Article | June 21, 2022
The shift in buyer behavior has increased the opportunities for digital ABM. Organizations implementing ABM are seeing significant success. But what does the situation in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) market look like? ABM is still not well understood in EMEA. Two out of every three ABM programs are not showing optimal performance (Heinz ABM Research). However, things might not be as bleak as they seem.
Talking about the 2021 State of ABM in Europe report by Terminus, Albany Vincent, Senior Research Manager at Vanson Bourse said, “While we were not shocked to see the US to be moderately ahead of Europe in their ABM maturity, we were surprised to see how much more eager European companies were to adopt these practices and their American counterparts. It appears to be a very exciting time to be a marketer- especially in Europe."
Europe has stringent data laws, so the account-based approach could be the only way for sustainable growth for organizations based in EMEA.
Do You Know Enough About ABM Execution?
Taking into account the ever-evolving account-based approach, here are five things you should know about ABM and how to implement it for optimal performance:
A Curated Account List Is the Secret Ingredient
Your target account list should be the result of a conversation between your sales and marketing teams using as much high-quality data as possible. Start off by implementing the program on a small number of accounts and analyze your ROI. Then, periodically revaluate your team performance, tools, skills, and messaging to clear the path for ABM success.
Your Sales and Marketing Teams Should Share Their Pizzas
Sales and marketing synchronization is the most basic requirement of ABM. The marketing team can enable sales with target accounts’ interests and behavior data. The sales team, on the other hand, can give the marketing team insights into key members of the target account buying group. According to research by ZoomInfo, when the sales and marketing teams are aligned, organizations have a 36% higher customer retention rate and a 67% improved chance of converting leads.
Depending Only on MQLs Will Not Get You Far
The TechTarget 2021 Media Consumption Survey highlighted that most buying teams have an average of five people, but can also be more than ten. Understanding the intent of the individuals from the buyer group and offering them value through every sales and marketing interaction is crucial to the success of your ABM strategy. Depending on only MQLs can limit the potential of your ABM.
Only Strategic Content Brings in the Results You Want
Your target accounts are flooded with content every day. To stand out in the crowd and appeal to the individuals in the buying group, you need to align your content with their customer personas. The content should address their pain points and needs. It should be crafted based on an account’s maturity, challenges, and technical abilities.
ABM Isn’t Your Regular Marketing Strategy
ABM is a strategic approach where the marketing and sales teams share their insights through the account interactions of everyone in an account. Then they collectively reach out to the whole buying team rather than targeting just a few individuals. ABM takes a detailed look at the target account and aligns your business with your prospects’ needs and pain points, and this easily surpasses a regular marketing strategy.
ABM in EMEA is still evolving. Therefore, organizations need to make special efforts to implement ABM effectively, keeping the target accounts in focus and understanding the attributes of ABM in detail to get the most out of it.
BUYER INTENT DATA
Article | June 24, 2022
B2B marketers use account-based marketing (ABM) to generate business because it allows them to drive focused account-level interactions. These interactions are a result of relevant and customized messaging. Today, the messaging focuses on not just one decision-maker but a group within the target account that green lights a buying decision. This natural evolution in ABM implementation is called buying group marketing (BGM). It isn’t a new concept but keeps evolving. B2B marketers are religiously implementing BGM in their ABM strategy to get a competitive edge and to keep up with the changing trends in the ABM industry.
Carefully created buyer personas are used to create hyper-personalized campaigns for buying group members. In this sense, BGM is a person-centric marketing approach, differentiating it from an account-based marketing approach.
While talking about buying group marketing, Dmitri Lisitski, CEO and Co-Founder, Influ2, a B2B targeted advertising solutions provider, said,
"Buying Group Marketing will empower B2B marketers to achieve greater precision by extending this approach more holistically across their programs."
How Does BGM Drive Revenue?
Revenue factors into every effort that aims to increase sales numbers, retain customers, and engage prospective customers. Let us look into how BGM drives revenue in the B2B domain.
Closing the Gap Between Sales and Marketing
Organizations struggle to bring sales and marketing teams together. They max out their budgets to make it happen, but more often than not, they do not get the expected results. Additionally, their marketing automation platform doesn’t make the connection between the multiple leads coming from the same account. This lack of insight can affect the performance of the entire demand management process, such as sales, revenue development, and customer organization.
