B2B DIGITAL MARKETING FOR SMEs

| December 31, 2014

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The spread of the Internet is changing the way buyers search, select and make a final choice of potential suppliers. Marketing and sales managers are faced with a real change of direction in the choice of marketing and communication tactics. The main objective is the generation of qualified leads. Given the abundance of information available online and the active role of potential buyers, it becomes increasingly important to «be found» at the right time rather than «get ahead» at any time. Is the difference between being present when needed and come forward at all costs when no one’s looking for you that creates a qualified contact. In the digital world, marketing is not just a matter of activities and campaigns. Is an evolving path where you can experience thanks to the many low-cost tools available on the net and without much risk.

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Story Worldwide is an integrated, full-service agency specializing in creating lasting brand narratives. Founded by an award-winning journalist and a publisher, Story employs a holistic approach to create platforms rooted in consumer and brand truths.

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How Marketers are Resetting their Priorities and Skills to Win Big in 2020

Article | February 25, 2020

We asked, you answered. We had the chance to hear from over 100 marketers across different company sizes, all pitching in their perspective on the marketing landscape as we take off into 2020. After 2019, we quickly learned that things can feel overwhelming endless channels, tactics, and tips flood our brains each day. With articles like, “The 51 Most Effective Marketing Channels For the Year,” it’s no wonder heads start spinning around all the ways you can get in front of prospects and customers. Before we ran just another inventory on all of the channels and tactics, we wanted to check in with marketers to see where their priorities lie and what skills their teams need to succeed. Before you jump to action, it’s key to reevaluate what you want to achieve and take a look at the marketers behind the scenes.

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Data-Driven Marketing: 7 examples of using data as a force for the good

