The B2B Marketers Guide to Account-Based Marketing Success


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Account-based marketing (ABM) is undoubtedly one of the hottest trends in B2B marketing today. And while the promise of ABM is compelling, organizations will need to dramatically change the way they market in order to reap all the benefits and ensure its long-term success. Because ABM demands a deep understanding of a prospect’s business and pain points, it requires a personalized approach. Each account has a unique mix of attributes driving its purchase decision and being relevant to those attributes, or drivers, is one of the biggest opportunities at hand. Here are five important rules B2B marketers should follow to help take advantage of these opportunities and all that ABM has to offer.

Rule #1: Creating a Connected, Targeted Experience is Key to ABM Success

Because the whole premise of account-based marketing is that you take a more targeted approach, a disconnected or non-targeted website experience is now unacceptable. Demand generation teams are doing a great job using the email channel to target and automate content delivery to the right accounts, but for most, that targeted experience is lost when the prospect visits the brand’s website. To solve this issue and ensure ABM success from B2B companies must ensure that personalization carries across every engagement with the brand, from the very first anonymous website visit to email nurture to sales calls, to subsequent visits to the website by other members of the decision making team.

Rule #2: Exceptional Website Experiences Must Start with Data

Taking a page from consumer websites, the reason why their experiences are so powerful is because they’re based on data. B2B organizations have great data, but too often they don’t use it to inform the visitor website experience. If B2B organizations connected their data, the website experience could be much more powerful. Customers could be treated differently than prospects, while new visitors could be treated differently than prospects in the final stage of the sales cycle. In other words, data on visitors could be used to create and serve the most optimal messages and content to move the prospect down the sales funnel.

Rule #3: The Right Advertising Technology Platform Makes all the Difference

New advertising technology and rich social media profiles have made it very easy for marketers to target specific accounts, ensuring that their ad spend is used efficiently. LinkedIn, for example, allows you to target by company, title and location so your sponsored story or display ad is only served to the intended audience on either LinkedIn or its partner sites. Whereas in the past online advertising needed to appeal to the masses, or at the very least the demographics of the site, it can now be highly targeted and relevant, meaning that ad dollars can go much further. However, for ads to perform, they must be hyper-targeted, relevant, and connected to the targeting in your emails and on your website.

Rule #4: Relevant Content is More Important than Channels

As marketers develop buyer’s journeys for their named accounts they must think more in terms of content and engagement than channels. Marketers must ensure that their platforms are connected to be able to track engagement across every channel and sequence content and messages appropriately.

Rule #5: Before you do Anything, Perform a Content Audit

With all of your efforts focused on reaching named accounts, you need to make sure you have the content to support the 1:1 approach. When defining the buyer’s journey by account, marketers need to assess what content is at their disposal and what needs to be created. With less emphasis on inbound leads, content managers should focus more on middle and late stage content, such as ROI research, whitepapers and case studies, with the goal of showing current prospects that they understand and can solve their problems. It is for this reason, performing a content audit – determining what content you have and what is working – is seen as high-value insight, which pays for itself many times over. Since much of this content involves current customer examples, it’s critical to have advocacy programs in place to ensure that customers are willing to share their stories through video, print, speaking, etc.

It’s clear that ABM isn’t just a passing trend and B2B organizations need to be prepared if they want to be successful. Building an effective ABM practice requires planning, alignment, and most importantly, a significant change of approach. To be most effective, marketers will need to become more like sales people, and develop more personalized content and marketing programs with specific targets in mind, and working hand in hand to close deals.

Jim Eustace
Founder CEO in the digital marketing industry with experience in both the SaaS and strategic consulting. Across the different businesses he's founded and grown Jim's focus has been the design and application of emerging technologies to help leading brands better engage potential and current customers and drive measurable growth.


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