The Latest from the ABM Experts
May 9, 2019
5 Exciting Account-Based Marketing Examples
Written by Baillie Ward
How many retargeting ads do you encounter in a day? What about semi-personalized emails in your inbox? Probably too many to count.
Now, how many times is your team offered a free lunch delivered to your office in exchange for participating in a webinar? Or how many billboards do you pass by on your drive into work that are personalized with a message specifically to you? I’d guess these numbers are significantly lower.
That makes sense – after all, both of those campaigns would require significantly more time, energy, and resources to execute than a canned email or display ad. But the return on those campaigns likely matches the effort that went into planning them.
Let’s face it: if you’re going after high-value accounts, low-effort marketing campaigns just won’t cut it. They may help you generate a small amount of awareness (and may even help you get your foot in the door), but they won’t “hook the big fish”, if you will.
The below targeting campaigns are examples of an account based marketing strategy at its finest. There is an art (and science) behind developing effective ABM campaigns –– and nailing it will make or break the success of your program.
Learning from Effective Account-Based Marketing Examples
1. Lunch and Learns
Recently, account-based teams have been experimenting with “pizza-nars” which as the name implies, is a webinar accompanied by pizza. The idea is straightforward –– pizza is delivered to target accounts for them to enjoy while they watch your webinar.
Don’t limit yourself to just pizza, though – lunch and learns can be done with anything from coffee to a food item of their choice, so you can wine and dine your prospects from the comfort of their own desks. This helps to boost webinar attendance and is a great way to encourage prospects to pay attention.
Keep in mind, the webinar content has to be compelling, first and foremost, and you have to think about the messaging that will accompany the delivery as well as the follow-up or call to action at the end.
Account lifecycle stage: This approach can be useful across the account lifecycle from initial engagement to upcoming renewals, expansion or even re-engage at-risk accounts. You could even go so far as to build out personalized webinar experiences with customized landing pages so the prospect or customer feels as if the webinar is hosted just for them – which can be a great way to show off product updates or educate people on your platform.
2. Bespoke content experiences
Snowflake, a cloud-based data-warehousing company, leveraged its in-house expertise to develop a robust library of high-quality content, which they use to create individualized experiences for target accounts. At any given time, the Snowflake team is running 500 concurrent individualized account-based campaigns, and each of these 1-to-1 campaigns is developed in tandem with their sales reps (who know their accounts inside and out) to create personalized messaging and content experiences.
These content experiences aren’t intended to drive conversions, either. None of the customized content is gated. Instead, Snowflake strives to build credibility with its audience first, only then using retargeting tactics with those that engage to drive traditional conversions through weekly demos or free trials.
Each campaign can be launched quickly and starts with digital advertising as a means to distribute the experience to the right account depending on where they are in their lifecycle. You can run the same or similar campaigns by leveraging a platform like Uberflip in tandem with your advertising and marketing automation platforms.
Account lifecycle stage: This approach is most useful when trying to gain initial engagement or progressing an account to meaningful engagement. It can also be used in a Land and Expand strategy to penetrate other departments within the organization.
3. Interactive storytelling
When GumGum, an applied computer vision company, wanted to win over the business of T-Mobile, the CMO took to researching the buying committee starting with the executive leadership team.
He discovered that T-Mobile CEO John Legere is a big Batman fan. They used this intel to develop an idea that made the CEO part of the of the GumGum story. The result was a comic book –– T-Man and Gums –– created by their team of editors, writers, illustrators, and letterers. They shipped 100 copies to T-Mobile and its agencies of record, and long story short… they won over the account.
This particular example is pretty resource intensive, so you may want to reserve campaigns of this scale for your top tier accounts. However, you can achieve a similar effect in your own way by gathering as much intelligence as possible into the contacts at your target accounts. You can run personalized direct mail campaigns to those contacts (maybe you send them merch related to their favorite movie, or a bag of their favorite coffee) in order to spark a conversation.
