The Latest from the ABM Experts
June 15, 2017
The Stages of Account-Based Marketing Orchestration
Written by Sangram Vajre
Category: Account-Based Marketing
What is Account-Based Marketing Orchestration?
Account-based marketing (ABM) orchestration is about delivering the right content, on the right channel, to the right contacts in your target accounts.
Ever since I published Account-Based Marketing for Dummies last spring, there have been so many questions about how B2B marketing teams can actually do ABM. At the end of the day, taking an account-based approach to your marketing activities, campaigns, and tactics requires coordination with your sales team. Think about this concept as account-based marketing orchestration.
At the highest level, we need to explain how account-based marketing is put into practice. This is why I created the #FlipMyFunnel model as a new account based marketing funnel:
What are the steps for account-based marketing? I believe ABM works best to:
1. Identify. You’re targeting your best-fit accounts by having marketing and sales aligned around an ideal customer profile (ICP).
2. Expand. Because with B2B purchases, there’s more than one person in the decision-making process. You need to expand your reach within an account by connecting with everyone involved in the purchase decision.
3. Engage. Since you know exactly who your buyers are based on the research you’ve done, you can connect with them on the channels where they are most active: email, social media, advertising, video, events, direct mail — the sky is truly the limit!
4. Advocate. When you create an amazing experience for your target accounts throughout the customer journey, they’ll become advocates for your solution and help drive more best-fit customers into your flipped funnel.
5. Measure. How do you measure success with your ABM programs? It’s about looking at account engagement, and the stage-based progression of accounts. (More on that here.)
Account-based marketing orchestration happens across every stage of the buyer’s journey thanks to the coordinated efforts between marketing and sales (or “smarketing“).
With ABM, the buyer’s journey extends into the overall customer experience because it’s about the lifecycle of the account. At Terminus, we divide the account’s journey into three distinct stages: Demand Generation, Pipeline Velocity, and Customer Marketing.
[Tweet “3 stages of an account’s journey with #ABM: Demand Gen, Sales Pipeline, & Customer Marketing”]
Since the advent of digital marketing, B2B marketers have thought of demand generation as their #1 goal. The reality is, the most important goal is to drive revenue. That’s what account based marketing does: it exposes the opportunity for B2B marketers to shine at every stage by supporting sales and customer success through every stage of account engagement. This is crucial for successful demand generation in ABM.
[Tweet “Orchestration is critical because #ABM is impossible unless sales & marketing work together.”]
Internally, my team has a weekly smarketing meeting to talk about the accounts we’re going after, who the contacts in those accounts are, and how we’re going to engage them.
At its core, account-based marketing is laser-focused B2B smarketing to generate new revenue. Using marketing technology enables ABM to be done at scale and orchestrate comprehensive, multichannel ABM campaigns that deliver powerful results. Engagement must be done across multiple channels based on the type of impact you want to have.
The point of ABM engagement is to focus on the types of activities depending on what type of impact you want to have on the account. For account-based marketing orchestration, you’re engaging the account across multiple channels.
Here’s an example of how we orchestrate an ABM demand generation campaign at Terminus. We’re using our own advertising platform to launch display ads at contacts in our target accounts. Meanwhile, the sales team is sending personalized videos via email using Vidyard, and we’re sending contacts direct mail through PFL.
The purpose of this multitouch demand generation campaign is to engage accounts, pique their interest, and then move them to the next stage of the buyer’s journey closer to becoming a customer.
Remember the key takeaways for successful account-based marketing orchestration:
- Align your marketing + sales teams = “smarketing”
- Coordinate your messaging across all channels, including sales conversations and emails
- Select the right channels – consider account coverage and depth of engagement
- Scale and automate using marketing tech & tools
You can learn more in this presentation I recently gave along with my colleague Daniel Gaugler, CMO of PFL: Orchestrating Account-Based Marketing with Advertising, Content & Direct Mail, also available on SlideShare.