Being a marketer in 2021 “ain’t easy” as they say. As I observe our own Terminus marketing team, navigating the ongoing pandemic while shifting from in-person events to virtual wine tastings has been nothing short of miraculous. But, we’ve seen some great success stories in this shift to digital over the past 18 months, especially from our Terminus customers. While there is still some uncertainty – one thing is clear. Small and medium businesses have no choice but to turn to smart growth in order to minimize risk in their company growth strategy.
What is smart growth? And how can you make this a focus for 2022?
In short, smart growth is the process of doubling down on efficient growth strategies in order to preserve small business profits and/or cash reserves during uncertain times. Growing efficiently means you don’t require as much capital investment to add a new customer as you did before. Smart growth is as targeted as possible. Some might even call it “back to basics”. Figuring out what’s working well in the business and doing more of it. For some, this might look like performing a cohort analysis of your customers in order to understand which ones get the most value and satisfaction from your product. Once you know who your most valuable customers are, teams can focus and prioritize those types of businesses in sales and marketing. Speaking of customers, don’t forget that smart growth is full-funnel. What this means is that investing in the retention of your current customers is an important way to scale a small or medium company. Happy customers stay longer and improve Customer Lifetime Value. They spread the word about your company and help generate new customers too.
Not surprisingly, we believe that account-based marketing is vital to smart growth. Here are three practical ways that ABM can help your business grow the right way:
1. Sales and Marketing Must Partner on Account Segmentation
After you analyze what’s working and who your best customers are, this should directly influence your “ideal customer profile”. Work with your partners in sales to bring this to life.
First, adjust the way that you segment and score accounts. Use firmographic, technographic, and intent data to score the accounts in your CRM. Next, allow sales to choose their top named accounts for the quarter or the year. Then apply clear labels to your accounts in a custom field that you can use in reporting and list building. Make sure this label is present and synced across your CRM, marketing automation platform (MAP), and your ABM platform. The process of choosing top accounts should be tough if you are prioritizing a smaller number of accounts to apply deep focus on. But since you know these are your future top customers, this is the group to double-down on. Investing the marketing budget in the right place is the number one key to smart growth.
2. Use Data to Inform Smart Digital Advertising
Small but mighty marketing teams need reliable strategies to update the marketing database with the right data to use for targeting. It’s important to source trusted business data from a third party but continue to focus on building your own first party data asset at the same time. Building a first party data asset protects your small business against future changes to the way small businesses are allowed to use data they’ve purchased. A great example of first party data is anything that your customers tell you when they fill out a form, engage in an online chat, or interact with your campaigns.
You can make your advertising campaigns as specific and relevant as possible using data to segment the campaign. Some great ways to do this are to include messaging for specific technology they use, keywords that resonate with their industry, or even keywords that align to the persona you are targeting. Your own CRM data is a great source of information too. Leverage sales cycle info to create campaigns that speak to the prospect at the right time – such as right after the first sales meeting.
If you have data about customer adoption and product usage, this is the perfect way to segment customers and begin showing them messages about upgrading to another part of your offering. Or, maybe they need campaigns that encourage them to continue adoption. ABM is a smart play to boost retention and expansion across your customer base.
3. Leverage Multi-Channel in Order to “Be Everywhere”
Just because your team isn’t large and distributed, doesn’t mean that you can’t appear to “be everywhere” to your future customers. In reality, multi-channel ABM is the best way to make your business look big. Investing in an ABM platform that scales with you is a smart growth strategy — instead of hiring 10 more marketers. When prospects see the same tailored brand message reinforced everywhere (think ads, the website, and even email banners) there’s a multiplier effect on that message. We like to call this “channel stacking”.
One Terminus customer achieved a 686% increase in target account engagement with advertising when pairing their digital ads strategy with chat. They also saw a 1,600% increase in overall chat conversations.
Here’s another success story of a Terminus customer using a multi-channel strategy to achieve big results:
With multiple native ABM channels in place, you can rely on data to inform the best possible message and action at the right time. Powerful web personalization capabilities can dynamically show different messages to your top accounts, and are the perfect way to make visitors feel like you made a web page just for them. Likewise, conversational marketing (or ABM chat) is the fastest way to show a customer you know who they are and what is important to them. Make sure to serve up customized chat playbooks that guide them to booking a meeting with your team after you have proven that you can help solve their challenges. Customers will think you have dedicated chat reps standing by!
We hope you’re feeling inspired to do more with less, be ready for anything, and set your small business up for significant growth in 2022. What are some other smart growth strategies? Hop into the chat and meet our team today!