’m not here to extol the benefits of direct mail. That’s trodden ground. No, I’m on a bigger mission: to prevent B2B marketers from being ignored. And today I’m focusing on direct mail because it’s a particularly expensive place to be ignored.  Luckily, a separate trend is changing the way marketers think about direct mail. The recent popularity of account-based marketing (ABM) principles has cleared a path for more creative direct mail. How? Targeting a smaller, more tailored audience means that marketers can focus more energy on delivering an amazing experience versus a narrow focus on economy and scale. But what constitutes a great customer experience when it comes to direct mail?

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VWA Advertising and Marketing

Van Winkle + Associates is a full service marketing and advertising agency headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Founded in 1984, the firm still delivers on the original promise to give clients more bang for their buck by providing strategic marketing solutions in an innovative way that makes every dollar spend like 100. This philosophy has allowed the firm to grow from a strategic consumer packaged goods marketing agency into one of the most creative and successful marketing and advertising agencies in the Southeast.

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4 Account-Based Marketing Technologies That Will Matter in 2021

Article | May 28, 2021

The disruption from 2020 has forced many companies across different industries and verticals to improve their digital potential, including technology adoption. Among the industries, account-based marketing practitioners had to adapt to change in 2020 – and fast because it created a host of challenges in B2B. Industries and businesses had to find the right technologies that allow growth, as companies now have to operate in the only digital world. But, even in the time of uncertainty, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has gained traction. This is good news for enterprise tech vendors. Gartner estimates that expenditure on technology will rebound in 2021, with the enterprise software market predicted to surge by 7.2%. This seems to be a year of growth, improvement, and success for those organizations deploying account-based marketing as part of their B2B strategy. In addition, one of the global data leaders, Acxiom, has experienced rapid sales growth from its technologically blended ABM program. Before considering a fully technology-based ABM strategy for 2021, it is crucial to understand how technologies fuel ABM growth. Technologies are Fueling ABM Growth Well, it's easy to understand and see how and why the technology-fuelled revival of ABM is taking hold. Let's see where B2B marketers are gaining profits. They are : Driving improved deals, higher close rates, and earning more revenue Winning strategic accounts in their industries Getting higher ROI Reaping benefits from additional marketing strategies The 2019 State of ABM study by SiriusDecisions validates this trend in ABM results in: 91% of the B2B companies realizing larger deals by adopting technology in ABM. 92% seeing a higher percentage of qualified opportunities in ABM accounts than in non-ABM accounts. More B2B marketers are moving towards tech-enabled ABM programs, where it was 62% in 2020 compared to 40% in 2018. ABM in the overall marketing budget of companies surging rapidly. With the rise in internet usage, which accelerated digital marketing, it was challenging to understand individual behavior. Now, marketers are empowered with account-centric targeting, measurement, and personalization across all their digital channels. Because marketers dedicate more budget to their ABM programs by upgrading technology stacks. It plays a significant role in making ABM scalable. So, explore the critical technology trends propelling ABM today and shaping its future for marketing purposes in this blog. How much does your tech stack matter? The most influential tech marketing programs invest more in data, insight, and analytics. And that's because you have no hope of successfully engaging with your target accounts. Despite the rapid acceleration of digital transformation in 2020, few organizations already have a mature tech stack. 25-39% of them used it for content syndication, sales automation, evaluation as third-party data, and reporting software. By this, you must have understood that investing in technologies or technology that is attributing results supporting your ABM efforts is essential. But this doesn't mean the more tech you have, the more successful you will be. It's more a case of having the proper fundamentals (tech-wise) in place that deliver value. Likewise, other tech fundamentals like intent data fully functioning (and ABM-ready) CRM are perhaps the most important tech pieces to have in place. They are listed under the top planned investments for 2021. Here are five tech trends for ABM that will make a tangible difference in your business. Automation Reduces Risks To execute account-based marketing, marketers need to introduce automation to engage accounts through a handful of channels. Marketers can engage all the named accounts of the sales team and their long tail of target accounts through automation. This allows the marketing team to create demand in the accounts they're pursuing and alleviate the risk of putting all sales requirements in one place. This is possible by continuous demand generation through different channels, probably the less expensive ones (and alerting accounts from time to time to decrease the risk of missing out). This way, your business will witness a more consistent and coordinated engagement of accounts between sales and marketing. So, ABM automation is a crucial aspect in reducing risks. AI Introduces Personalized Customer Understanding Businesses are witnessing the transformational impact of AI throughout