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How to Build a Strategy to Grow Your ABM Program for this Year

Written by: Barry White

ABM or Account Based Marketing is the new hot topic in marketing, especially for the B2B circles. ABM can include from a simple email marketing campaign to a more dedicated and intensified program using multiple channels.

Below are some tips for building a strategy to grow your ABM program in 2019.

Revisit your target account list

Have you noticed how we, as humans, always start with a linear way of doing things and eventually turn it into a fluid and flexible system? Take a look at cars. First, we made them in weird proportions, then that improved but at the cost of looks (blocky cars), and now we’ve got really clear lines.

The same goes for your target account list - it needs to be fluid. Up until ABM programs started becoming so popular, you’d have an account list originally generated from sales, shared with marketing and left alone. This causes issues because some accounts become inactive over time, and you’d still be using it.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Take a look at the current customer list, select a working model that you’ll stick with and improve upon it.
  • Use leverage on named accounts by including strategic accounts and verticals as well.
  • Start using account identification tech. This is done by determining the best individuals with some high-use and value accounts (most likely to buy).
  • After that, update it on a constant basis.
  • Sales and marketing alignment

    Communication is key, or so they say. And they’re right!

    The world of marketing and making sales on those is a treacherous one. In most cases, marketing and sales must work together tightly in order to maximize output. This means that they have clear goals set and when a new development appears, communicate with each other.

    This is the only way of making it to the top because of how personalized these operations are. Stakeholders and others that you target obviously bring benefits. And each of them is unique so keeping an up-to-date list of goals and advancements.

    Going from generic to highly specific

    ABM programs allow organizations to achieve a high level of success in the way they market products. Generic ads may pick the interest of some people, but all the gold players won’t even acknowledge it.

    What you need is a personalized and creative approach. Help the target audience have an adventure and make it fun for them along the way. As long as it’s not something ‘already seen and staleF,’ you’ll generally have a good time doing this.

    Takes more time to prepare and release, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.

    Company alignment

    Try to imagine preparing a simple meal. As simple as can be. You still need not to forget the ingredients and each with the correct amount. Miss a step and the whole meal might be different.

    ABM is similar to this. You don’t focus on a single area (in this case the marketing team) because they cannot be involved with everything. Instead, diversify what needs to be done across multiple departments and assign a goal to each.

    This makes multitasking almost non-existent, and the chance for mistakes is lessened. On top of that, more hands-on different decks mean higher potential to create the best marketing strategy out there. ABM is great in this regard!

    Explore new channels

    Most people who decide to start an ABM program usually go for a couple of ‘proven’ channels. Mind you, this is the correct strategy, to begin with, but if not adjusted for growth and size , can derail everything quickly.

    Don’t be afraid to take a look at new channels and expand further. Specialized marketing is a big deal nowadays. Take for example Display marketing; often considered on the top-end of advertising tactics, it sends a powerful message and increases lead numbers vastly.

    However, account-based approaches to marketing have become common because they allow a lower budget and a larger impact on sales.

    Measure success

    An unfortunate situation that rises in marketing is that marketers always seem to use quantity-focused measurements and metrics for ABM programs - a quality-focused tactic. This tends to show incorrect results and a lowered sense of success.

    Which is why quantity-focused measurements and metrics should be left for use with expansive (large-scale) initiatives. Quality-focused metrics should be used specifically for ABM and similar initiatives. Things such as funnel velocity, win/loss percentages and rates, LTV, and others should be measured.

    Once ABM’s effectiveness is proven - enable communication between every segment of your company (marketing, sales, etc.)

    It is vital to execute legitimate procedures to hold your potential clients and furthermore handle the debt settlement and freedom debt properly.

    Building the right tech mix:

    You can’t start ABM programs without using the available technology. Marketing and sales require plenty of resources to use to their full extents. This is due to how we understand things - the more you do, the easier it is to use.

    In this case, knowing how your target base behaves is imperative in determining the perfect personalized strategy. And, of course, if it doesn’t work out, you need to know what went wrong. Here’s what you’ll need:

    CDP/CRM - A unified database containing insights for all potential and existing customer info.

    Analytics - Real-time understanding of channel behaviour. Insights (marketing-sourced) go from basic information surrounding contacts to purchasing intent, predictive analytics, etc.

    Website - The best way to reach your target audience and communicate the areas of interest.

    Media/Ad Tech - Connect ad platforms and content that’s personalized for databases.

    Automation of Marketing - It is Mass-marketing automation adaptation into personalized and specific delivery of content with good scalability.

    ABM programs are the future of marketing and offer many areas with huge potential. There are so many things we can still learn using ABM that will come in due time. But for now, if you want to grow your ABM program for 2019 and improve your organization - this is enough for a great start!