6 Steps for Building a Winning Account-based Marketing Strategy

6 Steps for Building a Winning Account-based Marketing Strategy

Account-based Marketing is all the Buzz in Atlanta

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a targeted approach to customer acquisition that requires a strategic partnership between marketing and sales. ABM means selecting target accounts and delivering focused and personalized programs, messaging, and content to move customers and prospects toward your desired goal—whether that’s an initial sale, cross-sell or upsell renewal of their contract, or even advocacy.

While account-based marketing is not a new concept, it is gaining momentum across organizations of all sizes due to technology innovations. As marketers have become proficient in digital marketing at scale and analytic capabilities improved, it is clear that not all leads and opportunities are generated from the most likely accounts. This has created the need for more focused and targeted techniques and technologies.

“When you agree on the desired accounts, and you get everybody aligned on that focus, you’re ultimately just going be more efficient, which usually makes you more effective.”

Jon Miller, former CMO of Marketo & founder of Engagio

As you’ll see, when broken down into a framework of easy steps, account-based marketing is far less overwhelming:

1. Confirm Organizational Buy-In for Account-based Marketing

Create your team of stakeholders across the organization and get executive buy-in on an account-based strategy. This includes aligning sales and marketing around goals, objectives, strategy, and metrics.

2. Identify Account-based Marketing Target Accounts

Select the target accounts that will help you achieve your goals and leverage technology to help identify accounts with the highest propensity to buy. Use numerous business intelligence and analytics tools to segment the data and prioritize which accounts appear to be the most attainable and able to deliver the greatest return on investment. You can analyze metrics such as potential deal size, profit margins, and the probability of a repeat purchase. Your research should also confirm account stakeholders, such as decision makers and influencers. Use your data or purchase data from a company that delivers information on the business segments you’re targeting.

3. Create Customized, Engaging Content

Content is the most critical element for any campaign. Successful content for ABM contains three essential elements: 1) personalized, 2) relevant, and 3) timely. Spend considerable time defining personalized messages and campaign content. All the data should shape your understanding of individual business challenges and pain points. Leverage the insights to create compelling, relevant, targeted messaging. Regularly confirm that your data is current and introduce new insights periodically to ensure your content remains engaging and relevant.

4. Engage Target Accounts Across Channels

Your target account contacts don’t consume information on one channel. Make sure you have a solid cross-channel strategy for listening to and engaging your accounts across channels. Plan to deliver content to multiple channels, including offline platforms. While the digital world seems to be occupying everyone’s time—and for a good reason. You shouldn’t forget about other channels still being used by all types of businesses—e.g. print, email, and mobile. Be sure to address each one so that you’re sending the same message to all. This will help you reach more business prospects, rather than focusing only on digital.

5. Select the Right Technology

For organizations that want to implement, track, and measure effectively, technology is what makes it possible at scale. Choose technology that supports your ABM strategy but also your larger organizational goals.

Coordinate your ABM campaigns via technology. Technology will help you coordinate your ABM campaigns across various channels for a unified message and design. It also automates processes, providing you with more time to ensure there’s a coordinated look and feel to everything you share. Sales and marketing should collaborate to ensure that their efforts provide a united front for your brand and the products/services shared with these accounts.

6. Measure, Analyze, Optimize

Any good strategy starts with goals and the ability to demonstrate movement toward those goals. Make sure you establish the right metrics and check-ins so you can iterate on your ABM strategy and show the momentum you’re driving.

Never stop testing. There will never be one single right approach because interests among accounts are different and forever evolving. That means you must continually test and measure what you are doing with each ABM campaign to ensure you can achieve maximum ROI. Focus on results you can gather—e.g. email open rates, multi-touch attribution, click-through rates, etc. You will need to validate your investment as well by showing any increases in site visits, sales opportunities, campaign responses, and conversions. If there are no signs that ABM is having a positive effect, determine what changes to make for further assessment.

As a leading marketing firm in Alpharetta, Georgia, our approach at eWise Communications targets growth by helping businesses successfully create and implement local, regional, national and international marketing programs. We prioritize and develop the right programs that will activate your target audiences and jump-start growth.