Article | February 25, 2020

This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter. You can’t work in the marketing industry these days without constant talk of data. Data-driven marketing. Big data. Marketing analytics. Facebook is worth more than $650 billion, and it’s not because cat pics and grilled cheese sandwich selfies are so valuable. It’s because Facebook is just a big ol’ bag of user data. But I must admit and you might find yourself in the same boat using data doesn’t come naturally to me. I work in marketing because I’m a creative, not a statistician. If you feel the same way, here is an analogy that changed my mind. I was interviewing Wharton’s Peter Fader and Sarah Toms. We were discussing how Electronic Arts used data to improve the product. “When they realized the power of the data that Pete was just talking about, they had a bit of a crisis about identity. They're like, ‘but we're a creative company. How can we now be all data, all the time?’” Toms said. Zach Anderson, the chief analytics officer at Electronic Arts, won over those creative hearts and minds with this analogy: Cooking competitions shows where the chefs are doing incredibly creative things with ingredients that are given to them. So data is really just another ingredient you have at your disposal as you make your creative take on a classic matzoh ball soup or marketing campaign. “Data is actually a good thing that they should be embracing because it allows them to be even more creative,” Toms said. So with that approach in mind, let’s look at a few examples of using data as a force for the good while improving marketing results. Example #1: Focused view of data helps nonprofit that sells through ecommerce identify the best opportunity for revenue increase Data can quickly become overwhelming. So many numbers. How do you find the opportunity? TenbyThree© is a nonprofit that actually sells products. The charity sells baskets created by artisans in rural communities of developing countries to help the artisans pull themselves out of extreme poverty. And it had a whole lot going on with its team pulled in many directions. Where to focus? That focus because particularly important with the rise of COVID-19. TenbyThree mostly sold these baskets in brick-and-mortar locations like Whole Foods Market, Disney theme parks and specialty retailers. But with the pandemic came a massive drop in foot traffic and thus sales, so the nonprofit has tried to increase ecommerce sales through its website. The MECLABS Institute team (parent organization of MarketingSherpa) worked with TenbyThree to determine where to focus its conversion optimization discoveries. This data analysis uncovered an opportunity hidden in plain sight product tags. Each basket sold in stores had a tag with information on how to connect with the individual artisan who created the basket by going to TenbyThree’s website. Very few customers were using this feature. If the tags could be optimized to get more people to use the website’s artisan lookup feature, that increase in traffic would also likely help produce an increase in sales through the website. In The Marketer as Philosopher Episode 2, The Data Pattern Analysis: 3 ways to turn info into insight you can see the methodical approach used to uncover this data insight to help you identify more opportunities in your own data. The episode also teaches viewers how to use a Data Pattern Analysis Tool (you can download the tool for free here). To get more data help, you can participate in a Live Coaching Session with Flint McGlaughlin, CEO and Managing Director, MECLABS Institute, on Thursday, August 20th 2020, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EDT. In this Q&A session, participants will learn how to set up and use the Data Pattern Analysis Tool, simplify their data with three key dials, and apply the principles of The Marketer as Philosopher: Episode 2 to their own company. Example #2: Targeted database helps tent maker pivot It would be an understatement to say that COVID-19 has forced businesses to make significant changes. We’re all living it, we all know the impact. But some changes are more difficult than others. When that change is to focus on a new ideal customer, it can be difficult to pivot quickly. Many companies have built their customer base and customer contacts over many years. This is where external data can be helpful. For example, TentCraft sells tents to event producers for concerts. But the events industry halted worldwide in March. While the team always knew they were too narrowly focused on just one industry and should diversify the business, they never got around to acting on it. But as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. Suddenly they needed to pivot their entire go-to-market approach and find a new target customer quickly. The team came up with the idea to turn concert tents into drive-thru COVID-19 testing facilities, but they never sold to hospitals and didn’t know any hospital administrators. The team looked for a way to quickly enter a new market without increasing overhead. They worked with ZoomInfo to get data and insights for hospitals and other healthcare systems. They used the company and contact search to quickly execute a layered approach. The marketing team would start with a broader approach to outreach building an outreach list of 2,000 to 3,000 contacts. Based on open rates, responses and conversations, they learned not only about the specific roles they should be targeting but also what their pain points were. The sales team would use this information to create a more targeted outreach list of 100 to 200 contacts and then tailor messaging and visuals to demonstrate how TentCraft could address the specific pain points. The click-to-open rate for the broader emails ranged from 15% to 28% while the more targeted lists typically ranged from 35% to 45% with a handful nearing 60%. Keep in mind, when you see those