Buying behaviors are constantly shifting. It is crucial to use a fresh approach that enables the teams to connect directly with the target accounts’ decision-makers, offering them just what they need through effective campaigns and driving revenue is crucial.
In the buying group framework, marketing and sales align their goals and operations, share important insights on buyer personas, orchestrate messaging for campaigns, and collate data from platforms such as CRM and sales engagement tools to successfully find common ground for approaching a buying group. They are no longer stuck on one side of the MQL wall but are involved in every stage of the conversion process. As a result, they guide specific buying group members to make a buying decision and generate revenue.
Putting Buyer Experience on Top
In a Forrester survey, 94% of respondents said they sold to buying groups that had three or more individuals, while 38% said that they sold to groups of 10 or more.
Purchase decisions in large enterprises are never restricted to one individual. The bigger the purchase decision, the bigger the buying committee. The bigger the buying committee, the larger the pool of buyer personas that need targeting.
For example, if the HR department of a growing organization realizes that it needs a new human capital resource management system (HCRM) to manage its HR-related processes, then a buying group is created to choose a new system. When this group goes to the market to find a solution, it becomes a potential lead for HCRM providers, and the lead is called a demand unit. Targeting this demand unit with not just the HCRM but also a travel and expense solution (T & E) is possible with BGM.
Every step in the buyer’s journey is based on buyer personas and presents value to the buying group.
Every demand management process focuses on the buying group.
Through this approach, multiple types of selling opportunities can be explored. All this effort appeals to different buying group members in different ways and will push them to get in touch with the sales team and make a purchase decision.
Offering Solutions to Pain Points
Information designed precisely to complete the purchase should be provided to every member of the buying group committee. Interestingly, before making a purchase decision, members of the buying group will explore the content of different solution providers. According to a recent study by Dimensional Research, 90% of buyers thought that positive online reviews of a product or service influenced their buying decision. This is just one type of information that the buying group members will consume before they make a buying decision.
With the help of real-time intent targeting or cognitive product targeting, it is easier to understand the customer’s intent through channels like websites, apps, and email. The terms searched, specific or broad, can point to the needs and requirements of a member of the committee. Once the intent is clear, buyer personas can be segmented and targeted with prescriptive content that talks about solutions to their pain points and how the expected results are achieved. For example, if a C-level buying committee member displays a high level of intent activity, then it is highly likely that he or she is looking to make a strategic investment. Such an opportunity will be ready for sales conversion in a couple of months.
How Should You Implement BGM on Sales Funnel?
We have already established the importance of buying group engagement in driving leads through the sales funnel. When sales and marketing teams share insights, marketing becomes effective and tangible. Now, let us take a look at BGM implementation in the sales funnel:
Top of the Funnel
While targeting a buying group at the top of the funnel, the focus should be on creating awareness and understanding the demand of the target account. Social media ads and relevant landing pages that act as lead magnets can help achieve this goal.
Middle of the Funnel
For buying groups in the middle of the funnel, engaging and educating the groups is imperative. Posting relevant content on social media handles can foster interaction with the members. LinkedIn messages from sales development representatives with ad and landing page support are effective.
Bottom of the Funnel
Conversations that lead to conversion start when the buying group is at the bottom of the funnel. In this stage, the account executives present members with compelling content that addresses their pain points and influences them enough to make a purchase decision.
While executing BGM, B2B marketers should begin by understanding the business needs of the target account and create a comprehensive marketing strategy to address these needs. Orchestrating a holistic experience for the buying committee through high-quality, relevant content is the next step. Achieving a strategic, operational and practical alignment with sales will ensure success and higher conversions.
Amplitude Drives 5.6x ROI on Ad Spend with Influ2’s Help
With Influ2’s person-based advertising, Amplitude, a digital optimization system provider, focused 100% on advertising to key decision-makers within its target accounts. Influ2 used engagement insights to create and execute personalized and attributable B2B marketing. The result was a 5.6x ROI on ad spend.
ABM marketing has evolved with the help of buying group marketing. Implementing BGM with an account-based marketing strategy can create lasting relationships with target accounts, retain existing clients and bring new leads.