the process, particularly in marketing. While marketers can easily get started with ABM by targeting a list of accounts, AI puts more power enabling them to confidently and precisely identify the accounts to pursue. With AI, marketers can get their ideal customer profile (ICP) at a granular level. Tech-savvy marketers are using AI to analyze their historical sales and implement new strategies to achieve more in the coming years. In other words, AI helps marketers to leverage more information significantly from both internal and external sources to draw more precise models for their ideal customers. AI is also enhancing engagement. According to The State of Engagement, 72% of marketers are expected to prioritize personalized messages and content to engage with customers. Nearly 40% of marketers plan to leverage AI and machine learning to enhance content used throughout the customer journey. So, through AI, marketers can personalize communications in a one-to-one way. This way, they can predict the content that most likely to convert readers across multiple channels. As marketers continue to realize the potential of AI, you will see more rules-based ABM activities that AI enhances. This way, your marketers can efficiently target the proper accounts, engage accounts across channels to get insights to optimize programs. Advanced Analytics Provide Attribution Is your ABM strategy working? One way to find out this is by measuring its impact on the business through advanced analytics. With automated attribution reporting, marketers can find more opportunities, a longer pipeline of accounts, and higher revenue generation in the ABM context. But why? Here are three reasons: Marketers need to show that their partnership with sales to the target audience is working efficiently. Advanced analytics will allow you to compare the efforts and results of one account vs. another to optimize the ABM program. Most marketers plan multiple or blended marketing strategies. So, marketers running an ABM or practicing a blend of it, such as inbound marketing, need to know which investments are working. Advanced analytics can help them to allocate a budget for strategies being used for their business. Therefore, it is expected to witness more touchpoints and data brought into advanced analytics becoming increasingly easier for marketers to consume in the future. Chatbots' Demand in ABM As per Salesforce, 69% of U.S. consumers prefer using chatbots when engaging with brands as it yields a prompt response. A chatbot on your website can answer customers' basic questions every time. AI-powered chatbots can be used for customer support, expanding contact strategy dramatically with a controlled message. These chatbots have become so lifelike that many customers don't even know the difference. And chatbots offer the added benefit of gathering, analyzing, and providing actionable data to improve the customer experience. How Can Marketers Harness This Potential? As per SiriusDecisions' survey, more marketers are doubling their budgets and moving their ABM journey effortlessly. So, irrespective of where you are on your journey, you also need to make sure you always move ahead. When it's time to include technology, be sure to select an ABM platform that supports your marketing journey now and in the future, as well. This means it should support multiple channels and marketing strategies, giving the flexibility to adapt and discover what works best for your organization. Conclusively, look for a platform that can serve as the hub of your ABM technology stack. The ablest place to start is from a platform that will give you the ABM essentials and connect a wide range of technologies to encourage you to grow over time. This way, you can shape your future in account-based marketing in the best possible ways. Frequently Asked Questions How does ABM work? Identifying which accounts (companies) you can target is the first step after creating a buyer persona. The next step is to market them using campaigns to attract potential clients. And then, measure the activities of your account-based marketing campaigns. Metrics, such as clicks, impressions, and page views, are easily measured. Why is account-based marketing important? ABM helps to assemble marketing efforts through multi-channels and analyses key accounts' status to drive more revenue. It also maximizes the efficiency of your B2B marketing resources and aligns sales accordingly. How is AI used in ABM? AI solutions in ABM can help the marketing team to make firm data-based decisions faster than before. The usage of chatbots helps to answer many common questions about marketing efforts and benefits. Also, AI tools can be used to track intent data as well. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How does ABM work?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Identifying which accounts (companies) you can target is the first step after creating a buyer persona. The next step is to market them using campaigns to attract potential clients. And then, measure the activities of your account-based marketing campaigns. Metrics, such as clicks, impressions, and page views, are easily measured." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why is account-based marketing important?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "ABM helps to assemble marketing efforts through multi-channels and analyses key accounts' status to drive more revenue. It also maximizes the efficiency of your B2B marketing resources and aligns sales accordingly." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How is AI used in ABM?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "AI solutions in ABM can help the marketing team to make firm data-based decisions faster than before. The usage of chatbots helps to answer many common questions about marketing efforts and benefits. Also, AI tools can be used to track intent data as well." } }] }

