Account-based marketing (ABM) is an exciting new phase of marketing that folds in advertising and sales to create a more unified marketing effort. ABM is a strategic approach to business marketing based on account awareness in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one. Account-based marketing is typically employed in enterprise level sales organizations.
What are some ways account-based marketing helps business?
- It increases account relevance
- It creates earlier and higher level engagement
- It aligns marketing activity with account strategies
- It allows companies to get the best value out of marketing
- It inspires customers with compelling content
- It identifies specific contacts, at specific companies, within a specific market
So, what do you need to know to start implementing account-based marketing at your organization? Here are the fundamentals.
First, identify your targets.
According to Margot de Cunha, you need to “start your account-based marketing efforts by determining the common makeup of organizations that bring in the largest MRR (monthly recurring revenue) at your organization. For instance, define the industry, company size, location, annual revenue, upsell opportunity, profit margin, etc. for the accounts that are yielding your business the highest long-term profits. Those are the types of accounts you want to go after.”
Second, create your content.
What kind of information will you use to attract your target audience? From your knowledge about your targets, you should already have a good handle on the information that you need to present. Amanda Zantal-Wiener writes that your “content should speak not only to the pain points of those specific employees, but more to those specific businesses… The ABM strategy is less focused on individual personas, and more on casting a wide net for new business. For that reason, this content should be focused on the single deals you’d like to make with each specific organization.”
Third, choose your channels.
You need to know where your target audience hangs out and where they like to receive their information. Your channels could include specific social media platforms, email lists, display advertising on the internet, guest posts on a specific blog, press releases via a newswire, or niche websites. You need to know where your target “live” online so that you can get your content in front of them.
Fourth, run your campaign.
Once you’ve got the first three steps in order, there’s nothing to it but to do it. Run your campaign. If you’ve done the hard work of research, finding the right contacts, creating relevant content, and choosing the appropriate channels, it’s time to hit “send” (or “go,” or “publish,” or whatever the button looks like on your end).
Fifth, measure your results.
This is just as important as any of the steps above. If you don’t record your results, you won’t be able to analyze them and determine ways to improve. You also won’t be able to ensure the proper follow-up with interested parties.
Account-based marketing is really not too far removed from inbound marketing. However, the difference is that you are working the target from both ends. You are going out and finding them and then helping them find you.