magazine | May 27, 2016
Building Blocks of Account-Based Marketing
For B2B marketers, account-based marketing (ABM) has become a hot topic. The ABM approach leverages market insights for best results from your top accounts. To accomplish this, the sales and marketing functions must first come to an agreement on the target accounts and what successful ROI will look like. ABM program execution requires properly sequenced assembly of the following four building blocks.
Step 1: Gather insights. Begin by gathering insights to determine how to select the right accounts to target. Be sure to include industry trend data and measure your current share compared to the available opportunity. Insights provide more value if they are outside-in, gaining an understanding of the account objectives.
Step 2: Plan. The next step is planning. This is where you design your approach for reaching your goals. It requires clear identification of the buying team relationships and specific target account plans. By gaining an understanding of the problems these individuals seek to solve, you get direction for content and campaigns. This stage is also where key elements are defined to enable the sales teams to move the account through the sales process.
Step 3: Create and execute campaigns. Now, it’s time to create and execute campaigns. Based on the insight-gathering and planning stages, you can determine what content needs to be assembled or created to support your campaigns. Keep in mind, the specific account profiles may require versioning to address different regional or global messages. Then coordination with sales drives the channels and timing to best reach targeted personas. The campaign elements must be tightly coordinated with the execution of each individual account plan.
Step 4: Measure. The measurement of results drives agility and effectiveness. You must closely watch campaign impact on relationships and revenue along the buyer’s journey. Using dashboards of campaign performance metrics helps indicate when it’s time to adjust marketing mix and materials. You want to take advantage of successes to scale up programs and make adjustments when desired results aren’t achieved.
Account-based marketing can be a valuable approach for generating results from your most important accounts. Make sure you keep an outside-in view when developing an engagement approach for these customers. The win for both parties comes from how well you position your solution to meet your customers’ unique needs.
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