One rewarding part after investing in and optimizing your outbound marketing efforts is Account-based marketing (ABM). ABM allows you to create criteria for companies that fall in line with your ideal target customer. Once that is done, you can use a mix of content strategy, automated tools, and a defined campaign structure to make a great first impression on the accounts that fit your ICP. This allows the sales and marketing teams to converge like never before. In order for your ABM strategy to be successful, there must be unconditional synchrony between the two teams.
What is the purpose of ABM?
Account-based marketing aims to maximize the number of leads and increase conversions in each phase of the sales process. To achieve these objectives, it is essential to study and analyze in-depth each of the phases of the sales funnel to design a successful ABM campaign. Here is a quick step-by-step guide to get you started. Some particularities that distinguish Account-Based Marketing from other B2B strategies include:
- A single high-quality account is taken as representing a single market.
- Combined with Inbound Marketing, the two strategies will reinforce each other.
- A Social Media Strategy (such as using LinkedIn) can offer a better customer experience and help retain your leads.
1. Discover & define your high-value accounts (ICP) & customer personas
Not all companies know which accounts to target which makes the most common mistake not knowing who to go after. Therefore, the first step to designing an ABM campaign is choosing which companies you should target. Then, you can create a list to show companies that are a good fit. Then, you can design campaigns to appeal to these companies.
If you are unfamiliar with your specific ideal customer profile (ICP), you first need to define them. At Kalungi, we do this by breaking down optimal qualities within our industry to create a look-alike audience. We use details such as demographics, firmographics, technographics, geographics, signals, and exclusion points—pretty much everything we would need to know in order to determine if it is worth pursuing a specific prospective customer.
To learn more about defining your ICP, check out our blog (which includes a template) to get you started! From there, you will be able to move forward with your ABM strategy and focus your marketing efforts.
2. Map accounts & identify key internal players
In this second phase, it is necessary to analyze the prospective company's organizational chart. At the end of the day, the goal of an ABM campaign is to do personalized and brand-building work. You are not encompassing the entire market but instead looking for single accounts. Your structured persona profile provides valuable information for these accounts, which you can use to deliver targeted information to specific companies seamlessly.
3. Create personalized messaging and determine optimal distribution channels
This next phase is all about strategizing how you will best contact your ICP. You will need to look through existing design elements and content to find which pieces will be most compelling to your targeted accounts. At this point, you will analyze the industries to determine what will resonate best with those you are reaching out to. There will be media that better serves your targeted accounts and others that won't work. For example, the typical contact strategy includes a mix of cold emails, social media messaging, and scripts for phone calls.
These channels are just some of the ways you can try reaching out to your target audience—but they are not the only way. Creativity is the best tool in the contact stage. Your goal is to open up a conversation and incentivize the ICP to move down the funnel to the decision stage.
You could use ABM strategies based on going straight to the point and capturing information, or you can build relationships through social media groups, even going so far as to use sophisticated databases to find the information you need to build a connection. Whatever you select for your contact strategy, it’s important to remember that the first part of this phase should be hyper-personalized from the very first interaction. Later in the process, you can automate your outreach tasks.
4. Execute targeted & coordinated campaigns
At this point, you are about ready to launch your first campaign. This introduction point of contact does not need magic to work—. you just need the right list. With ABM, you will know exactly which user has or hasn't opened the emails you send. You can then optimize your strategy by targeting the users who engage the most—those who open frequently or click calls-to-action (CTAs) the most.
ABM is no stranger to integrating tools to not only help interact with your specific profiles but also maintain that contact, as they move through the sales, funnel.
It’s essential to note that there are ABM-specific tools to help you run your campaigns, such as Apollo.io, outreach.io, and mailshake, among others.: In fact, there are more and more companies that allow you to automate specific ABM steps throughout the process, so look out for those to help make things easier..
5. Cultivate your new digital relationships to conversions
The last step in your ABM campaign is to keep trying to nurture meaningful relationships with personalized content. Little by little, you can educate the lead and even if the profile you are talking to is not the final decision-maker, they can become an advocate to higher-ups and those who actually have the purchasing power.
What do you need to implement a successful ABM strategy?
Here are some quick tips to help you successfully implement your ABM strategy:
- Identify companies already interested in your business instead of starting with someone who has zero interest.
- Use personalization to retain existing customers, prioritize valuable content, and use automation tools to help with your campaigns.
- Extract data from high-quality B2B accounts using a tailored campaign and segmentation platform.
- Focus on the audience that best fits your buyer persona definition to register only legitimate leads.
To learn more about ABM, check out the following articles: