7 Steps to a Successful Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Strategy


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Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is certainly the hot topic in B2B circles these days, but like other trends, ABM can encompass a whole range of activity – from something as simple as an email drip campaign to a more comprehensive, sustained, integrated program that incorporates multiple channels.

In our experience, the most effective ABM campaigns share 4 common traits. Successful ABM campaigns typically are:

segmented – so that any and all communication is as relevant to an individual account and decision-maker/role as possible

integrated – so that targeted contacts see a consistent, cohesive message via multiple channels

content-driven – so that it drives engagement and dialogue, vs. a program that attempts to sell a solution or drive meetings exclusively, and finally

of a sufficient duration, vs. a short-term “one off” approach, so that that success relies less on an accident of timing, and more on a consistent nurturing and education of the targeted list.

Planning on integrating Account-Based Marketing into your demand gen mix in 2016? Here are 7 steps to developing and executing a successful ABM program:

1. Identifying target accounts either via sales input and/or predictive modeling. Predictive technology can help identify those accounts most likely to actually convert, independent of which accounts are simply on sales’ “hit list”.

2. Identifying and/or developing a critical mass of relevant offer content to support the campaign, content that is specific and relevant to target roles, for example:

– Power User
– Economic Buyer
– Technical Buyer
– Internal Champion

3. Establishing specific, quantitative goals for the campaign. How will you measure success? Will KPIs revolve around engagement, meetings, opportunities, deals?

4. Identifying the channels and tactics necessary to drive the target results. Again, a multi-channel, integrated approach is likely to be most effective. Possible channels for ABM include:

– Proactive, outbound email and direct mail as a “drip campaign” to the targeted list
– Programmatic display advertising, to reach ideal contacts at targeted accounts via ad networks, perhaps with account- or industry-specific ad creative
Paid social advertising on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, via “custom audiences”
Paid search advertising on Google via the new “customer match” program
– Telemarketing outreach, either scheduled to coincide with campaign “touches” or triggered in response to campaign engagement
– Real-time Web personalization to deliver account-specific or industry-specific content on campaign-specific landing pages or on the advertiser’s main Website

5. Developing the relevant creative for implementation via the selected channels

6. Putting in place the appropriate sales alerts or other triggers based on campaign engagement or Web visits by target accounts

7. Creating a campaign calendar to plan the relevant touches and the associated offer or creative development.

Account-based Marketing is not something to be undertaken, and invested in, simply because it’s the hot new trend. But as part of an integrated, cohesive demand generation mix, one that blends both inbound and outbound tactics, ABM can play a key role in driving opportunities at high-value accounts.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Howard Sewell
Howard has worked in marketing for 25+ years, and is president of Spear Marketing Group, a full-service B2B marketing agency. Howard is a frequent speaker and contributor to marketing publications on topics that include demand generation, digital marketing, ABM, and marketing technology.


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