What is on your marketing road map for 2019? Is this the year your organization goes big on account-based marketing? Here are three things to consider for your ABM planning and execution this year:
The very first thing you need to decide on is: which accounts are you pursuing? Account selection can be as simple as collaborating with sales and coming up with a list or more advanced by using different types of data to point the way. Either way, there needs to be alignment between sales and marketing otherwise you are set up for failure from the start.
Modeling and intent data are more sophisticated methods for selecting accounts. With modeling you start with existing customers, append meaningful company firmographics, and then identify look-alike companies with a similar profile. Elements like SIC code, employee size, and sales volume help define the organizations of interest. Adding more powerful data points like technographics can help round out company attributes, especially if you are selling in the tech vertical. Knowing which software or hardware a company is running can help inform with both displacement and complimentary technology campaigns.
Intent data can be used to identify which organizations are surging on their consumption of content related to your product or service. This is invaluable information as you try to reach potential accounts that are early in their buying journey and can still be influenced by your demand generation efforts.
Combining some or all of these methods are a powerful of way of coming up with an account list that your team believes in and will provide a solid foundation for ABM execution.
Once the accounts are settled, you need to decide on which channels you want to use and find the data to fuel the programs for each channel. Direct mail, email, content syndication, display, telemarketing and direct mail are all good options. Better yet, multi-channel execution gives you better exposure and the best chance for success. What does your organization do well? Which partners have provided the best data and execution? All questions that you must find your own answers to, and all very important in the overall success of your campaign. Display advertising is great for creating awareness, but not as strong as other channels in direct response. Email is inexpensive and easy to execute, but how do you break through the inbox clutter? Direct mail is slow and more expensive, but also a channel that is used less frequently and might have a stronger impact for your offering.
The best answer is likely a combination of channels, optimized based on organizational strengths and program goals. Once the channels are decided, orchestration needs careful planning. Sales teams need to be prepared to handle and respond to the leads, and marketing teams need to know the KPI’s for qualifying the leads.
Once the program is in progress, what will you be tracking? What are the key measurements for success at the top of the funnel, mid-funnel, and conversions? Campaign goals and KPI’s must be set ahead of time, so all stake holders are working off a shared understanding of success. Data capture, measurement and benchmarks should be established before the campaign starts, not halfway through or at the end. Predetermined metrics allow you to calibrate and flex mid program if your early results are below par.
ABM is a lifestyle, and a way of life. It has its own language. It’s like a marriage – not something to be entered lightly. Think, plan, plan some more, and then execute. Read, react, and fine tune. Make your 2019 ABM journey an adventure, not a tragedy.
For more tips, tricks and tools for ABM, give me a call.
SVP – Data, Digital + OmniChannel Solutions