numbers, that this was all cold outreach. Because they had phone numbers, job titles and location data, the marketing team was able to supply this information to the sales team in real-time when emails were being opened and links being clicked. This helped the teams prioritize, move to conversation quicker and shorten the sales cycle. Over $600,000 in revenue disappeared in March alone, but during the first two months of this pivot the company booked more than $2 million in revenue, and April was the biggest revenue month in company history (during a pandemic with the core revenue shut off). They are now 12% ahead of last year’s pace. In the first month of the pivot, they went into contract with more than 100 healthcare facilities which, remember, is an industry the tent maker had no prior experience with. This pivot was reactive. And while it has worked out thus far, the mindset in the company has now changed. “A big takeaway for our team is that we need to always be pivoting to new markets, new products, features and partners. That means pairing speed and agility with execution,” said Matt Bulloch, President, TentCraft. Example #3: Test data shows the benefits of value sequencing for HR software There may be many elements of appeal in your company’s value proposition. But your customer may not be ready to receive them all at once. That’s why effective value sequencing is so important. Where in the customer journey should the customer be introduced to different elements of your company’s value? Data can help show you the way. David Richter wanted to use marketing data to discover how to position his company’s brand and the messaging used at each stage of the marketing funnel. Richter works for CIPHR, a software platform that serves HR departments. “It’s a crowded market, and in any one year we find ourselves competing with upwards of fifty different vendors. In terms of functionality, it’s incredibly rare that any one provider has a distinctive edge over the entirety of the market. If functionality does get developed that is a game changer, then it’s quickly replicated by other similar providers,” said Richter, Director of Marketing, CIPHR. The one thing that sets CIPHR apart, according to Richter, is its attitude to integrating its people management platform with specialist, third-party tools. Since larger competitors have strategically acquired complementary businesses, they are less incented to integrate with third-party tools they don’t own, Richter says. However, Richter had concerns about leading with this “connectivity” in marketing communications. “Connectivity is the USP (unique selling proposition) that CIPHR has hung our hat on in our marketplace and the position we want to build a strong brand around,” he said. “The trouble is that, at the initial point of engagement, most HR professionals, when looking for an HR system, aren’t thinking about what it can integrate with.” Including terms like “API” or “integration” in subject lines cut the HR SaaS platform’s email open rate in half. Approximately two-thirds of all sales leads are generated through CIPHR’s website, so getting the messaging optimized for conversion is essential. To prove to the senior leadership that CIPHR should tailor the focus of its messaging through each stage of the sales cycle, Richter’s team decided to try different messaging on various landing pages on the website. The landing pages were only used for PPC traffic from the same, exact match keywords with the same ads displayed to generate the click. Landing page headline #1 — Generic HR Software with benefits message, e.g., “HR Software that reduces admin and helps you to work more efficiently,” converts traffic to inquiry at 14.1%. Landing page headline #2 — HR Software with connectivity message, e.g., “HR Software with brilliant connectivity,” converts traffic to inquiry at 10.2%. Landing page headline #3 — Connectivity message with no mention of HR Software, e.g., “Connect your people data throughout your organization,” converts traffic to inquiry at 6.4%. Armed with this data, CIPHR’s leadership is now happy to lead with relevant, product and benefit-led messaging on the website (pre-engagement) that positions connectivity as the differentiator. “We now also have a strong lead nurturing campaign to educate leads about the benefits of connectivity,” Richter said. Example #4: Online meditation school’s A/B testing on blog doubles student enrollment rate If you engage in A/B testing, you can learn from real customer behavior to serve your customers better while improving results. Here’s an example. “In building our platform, we have seen immense success from using a data-driven approach for most of our marketing decisions,” said Kyle Greenfield, Founder, TheJoyWithin.org. “One example is how we used Google Optimize testing combined with heatmap and flow data from Hotjar to improve our blog layout.” The online school for meditation, happiness, and personal empowerment discovered that less than 1% of blog readers were signing up for a free meditation course. The bounce rate was between 79-81% even though most readers were spending three to five minutes on the site. The team tested two elements of the blog's layout the sidebar and one inline internal ad placement. The team tested a new approach to be more direct about different options new students have on the platform. They moved away from a banner ad with the headline “Discover a Clear, Modern Path to Bliss” coupled with a list of potential benefits. The new approach was a direct question to the user, asking “How Can We Help?” coupled with a one-sentence explanation of what was offered, and three possible paths: “learn how to meditate,” “increase my happiness,” and “manifest my dream life.” They tested different variations of this idea, and ultimately found that making the message clearer and more direct, with fewer graphics and design elements, resulted in better conversion. This change was combined with testing of the placement of the inline ad. It began as a top-line insert before the post. But the team discovered that users were more engaged when the ad was placed a few paragraphs into the blog post. The previous data informed this decision, since the team knew users were already reading the content and scrolling down the page. With this change, the team was able to more than double student enrollment rates and reduce bounce rate by 12.5%, to 70%. Example #5: Incubator generates 300 leads to help the fight against hunger For marketers looking to do good in the world, sometimes they overlook a data basic your website should have a landing page with the ability to capture data from those interested in helping the cause. For example, Not Impossible Labs (NIL) describes itself as a one-of-a-kind technology incubator and content studio dedicated to changing the world and making the impossible possible for individuals faced with a range of problems (what it calls “absurdities”). Most recently, NIL tackled the absurdity of hunger, made all the more pressing by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, NIL began working with Salesforce and Postmates on a prototype platform to feed insecure people at scale. The incubator created a text-based service that connects people in need of food with pre-paid, nutritious, to-go meals from nearby restaurants. A child or family in need of food can text “hungry” and the solution connects them with nearby restaurants with extra food that would likely go to waste. In March of 2020 when the pandemic hit the United States, NIL was in the midst of deploying programs across the country to serve some of the 42 million people, of which 15.9 million are children, who go hungry each year. How did they make it possible or should I say, not impossible to fight hunger? A marketing landing page. Verndale and Sitecore offered pro bono help to create a landing page on the site to capture information from visitors in a form connected to a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to store the data. “We kept everything simple, from messaging and experience design, to providing several frictionless pathways to get involved. More conversion points created more opportunities to engage,” said Ross Lucivero, Manager Director of Verndale's Los Angeles office. NIL was able to gather data on approximately 300 leads who were ready to give, partner, spread the word, nominate a new city or get involved in their local community. “The newfound capability to capture individual leads as well as scale our ability to re-engage audiences is a game-changer,” said Joseph Babarsky, Director of Strategy & Partnerships, Not Impossible Labs. That re-engagement relies on the ability to have the data about who has visited the landing page previously and then present another marketing message to them a call-to-action on the Not Impossible homepage for those who have visited the Hunger campaign page but had not converted through a form submission or donation. “This customized prompt re-engages informed visitors and drives them back to the campaign environment to take action,” said Liz Spranzani, EVP of Technology, Verndale. “If you have an open mind the seemingly impossible can become possible. You can see this proven time and again through the work Not Impossible Labs has done to help individuals with a range of disabilities and, of course, with their hunger project,” said Paige O’Neill, CMO, Sitecore. Example #6: The inner workings of a customer review site Most discussions I’ve seen about data use in marketing focuses on categorizing how the data is collected. First-party data is collected by the company itself, and third-party data is sold to you by a company that aggregates data from many other companies. In addition to how data is collected, you should also consider how customers experience data. I would categorize that data in two ways data you control and data you don’t. The data you control might be in your advertising or your website, like “Nine out of ten dentists recommend Brusha Brusha toothbrushes.” The data you don’t control can be shared in the press or social media, and especially on review sites. One example is a site called Best Company. “The entire mission of Best Company is to harness data to improve the decision-making process for consumers across several industries. As a company, we believe we are changing the world for good by empowering consumers to make the best possible decisions with their money. We are a truly independent and impartial review site, promising accurate rankings and honest reviews and refusing to reward unmerited ranks for money,” said Rebecca Graham, Content Manager, Best Company. What this means for your company is that customers’ product and service experience is also part of your marketing. The more you can control and optimize the experience, the more you can optimize this type of data for your brand. “When reviews are available for all to see, companies practicing business with high value and integrity will naturally emerge as reputable leaders, whereas less trustworthy companies drop lower in rank,” Graham said. You can also learn from these websites as well. They provide valuable customer intelligence about how your brand is being perceived by real customers as well as opportunities for social proof and third-party credibility you can leverage in your marketing. “For example, on business lender Lendio's reviews page, prospective clients can see breakdowns of the star ratings on 400+ verified customer reviews, including the ratings of sentiment criteria like value for your money and customer service. Lendio, which currently has an average of 4.7/5 stars from customer reviews, can leverage the data referenced above by sharing on social media and through content marketing and email marketing copy,” Graham said. So pull out your company’s value proposition, take a look at how you express it in your marketing, and then