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account-based marketing | 3 min read
Written by Paroma Sen
on September 17, 2018

 

Account-based Marketing, what does it mean to you as a B2B marketer?

Several B2B marketers seem to swear by it.

  • At least 62 percent of B2B companies surveyed last year had an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) program in place, compared with 41 percent in 2016, according to SiriusDecisions
  • However, another recent Dun and Bradstreet report threw surprising figures on how less than half of the companies they surveyed (from a total of 250!) used ABM as part of their go-to market strategy.

If you are just about to plan an ABM campaign or run another one the next quarter, here are some factors that could help or some questions that you must ask yourself before you begin:

1. Ask yourself, “Why ABM”?

Have you decided why you want to run an ABM campaign? Are you doing it because (almost!) every B2B Marketer talks about it?

Once your purpose and core objective that you want to extract from ABM is defined, this marketing tactic will work better for you.

Although most B2B marketers believe that going narrow using ABM and avoiding the typical Spray and Pray method will generate more revenue, that’s not reason enough to run an Account-based Marketing campaign.

2. There is no right and wrong

Just like marketing technology, ABM is continuously evolving and there is no right and wrong.

What works for one brand may not necessarily work for another.

But what works best is experimentation.

After you know WHY you want to run an ABM campaign and after you identify a set of accounts you’d be comfortable running a pilot campaign with, use that as a base to see what works best and what doesn’t.

And then, replicate the tactic that works on your pilot campaign for the rest of your target accounts.

3. Alignment

An Account-based Marketing campaign will be run by your marketing team, and it’s they who will have to pass on the lead to Sales. Alignment is most crucial at this point to ensure no account that is showing interest and engagement slips through the cracks. Account-based Selling, Account-based Advertising and Account-based Marketing need to align effectively for better optimization.

Alignment also helps smaller companies prevent or streamline multiple types of sales, marketing or follow up conversations from happening with the same target account.

4. How much personalization is too much personalization?

One of the key must-haves of any B2B ABM campaign has always been personalization. The deeper the personalization, the more likely you are to get a response from your target audience, this has often been said in B2B marketing. However, whether or not you get the desired response is a key question to keep in mind.

A recent Salesforce report summed up how more and more of today’s customers demand experiences that are connected and personalized.

But as a B2B Marketer, when planning your campaign, it’s important to first identify how much you can personalize with every outreach and marketing message without straining resources.

When planning an outreach, what matters is keeping in mind that your target audience:

  • Already receives (far too many) incoming mails and messages from marketing and sales professionals, event invites, sample reports, promotions for different kinds of whitepapers, invites to different kinds of content collaborative efforts, etc. They aren’t necessarily looking for more of this from you. What they want is value, they want to hear something different, they want to know how else you can help them.
  • If you’re reaching out to a set of targets for the first time, what makes a bigger difference is creating brand awareness as opposed to focusing on personalization initially.

According to most content marketers, it helps to plan your marketing message depending on what stage of the funnel the lead is currently in.

These should serve as a clue to planning your overall marketing message for your next ABM campaign.

Verdict:

ABM may seem like an overused term today. But given the extent of noise in the B2B marketplace today, digging deeper into a specific list of accounts if done strategically will help boost ROI.

If you’re looking for the best ABM platforms to help you power your Account-based Marketing, here’s our Top 05 based on features, data, advertising options, overall performance and ease of use.

  • DemandBase
  • Terminus
  • Lattice Engines
  • Everstring
  • Triblio

Furthermore, here is an extract from the First Forrester New Wave™ On ABM Platforms to make it easier for you to evaluate better!

 ABm best platforms_Q2 2018

 Source: Forrester

 

 

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