Account Based Marketing (ABM) lets you personalize the strategies you use to engage and connect with individual prospects based on their behavior, interests, and specific needs. This creates a sense of trust, particularly in sales cycles that are longer than usual.
If you don’t have an ABM strategy in place, now’s the time to do it. In one report from SiriusDecisions, 92% of B2B marketers said that ABM was an extremely important part of their overall marketing efforts, while another study showed that developing an ABM strategy is the second biggest priority for B2B tech marketers.
The prospect of creating an individual marketing strategy for each account can be overwhelming, though.
Where do you even start?
The key lies in using data and analytics to drive the activities you use and tweaking them so they cater to each prospect. This means you can replicate and roll out your strategy for each account without too much extra effort.
Here’s a guide to getting started.
1. Identify Stakeholders
The first step is identifying who your contacts will be and who is in charge of making decisions at the companies you want to target. This will ensure you don’t have to go through too many gatekeepers to make a sale.
It’s not enough to simply guess who the stakeholders are – not if you want your campaigns to be successful, anyway.
There tend to be four different kinds of stakeholders in a company:
- The person who wants the solution in the first place
- The person who is actually going to be using the product or solution
- The person who owns the budget and will sign off the purchase
- The person who is in charge of security, compliance, and legal activities
Once you know who your main stakeholders are in each company, you can create strategies that tie into the needs of each one of them. This means they’ll get the information they need at the right time, creating a smooth sales process that gets them to the sale quicker.
It helps to create persona profiles for the stakeholders you want to target.
This should go beyond key information like their job title, location, and position in the company. Instead, it should tackle psychographic tendencies like what their biggest challenges are, what they want to achieve, and what their main drivers are for success.
2. Find Major Pain Points
Once you have an understanding of your stakeholders, it’s time to figure out their pain points. Your persona profiles will go part of the way in explaining these, but this is the time to really dig deep.
The better you understand your stakeholders needs and problems, the better equipped you’ll be to help solve them.
Here are some key ways to dig into the pain points your stakeholders might have:
- Analyze data from past customers to identify any buying patterns – can you see any specific problems that past buyers have had that you solved for them?
- Survey potential stakeholders – sending a survey to relevant stakeholders (regardless of whether they’re prospects or customers) can help you uncover trends with the companies and people you’re targeting
- Interview stakeholders – don’t overlook the simplicity of asking. Speak to stakeholders about their biggest worries and hurdles and, more importantly, listen to what they have to say
3. Create Content That Provides Valuable Information
Finally, a robust ABM strategy involves creating a content hub packed full of useful information you can tweak and send out to prospects depending on their needs and where they’re at in the sales cycle.
Instead of creating pieces from scratch for every new prospect, consider grouping together content that fits the needs of specific stakeholders.
For example, you might have a set of tutorials for users of your solution to browse through, you might have a FAQ slideshow for the people who will be buying into the solution, and you might run a cost investment demo for prospects who are in charge of the budget.
This content can be stored in a central place where your entire team can access it as and when they need it. It can be connected together to create unique journeys for each prospect depending on what they need at the time.
Bringing It All Together
These three steps are vital if you want to create a successful ABM strategy that works for every type of account. Identifying who it is you’re going to be targeting will help you decide what information they need to tackle their objections and gently nudge them to the sale.
Persona profiles will ensure you have detailed breakdowns of the wants and needs of each type of buyer and keep you on track with your messaging. Once you have all of this background information, it becomes a lot easier to create relevant content that ties into the individual needs of each account.
With a backlog of content and a central hub where you can access it, you can quickly tweak and personalize content to match the specific challenges of each account. As a result, you’ll create a completely unique customer journey for each buyer and increase your chances of making a sale.
Have you read the ABM Playbook? Download and read the definitive guide to nailing your account-based marketing strategy. No fluff, just good stuff.