We talk a lot about the ideology of ABM on the #FlipMyFunnel podcast.
What we don’t always touch on is the methodology.
How do you actually start targeting accounts?
Better yet, how do you start targeting the right accounts?
We get the pleasure to sit down with three B2B industry titans as they reveal their proven methods of targeting the right accounts:
- Hermi Ruiz, Account-Based Marketing Manager at Snowflake
- Derek Slayton, CMO at Terminus
- Daniel Englebretson, Director of Integrated Marketing at Phononic
Here’s what we’re unpacking today:
- Understanding search intent for new account acquisitions
- Analyzing first-party data
- Analyzing your company’s historical data
- Testing new account groups
This post is based on a podcast with Hermi Ruiz, Derek Slayton, and Daniel Englebretson. You can listen to the full episode here and below.
Let’s look through these logistics a little closer.
1. Search intent
Derek points out the value in understanding search intent analysis for ABM on a more micro level.
Search intent almost always comes in one of four ways:
1. Informational intent. The searcher is looking for more information on a specific topic.
Search example: Who invented the blender?
2. Navigational intent. The searcher types in the title of a website then navigates to that site via the results page.
Search example: Bed Bath & Beyond
3. Transactional intent. The searcher is looking to make a purchase based on the list of results.
Search example: Ninja brand blender
4. Commercial investigating intent. The searcher is still looking for more information on a product or service before deciding to make a purchase.
Search example: Best brand of blender
In regards to using search intent for new account acquisition, you may want to consider…
… your SEO strategy. How is your content ranking among competitors? Are you using terms that ideal accounts will be searching for? Are you addressing the notable pain points your ideal accounts may be having?
… your website navigation. Is there a page with a high bounce rate? Think about the user’s intent when clicking on that particular page. Is it answering the right questions? Should there be a call-to-action further up on the page? Which stage of the buyer’s journey is each of your webpages focused on?
If there are major hiccups in the prospect’s journey to finding you, you could be missing out on ideal accounts.
2. First-party data
First-party data (data you directly collect on your leads) is valuable for finding the right accounts for your team to target.
Ideally, you’ve been collecting user data through cookies on your website. Analyzing this data can give you insight into the behavior of your leads. By finding patterns and commonalities between ideal account users, you can increase the likelihood that they – and other ideal accounts – take a desired action.
Think about how you can make the specific lead’s journey through your website and other collateral as frictionless as possible. It’s worth considering the department and role your ideal user is in. What will make it easy for that individual to get behind your brand?
Put yourself in their shoes, use the data points you’ve already collected, and form your online content to fit their specific needs.
3. Historical data
The third method you can immediately use to target the right accounts involves your company’s historical data.
Historical data points can include:
- Industries you’ve made headway in
- Mediums in which your marketing has done well
- Financial fluctuations
- Times of the year in which your company performs well
By collecting these data points, you’ll be able to see when and where your organization historically succeeds. Then, strategically target these times and places. Begin by taking inventory of topic-specific content that already exists. Make a list of content that could help in targeting these accounts.
4. Testing new account groups
Don’t have any historical data to go off of yet? Time to start testing.
Daniel points at that although ABM is a hot topic right now, at its essence, it’s nothing new. Focusing your sales and marketing collateral around one account is not a novelty. However, the data and technology we have to collect it is a revelation.
That being said, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be testing out different messages on different channels for different targeted accounts (within your constructs, of course). You’ll be able to track which messages work for what type of prospects.
Hermi highlights the importance of only testing the accounts that you think might be a good fit for your company. She suggests testing out messaging and mediums on a small group of accounts, then repeating the processes that worked.
Put it into action
These four proven methods for targeting the right accounts can be put into action straight away. Use the data and insights you already possess, but don’t be afraid to test out new waters.