You have a target account program strategy. You've identified the best accounts. You mapped decision makers and influencers. How do you leverage that data and close more business? By implementing account based marketing tactics that shorten selling cycles and increase sales.
Account Based Marketing Tactics You Need To Succeed
Target an account, rather than an individual. Combine the best attributes of sales and marketing. Address all decision makers from the beginning of the buyer’s journey. That's how ABM differs from a target account program. Use the following account based marketing tactics to elevate your position and close deals more quickly.
A persona is a semi fictional representation of your ideal customer. Through market research and actual data about your existing customers, a persona helps you:
- Understand the needs of buyers and influencers
- Understand the challenges facing C-level, front line professionals, buyers and other account influencers
- Identify information sources they value
- Develop content that speaks to their needs
A persona also uncovers your customers key sources of information. Publishing content in the channels where your customers go to learn increases the probability of connecting them to your solutions. "ABM isn't just about knowing companies to target but about which decision makers to engage at those targets and and how to engage them." Scott Vaughn, CMO - Integrate
Here's Why Personas Work
Personas help you understand your audience. That knowledge allows you to effectively target communications that connect to their job function, needs and position in the account. Targeted, relevant and personal information elevates the impact of your communications. Using personas is one of the most important Account Based Marketing tactics to implement - it improves response and interaction.
In fact, a MarketingSherpa case study found that buyer personas outcomes:
- 900% increase in length of visit
- 171% increase in marketing-generated revenue
- 111% increase in email open rate
- 100% increase in the number of pages visited
Create Compelling Content
You've targeted key accounts. You've identified decision makers and influencers. You understand the type of information that prospects seek as they go through the discovery process. How do you connect with your audience?
Developing content driven from persona research provides the best outcome. Forrester determined that an enterprise buyer is 57% of the way to a purchasing decision before they connect with a seller. Discovery is taking place in your target accounts, with and without your knowledge.
Content sells when you aren't there and helps you elevate your position even if you aren't involved personally.
Consider these alternatives:White Papers & E-books - Are a great way to report on a specific topic that presents a problem and show how your capabilities provide a solution. They educate your audience and are frequently downloaded by prospects as they progress through the discovery process. Connected to your website or a landing page, they serve as an excellent lead generation tool. Use them in email outreach and linked from social media posts. Just remember, they are meant to be informative, not a high pressure sales pitch!
Blogs, Forums & Social Media - Are considered high value channels by many prospects. They provide you the freedom to tackle a variety of topics at various buying stages. Blogs and forums have been rated in the top five of the most trusted information sources. A high percentage of your audience uses social media, especially LinkedIn. Even executives actively use social media. They average C-level has five different accounts.
Videos & Infographics - allow your audience to obtain information quickly and easily. Explaining a complex application or demonstrating a capability are more effective when done visually. The information is easier to remember and both videos and infographics are frequently shared. Plus, they impact your target audience. 75% of fortune 500 executives are viewing online video. More than 70% of B2B buyers view video product demonstrations.
E-Mail - Even though we dread our inbox, email remains an essential communications vehicle. Your business development team will generate personal emails on various topics. Marketing should develop other information that can be staged or triggered. Nurturing campaigns, appointment requests and meeting follow up are just a few of the many topics that you can execute through email.
Direct Mail - When used as part of an ABM strategy, direct mail doesn’t take on the usual lead generation role. Instead, it is used as a longer sequence of contacts gaining attention because it's different. A direct mail piece conveys your message and still allows you to guide a user to meaningful landing pages by integrating QR Codes. A high impact mailing can help you gain commitment for a demo. Even something as seemingly simple as sending a letter or a post card can be effective
Events & Webinars - An event or webinar gives you the unique opportunity to engage directly with prospects and customers. Their educational slant makes them valuable to prospects at all levels.
Regardless of it's final form, content should coincide with the purchasing journey and the topics your prospects are likely to consume at each stage.
- Education - Top of the funnel
- Build Understanding and Relevance - Middle of the funnel
- Demonstrate Fit - Bottom of the funnel
- Still a Good Fit - Current customers
Here's Why You Need Compelling Content
Content commands attention. Designed and built for each unique audience, it's how you reach decision makers and influencers. Driven by data in your persona research, the topics guide users through the purchasing stages making them more likely to buy. It elevates your position even if you aren't involved personally.
Build A Campaign Roadmap
It's impossible to orchestrate every account interaction. However, mapping your plan helps you execute the process.
- The communications
- The channels
- The timing
- The follow up
- Sales responsibilities
- Marketing responsibilities
- When to engage executives in the process
Why A Campaign Roadmap Works
A roadmap details the communications, responsibilities and timing of your campaign. A thoughtful approach to these details improves the outcome. It also integrates the interactions between sales, marketing and executives. When sales and marketing are aligned the odds of selling a key account increases substantially.
Technology separates account based marketing from a target account program. Along with capturing data and putting it to work, marketing automation lets you create a process and then set it to repeat, without additional labor.
Why Marketing Automation Is One Of The Essential Account Based Marketing Tactics
Combining marketing automation with an account-based marketing strategy yields numerous benefits including:
- Effectively linking buyer behaviors and data across contacts for a unified account view
- Automatically scoring accounts and triggering campaigns and workflows inside and outside of the inbox
- Precisely targeting all decision makers within an account and delivering a unified experience across the organization
ABM leverages research to find the correct contacts inside an account. Targeting, personalizing and orchestrating interactions with those contacts are account based marketing tactics that increase engagement and shorten your path to success.