see where customers agree and disagree. Where can you learn from customers to express elements of value in your marketing that customers are experiencing but you’re not communicating well? For example, Cotton Mask Co. discovered that its face masks were especially helpful to hearing aid wearers by monitoring customer reviews, and pivoted its marketing accordingly. But also, take a good hard look at the reviews and determine where your brand falls short. Is it because customers assume your company has a certain element of value that isn’t part of your stated value proposition? If so, change your marketing to clarify. Or is it just that your company is not living up to its value proposition? In that case, you have the data to show why the marketing department should get involved in the customers’ product and service experience to improve it. Since consumer reviews platforms provide data to customers when they are considering a purchase decision, it is important for brands to understand how they operate. So I asked Graham for a bit of an inside look at Best Company. There’s some she couldn’t share (like how their algorithm works), but I hope the below mini-interview helps you get a better understanding of how this data about your company ends up online and a little more about the companies that put it there. MarketingSherpa: How do you make money? What is your business model? Rebecca Graham: Our two revenue streams come from: 1) Lead generation for affiliate partnerships 2) Business Suite subscriptions. Like many sites, we may be compensated through affiliate relationships with the companies on BestCompany.com. But we do not have any relationships with companies that guarantee or impact their ranking or score and we never will. A basic profile is free for any qualifying company in the United States. The purchase of our B2B Business Suite reputation management product can't bump up your brand's rank, but it can provide traffic-based insights regarding your profile page as well as enhance it for improved visual aspects and thoroughness, such as featuring product images and videos, adding an FAQ section and highlighting how you stand out from your competitors. MS: How do you get reviewers? How do you verify them? RG: Best Company receives thousands of review submissions each week. Every review that is submitted goes through a very thorough moderation process to ensure its accuracy prior to it being published on BestCompany.com. Reviews are generated in four ways: 1) Organic and direct traffic, i.e., from users visiting our site 2) BestReviews, our review generation process in which we collect reviews from customers on behalf of the company. We offer fully managed email and phone review solicitations for companies with customer contact lists as well as a custom form for companies to utilize for outreach themselves. 3) Reviews from charity and fundraising groups 4) Reviews solicited from our members ALL reviews, whether organic or company-solicited, are subject to our review moderation process, which include email address verification and analysis via our fraud threshold algorithm (the details of which we do not divulge in order to prevent companies from trying to “game” the system). Furthermore, Best Company reserves the right to reject or remove reviews that violate our standards, which includes content that does not relate to the company or company's service being reviewed, appears to be incentivized, or contains false information. We also encourage consumers to resubmit reviews with their most up-to-date experience with a company. MS: How do you ensure your data isn’t manipulated by companies to make themselves look better? RG: Here are a few of the protocols we have in place to ensure accurate claims regarding the data on our site: Companies are not given a numbered rank until they have at least 10 reviews on their profile. Badge accreditations are only made available to companies meriting them (such as #1 ranked company or a position in the Top 10) A company cannot hide or delete negative reviews from their BestCompany.com profile Best Company believes the moderated reviews published on its site to be valid unless proven otherwise by the company with factual evidence of false information, moderation errors, or duplicate reviews. More information regarding disputes can be found here. Example #7: Independent financial adviser cites his sources to build credibility This next example is a bit of a different take on using data in marketing, but I thought it was worth bringing to you because I’ve noticed the marketing industry has a rampant problem with crediting sources. There are so many bold-faced marketing claims that shout and brag. But why should anyone believe those claims? Alec Tuckman shared with me the story of a seminar he was conducting about stock market performance. He was frequently challenged by an attendee. “Not wanting to make him look bad in front of his spouse, I did not get confrontational or upset, I simply pulled out a thick notebook full of Wall Street Journal clippings I have compiled over the last five years,” said Tuckman, owner/operator, Wealth Management Partners of Los Angeles. Every one of those articles was supportive material for the statements Tuckman made about the market. While he didn’t get the business from that particular attendee, Tuckman felt that it gave him instant credibility. “Data is the best marketing tool,” he said. “Being able to cite a credible, well-known source gives you credibility.” But don’t just cite any data, or you may end up hurting your brand’s credibility. “Make sure the data is from a reliable source. I wouldn’t recommend quoting something you read from a friend on Facebook IM when you’re trying to prove you are an expert on a particular subject like the stock market. Make sure you are sourcing material from credible sources like Kiplinger’s, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Bloomberg,” Tuckman advised.

