Marketing Spend to Key Accounts

There’s a tendency to spread the marketing dollar evenly across all segments within a market vertical. Typically the marketing spend is focused on prospects, neglecting the marketing effort to cross-sell and up-sell within the key accounts.


Let’s focus on two key areas:


  1. Marketing dollars spent on generating leads within your key accounts
  2. Measuring the return on every dollar spent on key accounts in the form of quality leads generated


Let’s utilize the following assumptions regarding your revenue potential:


  • 65% from your key accounts
  • 20% from your tier 1 accounts
  • 10% from your tier 2 accounts
  • 5% from your tier 3 accounts


Do you spend 65 cents out of every marketing dollar on your key accounts? If you’re like most companies we come across, the answer is no, we don’t allocate our marketing spend by segment and potential.


Customizing your marketing approach by key account is critical to maximizing the return within each key account. Meaning you need to develop a one to one marketing plan for each of your key accounts. If you analyze each of your key accounts you’ll find each requires a slightly different marketing approach.


Example: How does each stakeholder within the account like to absorb information from you? Do they prefer to be educated via a trickle feed approach or some type of big event where a Subject Matter Expert comes in? Perhaps they prefer a market or regulatory expert. Whatever the preferred method or approach, you need to adjust the marketing spend to support that requirement.


Keep in mind the “Diamond” relationship map. Your marketing must be focused across each level within the key account and the material needs to be adjusted for each level.   


Now let’s consider the return on every dollar spent by segment. If you’re unable to measure the return on marketing spend (measured by the number of quality leads produced), how do you know the impact of the campaign?


The classic is the Trade Show – set up a booth, everyone piled on to attend the event, and you gave out some toy to attract attendees. How many of the leads or business cards you captured were within your tier 1 or key account segment? What was the return on the event measured by the number of qualified leads and eventually by the number of closed opportunities? If you’re like most companies, very few leads are produced and little to no leads fall within your key accounts.


Key Takeaways:


  • Allocate the marketing spend based on the areas of greatest potential
  • Measure the return in the form of the number of qualified leads
  • Stop spending your time on marketing programs that don’t have a measurable return


Learn more about how to grow revenue from key accounts by downloading our whitepaper.


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John Staples

Leads teams of highly qualified experts, all relentless in their pursuit of helping you make your number.

John is the global leader of SBI’s account management business unit. As such, he and his team help clients across 19 verticals drive top line growth and operational efficiency in sales and marketing.


John’s marketing, sales and product expertise span a multichannel strategic approach. He has an unyielding focus on strategic and key account development, which enables strategic alignment between all functional team members in order to reduce acquisition cost and increase lifetime value.


His broad experience in sales, marketing, product and engineering allows him to bring a unique problem solving approach to his team and clients. As he has discovered through decades of experience, clients are often distracted by the symptoms of a larger problem and overlook the root cause of it.


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