Before we get into some of the more advanced tips for success with account-based marketing (ABM,) here’s a handy infographic and beginner’s guide for anyone who needs a refresher on the basics.
So far we’ve discussed the many benefits of ABM—how it can help B2B marketers create efficiencies throughout the sales funnel streamline their processes and boost results. We’ve discussed the challenges that B2B marketers are still facing as they consider implementing their own ABM programs, along with the importance of creating a supportive infrastructure that aligns sales and marketing teams in order for ABM to reach its full potential.
So now you are looking for new ways to give your program a supercharge and really gain an edge over competitors who are also catching onto the benefits of ABM. Martech Advisor offers these five advanced tips to kick-start your ABM:
1) Gain Detailed Account Information
The foundation of an ABM program is how much you can learn and understand about an account, so leave no stone unturned when it comes to gathering and parsing that data.
2) One Size Does Not Fit All
ABM by its nature is all about personalization and a hands-on, high-touch marketing and sales approach. One-size can’t fit all, so don’t try to force it.
3) Collaborative Content Development
Organizations need to align persuasive content with different types of industries, customers, contacts, personas, buying stages and challenges. It is also vital for sales to be involved in planning marketing content.
4) Cross-Functional Approach
Establishing a consistent communication flow between marketing and sales guarantees that any changes in account objectives, direction, and strategy lead to timely adjustments in the ABM activities.
5) Evaluate Results
ABM calls for a set of metrics in addition to traditional stats like clicks and views, that will reflect various other activities which support your particular ABM goals As some of these account goals will be relationship-focused as against growth-focused, or have long sales-cycle times; for ABM to be effective and progress well, it will be critical to define and align sales to short and medium-term metrics.
That last tip about evaluating results is certainly crucial but, like in most forms of digital advertising, measurement can be a real headache. While leads and opportunities are important benchmark metrics for sales, they are not sufficient to measure account-based marketing (ABM).
B2B Marketing claims this is because for ABM:
- Marketing needs to support, not create, pipeline creation, so the focus needs to be more on enablement and influence.
- There is a potentially a very long gap between top-of-the-funnel lead generation and bottom-of-the-funnel pipeline creation, so marketers need a way to measure success through the middle.
- The volumes are too low for traditional funnel metrics such as conversion rates.
- A key focus is on driving revenue and pipeline at customers, and it’s not always obvious how to categorize an account that is a customer for one product and a lead for another.
Because of these factors, there are three additional categories of ABM metrics:
- Coverage: do you have sufficient data, contacts, and account plans for each target account?
- Engagement: what is the aggregate level of engagement for the account, e.g. web traffic, online interaction, attendance at events, and so on?
- Productivity: how are the ABM activities improving sales outcomes such as sales cycles, average selling price, retention, and net promoter scores?
For more guidance as you explore and begin implementing your own ABM programs, stay tuned for future posts.
Image via Richard Child