It’s not so hard to imagine a future with near 100 percent adoption of Account-Based Marketing (ABM). According to a recent survey, nearly 60 percent of B2B organizations have already implemented ABM, and another 27 percent intend to start doing so this year.
Where does that put you?
If you’re like other organizations, you probably worry about the pitfalls and hurdles that stand in the way of implementing ABM—like not having a basic view of your target audience, not having the right data or not having the proper customer intelligence.
But enough with dwelling on the pitfalls: it’s time to take a proactive approach to ABM. Here are six steps organizations like yours can take right now to increase Account-Based Marketing success from start to finish.
Build your market landscape
To build the ideal customer profile, you need to tie together your first-party customer data with trusted third-party market data. That might seem self-explanatory, but it’s easy for data to fall through the cracks.
This will be the most important step you take, as having a core data foundation will enable all of your ABM-related activities going forward. At Dun & Bradstreet, we refer to this foundation as “Master Data,” which ensures that clean, relevant and connected data is driving all of your business decisions.
Identify & validate your targets
ABM success is predicated on selecting the right target accounts for both account management and business development teams. That requires cohesion between marketing, sales and everything in between.
In the past, marketing and sales teams have worked in silos, but organizations are now realizing the necessity for them to align and work towards mutually beneficial goals. Sales and marketing teams collide at the point of the buyer – and that’s the point where they should also collaborate. In order to align these traditionally disjointed teams, they need to refocus their sight onto customers and their needs, above all else.
Also Read: 10 ABM Stats at Your Fingertips
Populate your account map
It’s crucial to take the time to identify relevant data and contacts. That comes about by mapping the right influencers and decision makers within and around your target organizations. For example, if you’re looking to connect with senior marketing executives at B2B technology companies with a revenue above $5M, based in the San Francisco Bay-area, your data needs to paint a clear picture of the targets that are most applicable to you, and who would be most receptive to hearing from you.
Blindly reaching out to targets doesn’t benefit any individual involved in the selling or buying process, so utilizing data to ensure you’re reaching the most appropriate person at the best time will go a long way.
Personalize every message
If you’re going to target on an account- and title-level, you better be prepared to create collateral at the same level of granularity as your targeting. What’s the point in spending extra time and resources to target the correct individuals if you’re going to blast the same generic message to all of them? Using all available insights, generate or modify your messages and content for each account and contact. And get ready to watch the difference in your engagement metrics.
Time to execute
When all of your targeting and strategy work is done, it’s time to press go. You’ll have to create engagement plans, personalized marketing campaigns and direct touch points with account contacts in order to transition marketing success into sales success, which should be a key metric in Account-Based Marketing.
Measure, refine and expand
The moment your campaign starts, you should be ready to track results, refine strategy as needed and implement changes in real-time. It’s the biggest benefit within an ABM campaign. Consider any account or market changes you need to make based on data or other environmental factors that might affect your decision makers’ choices.
By following all of these steps and accurately tracking your results, you should be well on the path to ABM success.
Have you implemented an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) campaign before? Do you have stories about successes or failures to share? Both are important to hear, so share your thoughts in the comments!