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How to kickstart your Account Based Marketing strategy

Article | February 25, 2020

It’s official – studies show that marketers who implement account based marketing generate 200% more revenue in their efforts than those who don’t. In fact, 84% of B2B marketers have bought into this vision and believe that ABM delivers higher ROI than any other marketing strategy. But what makes it crucial for B2B success you ask? Well, ABM is highly useful for organizations with multiple stakeholders or buyers. It’s not just about personalizing your brand messages and targeting multiple decision-makers at every touch point, but doing that at scale. A senior marketing manager at Hubspot says,“It is to address the needs of an organization by connecting with all of the stakeholders within it. That's one reason why it works so well in B2B -- oftentimes you have to work with five or more stakeholders in a given sale.” While account based marketing has been around for a few years, it still feels like a relatively new concept and marketers are still trying to perfect their strategies for ABM. In this article, we’ll take you back to the basics, walk you through some examples, strategies, tactics backed by data and top marketers in the B2B space, so you’re ready to bring your A-game. Quick Links: - What is account based marketing? - B2B account based marketing - Some sure-fire account based marketing strategies with examples -Identifying your target -Researching your accounts -Tailoring content to resonate with your prospects - Finding the best channels for your campaigns -Running your campaigns -Measure and evaluate your results - Some real-life examples of account based marketing - Account based marketing best practices What is account based marketing? Account based marketing, in its simplest, is a business strategy used to focus on a set of high-quality target accounts instead of a lot of weak accounts. This strategy allows marketers to identify and target the accounts/decision-makers/individuals that they value most. In short, high-value accounts/prospects are identified, key stakeholders in these businesses are targeted, then marketing strategies are implemented through various channels to appeal to their specific personas and needs. I believe ABM is B2B. Most companies are still focused on top of the funnel. Mature and forward thinking CMOs are starting to help their sales team win more and faster by focusing on pipeline velocity and expansion deals. -Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist, Terminus B2B account based marketing Believe it or not, half of the account based marketing programs are still in their early years and only 17% of those programs have been running for three years. So, if you’re one of those marketers who just launched their ABM, don’t worry about having missed an opportunity. As we know, there are a hundred different ways to execute an account based marketing strategy based on your business requirements. Although experts would argue that some companies think they’re doing ABMwhen really they’re just focusing on one element of ABM.According to ITSMA, a wining ABM program constitutes a mix of several best strategies, practices, and technologies; its core principles include: Strategic focus on improving business reputation, relationships, and revenue (if it’s just about lead gen, it’s not ABM!) Tight partnership and integration with sales (if there isn’t active, ongoing collaboration throughout the lifecycle, it isn’t ABM!) Tailored and personalized programs and campaigns based on deep customer insight (if customers get the same experience and inside-out messaging, it’s not ABM!) While it may seem a little tricky to get a head-start, once you have your strategies in place the results can be truly rewarding. Some sure-fire account based marketing strategies Since our goal is to target all the decision-makers within the same organization, your ABM campaign must be designed to resonate with these specific people. Before you start to implement your ABM strategy, there are three key foundations that your teams need to agree on: • Purpose of your ABM program • Accounts you are targeting • Prospects within those accounts that you’re targeting Identifying your target Finding and identifying your target is the first step; which does not mean developing and targeting personas. You’ll be focusing on organizations instead. Identifying your target should be a collaborative effort between sales and marketing. Since it requires data from both the teams – you have to look at firmographicdata(used to categorize organizations, such as geographic area, number of clients, type of organization, industry, technologies used, etc.) and technographic data, as well as strategic factors like market influence, likelihood of repeat purchase, and expected profit margin. Researching your accounts Once you’ve identified your target, dive-in to do a deep research to find out additional information and representation of your ideal business customer. Having an idea of the company structure, who the key players are can give you a clear direction of how you’re going to create the appeal for your products or services to those targets. What would make this even better is if you know the influencers and decision-makers in that organization. Some simple steps like manual research on LinkedIn is a great way to uncover that data. For example, you can do an advanced people search to find out more about your targets. Below is an example by Hubspot for finding out your target through an advanced search on LinkedIn. DECK 7 identifies new prospects who could convert as a customer by analyzing their insights through interactions and engagements on social media, digital media or through their form fills, whitepaper downloads, etc. Some of the visitors could have downloaded their whitepaper through an email that was sent to them through their marketing or sales teams. Or they might have visited a blog or landing page through DECK 7’s newsletter, ONDECK in which case DECK 7 retargets them. This gives the company insights about the intent of their target audience and helps them plan their messaging. Tailoring content to resonate with your prospects Your next step should be to collaborate with the design and sales teams to create hyper-personalized, valuable content, that’s visually compelling and communicates the right messaging at the right time. Have your content centered around these key parameters: • Personalize sales enablement content • Wow them with your solution • Establish your expertise, personality, and appeal • Keep them involved, consuming your ideas and engaging with your brand, and • Invite them to stay connected so they can become customers Remember that the beauty of ABM lies in personalizing your content towards these accounts, so, make sure that your brand messaging speaks to their specific pain points. Your content and imagery should also serve as