What are the three important tenets of buying group marketing?
The three important tenets of buying group marketing are understanding the needs of the target account, attaining sales and marketing alignment, and creating a holistic marketing strategy that addresses the pain points of the target account.
How is buyer experience different than customer experience?
Customer experience focuses on the existing customers in the pipeline, while buyer experience focuses on the prospective customers’ complete buyer journey.
How can you engage top-of-the-funnel audiences in buying group marketing?
You can engage top-of-the-funnel audiences through social media ads and relevant landing pages that display content relevant to the needs of the target account.
Article | July 1, 2022
Account-based marketing brings in a higher ROI compared to other marketing activities. It targets key accounts, but not always at the right time. The buyer experience gets compromised if the strategy does not align with the account’s buyer journey.
Demandbase CMO John Miller paints an interesting picture of what ABM is.
“The analogy that I've always used to describe ABM was fishing with spears, which was an effective analogy. But at the same time, it doesn't feel very good to get poked by a spear.”
-Demandbase CMO John Miller
If ABM pokes accounts without respecting them or creating an emotional connection with them, customer success cannot be guaranteed. This is where ABX comes in. It’s a GTM strategy that puts the value of customer experience above the value of key accounts.
ABM ››› ABX: Why Are B2B Marketers Adopting ABX?
B2B marketers clearly understand how effective the ABX strategy is compared to good old ABM.
Here are the reasons why:
Buyer groups are the stars of the show.
AI insights provide accurate information on which accounts exhibit buyer intent and what they are looking for. These accounts are engaged through hyper-personalized campaigns only when they are in the buying phase.
Marketing, sales, and customer success teams ensure every touchpoint consistently delivers value to the customer.
ABX execution involves being agile enough to adapt to the ever-changing behavior and needs of the customer.
Every customer is nurtured to deepen loyalty for a long-term business relationship.
Why Does ABX Matter?
Upgrading your plain old ABM strategy to an ABX strategy simply means applying customer experience best practices to your marketing processes. Consequently, your campaigns are trustworthy, impactful, empathetic, and relevant to every stage of your customer’s journey. Targeted messaging that appeals to every member of the customer’s buying team influences the buying decision of the account. The strategy brings sales, marketing, SDR, and customer-facing teams together so they work towards creating a wholesome customer experience consistently across all the touchpoints.
In a world where there is a continuous influx of information and a scarcity of attention, any kind of interruptive marketing may be ineffective and off-putting. Companies should focus on ABX to build trust with key accounts and create engagement that isn’t forced through perfectly orchestrated interactions across a project or management lifecycle.
ACCOUNT BASED DATA
Article | April 29, 2022
In an interview with Media 7, Assaf Eisenstein, Co-Founder & President of Lusha, talked about the importance of buyer intent data for offering great customer service.
“The most important things B2B brands can do to establish themselves are to know their customers and match their strengths to the buyers they can best serve.”
B2B buyer intent data providers help companies resonate with their target audience in a sea of competitors. They can create timely campaigns to convert a prospect into a customer. According to Statista, about 70% of technology vendors rely on buyer intent data vendors for better prospecting. This puts B2B buyer intent data providers in the spotlight more than ever to come up with innovative solutions that can streamline marketing strategies and get more leads to the sales department.
Buyer Intent Data: What It Delivers
Businesses are sourcing intent data from B2B buyer intent data providers to maintain a competitive edge and grow. Here are a few of the key areas that buyer intent data can positively influence:
With the help of buyer intent data, your sales team can engage with a prospect with added accuracy at the right time (ZMoT) because it has the contextual information on the prospect. The team can prioritize good-fit leads and accounts.
Identify any messaging gaps and create ideal, personalized, and precise messaging for your lead nurturing campaigns to increase engagement. Buyer intent data reveals your prospects’ interests and pain points, which you can capitalize on through your messaging.
Your Ad Targeting
Your ad campaigns can be more accurate thanks to B2B buyer intent data. They can target both known and unknown prospects who engage with your key topics with precise messaging.
Your ABM Campaign
In ABM marketing, B2B buyer intent data can tell you which of your target accounts are actively in the market looking for your product or services. It can also help you prioritize engagement and resource allocation and tailor messaging to address specific pain points that your target accounts are struggling with.