Account lifecycle stage: This approach is ideal for establishing initial engagement with a new account, like GumGum did, or it could be used to engage with new buying committees within an existing account.
4. Bold billboarding
Sometimes you have to be bold. And that was the case with Intridea, a web products and services company, when they were trying to grab the attention of the folks at the ad agency Ogilvy & Mather. The team purchased a billboard across from Ogilvy’s Manhattan office with a simple, but bold message: Ogle this, Ogilvy. It included a custom URL, which featured funny GIFs and personalized messaging. The bold approach landed them a meeting with the ad agency – in fact, they got a call from Ogilvy New York CEO Lou Aversano and OgilvyOne managing director Dimitri Maex to set up the consultation.
*Note: the URL is now inactive, but it was fairly simple in nature – it included the GIFs mentioned above along with the text, “Made you look. Now hire us. AngularJS, Rails, UX/UI and more.”
Again, this is an extreme example. But this form of experiential marketing (where prospects or customers interact with your brand in a real-world setting) can be quite effective in engaging your prospects on a deeper, emotional level.
On a smaller scale, you can leverage experiential marketing at trade shows, customer appreciation events, and more. In a B2B setting (and specifically when you’re trying to nurture prospects), you can aim to create an experience for those who might not yet be sure how they would use your product or service. If you can come up with a way for them to interact with your brand in a way that clearly outlines how it will benefit them, it will help them understand the product and be more likely to start a dialogue.
You can also partner with another company in your industry (so long as you’re not direct competitors) in a co-branded experience so that you can distribute resources more efficiently and still take advantage of the mutually beneficial promotional opportunity. Here are a few more resources for account based marketing best practices.
Account lifecycle stage: Intridea obviously used this to gain initial engagement with a new target account. But the campaign could also be used to expand within an existing account or progress an opportunity.
5. Interactive product launches
Remember the View-Masters that were all the rage in the 80s? When Rapid7 was preparing for its latest product launch they captured the “unboxing” of it on the click-through picture wheels. It ended up being wildly successful because it masterfully tapped into that feeling of nostalgia among the prospects they sent it to. It proved a fun, interactive way to engage target accounts in the new product.
Interactive product launches don’t necessarily have to include in-person events, either. You can create interactive digital experiences (think custom landing pages, videos, or heavy visuals) to help promote a product launch or educate prospects/customers on new features. For instance, you could create a landing page that features a real-time platform walkthrough or create a gamified experience so users can learn about your product while having fun doing so.
Keep in mind that many online experiences are now dominated by visual content. The essential form of communication is moving away from text-based interactions and shifting towards videos, pictures, or a combination of the above. So when you’re developing these interactive experiences, make sure to incorporate plenty of visual content!
Account lifecycle stage: This approach can be used across various stages of the lifecycle –– to get on the radar of new target accounts, upsell current customers, or even salvage at-risk accounts.
These account-based marketing examples should get your creative wheels spinning, but keep in mind, the boldest (or richest) bird doesn’t always get the worm.
You have to start with a solid target account list and have a methodical, data-driven mindset when building campaigns. There are a few other best practices to keep in mind:
- Keep the message positive. Attempting to “scare” an account into action rarely works, and can have the opposite effect.
- Be realistic about your resources. How time- and resource-intensive will this campaign be to execute and do you have the time to do it? Can you scale it? In some cases, the goal won’t be achieving scale, but you have to know the goal going in.
- Start with your end goal. With the above account-based marketing example from Snowflake, their goal was not conversion but rather to build relationships and establish trust and credibility. Knowing that will influence how you shape your campaigns.
- Leverage brand advocates and partners where possible. Social proof can go a long way, and partnering with other industry powerhouses can be mutually beneficial.
- Think about the follow-up. The campaign doesn’t end once the package is sent or billboard is up. In fact, that’s just the beginning. Have your messaging and follow-up cadence ready before you launch and ensure that marketing and sales are aligned on the follow-up plan.
- Strike the right balance between value and fun. Fun may get their attention, but you also have to deliver some sort of value, whether that’s entertainment value or education.
