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

Four Impactful B2B Marketing Strategies You May Be Missing Out On

Posted by Michelle Dalton

Aug 31, 2017 10:32:06 AM

B2B marketers continue to face pressures to prove return on their marketing investment. In the ever-changing landscape of marketing, determining how to distribute your budget to the most impactful methods can be challenging. The four strategies below have been proven to improve results for B2B marketers.

1. Social SellingDart missing board.jpg

Ninety percent of executives never return cold calls, resulting in very poor return on investment. Stop cold calling and start using social media to demonstrate your value and receive warm introductions. LinkedIn research found that 78% of salespeople using social media perform better than their peers. If your sales team isn’t using social media to sell, help them go social by providing training.

2. Account-Based Marketing

Developed 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.

ABM is a strategic approach where sales and marketing identifies the characteristics of their targeted companies, then finds those companies and determines who the decision makers and influencers are. The relationships are nurtured with personalized content and campaigns to drive interest and engagement. As a result, ABM delivers the highest return on investment of any strategic B2B marketing approach.

3. In-Person Events

With the explosion in digital marketing, marketers may feel like they don’t need any face time with prospects and customers. However, for products and services that require significant investment or adoption of staff (software, for example), it is likely that you will benefit from relationship marketing.

Consider integrating opportunities for face-to-face interactions into your mix, including user groups, social and informational events at conferences targeted to your top prospects, and experiential marketing.

4. Customer Advocacy Marketing

Satisfied customers can generate a gold mine in leads and revenue. Seventy-three percent of executives prefer to work with sales professionals referred by someone they know. Referral leads convert 30% better than leads generated from other marketing channels.

If you don’t currently have a customer experience program in place to ensure happy customers who will give referrals, start one now. Make sure you have an action plan in place to address any concerns that arise. Expand your marketing efforts with testimonials, a formal referral program, and an online customer community to increase lead generation.

Are you overwhelmed with your current marketing program and don't have the bandwidth to add any of these strategies? Contact us and we can help plan and implement for you. 

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Topics: marketing mix, marketing

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