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ACCOUNT-BASED DATA

10 Astounding Account-Based Marketing Stats for Marketers

Article | May 28, 2021 | Sponsored

Sales and marketing have transformed. Marketers have had to adapt, modify their activities and lean into more collaborative interactions with sales teams in a way they haven’t done before. As events and direct channels are on the minor list of concerns, sales teams have become a principal marketing channel to reach accounts. A quick look at Google trends shows you how Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has revolutionized the world of B2B marketing. It happened by going from non-existent to extremely popular in the last several years and hiked during the pandemic. With today’s buyer journey becoming progressively digital, B2B organizations are interested in ABM to deliver exceedingly personalized and focussed marketing campaigns. The secret behind the burgeoning popularity of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is how confident and versed marketers feel now while using it. While ABM persists as the hot MarTech topic since 2019, its influence grew during the pandemic. While it may seem all geek to new users, ABM offers rewarding opportunities for marketers. As per the ABM evangelist, Sangram Vajre of Terminus, “If marketers embrace ABM methods, they will earn desired revenue in their businesses. I want to do everything I can to help make marketers heroes.” As per The B2B Lead, ABM directly inscribed sales and marketing alignment and challenges 50% of the time when sales wasted time against unproductive targeting. ABM Drives Revenue, and Here’s the Proof: If you are putting together an ABM strategy, such numbers would be handy. This blog gathers ten powerful Account-based Marketing stats that every marketer (you) should know as we land in 2021 (the post-pandemic era). So, to show you how beneficial account-based marketing can be, here you go. 10 Account-based Marketing Stats 92% of Marketing Leaders are More Focused at New Selling Process Marketing leaders are now selling with vision to the executive level than what they did some years ago. As per a recent ITSMA report titled, “Engaging the C-Suite: 2019 Sales and Executive Engagement Survey Report”, 92% of marketing leaders mentioned that selling at the executive level is more critical to their sales strategy. In today’s time, marketers are relying on ABM capabilities to capitalize on new market prospects. In addition, B2B businesses are designing and deepening their relationships around ABM to engage C-level executives more effectively. 90% Role of Marketers in ABM Today is Strategic The role of marketers doing ABM is more strategic on particular programs. As per Alterra Group’s report, marketers need to demonstrate deep account and industry-specific expertise to create seamless ABM campaigns. To create account-relevant marketing messages, companies are bestowing more resources and snowballing the expenditure on ABM. Such expenditure is predicted to exceed that on other marketing technologies rapidly. A Sturdy ICP has a 68% Higher Account... Organizations with a strong ICP have 68% higher account marketing win rates. Modern marketing teams are now being measured on pipeline and revenue, not leads. This way, they are staying more focused on productive revenue growth at every stage of the funnel. A Total Economic Impact report by Forrester found that prospects see an average 313% ROI by bringing go-to-market teams practicing account-based marketing tactics together to make marketing efforts efficacious. 69% of Top-Performing Account-Based Organizations have Dedicated Leaders 69% of top-performing account-based organizations now have a dedicated account-based leader. The Account-based marketing stats reflect that 70% of marketers who started their account-based initiatives in the past six months have dedicated leaders who are entirely dedicated to the market, having particular and focused accounts instead of a sea of buyers. 60% of Users Reported an Increase in Revenue When ABM picked its pace in at least a year, 60% of its users reported a revenue surge of at least 10% & 19%, termed an impact of 30% or greater. In companies with a stout ROI from ABM, 75% measure pipeline generated and revenue, 67.5% measure meetings and target account pipeline are set, and 63% measure marketing qualified leads are gained. As a result of this, approximately 70% of B2B marketers will pilot or launch full-sized account-based software and programs to target and engross groups of buyers in selected accounts. 62% of Marketers are Being Optimistic They can easily measure the positive impact of account-based marketing tactics since adopting ABM. This has been the most efficient benefit of ABM observed up until now. Forrester envisages that by 2025, the term "ABM" will evaporate as account-centric becomes the distinct way for B2B organizations to identify, plan, manage, and measure buying and post-sale motions for prospects. 80% ABM Budgets are Intensifying After B2B companies saw the success of early programs, budgets devoted to ABM amplified by 40% year over year, from 20% in 2019 to 28% in 2020. This surge in investment reflects a confident attitude in return on ABM initiatives. 42% B2B Companies Favor Keeping Accounts in ABM Strategy between 50 and 500 As per the Demand Gen Report, 18% of B2B companies try to keep their accounts list under 50, 19% target a broad set of accounts, ranging between 1,000 and 5,000. For a focused ABM approach, the report found that 42% of B2B companies try to keep their account list between 101 to 500. However, as this quantity varies depending on the size and scope of individual company deal sizes, these results will vary based on industry and product. Companies Executing ABM Amplified ACV by 171% B2B companies that have implemented ABM perceived a 171% rise in their Annual Contract Value (ACV) more significant than the pre-ABM ACV. In addition, ABM offers a boost to the pipeline rate, thus, enabling marketers to target prospects belonging to new revenue goals. 75% of B2B Buyers and 84% of C-level Executives Use Social Media B2B buyers and C-level executives progressively rely on social media to harvest more information about products and services before making purchase-based decisions. 80% of buyers who had not yet used social media to research purchases are willing to use the right platforms. As online mediums have become a progressive information preference of buyers, companies create profitable account-based campaigns to ignite the initiative. A recent Social Buying Study from International Data Corporation (IDC) concludes that B2B buyers are the most active in using social media to support the buying process by having 84% superior budgets that made 61% more purchase decisions. This significantly influenced a greater span of purchase decisions than those buyers who did not use social media for their purchase process. A Note About the Account-based Marketing Stats and COVID-19 April 2020, was just when all businesses were beginning to feel the effects of the pandemic. As a result, the COVID-19 impact has altered several perspectives, including budget, headcount, and prioritization. Yet, ABM programs have shown results with significant improvements in pipeline growth. “If economic obscurity continues, these programs should persist as a core element of the Marketing strategy.” – Todd Berkowitz, Practice Vice President, Gartner While COVID-19 is changing B2B organizations’ ability to stimulate sustained growth, it’s hoped that an account-based approach will significantly benefit your organization in the following ways: Focus on your limited resources (budget, time, and personnel) on those companies to do business. Target the accounts you already know. This will enable you to spend less money on demand-gen campaigns to generate new names. Make the most of your team’s efficiency by scoring sales and marketing campaigns that work together to create the best buyer experience. Frequently Asked Questions How are account-based marketing stats measured? Marketers use close rates when required to measure ABM efforts. Typically, the stats are gainedby measuring the reachability of target accounts or specific contacts at those accounts. This gives you a percentage or a conversion rate by account, which further estimates how successful ABM efforts have been to date. What are good ABM metrics? The good ABM metrics are: Marketing-qualified accounts Real engagement of account Velocity of Pipeline Average selling price Customer engagement rate Why should we measure account-based marketing stats? It is because ABM delivers ROI. For example, when there is a greater emphasis on defining Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), a properly structured approach to selecting account and value is aligned with what a prospect’s business needs. This results in gaining higher win rates. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How are account-based marketing stats measured?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Marketers use close rates when required to measure ABM efforts. Typically, the stats are gained by measuring the reachability of target accounts or specific contacts at those accounts. This gives you a percentage or a conversion rate by account, which further estimates how successful ABM efforts have been to date." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are good ABM metrics?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The good ABM metrics are: Marketing-qualified accounts Real engagement of account Velocity of Pipeline Average selling price Customer engagement rate" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why should we measure account-based marketing stats?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "It is because ABM delivers ROI. For example, when there is a greater emphasis on defining Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), a properly structured approach to selecting account and value is aligned with what a prospect’s business needs. This results in gaining higher win rates." } }] }

