Ever heard of Account Based Marketing, or ABM? I hope so. Its all the rave as of late, in fact I just attended a conference dedicated to the idea and principles of account based marketing; it was called #FlipMyFunnel, organized by Terminus, an automated B2B advertising tool for marketers. The whole premise is to turn your funnel upside down and start the buyers journey with those who have the highest potential to buy.
There was an excellent lineup of speakers like Meagan Eisenberg, Kyler Porter, Jeffrey Jaffe, Megan Heuer, Jill Rowley, David Raab, Allen Gannett, and others for this one-day event in lovely Atlanta, Ga.
But what is this account based marketing business all about? Is it just the next big thing or just another hot marketing phase? With what I learned from the conference coupled with my own marketing philosophy, it does make sense in principle, but won’t work unless executed with the right strategy and more importantly the right tools.
The idea of account based marketing is really just a shift in approach from large net fishing to strategic small net fishing. Why spend thousands of dollars on email and advertising campaigns to massive audiences when more than 75% of those fish eventually come out of the net (because they simply aren’t interested in your product or service)? Why not identify your target by analyzing past successes and avoiding past failures?
To do this, you need to look at your current and past customers –
- Who are they?
- What kind of organization do they work for?
- What revenue range are your customers in?
- What is their title?
- Are they the end-user?
- Do they make the purchasing decision?
- Are they a part of the decision at all?
- Do they have any swaying power?
This exercise is essentially building a buyer persona, but when it comes to account based marketing, there isn’t just one persona, there can be 4 maybe 6; it all depends on the kind of product or service you sell, who you sell it to and why you sell it.
In order to achieve success with account based marketing, you have to not only target an account and a title at that account – it has to go much deeper than that. You need to identify the buying group, identify end users and any other role that may be associated with a potential sale at all. In order to fully penetrate an account, you have to come from many angles and have a barrage of marketing ammunition (helpful, relevant content) ready to deliver to your targets. All of the messaging has to be relevant and personalized – no excuses. This is where accurate and in depth contact data comes into play; the more you know about your buyer, the better you can communicate with them.
Some must have data points are:
- Validated email address – if you can’t reach them by phone, your first necessity is the valid email address.
- Group Affiliations
- Alma Mater
I’m going to close this account based marketing rant with one last tip that is super important to me because I’m a marketer, but can be applied to most roles as well – BE GENUINE. I heard a quote from Jill Rowley at the conference that said “Marketers love to buy stuff but they hate being sold to.” Come to your targets with a solution and a genuine desire to help; show them exactly how your solution will help them and bring relevant use cases to the table.
***Slide courtesy of Megan Heuer, SiriusDecisions