Make Account-based Marketing Work for You
by Arina Smith Marketing 23 October 2018
For an abject lesson in what can happen when a marketing and sales team isn’t given the resources to do its job, take a look at the film adaptation of David Mamet’s Pulitzer-Prize winning play, “Glengarry Glen Ross.”It’s extreme to be sure, but you can feel the genuine desperation when a group of salesmen fights among themselves for what might be viable leads in a morass of dead ends.
Even when the night isn’t dark and stormy and jobs aren’t on the firing line, sales development is one of the hardest tasks out there. Finding the right potential customers and having the right content to present to them is key to engaging them. To accomplish it, you need accurate, constantly-updated information and targeted messaging that matches your business to their needs.
Account-based marketing builds relationships with specific customers that are the best possible fit for your products or services and delivers significantly increased results over less highly targeted methods. Once you’ve established it in your organization, it saves countless wasted hours and money, leading to increased performance and a healthier bottom line.
How can you shift to an account-based marketing strategy?
Understand What Account-based Marketing Is:
Where ABM differs from other marketing methodologies is that it is directed toward an entire organization as its own individual market. Otherwise known as key account marketing, it is the process of focusing on the major, high-value accounts that have the greatest potential for engagement and treating them as markets of their own.
The point of ABM is to go for quality rather than quantity in your marketing efforts. It does you no good to spend half or more of your time and budget trying to reach customers who are never going to respond to your message because it’s irrelevant to them entirely or at the current time.
Think of the way successful political campaigns are focused: They go after the voters whose profiles and past records have already proved receptive to what a particular candidate or issue has to offer, and they make very specific appeals to those voters. Except in the most unusual circumstances, they don’t spin their wheels trying to convert people who are outliers.
Understand Who Your Market Is:
ABM is based on defining your ideal customer. To do that, you’ve got to do diligent research along with a number of lines.
First, the basics. You need to compile the firmographics of the companies that are your best customers and that will inform your understanding of who your best potential customers are. Firmographics are to B2Borganizations as demographics are to B2C. They include company size and a number of employees, location, revenue, budget, type of ownership and other attributes.
Then you have to define the technographics, or technology requirements for your ideal accounts. What are the tools and technologies they’ve integrated into the way they do business? Are they sophisticated organizations that invest in the most current premium systems? Do they have a strong web presence and are they active on social media? Knowing how accounts use technology gives you important information about how your product or service will fit with their operations as well as how to reach them effectively.
Finally, you need to assess company cultures and values to see how they fit with your own and what you have to offer. What are their goals and where are they on the road to achieving them? What are their pain points? Are they looking to maximize their present positions or looking to expand? Are they open to risk or averse to it? How do they view themselves? How are decisions made and by whom?
Not all of the metrics you’ve gathered will be equally relevant, but once you’ve compiled and ranked them, you will have a complete picture and be able to identify the sweet spots where your ABM resources will be best applied.
Tailor Your Strategies:
With all the data in hand, your team can now go ahead and create a marketing approach that speaks directly to individual customers and responds to their needs in ways that set you apart from others vying for their business.