The ABM acronym is appearing more and more in publications aimed at sales and marketing people. What is ABM? The acronym stands for “account based marketing,” and it is a relatively new way of targeting and engaging with prospects. It is typically done with the aim of getting more sales or leads.
In many industries, the ABM acronym is as new as account-based marketing itself, so once it is explained, there is little confusion as to what it is or the benefits of account based marketing. However, this acronym is already “taken” in certain other industries. For example, if you ask, “what is ABM in banking,” you’ll find that an ABM definition banking may be “automated banking machine” or “assistant branch manager!” Therefore, it’s a good idea to use the full term if there is any possibility of confusion. In terms of marketing, we are seeing more account based marketing B2B efforts as opposed to B2C endeavors, most likely because of the high value of business accounts. You can even get an ABM is B2B PDF, which shows how strongly the two are correlated.
In ABM B2B, visitors to your site, as well as other contacts, are identified and shown customized sales material that is meant to match their most-likely concerns and priorities. Other customized content can also be shown. Each account is treated differently, and this both increases marketing efficacy and reduces wasted efforts. For even more understanding of account-based marketing, we suggest reading Account Based Marketing for Dummies and ABM is B2B, which are available in several formats. You should also check an account based marketing wiki for the latest definitions and explanations of concepts used in this evolving industry.
An ABM campaign differs from lead generation in some key ways. Analyzing account based marketing vs lead generation shows that with ABM, the focus is on the quality of the leads. Meanwhile, traditional lead gen is all about getting as many leads as possible.
Account based marketing lead generation zooms in on individual desired accounts and works to turn them into highly-motivated leads. To put it another way, the top of the account based marketing funnel isn’t as wide because the goal isn’t to catch every possible person. Because of this, ABM marketing typically has a higher conversion ratio, and this more than makes up for the lack of raw lead numbers.
Account Based Marketing Campaigns
It is very important to have ABM strategies developed before spending time, money, or other resources on specific details. This ensures that the details will work together to further your overall account based marketing strategy. It is a good idea to start with an ABM strategy template or account based marketing framework. You can find these on the sites of ABM software platforms or in books, so you don’t have to wonder “what is ABM strategy.” If you have someone with the right experience, you can also develop an ABM orchestration template in-house. Be sure to choose an account based marketing plan template that matches your goals. A B2B ABM strategy, for instance, will look much different from an account based marketing template used by a B2C or other business. Account based marketing campaigns will be developed based on the strategy you’ve chosen, so getting the foundation right is essential.
ABM marketing campaigns, or themes, help your teams rally around a specific audience, product feature, or message. Campaign based marketing will therefore present messaging, ads, and visuals that are consistent with the theme. This not only helps your teams, but also amplifies your message with your prospects. Some of the best account based marketing campaigns tie in well with your broader advertising efforts, making them more memorable than any non-unified approach. What is ABM campaign? It is an effort that can involve multiple methods of contact, advertising, and more. A campaign will also have a specific goal, thereby making it easy to benchmark. For your first ABM campaign, consider using an ABM campaign template. This will make it easier to have successful ABM campaigns.
Account Based Marketing Activities
Once you have an overall strategy, it’s time to focus on specific account based marketing tactics. These are often referred to as plays, and include things like creative email subject lines, personalized account based marketing landing pages, unusually-attractive digital ads, and similar things. One good practice is to develop an account based marketing playbook so that everyone can coordinate these tactics.
As with anything else in advertising and marketing, there are yearly trends. Therefore, account based marketing tactics 2019 look a bit different from account based marketing tactics 2020 methods. 2021 will surely bring its own uniqueness to the mix. That said, an account based marketing workbook should do more than follow trends. As long as your methods aren’t perceived as old hat, it can be better to do something that everyone else isn’t already doing. This will differentiate your company from the rest.
It’s important to keep track of all of the account based marketing plays that your company is doing, so be sure to record them all in your account based marketing workbook. Entries can include deployment of an ABM landing page, emails sent, and other account based marketing activities. Be sure to keep track of any ideas that have promise, too, even if they are not immediately used. You might find them valuable for a future campaign.
