Account based marketing is an ever more popular strategy for B2B marketers to support sales teams in generating new leads and closing. In this article we will look in more detail at how this works, focusing especially on:
- The overall goals of account based marketing
- Account based marketing as a retargeting strategy
- Which job roles should be targeted in account based marketing
- Building brand ‘fluency’ with account based marketing
The goals of account based marketing
Account based marketing (ABM) takes a holistic approach to target organisations, marketing to many different individuals within one target account in order to raise general awareness and interest in the brand. This company-level approach helps the work of sales reps targeting individual decision-makers, building the brand reputation around them as well as potentially identifying new leads/key personal to target.
ABM helps identify accounts that are especially relevant to you. This allows you to concentrate your marketing and sales resources where they are most likely to have an impact, potentially saving money and achieving a better ROI.
Account based marketing as company level retargeting
As well as supporting sales efforts at known targets, ABM is also a useful way to identify new leads, based on retargeting visitors to your site/content. This is like any retargeting campaign, except that instead of just retargeting the individual who visited your site, you retarget their whole company with further information pitched to all the possible stakeholders.
To do this you need to know which company the user is working for. This is often possible through a variety of different channels. If you have their contact details or LinkedIn/Xing account this should be easy. However, even if you don’t, it’s still possible. There are many IP deanonymization tools on the market that can identify which company a visitor to your site is browsing from.
You may also just target companies based on your own market research or on third party lists of interested companies. The goal will always remain the same: to get relevant people reading your content.
This form of account based marketing proactively seeks out new opportunities and it should lead to fresh business and referrals to your sales team. Companies can be judged by their level of overall engagement with your campaigns and referred on as appropriate. B2B pre-sales teams can use an account level lead scoring system to help them do this, scoring whole organisations instead of just leads on their readiness to buy.
Which job roles to target in account based marketing
As the focus of ABM is narrower than more traditional campaigns, the coverage can be more comprehensive. So, the range of job titles that should be targeted is wider than it would be in a standard inbound scenario. The goal is to communicate value and spread awareness among everyone that will or could be involved in the decision-making process. This includes:
- The decision-makers themselves – our standard audience.
- Influencers – people who would or could be consulted before a purchase decision (e.g. procurement).
- The end-users – the people who will actually use the product (often a different group of people than the first two).
For example, if you are marketing an HR SaaS product to a target company, the decision-makers might be the managing directors, the influencers would be the HR managers and the end-users would be the employees. While you cannot know if the managing directors will consult all of these people, it’s worth targeting all of them in case they do, or in the hope that they may proactively recommend you to their bosses.
Building brand ‘fluency’ with account based marketing
Your aim in ABM campaigns is to surround the target company with relevant content and create a high level of awareness or ‘fluency’ amongst many people within the firm about the problems you can solve for them. The target company should be ‘ripe for the picking’ by the time a sales rep picks up the phone.
Nor does ABM stop at the point where the sales team establishes personal contact. A good account based marketing strategy will follow up and maintain the stream of content through the whole sales cycle. Making this work involves the close collaboration of the marketing and sales teams, agreeing the focus and key messages of a campaign and aligning the timing of content distribution and calls.
One advantage of ABM over a more scattergun approach is that, as the overall audience in one company is relatively small, it’s possible to bump up bids to levels that ensure ads reach everyone in the audience (ie. not be outbid). For the same reason, you can increase the frequency of ads, building this sense of ‘fluency’ in the target audience (subconscious recognition) and creating trust.
Learning more about account based marketing
If you want to know more about how to use the latest technology to mount focused account based marketing campaigns, then get in touch with our team of experts at Bizmut. We can help you with the whole strategy from deanonymizing visitors, to scoring target companies, setting goals for your campaigns and choosing the best content for your account based marketing.