Article | March 5, 2020
As with every other business, IT sales and ABM go hand in hand, and they have been for years already. The challenge always lies in figuring out how to continuously maximize your ABM approaches and strategies to increase your IT sales. In this post, we are going to delve into the three types of account-based marketing and how it can help boost your IT sales, but before we go more in-depth, let’s take a closer look at what exactly ABM and IT sales are and what they do.
Article | March 5, 2020
B2B marketers meticulously craft content plans to include an attractive landing page, a remarkable eBook, and paid ads for maximum engagement. They write the slickest nurture emails, supporting blogs, and over-the-top articles. Nearly tens of thousands of dollars and a couple of months go into the campaign creation, but it stops abruptly.
How can this be? The data collected for the eBook was filled with insights that made them shudder. The strategy was executed to perfection but didn't make any sense!
Does this situation sound familiar to you as well? You must have faced the same! It often happens in B2B companies when sales and marketing are not fully aligned on their goals, messaging, and targeting audience. When you spread a wide net for lead generation, most of the leads may not be relevant. So, what should we do?
Here comes the protagonist of the B2B marketing story:
Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
ABM curtails the time spent on irrelevant accounts while decreasing overall money spending. In addition, as businesses, after the pandemic, are starting to realize the potential of personalized campaigns, ABM is rapidly becoming the go-to strategy for B2B tech companies. As a result, they are aiming to improve their marketing and sales alignment.
Importantly, ABM demands sales and marketing alignment. It ends those hair-tearing, soul-destroying arguments on which leads to focus on. Now both teams have to keep the hyper-targeted focus on specific accounts, which will result in time-saving, the flow of quality leads, and, thus, your ROI will be up.
But before going about creating effective ABM campaigns, let's quickly read the factors to consider while implementing ABM.
Factors to Consider to Implement ABM
Get your Sales & Marketing teams to work together
To create an effective ABM campaign, marketing and sales teams must converge and act following a shared strategy. Furthermore, to expect excellent results, teams involved in the campaign should use the same data from diverse sources. Thus, it creates a data-inspired ideal customer profile (ICP).
To Identify Accounts
For defining target accounts, consider these factors:
Revenue potential: Your target audience should fall into your product or service's price line.
Best fit accounts: Find accounts and individual buyers who are aligned with your marketing personas.
Importance of Strategy: Aim for accounts that match your company's business strategy. Identify if they are your ideal customer or not.
Product requirements: Start with the low-hanging fruit, which means identifying accounts that can make precise use of the solution you're offering.
To Establish KPIs
To know whether you are rocking with your ABM campaigns, it's crucial to decide your KPIs. You can consider the following to confirm it:
How many companies match your customer personas?
Account and role-specific conversion KPIs such as booked meetings created deals, and purchases completed.
The accounts that visit your website or engage with the content types.
Thus, you'll have to track KPIs at every stage of your ABM funnel to determine the success of your campaign.
Prepare Multi-Channel Content
Relevant and engaging content is the root of every marketing campaign. Still, marketers should personalize ABM content so that they can timely reach each target. So, it's essential to keep the process of messaging focused on the account's pain points, budget restraints, and additional demands.
It is because your campaigns are hyper-targeted, where you'll need to spread them across multiple content channels to offer numerous opportunities. Doing so will help to gain engagement, and then you can calculate budgets for clicks and channels. In addition, blend touchpoints such as paid ads, blogs, personalized email, text messaging, and multi-touch SDR strategies will help create effective ABM campaigns.
Here are effective steps to execute an effective ABM campaign.
5 Steps to Create Effective ABM Campaigns
Build your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
As Account-based marketing is more like spearfishing, you need to be conscientious about who you target. It is because this type of marketing revolves entirely around who you reach out to. So, it is imperative that you pick companies that would benefit the most from your product or services and be your top-tier customers if they get converted to purchase your service. Hence, the first and most foundational thing for an effective ABM campaign is knowing who you need to target.
Many companies enjoy massive audiences. Therefore, they can increase revenue if they successfully reach them. However, with B2B SaaS companies in marketing, when they try to please everyone, they usually end up pleasing no one. It is because they produce standard messaging that doesn't speak to any group of people. So here, it becomes vital to build your IPC before creating an ABM campaign strategy.
Invest in the Right Account-Based Marketing Tools
To create successful account-based marketing (ABM) campaign, you need to have the right tools to help your team effortlessly execute your ABM strategy and monitor its progress simultaneously. Here are some of the best tools that you can use effectively:
Using a platform like ZoomInfo helps you quickly search companies based on their industry, number of employees, and current services. Then, you can easily set ABM campaigns based on information collected through ZoomInfo and proceed further to target.