Account Based Marketing Examples
Ideas and inspiration for account based marketing tactics and strategy can easily be found by looking at account based marketing campaign examples. ABM campaign examples can involve overall strategies, specific tactics, and more. At Terminus’ Resource Hub, you will find all sorts of samples to draw from. Use the B2B account based marketing examples to see samples of full campaigns, or try the examples of ABM content to delve into some details of what can be presented on landing pages. For further study, download our account based marketing PPT or look at our account based marketing case studies.
Be sure you don’t stop with just one account based marketing plan example. Check out several ABM campaign ideas, ABM campaigns examples, and other ABM ideas to get a great feel for what should be done.
Email copy and ad design often pose the most challenges to ABM teams. Because of this, our account based marketing email examples and our ABM ad examples are some of our most useful content of this nature. ABM email examples and ABM email templates, combined with our ABM advertising tips, will help your teams break their creative logjams and write great emails of their own. Meanwhile, our tutorials and examples of account based marketing ads provide excellent sources of direction for your advertising department. Soon, you’ll be fielding creative ABM campaigns of your own, complete with ABM paid media, account based marketing advertising, and more. Stop by our site to see our creative ABM examples today.
Once you’ve seen plenty of our ABM examples, it’s time to move on to the details of how you’re going to run your campaigns. Software is one of the key account based marketing tools, so this is where most people start. Along with Terminus, you’ll find account based marketing companies like HubSpot, Engagio, Demandbase, G2 account based marketing, and Marketo. Each one is a little different from all others, so you may want to sign up for free trials of the top contenders before you choose one.
Many are familiar with the fact that account based marketing HubSpot exists, mainly because this company is so large. Account based marketing Marketo is less well-known, but it is also a strong contender. In some cases, you’ll find that two or more products integrate with each other, creating hybrids like Demandbase HubSpot. Terminus also integrates with HubSpot. Other integration possibilities also exist. For example, many who ask “what is Drift chat” go on to examine the idea of using it as part of a Drift ABM strategy in order to have an account based marketing CRM chat, or they upgrade to Premium Drift.
Educational resources also abound. You can easily find HubSpot Academy ABM, also known as Account Based Marketing HubSpot Academy, to learn about company-specific terms like HubSpot buying roles. Terminus has plenty of educational materials as well.
Finally, you’ll discover that some companies will run your ABM campaigns for you. An account based marketing agency will provide all of the needed account based marketing services, so you don’t have to learn to handle the details of software or other aspects. However, this requires a larger investment, and you won’t have as much control over your campaigns and plays.
Account Based Marketing Ideas
The point of account based marketing isn’t only to improve conversion ratios. It is to make the buying experience as enjoyable as possible. This is done through ABM personalization. The term personalization in account based marketing means targeting individuals that you want to convert into buyers, rather than larger and more generic market segments. Buyers find that the ABM experience is much more enjoyable because it speaks to their specific needs and concerns, rather than seeing them as just another anonymous face in a mass.
Because of this personalization, the account based marketing customer journey is a bit different for each person. Any ABM segmentation that was originally present becomes invisible to the customer as his or her ABM experience progresses. Thanks to the wide variety of account based marketing ideas, a customer’s experience can also be quite different between one company and the next. This gives you extra opportunities to provide a far superior experience, and therefore, to win the sale.
Statistics show that ABM is the future of marketing. In the end, it is simply smart, efficient, targeted marketing. Many companies are now realizing its effectiveness, too. Many more were engaged in account based marketing 2020 than were doing account based marketing 2019, and this trend is sure to continue. It won’t be long before a company that doesn’t do account based marketing for its B2B accounts will be seen as noticeably behind the times. To see the specific details of these account based marketing statistics, check out our 2020 State of ABM Report. We go into the fine details of account based marketing statistics 2020 and 2019, so you can easily see the trends.
More ABM Resources
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