Marketing departments have two ways of targeting their promotional efforts: one way is to focus on individual leads (people); the other way is to focus on accounts. The latter, which has come to be known as account-based marketing, seems to be trending up.
According to Nathan Isaacs, a senior content strategist at Act-On Software, account-based marketing “at its most basic, makes an account (rather than an individual lead) the focus of marketing and sales efforts. ABM relies on data analysis to pinpoint the correct accounts to target; leverages research to find the correct cadre of contacts inside an account; and uses targeted, personalized, timed communications to engage those contacts.”
It’s likely that your company is already implementing some aspects of account-based marketing. But, here are three ways to improve and maximize your efforts.
1. Get your marketing and sales teams on the same page.
One of the banes of any company’s existence is the cognitive dissonance between the marketing and sales departments. (And some have argued that these departments shouldn’t actually be separate from each other.) But getting marketing and sales on the same page is crucial to boosting the impact of your account-based marketing efforts. Marketing and sales must have a “common language” and must be in agreement on what types of accounts the company is looking to cultivate.
Brian Carroll, author of the bestselling book, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, said, “I find [that] quite a few companies don’t have a unanimous agreement between marketing and sales as they are executing programs. But with account based marketing, it’s essential, and it is part of your process because some of the accounts that sales teams may choose may not align well with the company’s ultimate growth strategy and vice versa. And so we need to be really clear on who’s an ideal customer, why they are, what are their attributes.”
2. Recultivate past leads and past accounts.
One of the fastest ways to generate revenue with account-based marketing is by re-engaging past leads and previous accounts. Companies starting new ABM processes may overlook the fertile ground that exists with people who have done business with them before or people who have carried on a conversation about doing business. Reconnecting with those contacts, whether they purchased in the past or not, is a great way to work out the kinks in your ABM strategy. Maybe they weren’t ready to purchase before, but with an engaging ABM strategy in place, they can likely be guided to close the deal.
3. Feel your accounts.
Yes, there’s a part of account-based marketing that has to do with the nebulous realm of feelings—specifically, empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. As a marketer, it is your job to empathize with what your company’s customers and potential customers are going through. Putting yourself in their shoes helps to highlight their needs and is a motivating force behind the necessary adaption of marketing strategy to meet those needs.
Cultivating accounts helps your company set the stage for long-term growth, repeat customers, and deep impact.