SalesIntel is a sales intelligence platform. It provides your sales team with verified numbers of the target account. Using this platform, your team can evade gatekeepers and increase the chances of securing a targeting process.
Everstring's platform enables your ABM team to develop a predictive behavior model where target accounts can be identified and be more likely to convert into sales.
Create Relevant Content
Now, you have your ICP and personas penned down; it's time to communicate. But how do you make sure that you are effectively communicating with each account? And how to properly showcase the value that your solution provides to drive for their companies?
The secret lies in applying information gathered in each stage in the customer journey: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.
For an effective account-based marketing campaign, create content for each of these stages—general product & company information for Awareness, technical details for Consideration, and urgency for Conversion. Every piece of content in each step should be designed to appropriately educate prospects on their buying journey and push them to the next phase.
Here are some content types for the most successful ABM campaigns:
Emails to each persona (includes initial outreach, follow-ups, responses, and more)
Landing pages that provide information and facilitate actions
Thought leadership blog and articles for the Awareness stage
Product-specific pages for consideration
Testimonials for the Conversion stage
Organizing your content in such a framework enables you to find and fill content gaps while creating a comprehensive plan to address each persona in the customer journey.
Include Messaging Channels
You can use many avenues to engross prospects in an ABM campaign. Any medium that you use to communicate directly can be effectively utilized.
So, it's essential to focus on the most popular ABM channels like LinkedIn, Email, and telecommunication. Each method has its benefits and effectiveness to get your message to the right people in the right way. Here, you will understand how to go with it these channels:
LinkedIn is the most utilized channel for ABM campaigns because of its messaging capability and enrichment abilities. It consents you to send messages for free. Additionally, you promptly gain all of their professional information when you connect with a contact, including roles and email ids.
However, the best part of LinkedIn outreach is you are considered as a person, not a bot, when you reach out to contacts. In addition, you have a profile and a resume, which humanizes you. Due to these factors, LinkedIn is one of the most accurate and up-to-date B2B outreach platforms available, as everyone constantly updates their LinkedIn profile with professional milestone information.
Having being beneficial, keep in mind that there are some limitations with LinkedIn—you can send approximately a hundred connections per week. This being said, you can use this channel for the most important contacts on your list.
Email's largest advantage is that it doesn't have a character limit on initial outreach messages. Thus, you can write as much as you want. However, some trade-offs go along with that freedom.
As email being cheap, automatable, easy to use, and can reach thousands of contacts at a time, it's utilized by almost every B2B marketer. But, at the same time, this results in the clogged inbox situation, creating spam filters due to high levels of outreach competition. In addition, this makes consumers suspicious of emails received from unrecognized senders.
But the good news is that you can purchase email tools to help manage your email outreach campaigns. These can automate email message sending to ensure that you're constantly optimizing your outreach to prospects. Emails are a must-have for an effective email outreach campaign, which will exponentially surge your reach, make you smarter with analytics, and create an effective ABM campaign.
Phone outreach is the most effective channel to outreach. It also gives you a chance to really get to know your prospective customer and their fears and dreams so that you can:
Figure out if your product would be a good fit for the customer.
Know how to quickly and effectively communicate the value of your product to that customer.
Once you set up accounts with the proper channels that you plan to push people to with your ABM outreach, you can create simple retargeting ads that guide them further through the customer journey. These ads will result in Calls to Action that offer case studies or white paper resources on your solution or industry to give your prospects market insights and real-world examples of how your solution can benefit companies.
On top of it, when getting your logo and message in front of prospects again, retargeting ads perform splendidly compared to traditional methods. For example, a recent MarketLand article explained that retargeting ads often have Click-Through-Rates of "0.30%-0.95%, which is 3-10x costlier than the industry average."
Resultantly, you must pay close attention to who your audience is that you're serving these ads to, as well as where and how often you're delivering them. It may seem overwhelming at first, but it'll get easier over time. A properly executed account-based campaign will provide the results you want. Doing this will allow you to reap the enormous rewards that retargeting can bestow upon your ABM campaign.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an ABM marketing campaign?
Account-based marketing (ABM) strategy concentrates resources on a set of target accounts within a market. The campaigns designed are to engage each account, basing the marketing message on the specific attributes and needs of the account.
How do I make an ABM campaign?
