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Account Based Marketing Basics
Account based marketing is a new approach to B2B marketing where teams prioritize their “best-fit” accounts and use different channels, tools, and data to get their brand in front of important decision makers. What may sound relatively straightforward at first, ABM also represents layers of complex personalization tactics and technologies to use that could overwhelm some. With that, if you’re new to ABM, use this resource to start with the account based marketing basics.
The best place to start? Terminus offers an account based marketing course, account based marketing training, a virtual account based marketing consultant, and even a fun Account Based Marketing for Dummies book that can all serve as the perfect starting point for your account based marketing B2B journey. Feel free to check out any of these resources first before you dive into a strategy or execution:
- Book: Account Based Marketing For Dummies (link)
- Unfortunately Account Based Marketing For Dummies PDF download isn’t available but reach out to a Terminus team member and we’ll make sure you get a copy of the book!
- Online Training Course: Account-Based Marketing Foundations (link)
- Book: ABM is B2B (link)
- Obviously we’re biased, but we consider this one of the best books on account based marketing!
- Video Preview: Terminus Academy (link)
Why is it important to start with the basics? Sales and marketing professionals who take the time to learn and understand the philosophy and fundamentals of account based marketing have a better chance of success. Then they can start to build their own account based marketing framework. Oftentimes, customers who are new to ABM will partner with Terminus on building out this framework:
- T: Target the right accounts.
- E: Engage across every channel.
- A: Activate your teammates.
- M: Measure all activities (attribution and influence).
After the fundamentals and a framework, teams can start to think about the execution. We call these tactics, or the specific plays teams run to get their brand in front of their most important audience. Many teams today are already doing this and doing it well, so it’s important for beginners to collect and evaluate account based marketing examples. This will allow them to see account based marketing best practices and how they can apply any or all of them to their own ABM tactics. From there, they will have the confidence and be equipped with the necessary tools to build out their account based marketing strategy template.
Used more as a channel or tool for account based marketing, LinkedIn offers many different opportunities to wow your most important customers and prospects in a personalized way. With the Terminus and LinkedIn integration, teams can place their ads on the most trusted social platform. Why is LinkedIn the best channel to target key accounts and stakeholders? Consider these stats:
- There are over 660 million professionals on Linked In today
- 86 million senior-level influencers
- 14 million opinion leaders
- 8 million C-level executives
- 62 million business decision makers
- 22 million small business owners
- 40 million decision makers
If sales and marketing teams want a way to generate real engagement from their top accounts, they need to promote relevant and timely content in the channel where people feel safest to engage. Not only that, it also helps the company build their brand.
With the LinkedIn and Terminus integration, ABM teams can:
- Use the Terminus Account Hub and to create dynamic audiences that can flow in and out of LinkedIn Sponsored Content campaigns.
- Launch, manage, and report on LinkedIn Sponsored Content and orchestrated campaigns across multiple channels at every stage of the sales funnel.
- Report on account engagement and easily surface this data to the sales team.
Target audiences internationally.
Tactically speaking, one of our favorite account based marketing tactics to run is to target tier one accounts with LinkedIn ads and follow up with a personalized account based marketing cadence of two or three timely and relevant emails. Terminus can help you develop a LinkedIn account targeting template that can become more precise overtime. This a great one-two punch that is repeatable and scalable across many different audiences.
As another popular marketing platform that now offers features for account based marketing, HubSpot has officially established itself in this category. Based in Boston, HubSpot is truly a leading brand in the marketing technology space. Between their thousands of customers and the huge annual conference they host every year, HubSpot is a name most (if not all) marketers recognize.
This is a platform that already offers CRM, email marketing, chat, web analytics, and many more features. Their newest set of features, focused on account based marketing, supports the fact that account based marketing is now an established new strategy. According to this page on HubSpot, pricing and packaging options are now available. HubSpot’s new tools for ABM are available in the Marketing Hub Professional as well as the Sales Hub Professional products.
