The Latest from the Go-to-Market Experts
April 11, 2017
Flipping Funnels Weekly: Breaking Account-Based Marketing Down
The #FlipMyFunnel community is not just committed to challenging the status quo – we’re working hard to absolutely crush it! Account-based marketing (ABM) has withstood and overcome the typical concerns with anything that’s new and built a category that is quickly shaping to be the go-to marketing approach. Even still, a lot of marketers are interested in implementing an ABM program but 1. don’t fully understand what ABM 2. Don’t have the resources to revamp their marketing structure or 3. Don’t have a solid step-by-step model to follow to hit the ground running. If you’re interested in ABM but still nervous about the “newness” of it, this month’s roundup is for you. Articles from Drift, LookBookHQ, Sales Hacker, Customer Think, and Terminus are sure to steer you in the right direction and get you started with ABM for a successful q2! Happy funnel flipping!
Sometimes, things are best understood when put in layman’s terms. Erik Devaney of Drift explains account-based marketing in some of the simplest terms we’ve seen yet. He even includes a glossary of must-know words for ABM!
- ABM focuses on targeting individual companies with personalized content versus marketing to an entire industry.
- Forget leads. ABM shifts the focus from the quantity of a lot of irrelevant leads to the quality of best-fit accounts.
Think about it: For years, marketers have been trained to write and create campaigns for people in particular markets and industries. Meanwhile, sales has been focused on engaging with just those accounts that are likely to buy. With ABM, sales and marketing are both focused on target accounts and are working toward a common goal. – Erik Devaney, Marketing at Drift
With trying anything new, two things always come to mind: fail fast and hindsight is always 20/20. Everybody talks about how fun and exciting starting ABM is, but very few reflect on the lessons they had to learn the hard way. Elle Woulfe, VP of Marketing for LookBookHQ shares her experience with rolling out an ABM program firsthand
- Process before programs – make sure you carefully map out exactly how the ABM program will run from responsibilities to cadence structure before spending money on the latest software.
- Over communicate, over deliver – nothing should go unsaid when rolling out an ABM program. Be as explicit as possible with communication!
There’s no right or wrong approach – what you do depends largely on resources, skills, access to data and makeup of the sales and marketing teams. – Elle Woulfe, VP of Marketing for LookBookHQ
It’s clear just how hot ABM is with over 90% of B2B marketers considering it important to their strategies. However, Jen Spencer, VP of Sales and Marketing at Allbound (and #FlipMyFunnel ABMies finalist!) stresses the importance of not missing out on connecting your ABM strategies with a partner program.
- Partner programs might mean referral partners, value-added resellers or a service provider who assumes responsibility for a particular set of services that relate to your company.
- Bringing in a partner helps you bypass starting from scratch from an acquisition standpoint.
By working with a right-fit partner, you will be more effective in the field because together you bring both product and subject knowledge — and this pairing builds trust, both among you and your partner, and with your common customer. – Jen Spencer, VP of Sales and Marketing at Allbound
Engaging an account during the buyer’s journey can look like a lot of things – a tweet on Twitter, a direct mail to your desk or even a face to face conversation at an event! Bruce McKenzie explains how video could be a top contender for engaging high quality prospects for account-based marketing.
- Explainer videos can start a conversation. Short, explainer videos can help bring prospects up to speed on the main features and benefits of your product.
If you’ve identified the right person, he’ll be interested in your solution, will have some questions, and will want quick answers. It’s not hard to imagine what some of these questions are. To the extent that you can supply the answer quickly and make it easy to understand, you’re increasing engagement and providing a great customer experience. And video is a good medium for quick, clear, engaging explanations. – Bruce McKenzie, Creator of 2-Minute Explainer
Defining your ideal customer profile (ICP) is critical to implementing an ABM program because it directly correlates to targeting your list of best-fit accounts. So, how what’s the process for building an ICP? Check out this worksheet from Terminus: Account-Based Marketing!
- You can’t market and sell to accounts if you don’t know who they are. Focus on characteristics like industry/vertical, annual revenue, size of customer base when creating an ICP.
ICPs and buyer personas are not the same thing, but they are closely linked. While ABM is focused on accounts rather than leads, it’s important to remember that each account is still made up of individuals with diverse roles and priorities. This is where your buyer personas come in. – Shauna Ward, Content Specialist at Terminus