Three Tips to Start an ABM Program

In the News

Marcus Witte, MarTech Advisor

October 12

ABM is a hot buzzword for marketers, especially those in the B2B space. But too often, ABM programs are not as successful as they could be because they don’t start with solid data or they market the message, across different industries, expecting equal results. Marketers can improve the ROI of these programs with personalized content, shares, Marcus Witte, VP of Integrated Marketing, SourceMedia.

Many marketers find that the challenging part of account-based marketing is developing an engagement strategy since there are so many content types and channels to work with. But, the engagement strategy, while essential, is like any other advertising activity. The more you know about your prospects: who they are, where they are in the funnel and how and where to target them, the greater the likelihood that they’ll engage with you. Too many times, ABM programs are not as successful as they could be because they don’t start with solid data and they market the same piece of content, across different industries, expecting equal results. Here are three tips to starting your ABM program off right.

Create a holistic account persona
In order to be successful with ABM, you will need to have a holistic understanding of each account you are targeting or know which accounts you should be targeting. This starts with developing an account persona. The account persona should distill your account’s core needs (agnostic from your product or service), recognize their specific pain points and provide you with an understanding as to why they would care about your product or service and the value you can uniquely offer them.

If you do not have a holistic understanding of this, then you need to develop one. There are a number of ways that you can do this, using both internal and external resources. For example, you can start by conducting independent market research. This includes surveying existing customers on your owned channels, such as your Web site, social media and blog. However, this may only provide you with a window into existing customer, not new ones. Market research companies can help you take this a step further and reach a broader base. Finally, media partners can provide holistic insight into your account’s behavior, including content consumption types and preferences (mobile vs. desktop) and have the ability to create market research strategies tailored to your specific goals and needs, uncovering data that reveals the key challenges facing your targeted buyers.

Conduct a Media Channel Audit
Understanding the media space is important to nurturing the account across multiple channels. This means evaluating your owned channels (website, social media, blog, email, etc.) as well as the larger media landscape. An audit of direct and indirect competitors will identify white spaces where you have an opportunity to break through and engage your account.

When auditing your channels, you should have a comprehensive analysis of what content and content types (video, article, infographics, etc.) are performing best with a firm grip on page views, shares, time spent on page and conversions. Assessing each channel’s specific tone of voice and general themes will ensure that your strategy aligns to your content.

Have a Cross-Channel Engagement Plan
The next step is to create a cross-channel engagement plan with the objective of designing tactics relevant to each channel. You should start by creating account-specific assets. For example, if you’re a secure, cloud-based service that is marketing to wealth management, you will need to create content on how your targeted account could specifically integrate your product with their current IT set-up. From there, you can create personalized landing pages with copy, images, offers, and forms tailored to the account or key account influencer visiting. Keep in mind that while personalization is engaging, aggressive customization (naming your target, for example, on the website before they have registered) can be off-putting. Finally, find out what matters to your account by listening on social media and flagging opportunities for your sales team. You should continue to engage and interact with existing accounts on social, so they continue to be your biggest advocates.

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