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How to Successfully Set Up and Measure Your Account-Based Marketing Strategy

Article | May 28, 2021

The first lesson in this article is to stop thinking differently about ABM and B2B. Sangram Vajre is spot on when he exclaims that “ABM is B2B.” There is no real difference. Whether named or unnamed, every single campaign you launch as a B2B marketer caters to personas in different accounts. Another reality about account-based marketing is that due to the nature of omnichannel marketing and the fact that every prospect does its own research, you’re going to have to process different sets of traffic no matter how much control you think you have over your funnels. With these two things in mind, let’s look at what’s common in a successful ABM strategy, and also how to segment your audience in a way that tells the story of all the steps in your user acquisition models.

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The Grizzly Bear Strategy: How to Align Your Demand Marketing and ABM Programs

Article | May 28, 2021

Some B2B marketers tell me they think account-based marketing (ABM) will eventually replace demand marketing. Some think ABM is just a new buzzword for the data-driven demand marketing they have always practiced. Others tell me that demand marketing and ABM are completely different strategies that should exist on their own within a company. To me, all of these different viewpoints are rooted in the fact that the B2B marketing ecosystem is in a state of rapid evolution and innovation and that’s fantastic for those of us in the B2B marketing profession!

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Spotlight

VWA Advertising and Marketing

Van Winkle + Associates is a full service marketing and advertising agency headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Founded in 1984, the firm still delivers on the original promise to give clients more bang for their buck by providing strategic marketing solutions in an innovative way that makes every dollar spend like 100. This philosophy has allowed the firm to grow from a strategic consumer packaged goods marketing agency into one of the most creative and successful marketing and advertising agencies in the Southeast.

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