4 Simplified Steps to Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Posted by Michelle Dalton

Sep 27, 2017 3:10:11 PM

Marketing strategies come and go, but it looks like ABM is here to stay, since it has been proven to deliver the highest return on investment of any strategic B2B marketing approach. If you think you haven’t been using ABM, you may be surprised to find you are using some aspects of it.

Pegs ABM.jpgDeveloped in 2004 by ITSMA (the Information Technology Services Marketing Association), Account-Based Marketing (ABM) turns the traditional inbound marketing funnel upside down for B2B marketing. Traditional marketing consists of attracting as many people to your site to fill out forms, nurture them with emails, and then identify which of those leads are potential companies to target.

There are two different scenarios where ABM is appropriate:

  • When you’re targeting a small amount of large key accounts
  • When you’re targeting groups of accounts that share similar characteristics 

The high level overview of ABM includes the following steps:

1. Identify Target Accounts

Sales and marketing works together (yes, together) to identify their targeted companies, or the characteristics of their targeted companies. Examples include company size, annual revenue, financial strength, business strategies, organizational structure and more. To determine these companies and characteristics, evaluate your profitable satisfied customers in your existing base. From there, leverage your CRM, other technology and market research to identify your target accounts.

2. Identify Personas

Once the targeted accounts are identified, sales and marketing again collaborate to determine what role the decision makers, influencers and blockers typically hold in the organization. They develop those personas to find their pain points, typical demographics, what factors drive them, and methods to effectively reach them with your message.

3. Develop a Personalized Engagement Plan

Some marketers refer to this step as “Develop Engaging Content.” However, taking into account how different personas make purchasing decisions, content may not be enough. For example, an IT director may take time to read a white paper or eBook, but don’t assume the same for the C-level persona. This is where learning how to effectively reach the target personas comes in. In addition to personalized content, consider adding face-to-face opportunities, such as social and informative events.

Several decision makers place high value on developing trusting, personal relationships with their sales representative, who they want to see as a consultant. These relationships may take several months or longer when selling products or services with long sales cycles.

Develop key metrics and your expected goals for each content asset, campaign, event, social media strategy, etc.

4. Measure, Analyze, Adjust

In order to prove the value of your ABM strategy, you need to be able to measure it over time. Results should be visible and actionable. Compare KPIs such as email clicks, opens, MQLs, SQLs, opportunities created and new business won against previous campaigns, and determine the marketing ROI.

Create dashboards and reports in your CRM to analyze the activity on your target accounts, and compare results to your goals.

While ABM strategy is not new, it is becoming more expected from customers who want a personalized and engaged buyer journey. Understanding their influence level and engaging them across the entire sales cycle does not take a huge investment but can mean increased revenue and a solid partnership with customers.

Contact us to learn how Quantum Age can help create and implement an ABM strategy that pays big dividends for years to come.
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Topics: marketing mix, content, content marketing, meeting planning;, marketing

Aging Services Marketers: Meet the “Perennials”

Posted by CC Andrews

Jul 10, 2017 8:02:00 PM

Why are most consumer marketers still segmenting by generation and focusing nearly all of their resources at the 18 to 34 year-old demographic? I am not aware of a solid answer for this phenomenon, except that these marketers are simply not as savvy as they ought to be on the potential of the older consumer.

The fact is that despite Millennials now being the largest generation (yes, larger than Baby Boomers), it’s theGen Xers (those born between 1965 and 1980) who spend the most money, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Yes, Xers spend more on housing, clothing, dining out, entertainment, and food at home—to the tune of nearly $67,000 per year. The next cohort of big spenders is—you guessed it—Baby Boomers (at $59,646). This BLS video explains in more detail how Millennials spend compared with other generations.

Perennial 2.png

A recent article in The Telegraph examines how middle-aged women today are still saddled by stereotypes that have them wearing frumpy dresses, elasticized jeans, and “old-lady” comfort shoes, despite evidence to the contrary. According to a survey of women conducted by the British newspaper, 84 percent of respondents used “products and services they felt were aimed at younger women.” What’s more, 90 percent consider themselves to have a much younger attitude than their own mother’s generation at the same age.

And yet, marketers continue to zero in on Millennials “despite the greater financial firepower of 40-plussers,” the article notes. “We know that 85 percent of purchasing decisions are made by women and yet 91 percent of women don’t believe advertisers understand them. This isn’t good enough,” Rebecca Rhodes, cofounder of marketing agency SuperHuman, told the The Telegraph.

