With the evolution of marketing technology (MarTech), there are thousands of different types of software, applications, and tools that make it easier than ever for B2B marketing and sales professionals to connect with their best-fit prospects. Over the past few years, more and more of that technology has begun to focus on account-based marketing instead of traditional, lead-centric B2B marketing.
What is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing (ABM) is all about focusing on accounts instead of leads. With ABM, you’re no longer doing traditional lead generation to pour as many new contacts as possible into the top of the funnel. Instead, marketing and sales teams must work together to target best-fit accounts and turn them into customers. The key performance indicators (KPIs) for ABM are pipeline generated, pipeline velocity, and revenue, not MQLs.
Marketing and sales alignment is at the core of ABM. You’re starting by identifying your accounts, or the companies you want to do business with, then orchestrating a roadmap to generate demand and move them through the buyer’s journey. You’ll use multiple sales and marketing tactics to engage those accounts on their own terms. These tactics include activities such as content marketing, events, direct mail, webinars, personalized videos, sales outreach, and so on.
Think about it.
You have all these MarTech capabilities, but you also need a strategy for how you’re going to reach each individual stakeholder at your target accounts.
With account-based marketing, you need to determine the right strategies for engaging your target accounts, the content to support those strategies, the orchestration and execution, and account-level attribution. To help create a game plan, you’re going to need a smarketing team leader, a champion: your Account-Based Marketing Superhero.
This is why we decided to create a brand new job title:
the Account-Based Marketing Superhero.
Last year, we hired Stephanie Kelly, an ops-lovin’, revenue-focused B2B marketer, to be the quarterback for our marketing and sales teams. As our Director of Account-Based Marketing, Stephanie is responsible for:
- Working with our VP of Sales and Director of Sales Development to plan and optimize our ABM program
- Selecting and prioritizing our target accounts
- Collaborating with our sales development team to generate demand within target accounts
- Building our ABM tech stack and managing all marketing operations and reporting
Having a dedicated account-based marketer on our team has been a game changer for our account based marketing strategy. If you’re considering hiring an ABM Superhero for your team, it’s critical to find someone who is not only a strong leader, but is also detail-oriented, creative, and tech-savvy.
There are five major ways an ABM Superhero will make a world of different for your B2B organization. They will:
1. Make Your Customers Heroes
If you consider that old adage that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers, then why isn’t marketing doing anything and everything in its power to make your VIP customers into heroes? Marketing and sales spend so much time, money, and energy to bringing in new customers, so your smarketing team should continue to work together with your customer success team to retain your top customer accounts.
The way you can determine your top customer accounts is by looking at your current client list and aligning it with your ideal customer profile (ICP) to determine which of your customers do in fact meet your ICP. We recommend selecting your 25 top accounts. Then, look at their monthly or annual recurring revenue (ARR/MRR) to create a list of your biggest customer heroes. You should also consider customers with recognizable logos and customers that have been the most successful with your solution, even if they aren’t your top customers in terms of revenue.
These will be the clients you reach out to for case studies, customer references, and invitations to speak at your events. Your ABM Superhero can also help your customer success team come up with incentives and VIP opportunities for these clients to give them the best possible customer experience.
2. Build the Ultimate Account-Based Marketing Playbook
Your smarketing team needs a cohesive playbook of strategies and tactics to execute account-based marketing. These tactics must work across the stages of the buyer’s journey — from prospect to opportunity to closed-won deals — and extend all the way to the customer experience. We call this the ABM framework.
With account-based marketing, you continue to market to your customers to identify potential opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. Your ABM Superhero will help personalize your account-based marketing framework to create game plans for targeting all these potential revenue opportunities in both your prospect target accounts and among existing customers. Then, they will work with sales to determine which sales and marketing activities will move these accounts through the funnel.
3. Act Like a CMO
Your Account-Based Marketing Superhero will essentially be your Chief Account Officer (CAO). Our industry is starting to see the titles “Chief Growth Officer” and “Chief Revenue Officer” pop up, but these roles are far more than just fancy job titles.
This ABM leader is responsible for bringing home the bacon. Your ABM Superhero will work with every department in the company and rally the troops to get what you need to execute on your ABM playbook and measure results. Every day will be different, but your ABM Superhero will have no problems wearing many hats.
4. Create Brilliant Strategies & Compelling Messaging
First and foremost, your ABM Superhero is a marketer. This leader will look at account-based marketing from both a creative and operational perspective. They will create tons of different ABM strategies and be able to help develop the messaging and ideas for your marketing assets.
One key Superpower this individual will have is the ability to create an ABM orchestration roadmap. In other words, what content and touchpoints will be delivered to which individuals at target accounts? On what timeline? Here’s an example of a campaign roadmap we use here at Terminus:
As both a storyteller and a marketing operations manager, the ABM Superhero can see a new campaign through from conception to the finish line.
5. Experiment, Measure, and Optimize
ABM Superheroes get excited every time a new campaign kicks off and eagerly wait for data to make it better. They love analytics and have a passion for figuring out what types of campaigns are working best and fixing campaigns that aren’t performing.
To top it off, their agile approach to marketing will help you consistently spend your marketing dollars where they’ll be most effective.
From One Superhero to a Team of ABM Avengers
Your ABM Superhero will be multitalented, but they won’t have to take on the evils of lead-based marketing alone! With their help, the rest of your smarketing team can develop Account-Based Marketing Superpowers that will drive more revenue from your best-fit accounts — as a team.