Lead image credited to Celsius International – celsiusinternational.com
One of the key terms frequently discussed in the B2B marketing world across the past 12-18 months is “account-based marketing”. If you’re a member of any B2B marketing groups on LinkedIn, read industry sites like B2Bmarketing.net or follow the B2B hash tag on Twitter, you’re like to have encountered conversation or discussion about ABM. If you’ve yet to come across B2B account based marketing however, this post offers your complete introduction.
90% of B2B marketers believe account-based marketing is an essential tactic. However, the area of B2B account based marketing is still quite a grey area. It is a tactic that many marketers struggle to comprehend and one that many B2B marketers have yet to successfully pursue. In fact, just 20% of B2B marketers are believed to be deploying account based marketing tactics.
Simply put, what is Account Based Marketing?
With B2B account based marketing, you switch focus from marketing to “industries” to drive “leads”. Instead you market to the exact accounts you want to land. Accounts that you know need your product/service and that are perhaps even actively in-market. You treat individual accounts as a market in their own right.
ABM is built on account-specific insight, content and messages for maximum resonance and relevance. It’s not a simple campaign or tactic, it is a marketing strategy. One that is “always on” for an identified account.
How can we approach Account Based Marketing in B2B?
Model 1 – Large Accounts
Target a very small number (up to 10) large existing or targeted accounts. A complete focus on the accounts likely to score the most significant deals.
Model 2 – Named accounts
Target a moderate number (10-30) of defined existing or targeted accounts. Prospects that have already presented themselves or specific companies that you have identified as having a need for your product. Accounts can come from a mixture of verticals and industries.
Model 3 – Industry Segment
Target a moderate or larger number (20-50) of accounts in the same vertical or specific segment e.g. 30 accounts in the “3PL logistics” sector in the U.S.
Model 4 – Customer Lifecycle
Target a moderate or larger number (20-50) of existing customers, each of whom receive a different outreach. Up-selling and cross-selling.
How do I choose a B2B Account Based Marketing Model?
This will largely come down to the resources at your disposal. Most Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies may only have the resources to commit to one model of ABM at any given time period. Those who try to spread their resources thinly across ABM models can fail on all accounts. Ideally you should choose an ABM model of focus for a 6 month period and continue your traditional outbound/demand gen efforts to other markets/targeted accounts.
The right number of accounts in each tier of your ABM program will depend on many factors, including:
- Your expected deal sizes
- The length of the sales cycle
- Your available sales resources
- Your current level of engagement with major prospects
- The intensiveness of your ABM strategy
What B2B Account Based Marketing technologies exist?
Account-Based Display Ad Nurturing
Platforms like Azalead, Demandbase, Vendemore, Terminus, Engagio and more offer account based display advertising. These platforms operate on a monthly subscription basis only and enable you to target specific accounts with specific display advertising banners.
Similar to the above, the same ABM platforms can identify which accounts/companies have visited your website and serve specific remarketing banners and content download advertisements to specific accounts. Vendemore is the most recommended platform for retargeting ad delivery. However, LinkedIn can also be used to target/retarget to any attractive accounts via Sponsored Content advertising. It just requires a more manual effort.
Platforms like Triblio enable you to deliver dynamic landing pages, webpage messaging or content to specific accounts or at least, target account industries. Triblio offers account based web automation to personalize the entire web experience for specific accounts.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers relevant insights on your accounts and leads, including job changes, news mentions, and new potential leads. Unlock full profiles for leads who aren’t in your network – critical to gathering info in research stage of ABM process.
Create lead lists with custom searches to source and close deals. Add your accounts and leads from Salesforce with a single click with data syncing daily. Quickly discover more people at your target accounts with custom suggestions. Send direct InMails and invites to identified accounts.
Stay tuned for more on B2B Account Based Marketing….
Stay tuned for more upcoming posts around B2B account based marketing. While you’re here, learn more about marketing in B2B from past blog posts.