Account Based Marketing (ABM) - Flipping the funnel for customer acquisition
ABM is an alternative to classic lead generation
Flipping the Funnel
So, what does flipping the funnel have to do with ABM? ABM is predicated on treating each account like its own market. In doing so, we then drive interest and credibility across stakeholders within a given account. This due diligence leads to increasing the propensity to close a sale and accelerating the time to close. In leveraging a coordinated communication strategy across a broad audience to influence the decision-making process we are able to accomplish this.
97% of marketers
achieved a higher ROI with ABM than any other marketing initiative.(Alterra Group).
Some key advantages of deploying an ABM strategy are that it better aligns marketing and sales, leading to a more synergistic approach to communication. In addition, it's a more cost effective approach to marketing rather than spending tons of money to generate leads from wherever possible. You reduce the need to qualify those leads for your sales organization. Lastly, as we mentioned above, this strategy shortens the time it takes to close an account, by getting key messaging in front of multiple stakeholders to generate more awareness and accelerate buy-in.
planning and implementing an ABM Strategy
Identify Target accounts
Using demographic, psychographic and econometric data, to compile a list of your targeted accounts, you can aim to drive to attributes that are likely to lead towards a conversion for customers.
The next steps...
Pulling any existing information on current contacts within your CRM database. If no customer information exists, you can use a business intelligence tool, such a discover.org, for contact list population. This supplemental exercise, in addition to continued penetration to expand reach inside of an account, is crucial to increase awareness, influence, and to accelerate the account's path to purchase.
Segment your targeted accounts by common variables such as industry verticals, common organization structure and decision making processes. At this point in the process it is critical to have sales and marketing aligned. Tapping into the sales organization for knowledge related to the decision making structure, as well as key influencers in the various types of organizations, is a critical piece to determine how best to communicate to each type of account.
This segmentation will provide the ability to craft personas for each account so that your content can be tailored and personalized to each contact within a given account. This customization will let your prospective customers know you understand his or her business, while being able to provide a solution for problems or anticipate the needs he or she may have. This understanding builds essential credibility with the audience across a targeted account.
Coordinated Multi-Channel Communications
Leverage an ecosystem of digital channels to reach your contacts in targeted accounts. Include marketing messages to expand reach.
As we move to engage our audience at specific targets, we want to be sure that we are leveraging the optimal channels for our audience, coupled with tailored messages. This communication will be a two pronged approach. The first task is driving awareness with an increasing engagement and interaction with our existing contacts. The next task is to increase reach within each account. This can be done by targeting communications specifically within an account. How do we do that you might ask. Well, IP targeting is one of the best ways to serve display advertising to employees connected to a target accounts network. There are other approaches such as encouraging sharing and referral of employees via social sharing gamification, as well as geo-fencing banner ads. The advantage to IP targeting is that you can add in job titles as an overlay to further precision-tune your deployment.
As new stakeholders are added to the mix and dialogue continues with contacts at our targeted accounts, the objective is to encourage them to get familiar with and become advocates of your company and it's product(s), service(s), and offerings.
Channel planning and consistent messaging will be included in this phase as McKinsey consulting points out in B2B marketing. The typical customer uses at least 6 different channels during the purchase process, with 65% getting frustrated by inconsistent brand experiences across channels.
Assess and Optimize
The term always be testing is a common moniker we all hear in the realm of digital marketing. This concept rings true with ABM. In our implementation, we need to be sure to consistently monitor our analytics to assess performance, and optimize our campaign efforts. This ensures maximum impact and return on your marketing investment.
Measuring performance is different from standard lead generation
Click through rates and on-site conversions are key metrics for ABM?
It is a common misnomer to apply standard lead generation KPIs to account based marketing (ABM). The primary metrics are much different to quantify the performance of this marketing activity. Standard lead generation metrics are "nice to have" and do provide context around performance, however they are secondary in nature.
Typical Lead Management KPIs
- Email click-through rates
- Cost per click
- On-site conversions
- i.e., form submissions
- Session to lead conversion rate
- Interaction Event tracking
- Individual engagement agnostic of organization
- Pipeline acceleration - increase in time to close
- Expanding reach within a targeted account
- Account level scoring
- Sales call performance
- Aggregate engagement across contacts at the account
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