A little over two years ago, this marketing topic made its first appearance on Google Trends, breaking out of the exclusive bubble in which of a few big companies sought the custom of a few other big companies. Gaining traction throughout 2015, 90% of marketers considered it to be a B2B must-have, with nearly 50% of marketers practicing it today. This month’s Keyword is a big one, and we’ll only scratch the surface. So, let’s dive in and take a look at how to meet today's challenges of Account Based Marketing.
Find your target
If a guy is looking to get a tailor-made suit, he probably has an idea of the color and the style he wants before it's cut; so before you market your product to fit, you have to identify which targets are looking for what you’re offering. An initial marketing campaign with measured responses can help you do this. The data you collect will enable you to list hopeful targets, but also make informed predictions on which accounts are likely to close.
Rather than forming a single list of target accounts, consider segmenting those targets according to their size, industry, revenue, or whatever other relevant attributes you have measured. This will help you to identify patterns from the data you’ve collected – if some segments are proving more responsive or successful, the criteria of those segments will give you an indication why.
Lead within the lead
To tailor an offer or a campaign, it isn’t enough to identify the account; the biggest challenge for marketers is identifying the decision makers within that account. If every employee and their grandmothers recognize the need for your product, it’s not enough unless someone with a “C” in their title realizes it too. ChiefMarketer noted recently that “Increasingly we see B2B executives being pulled into budget and buying approval for their teams’ purchases in ways they haven’t in the past.” Try to appeal to a C-level buying mind-set from the get-go; present statistics and usage cases in your initial campaign that prove the short and long-term rewards that your product delivers.
In a recent survey conducted by Demandbase and Integrate (1) :
- 57% of marketers dedicate more than 20% of their marketing budget to ABM
- 90% of marketers recognize a need for improvement with their ABM programs
- 96% of marketers believe that B2B advertising reaches a significant number of people outside of the intended target
Measure, measure, and keep measuring
Successful measurement doesn’t occur as its own phase. On-going measurement throughout the ABM process is imperative, because data that is crucial to the success of marketing your product is generated almost every step of the way.
Although technologies geared toward measuring account-based activity have started to step up, the options are still limited in comparison to the vast selection of tools that can effectively measure campaign activity. This is potentially problematic, because account-based activity is a goldmine of data that can not only improve and maintain your product, but also be presented in later campaigns and pitches. Check out Engagio and Demandbase to see if they can help you harness that all-important information.
Meeting these challenges will lead to a successful ABM strategy, but at its core, it’s not about what your product does – its about what it can do for the account. Target accounts should feel like the product was made for them, because if they made it to your list of prospects, then it is.
Looking for more help with the challenges of ABM?
- Demandbase: Infographic: Tying Account-Based Advertising to Decision-Makers
- PR Newswire: More than 90 Percent of Marketers Believe that Account-Based Marketing is a B2B Must-Have
- MarTech Advisor: Survey Shows 71% Companies Plan to Expand ABM Stack to Scale Programs
- The Drum: Top challenge with account based marketing is identifying decision makers, B2B marketers say
- Chief Marketer: 3 Steps to More Personalized Account Based Marketing