In addition to the product, the HubSpot blog also spotlight account based marketing. Aside from ABM, the HubSpot blog alone publishes some of the best how-to articles and interesting posts that every marketer should read. And now they’re writing about and publishing blog posts solely dedicated to account based marketing best practices, strategies, case studies, and much more. If you’re still in research mode or just want to challenge yourself to become a better marketer, we highly recommend checking out the HubSpot blog. Here are a few of our favorite articles:
- The Top 7 Account Based Marketing Metrics for Tracking Success (link)
- 15 of the Best Account-Based Marketing Software for 2020 (link)
- 36 Account-Based Marketing Stats to Know in 2020 (link)
- 7 Examples of Email Signature Banners That Drive Conversions (link)
Demandbase is another account based marketing solution that is well established in this category. The company started nearly a decade ago when they started mapping IP addresses to companies. Since then, they have emerged as one of the leading account based marketing solutions. According to their LinkedIn, they have more than 300 employees across multiple offices in the United States and one in Europe. This includes:
- San Francisco, California
- Manhattan, New York
- Seattle, Washington,
- Austin, Texas
- London, United Kingdom
Demandbase strives to be a comprehensive ABM platform with the following focus areas:
This means that customers can execute ABM from a centralized location that brings everything together. Users can discover and reach their audiences with the Targeting solution. With the Engagement solution, Demandbase customers are able to identify visitors and engage them with a personalized experience. And with the Conversion solution, users from the marketing team can provide their sales team with insights for each account and contact.
Check out their website to see video previews of their platform. In terms of resources, they also offer training options, templates, reports, and account based marketing case studies. Browse through their blog for posts and articles that highlight best practices and the latest trends.
Another popular account based marketing software platform is Engagio. According to their LinkedIn, they have around 70 employees and are headquartered in San Mateo, California. They were founded in 2015 and have over 250 current customers. Jon Miller is the CEO and Co-Founder and he is accompanied by Brian Babcock (CTO and Co-Founder) and Patrick Donnelly (Chief Revenue Officer) on the leadership team.
On the product side, they split out the organization of their software into three components: platform, orchestrate, and dash. Specifically within the platform, Engagio Foundation is used by sales and marketing teams to see a single view of accounts, people, and activity. Also within the Platform section, Analytics for Marketing is used by their customers to analyze account engagement, plan an account journey, and see progress along the way. Rounding out the Platform area of the product is Scout for Sales, which allows teams to book more meetings with prospects or customers and accelerate the sales cycle. Users can execute specific ABM plays with the Orchestrate feature. These tactics span across advertising, marketing automation, direct mail, CRM, and sales engagement. Finally, with Dash, Engagio users can measure the impact and return on investment with multi-touch attribution.
For more information about Engagio and access to their resources (ebooks, reports, blog posts, videos, etc.), visit the Engagio website.
What Is Account Based Marketing?
Even up to this point, you still might be asking yourself, “what is account based marketing?” That is one hundred percent okay! The account based marketing playbook is different from traditional digital marketing most teams have grown accustomed to the last fifteen years. Also known as key account marketing, ABM allows teams to pick and prioritize accounts that could potentially become their best customers. Then revenue teams within the organization (sales, marketing, or customer success) work together to target those accounts, get their brand in front of the right decision makers, and lead them through a personalized buyer journey so they become customers. Even after signing the paperwork, teams continue to use account based marketing to retain their most important customers and generate cross sell or upsell opportunities.
The term personalization in account based marketing means that relevant content or account-specific messaging is being delivered to each individual account. Account based marketing experts might tell you that this is a complicated process, as it can include many team members, technologies, and to-do tasks. This is true, but it doesn’t have to be as complicated you may think. Has your sales, marketing, or customer success team ever focused on a specific customer or prospect and made sure they had a great account based experience? Maybe you sent them cookies, threw a party in their honor, or spent an extra hour or two to help them be successful with your product or service? That is account based marketing! Allocating resources, time, and focus towards an important prospect or customer is the foundation of ABM.
The benefits of account based marketing include: faster sales cycles, higher conversion rates from lead to customer, higher contract values, and more bookings. But it is a shift from the typical marketing mindset, so it may require some selling internally. So to start, put together an account based marketing PPT that allows other teams to learn about this strategy and the benefits. Show them examples, case studies, and proposed use cases on how it can help your business. Terminus is here to help with this and more! Let us know if we can ever be a resource for you during your ABM journey.