“I know account-based marketing is important, but how do we actually do it?”
This is something I hear all the time from my friends who work in marketing. I completely get it: shifting from a lead-based marketing strategy to an account-based marketing strategy can seem overwhelming.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve worked with tons of teams that have successfully implemented ABM, and they all follow the same five steps that I’ve outlined below.
1. Unify Your Team
Account-based marketing requires a coordinated effort between sales and marketing in order to target specific sets of accounts. If your teams aren’t aligned from the get-go, your ABM strategy is destined to fail.
Before you even get started with account-based marketing, it’s crucial to ensure that everyone is committed to an account-based strategy. And we mean everyone, from your interns to your C-suite. If your colleagues need a little convincing, show them this post from Kissmetrics about the top benefits of account-based marketing.
2. Identify Your Target Accounts
Now that your team is unified, it’s time make a list of your target accounts. You can do this manually, but fortunately, marketing technology can seriously simplify the process. The Terminus Cloud for ABM has an entire list of solutions that can help. Click here to check them out.
Before you get started, your team should ask the following questions about your ideal customer profile (ICP).
- What are the key characteristics of the accounts you want to target? Consider factors such as the company’s size, location, industry, and annual revenue.
- What are the key issues your buyers are facing and how can you help?
- What characteristics do your top customers share?
3. Determine What Your Customer Journey Looks Like
Chances are you already know what your customer journey looks like on a gut level, but now is the time to actually map it out. There are tons of resources to help you do this. I personally recommend Six Golden Rules When Mapping Your Customer Journey, a resource from Michael Ollitervo-Murphy, former Chief Customer Officer at Workshare.
Next, you’ll want to determine what it means for an account to progress from one stage of the customer journey to another. This is important because accounts at different points in the process require different content and marketing messages.
This is made easy with account based marketing solutions like Terminus that allow you to automatically serve stage-based marketing content to your target accounts and automate their progression through the funnel using progression rules. Learn more about Terminus’ progression rules here.
4. Tailor Your Marketing Messages
Now that you know exactly which companies you want to focus on, it’s time to create some customized marketing campaigns.
According to an ITSMA survey, 75% of executives would read unsolicited marketing material that contains ideas that might be relevant to their business. Of course, I’m not saying you should send an email blast with all your content to every contact in your database. That being said, you shouldn’t hesitate to provide personalized, relevant content to key decision-makers at your target accounts.
There are several ways you can tailor the marketing experience for each account or persona. For example, create customized ads and personalized landing pages with unique images and offers for each group you’re marketing to. You can personalize landing pages based on virtually any data point: company, job title, industry, business size, location, and so on.
Tip: Don’t make everything about you, especially at the top of the funnel. Educating and entertaining your prospects results in genuine relationships that are key to closing deals in the future — especially if you’re a startup.
For a list of account-based marketing solutions that can help you segment your audience and personalize your marketing messages, check out the Terminus Cloud for ABM.
5. Review and Repeat
As with any marketing plan, there will be successes and failures. Bring your team back together on a weekly basis to review what is and isn’t working. It’s important to make sure everyone feels comfortable speaking up so you can pinpoint any issues your team members dealt with during the process.
But above all, I believe in focusing on the positive. How many target accounts engaged with your marketing? What are the shared characteristics of those accounts? Which accounts progressed to the next stage of the buyer’s journey? How much pipeline did you generate this week? How many deals did you close?
Last but not least, be sure to track your ABM success from the very beginning so you can set benchmarks and constantly improve your strategy.
Learn More About Account-Based Marketing
Want to take a deeper dive into ABM? Check out the Blueprint to Account-Based Marketing to learn more about ditching your lead-based marketing strategy and getting started with ABM. Click the banner below to read the e-book now.