5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Building Your Account Based Marketing Strategy
Account based Marketing or ABM is treating an organization / account as an individual target market with an objective to either enter the account or grow the business in that account. While the concept has been more than a decade old, organizations are still struggling to grapple with various approaches as Account Based Marketing has its own sets of perils and advantages and is generally not covered in the regular marketing budgets. A simple google search on Account Based Marketing throws more than 100 million records and that is good enough to confuse marketers who are trying to do ABM for the first time.
ABM is not a tool.
You cannot buy an ABM tool and execute an ABM program. You can execute ABM programs without investing in any new tools and using the tools available which you use for marketing. When you start searching for ABM, most top results on Google are from Marketing automation platforms such as Marketo, HubSpot etc. linking ABM to the marketing automation tool that they have, giving an impression that you need an automation tool for ABM. While it is good to have an Automation tool it and tools can be used to execute your ABM strategy effectively, it primarily depends upon what is your ABM execution plan.
Finding the Right Account
This is the basis of setting up your Account Based Strategy. How do you find the right accounts? There is a lot of research that needs to go in to find the right accounts for an ABM approach. Here are a few steps that I can recommend based on my experience
1) Build a heat map of your existing clients and the projects that you do
2) Get the value proposition right, choose a combination of what has been working well and areas that you want to enter
3) Identify your client’s competitions and make a list of service offerings that you can pitch based on your experience
4) Research on deals and contracts previously signed from multiple databases and google research. Review their annual reports / investor decks to understand if they have any plans to invest in services / solutions that you sell this year
5) If it is an existing account, the relationship manager can provide insights as well
The outreach program:
The outreach program is something which is the manifestation of your entire ABM. This defines the approach or the journey path of the prospect and its conversion to a lead. This potentially mentions the various touch points that you can have you with a prospective client, email campaigns, Digital Ads, Social Media Platforms, Cold calling, Custom events, Snail Mail and other channels. The objective is to get the relevant intelligence which can help you get your point across to the prospective customer. This will depend a lot on the budget and the seniority at which you want to target
One Size doesn’t fit all
You will need a combination of tools to get your Account Based Marketing strategy of the ground. Depending upon your needs and outreach program, you can use tools for Website Personalization, LinkedIn Ads, Advertisements display platforms like Terminus, email platforms, Geo ads, IP based targeting etc. A combination of these may be used based on how you want to approach your target audience.
An ABM approach doesn’t guarantee you qualified leads or close business. ABM can help you in getting your customers mind share. It is an ongoing effort to get the wallet share of the client. Reporting on ABM efforts and calculating RoI is challenging if being done only based on leads or pipeline generated. It is important to measure all touch points at an individual level, account level, BU level and an organization level. This can ensure that your efforts are accounted for and you can show progress being made on the ABM initiatives.
These are some lessons that I have learnt while working in marketing for a decade and some that I frequently head while taking interviews. Happy to discuss more over a cup of coffee. Reach out to me at email@example.com