solutions to their challenges and business needs. Learn more:https://channel.report/c-suite-on-deck-uberflip-randy-frisch Finding the best channels for your campaigns To strike the right chord with your target prospects you must utilize the best channel for your messages. Some of the most effective channels that DECK 7 uses include: • Social • Email • Web • Search • Mobile Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook are some of the best in letting you run your campaign and customizing them according to your business needs. You can appeal to specific organizations as well as the titles within those organizations. Use Facebook’s demographics filters for seeking out your targets or even take it to the next level by targeting their specific job title. Learn more: https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/ad-targeting/account-targeting Running your campaigns An important step to keep in mind would be to not let your content run wild. Since ABM programs are so targeted/personalized in nature you need to be careful as to not overwhelm your target with the same messages over and over again. Hence concentrate on catching your prospects’ attention without turning them away. Measure and evaluate your results After your ABM program has been running for a period of 30-60 days, it’s time to evaluate whether it was a success or a failure. It is reported that about 60% of CMOs have trouble proving their ROI. A lot of it has to do with not asking the right questions while measuring results. According to Wordstream, some of the critical questions you need to ask are: • Whetheryour personalized content proved to be engaging? If so, how? • Are the accounts becoming more engaged with your brand? • Are you expanding the number of known stakeholders within these organizations? • Did you move any of these targeted leads down the funnel? • Did you generate any revenue from these campaigns? • What could you do better going forward? Some real life examples of account based marketing “Pizza-nars” Webinars accompanied by a pizza! The concept is pretty simple and straight forward – a pizza is delivered to the target accounts, so they can enjoy it while attending your webinar. But it doesn’t have to be pizza. Lunch and earns can be done with anything from any beverage to food item of their choice, so, you can enjoy the experience with your prospects from the comfort of your desks. This helps to boost webinar attendance and is a great way to encourage prospects to pay attention. This approach is useful across the account lifecycle from initial engagement to upcoming renewals, expansion or even re-engage at-risk accounts. You could even go so far as to build out personalized webinar experiences with customized landing pages so the prospect or customer feels as if the webinar is hosted just for them – which can be a great way to show off product updates or educate people on your platform. Content experience Snowflake, a cloud-based data-warehousing company, leveraged its in-house expertise to develop a robust library of high-quality content, which they use to create individualized experiences for target accounts. At any given time, the Snowflake team is running 500 concurrent individualized account-based campaigns, and each of these 1-to-1 campaigns is developed in tandem with their sales reps (who know their accounts inside and out) to create personalized messaging and content experiences. These content experiences aren’t intended to drive conversions, either. None of the customized content is gated. Instead, Snowflake strives to build credibility with its audience first, only then using retargeting tactics with those that engage to drive traditional conversions through weekly demos or free trials. Each campaign can be launched quickly and starts with digital advertising as a means to distribute the experience to the right account depending on where they are in their lifecycle. You can run the same or similar campaigns by leveraging a platform like Uberflip in tandem with your advertising and marketing automation platforms. This approach is most useful when trying to gain initial engagement or progressing an account to meaningful engagement. It can also be used in a Land and Expand strategy to penetrate other departments within the organization. Account based marketing best practices To make your ABM program a success, you need to align your sales and marketing teams. Oftentimes it is this discrepancy, which, if not addressed, ends up causing a lot of loopholes and miscommunication. Sales and marketing have to be best friends, they have to be fully aligned with each other, and they have to know what each other is doing at all times so they can partner. Companies that don’t do that cause themselves a lot of heartache. -Erik Charles, Vice President and Solutions Evangelist, Xactly Corp. Marketing has traditionally had a lead-centric focus, which is pretty much the opposite of their counterparts in Sales, who have always had an account-centric approach – This statement reveals the real disconnect between how most companies and marketing teams build their ABM. You must personalize content at scale. This is the heart and soul of every B2B account based marketing. The main goal of content personalization is to fit target accounts like a glove. And while executing personalized content at scale is challenging, it is also the most rewarding when done right. Thankfully, B2B marketers are getting better at that. Conclusion Whether or not you’ve tried to implement a full-blown ABM program, chances are you’ve most likely used at least one element of it in your marketing endeavors. And that’s a great start. The key thing to remember is to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve with your ABM program and how well co-ordinated your teams are.

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Learn from the Experts: Account Based (ABX) in This New World

Article | February 25, 2020

There is a New Marketing Landscape and it is critical for companies to rethink their marketing and sales strategy. This is a world of financial uncertainty for your prospects and customers, resulting in decreased budgets, longer sales cycles, and higher churn. It’s also a world of competing priorities. Key influencers and decision makers are drowning in priority issues, making it challenging to earn their attention. Given these new realities, Account Based Marketing/Sales/Customer Success (ABX) is top of mind for marketing and sales leaders given its proven efficiency and effectiveness in engaging and converting priority accounts.

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Spotlight

Story Worldwide

Story Worldwide is an integrated, full-service agency specializing in creating lasting brand narratives. Founded by an award-winning journalist and a publisher, Story employs a holistic approach to create platforms rooted in consumer and brand truths.

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