Modest budgets. Smaller staffs. Fewer resources. Just some of the challenges small and mid size companies face when competing against larger organizations. You can't duplicate their manpower. You can't duplicate their capital. But you can compete for the biggest and best accounts. Use account based marketing to equalize the playing field, capture target accounts and grow your business.
Account Based Marketing
Just like a target account initiative, account based marketing programs start by building an account list. But instead of contact based interactions, account based marketing is designed to understand and market to the collective needs of an account. For example, a typical enterprise purchase involves C-Levels, directors, managers and front-line professionals from numerous departments. Some contacts are influencers. Others are buyers. But as your contacts look online to learn about you and the competition, you often don't know if you are connecting or being ignored. Account based marketing leverages technology to understand these interactions. And, it allows you to provide relevant, timely and personalized follow up addressing universal challenges while targeting needs specific to each individual.
Use Account Based Marketing To Counterpunch Competitors
But, account based marketing isn't just for deep pocket, big staff companies. Effective program execution is size agnostic. Technology has leveled the playing field. Small and mid size companies can operate with the same sophistication, tools, savvy and scale of large companies. Here's why.
Access To Data
How do you select target accounts? By modeling your customer database using current accounts, firmographics and industry information fed into an analytics engine that spits out the best opportunities?
Probably not. But, large companies with big databases can spend tens of thousands of dollars to do just that.
Fortunately, your database is much smaller. So is your target audience. And, account based marketing programs don't target 1000s of prospects. They focus on a few of the best opportunities. Using a process ensures the best account selection. But, an analytics tool? Unnecessary.Get the Account Based Marketing Whitepaper
Once you select the targets, identifying contacts is inexpensive. Combine online sources like LinkedIn. Business contact databases including Zoom Info, Jigsaw and YesData. And, the sweat equity of your sales team to develop a very accurate robust list of contacts, at a very low cost.
ABM Program Development
Websites and online tools provide opportunities for all businesses. But they are especially relevant for small and mid sized companies that use account based marketing. Online channels are the cornerstone of your plan. An effective website allows you to rival large competitors.
Understanding your target audience is another key factor. Developing personas to identify pain points and customer needs require contact with your sales team and a few customers. Both very achievable for companies small and large.
Armed with this information you can build a plan. It doesn't take a big staff. Instead, it takes thinking through how to construct a campaign to reach your audience. And determining the online and offline tactics that connect. Ultimately, it takes sales and marketing common sense.
ABM Program Cost
Large companies appeal to a large audience. But it costs money to get in front of that large audience. Even electronic campaigns using email, SEO, SEM and social media can take a bite out of a budget. An account based marketing campaign is different. It combines a variety of online and offline tactics targeting a small audience. For example, if you use account based marketing for 20 accounts, you have under 1000 total contacts.
That lowers your program costs. When you use account based marketing you target a small group of key contacts with highly personalized information. Websites, other online channels and content assist your prospects as they learn about you. Very similar to the practices you are using today. Although personalization is critical, adapting or expanding current resources keep additional investments low.
Offline tactics including direct mail, information kits and brochures are an expense you should incur. But, small quantity digital print technology will keep costs in check.
ABM Program Execution
Large companies have more red tape. It’s harder to get decisions made. Small and mid size companies are nimble. There are fewer layers to coordinate and convince.
An effective ABM program combines the best attributes from both sales and marketing. The two groups may not see eye-to-eye on every issue. But, reconciling differences and working together is far easier in a small and mid size company.
Although an ABM program contains a number of moving parts, planning and executing the plan trumps specific expertise. Although you do need knowledge about online and offline marketing tactics, specialists aren't required. You don't need a direct marketing specialist. You don't need an event planner. Or a data analytics expert.
Marketing automation programs further simplify the process. The firepower available for small and mid sized business rivals big company systems. Coordinating personalized marketing and sales efforts open doors and deepen engagements in target accounts. When sales and marketing work effectively together, account success rates increase exponentially.
Effective marketing programs don't materialize, launch and succeed at the snap of your finger. When you use account based marketing, it's no different. Learning, planning, testing and executing are critical elements. They are also elements small and mid sized companies can execute to compete against the big guys and capture more business.