While account based marketing (ABM) has been around since the 1990s, ABM is absolutely booming today. Why? Because marketers now have the critical 1st party insights that enable them to focus efforts on target accounts that are likely to buy. And because the tech buying committee is larger now than ever before – with an average of 21 influencers involved in tech purchasing decisions1 – surrounding the entire buying team at an account level is a smart, strategic play. But while ABM may seem like traditional marketing, there’s a lot to learn before diving in. Let’s take a look at some essential elements that your marketing team needs to incorporate into your account based marketing strategy as you prepare to launch (or enhance) your approach.
Strong 1st Party Data
Similar to other modern marketing techniques, data is key to ABM. Marketers will always need reliable 1st party data to inform and scale their approach. But keep in mind that when focused on account based marketing, the data your team will rely on is account-centric rather than lead-centric. This means that your marketing and sales teams must view the activity of tech buyers at the account level to see how many people at a given account are engaged with your message, how they engage with content as well as other behaviors that indicate purchase intent. IDG’s One to One: The MarketingFit Guide to Account Based Marketing shares even more insight into the importance of high quality data, including Q&A with ABM experts Mark Burton and Andrew Mahr who explain in why 1st party data is the gold standard to have the most ABM success.
In addition to high quality data being at the core of your ABM strategy, so should personalization. Fortunately for marketers everywhere, they work hand in hand. Data will inform your target account list and in turn help you to enable the level of personalization necessary to effectively surround key accounts. In IDG’s ABM guide, Burton emphasizes that the key to deliver a targeted experience is to consistently serve a customized message across multiple channels. Understanding the problems or challenges your target accounts are facing – information gleaned from their activity – will help you to create your personalized message, deliver it, and ultimately see engagement.
Content Marketing Strategy
If we haven’t stressed this enough, the content produced for target segments is paramount to ABM success. According to the 2021 Demand Generation Benchmark Study, 61% of respondents said ABM is seeing increased budget prioritization in 2021, closely followed by content marketing at 60%. The elevation of both ABM and content marketing efforts at similar rates makes total sense. To effectively surround the entire buying committee at key accounts high value, targeted content is essential – in the form of blogs, research, videos, etc. Be sure to create content that is specific to each decision-maker involved in the purchase process using data and intent signals. This way, your marketing team can create relevant content across various touchpoints, making more opportunities for buyers to interact with your message. A strong content marketing strategy will help you to produce and deliver content that resonates, builds trust and ultimately boosts sales. Speaking of sales…
Marketing & Sales Alignment
Of course, proper marketing and sales alignment is always important. But given that account based marketing is fundamentally different than traditional marketing techniques, making sure both teams are on the same page to optimize business outcomes is essential. Sharing the shift in mindset from quantity to quality leads is a good place to start and be sure to also discuss proper sales follow-up. Given your marketing team’s targeting tactics, paired with the level of account insights and understanding of buyer behavior at sales’ disposal, tech buyers should feel like they are continuing a conversation with your organization rather than starting from scratch. With these strategies in place, it will be no surprise when you close bigger deals faster.
To learn more about each of these components and to gain insight into defining scope and choosing the right metrics, download One to One: The MarketingFit Guide to Account Based Marketing today.
And, to learn more about IDG’s account based marketing solutions, contact us today.