Gina Pell, a self-described “early internet entrepreneur who built a cult brand” (according to her LinkedIn page), recently coined the term “perennial” to explain why marketers should stop targeting and stereotyping people based on their age: “we are ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who live in the present time, know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology, and have friends of all ages,” she said in her blog postmona_lisa.jpeg

There are several takeaways here for anyone selling, providing, or promoting services or products in this space. If you aren’t considering Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, you may want to rethink your strategy. If you’re already targeting these consumers, get to know them better! To begin with, none of the generations are made up of homogenous people. This may make it trickier to know what they want, but one thing is for sure, “middle-aged” women don’t want to be pigeonholed into ageist stereotypes (this previous post contains more details and insights about the generations and the longevity economy).

Whatever the product, solution, or service you offer, Quantum Age Collaborative is here to help you create innovative and unique solutions that tap into the longevity economy to meet consumer demands in new and relevant ways.

If you want candid feedback from experts in the senior living field, contact Quantum Age today.

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Topics: Aging, content marketing, baby boomers, generations, women, Generation X

20 Tips for Kickstarting Your Content Marketing (Part 1)

Posted by CC Andrews

Oct 3, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Content marketing. It’s the magic sauce to make your website show up when people in your area search for the service you provide. Showing up depends on your Google rank, but many people don’t realize that Google doesn’t rank websites—it ranks webpages, according to Andy Crestodina, strategic director of Orbit Media Studios. QA Blog Content .jpgThat means your own website’s pages are in competition with each other, and with tons of other pages.

Crestodina’s two presentations at the 2016 Senior Care Marketing Sales (SMASH) Summit, covered the ABCs of content marketing. The key is to make your webpages, and especially the pages where you’re trying to compel visitor action, as competitive as possible, he advised session attendees

There are two things that matter most when it comes to improving your website’s rankings: Relevance and authority. They’re achieved when other people share your content and link to your pages. Research gets lots of links; opinions get lots of shares. It all comes down to producing content.

The three steps to content marketing are:

  1. Make content (i.e., blogs, white papers, studies, etc.)
  2. Promote your content via search engines, social media, email, etc.
  3. Measure your results.

Here are tips for mastering the first step:

Make Content

Tip 1: Start the conversation. Content marketing’s primary role is to answer people’s questions. People do a lot of research before making big decisions. Many senior living shoppers get answers online before reaching out to your sales team. That’s why your webpages should seem like a conversation with a salesperson. Find people’s questions, put them in an article, and answer them.

Tip 2: Say what no one else is saying. Make a list of your strongest opinions, then write about them. If you’re stating a strong opinion—especially one that no else is sharing—it catches people’s attention and is more likely to get shared. Get people talking about you. Increased interactions improve visibility and promote higher levels of interaction.

Tip 3: Produce research. The three main ways to produce research are through observation, aggregation, and surveys. Look at available data sets, then write about your observations. Aggregate research that others have done. Create your own data by surveying others and writing about your findings.

Tip 4: Make your content reader-friendly. Most people visiting your site are scanning your page, so make your content scannable. Use lots of headers, subheaders, and bullet points. Avoid large blocks of text and make use of white space. Include lots of images.

Tip 5: Create the long click. Keep visitors on your page as long as possible. Sometimes visitors find the answer to their question on the first page they look at—and that’s OK.  But if you can interest them in something else, they’ll stay on your site longer and give you more conversion opportunities.

Tip 6: Start a “mastermind group.” Talk to, say, five other content producers—noncompetitive people who also blog or write—each month. Ask them, ‘What are you doing that we can promote? What are you writing that we can collaborate on? Do I know anyone that you want to meet?’ The benefits can be enormous, and it costs nothing.

Tip 7: Collaborate with guest writers. When writing a blog post or article, get quotes from experts, then get your contributors to share your article. Alternately, ask someone to write a post that links to your website. Or, write a guest post that links back to one of your blog posts.

Tip 8: Game the system. Google is now paying more attention to what’s called “semantic SEO” by giving more weight to topics over keywords. Optimize your Google rank with blog posts that are about a topic, not just a word or phrase.

Tip 9: Get ideas from analytics. Google Analytics provides key word and phrase reports that you can use for ideas and examples. If you have a topic in mind for a blog post, create a list of all the phrases that are linked to your topic. Include them in your article to generate more search hits.

Make sure to check out our next post, Part 2 of 20 Tips for Kickstarting Your Content, to learn how to implement Crestodina’s next steps for creating irresistible content and improving your web presence.

 

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Topics: content, content marketing, marketing

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