The combined result of using buyer intent data tools is a spike in your revenue through lead nurturing campaign personalization, timely engagement, enhanced sales prioritization, and customer experience.
How is B2B Buyer Intent Data Driving Revenue?
For some time now, B2B buyer intent data has been a buzzword for B2B marketers because it is streamlining the conversion of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to sales qualified leads (SQLs) through multi-channel targeted advertising. It helps them focus more on engaging prospects with buyer interest than on their size to predict the actions of prospects. It considerably shortens sales cycles and assists in demand orchestration when integrated with the sales funnel.
Let us look at how B2B buyer intent data can benefit businesses:
Understanding the Customers’ Pain Points and Demands
Using TechTarget’s Priority Engine, a prospect-level intent data product, Zoom was able to solve three crucial challenges in their ABM marketing strategy: sorting their prospects, personalized messaging to engage these prospects, and the perfect time to get in touch with them. With the help of Priority Engine, Zoom’s sales representatives improved their efficiency and generated more qualified leads that were closer to conversion.
Optimizing Sales and Marketing Approaches
It is crucial to implement ABM marketing to build an enterprise pipeline. Tracking deal progression, account engagement, and sales and marketing alignment are important for any company to succeed. Dialpad, a cloud communications platform, leveraged Demandbase to optimize its sales and marketing approaches. The platform provided Dialpad with insights whenever a lead moved from marketing qualified to sales qualified, so its sales reps never missed an opportunity. In less than six months, Dialpad sales reps got 80% more MQLs for conversions, a 20% increase in target account penetration, and 15% more deals in the pipeline in a shorter timeline.
Creating a Targeted Content Strategy and Web Personalization
Companies can no longer rely only on search engine optimization while designing their content strategy. They need to focus on offering a solid customer experience through web personalization and targeted content that addresses the pain points of the customers through effective solutions. Dodge Data, a data analytics company, used buyer intent data from Triblio to create a content strategy, personalize their website, and execute targeted display advertising campaigns. Dodge Data re-engaged 30-40 visitors per day, approaching them right when they were warm, leading to more conversions than when they relied only on demand generation campaigns.
Customer Retention Through Insights
Post-sales experience is just as important for business growth as gaining new customers. With the help of Demandbase One, Equilar, a software and technology company, was able to retain their customers and serve them on time with the help of insights on product activity and engagement. The company received regular alerts on the accounts it was catering to so it could reach out to them and keep the existing clients happy.
Efficient Lead Scoring & Pipeline Growth
Pipeline growth is a criterion for success and synchronization between the sales and marketing departments, an important attribute of ABM. Buyer intent data helps business development representatives qualify prospects that show buyer intent so they can book meetings. Leoforce, an AI-based recruiting company, used buyer intent data from Slintel and saw a pipeline growth of 10%-20%.
Enhancing ABM Strategy
B2B buyer intent data enhances the ABM strategy by identifying key accounts ready to go in-market. If B2B companies do not have this data today, they will be far behind in the competition and won’t be able to monetize their ABM strategy. A great example of how a company can enhance its ABM strategy using B2B buyer intent data would be Arizent, a book and periodical publishing company that became a part of B2B buyer intent data provider Bombora’s Data Co-op. The company monetized its ABM strategy using the buyer intent data from Bombora by capitalizing on the accounts that showed purchase intent.
Wrapping It Up
By leveraging B2B buyer intent data, businesses can drive revenue through enhanced ABM strategy implementation, outstanding customer experience, and insights that can help them enhance their sales strategy and pipeline.
How can buyer intent data providers help you increase your sales?
Intent-based marketing can help you streamline your prospecting pipeline, focus your marketing effort on accounts that show buyer intent, and understand the pain points of customers. This can help you increase your sales pipeline.
How can you enhance your ad campaigns using buyer intent data?
Intent data can help you make your ad campaigns more granular because it allows you to capitalize on leads that show buyer intent signals. As a result, the ads will target buyers who are close to making a purchase decision.
Who are some of the popular B2B buyer intent data providers?
Some of the popular B2B buyer intent data providers are Bombora, Slintel, Demandbase, and ZoomInfo.