Follow these steps to make an effective ABM campaign:
Create a team that is dedicated to ABM only
Clear your goals and then make a strategy
Find your technology
Identify the right accounts
Pick the right channels
Execute your campaigns
Choose messaging platform
Spread relevant content (messages)
Why is ABM important?
ABM supports structure marketing efforts and resources on your key accounts to drive the most revenue. Doing ABM will maximize the efficiency of your B2B marketing resources. It will also help build the communication channel with sales to have an aligned sales and marketing organization.
"name": "What is an ABM marketing campaign?",
"text": "Account-based marketing (ABM) strategy concentrates resources on a set of target accounts within a market. The campaigns designed are to engage each account, basing the marketing message on the specific attributes and needs of the account."
"name": "How do I make an ABM campaign?",
"text": "Follow these steps to make an effective ABM campaign:
• Create a team that is dedicated to ABM only
• Clear your goals and then make a strategy
• Find your technology
• Identify the right accounts
• Pick the right channels
• Execute your campaigns
• Measure everything
• Choose the messaging platform
• Spread relevant content (messages)"
"name": "Why is ABM important?",
"text": "ABM supports structure marketing efforts and resources on your key accounts to drive the most revenue. Doing ABM will maximize the efficiency of your B2B marketing resources. It will also help build the communication channel with sales to have an aligned sales and marketing organization."
Article | March 5, 2020
Though the term was officially coined in 2004, “In its purest form, account-based marketing has been around forever,” says Matt Heinz, attributing the heightened interest in ABM to advances in tools and technology that make it easier to execute. Backing the assertion that ABM is now easier for B2B companies to execute, an ITSMA survey showed that 84% of businesses using ABM said the strategy offered a higher ROI than other marketing campaigns. In another study from SiriusDecisions, 92% of B2B marketers said ABM was extremely important to their overall marketing efforts. Clearly, ABM is here to stay.
Article | March 5, 2020
ABM is Agent3’s heartland. It’s what we do best. And if you’re a regular reader of our website, you’ll be in no doubt about how strongly we feel about our commitment to ‘true’ ABM, ie, an approach that treats key accounts as markets of one.
Why? Because it works: according to ITSMA, almost 85% of marketers measuring ROI say that ABM outperforms other marketing investments and research by Alterra Group backs this statistic, revealing ABM had higher ROI than other marketing activities.
So when marketers come to us asking for pilot ABM programs on, say, 8-10 accounts it’s little wonder that the results we achieve soon means they’re asking us to ramp up that ABM activity to 50-100 accounts as interest in ABM within their organization is suddenly piqued.
And therein lies the challenge for many.
To scale a ‘true’ ABM program effectively without compromising on the key fundamentals it encompasses involves the alignment of many moveable parts: technology and resourcing are fundamental considerations, but then there’s also the decision about which accounts to include and why, and establishing clear objectives for the program.
It’s not straightforward, but if this is a challenge you’re grappling with currently, be reassured by the multiple survey results available online that you’re certainly not alone.
And it’s for this reason we chose to discuss the topic at last week’s B2B Marketing Ignite USA event with a panel of esteemed marketers: Carrie Feord – Global Head of ABM Industry Clusters, Servicenow, Giovanni Di Natale, senior manager, enterprise and ABM Marketing, Pure Storage and Vera Tatro, strategic account-based marketing, AMER, Splunk. It was great to sit down with these ABM leaders to explore some of these challenges and provide some perspective on how best to successfully navigate them.
In the session, we covered:
1) How people define ABM at scale and where the line is drawn in terms of defining the difference between 1:few/1:many ‘ABM’ and good account-centric demand generation from Product, Solutions and Industry Marketing teams. We also discussed whether certain compromises need to be made as you pursue scale.
2) How to enable teams in the field to scale with ABM: the panel shared successes they have had as well as highlighting ‘banana skins’ teams need to avoid in terms of developing ABM resources/playbooks/templates/toolkits which can then be activated by a growing team of ABMers and Field Marketers. We also discussed ways to embed a ‘build once, use again’ mindset while still being true to the ideals of ABM.
3) Clarification of roles within ABM organisations across marketing when it comes to scaling and succeeding within ABM – the panel discussed what skillsets and roles they see as being important as organizations shift from being small-scale ABM pilots to broader programs.
As you can probably imagine, it was a lively session and audience feedback would suggest we hit upon some very real challenges, so it was great to hear first-hand from the panel about their own experiences, successes and learnings.
If you missed it, I highly recommend carving 30 minutes out of your day to watch, and if you have any feedback or comments, we’d love to hear!