Account Based Marketing has been a hot topic lately. More and more companies are adapting to this strategy in order to create a more targeted and personalized approach to marketing and selling to their ideal customers.
Account based marketing vs traditional lead based marketing
When it comes down to understanding what account based marketing is, it is important that we first understand the differences between account based marketing vs traditional lead based marketing.
The picture below does a lot of explanation on it’s own.
To put it in simple words, the traditional lead based way of marketing was simple:
Attract as many people into your funnel as possible through different traffic sources and then pray that some of those people that come through your traffic sources will stick around and eventually become your customers.
The problem with that?
There’s no set goal in mind and no ideal target in mind. It’s like spray and pray.
That means that you’re probably spending most of your time guessing rather than targeting the ideal customer profile.
Things have changed with account based marketing.
Instead of ending with a target company that’s a good fit for you to sell to, with account based marketing, you start with target companies.
You identify the biggest opportunities at the beginning and then proactively go after them. This allows you to set a clear goal and marketing message that will more likely to convert due to a personalized touch.
This is a much more effective strategy compared to traditional inbound marketing where you still have to spend hours and resources vetting the leads to ensure that they’re a good fit.
Rather than fishing, account based marketing targets individual companies with personalized content and campaigns.
In simple terms: Quality over quantity
See, traditionally, companies will push hard to build their email list and update their subscribers with the company’s content. This is still used in account based marketing, but the quality of the list really matters.
With an account based marketing approach, you would only send personalized content to a certain segment of users. This can be determined by either a specific target group or a segmented group of users that performed a certain action within your app.
Ideal Customer Profile
In account based marketing, it is extremely crucial that you have an ideal customer profile mapped out.
Who is your target customers?
Where are they hanging out?
What blogs do they read?
Where are they based?
There are a lot more questions that you need to ask yourself when coming up with an ideal customer profile.
The best way to find your ideal customer profile is by cloning your most successful batch of customer’s profile.
You likely know who your best customers already are. This will vary from business to business, but for us it was customers who had been with us the longest time and keeps coming back for leads and our outreach services.
A few criteria we use to filter our list:
Customers who purchased from us more than twice
Has spent over an X amount of $Works in a B2B industry
Loves to read startup and entrepreneur related blogs
You don’t want customers who are unhappy with your product or aren’t a good fit, remember this is all about scaling up the customers who are a good fit.
Don’t want to deal with all the struggles of coming up with a good initial target? You can reach out to us at GrowthOK and we’ll help you come up with one! 🙂
Locating the champions
In account based marketing, we want to target the “key accounts” or champions within the company. These are the decision makers.
Yep…not the gatekeepers.
Key accounts are the 20% of customers who make up 80% of a company’s overall business.
These are the people who have the purchasing power.
Usually you would need to start from the bottom and work your way up when it comes to finding the decision maker.
The trick to doing this quicker is by looking at the exisiting customer profile that you came up with earlier when defining your ideal target and identifying who’s the person in charge.
You can start by going directly to that individual, but if you can’t reach them, then you can always try to shoot for someone within the department that can make an intro for you. This can be a second degree connection on Linkedin or it can be anyone that you can find a mutual connection with within the company.
Once you know the key role that you’re targeting, you can always use a service like GrowthOK to help you come up with a list of accurate leads along with their contact information.
Why account based marketing works
Account based marketing will help you align sales and marketing together. Because account-based marketers are focused on accounts instead of individual leads, they end up speaking the same language as their sales counterparts. And that leads to incredible alignment between sales and marketing.
According to Forrester Research, organizations with aligned sales and marketing teams see an average of 32% annual revenue growth, while less aligned companies see a 7% decline in growth.
With ABM, arguments over lead quantity and lead quality go away, and your sales and marketing teams become a single unit.
Another thing is that the power of account based marketing goes BEYOND just the close.
It doesn’t end at the close because customer success plays an important role afterwards.
This allows your company to create a customer driven approach to nurture the leads which will result in a reduce churn rate.
Customers will also be your advocate and send you more referrals this way.
A 2014 ITSMA survey showed that “Nearly all B2B solution providers that measure account-based marketing (ABM) ROI find that ABM delivers higher ROI than other marketing initiatives.”
Examples of account based marketing in action
1. Sending personalized emails
This is our bread and butter and it’s what we’ve been doing for our customers for the longest time. It’s tedious and tough work, but it gets the job done!
Say for instance you’ve identified a group of 20 contacts at one of your top accounts who could potentially be involved in the sales cycle for your solution, but your sales team hasn’t been able to effectively engage any of them.
What you can do is create a few different email templates that is personalized for each different role of that specific department.
Each email variation could contain content relevant to that specific person’s challenges as you know them.
You would then hand these series of emails over to your sales team and have them reach out with a personalized touch.
If you have a hard time coming up with personalized emails and need some help, you can always use our managed outreach service at GrowthOK 🙂
2. Use social selling
Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Xing, and a lot more. Be everywhere.
From my experience, social networks can be a gold mine for account based marketing.
Social media allows you to create multiple touch points with the prospects and allows you to do intensive research on the ideal prospect. You can literally learn everything about the individual through various social networks.
Social media interactions set the stage for a more personalized engagement later in the sales cycle. Direct messaging on a social platform is one of the best ways to get yourself noticed early in the game.
3. Host events
What’s a better way to network and build relationships than an in person event?
Host regular events like happy hours, talks, workshops for free and market it towards your targeted accounts.
You can do this by running ads targeted towards specific roles for an upcoming event.
If the deal size is big enough, then it makes sense to spend some money in order to acquire a customer.
Obviously there are a lot more different and creative methods that you can take advantage of but these are just a few examples to get your brainstorming running.
Best tools for account based marketing
We won’t get far without good tools! That’s a fact 🙂
Yep that’s us! GrowthOK can help you build a list of targeted leads within a specific company with custom data points.
For example, you might want 3 leads from the marketing department within Company X, but you need more than just their name and email.
Maybe you need their phone numbers.
Maybe you need their twitter and linkedin profiles.
Maybe you want to know what software their company is using.
Maybe you need advanced filtering on demographics.
All of that can be custom provided by GrowthOK without any additional charge. Win!
Can’t create a list of tools for account based marketing without mentioning Engagio.
Engagio is leading the account-based movement with a complementary platform that syncs directly to existing marketing automation solutions. E
ngagio adds value by equipping marketing, sales, and customer success with account-centric analytics and orchestrated outbound interactions.
Account insights range from who to target, who’s engaged, and which accounts are getting touched by marketing and sales. If those numbers are important, yet foreign, to your current strategy, give Engagio a look.
By harnessing the power of over 50 ad networks and 200 million data points,
Terminus delivers the reach and coverage that’s essential for account-based advertising and the ability to track engagement and progression of target accounts.
Demandbase is built to tackle all four corners of an account-based marketing strategy, offering robust solutions for identifying target accounts, running tailored advertising campaigns, routing insights to sales, and analyzing your sales funnel through an ABM lens.
Huge value for committed account-based organizations looking to ramp up ABM efforts.
Owler is awesome. It takes lead research to a whole different level.
Researching a prospect can help you walk into a meeting and use their own words to sell them on your solution. Owler lets you do efficient, on-the-spot research on prospects for free and offers comprehensive insights that you can modify and slice as you see fit.
Account based marketing is the future and it’s more important than ever. Account based marketing might not be right for every company, but if you’re marketing or working towards closing bigger deal sizes, then account based marketing is a must.
If you’re looking for highly qualified and targeted sales leads that actually convert, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at GrowthOK
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