Congratulations! You’ve successfully convinced your marketing and sales teams to not just implement an ABM strategy, you’ve also been allocated an infinite budget for the right tools to execute that strategy. You’re living the dream. So what’s next?
In part 1 of this post, we outlined some of the things you should establish before making any investments in your stack. Your objective is to align marketing and sales activities to optimize your ability to target the right people within identified accounts. So, the first step is to align your CRM and CMS tools.
Next, you’ll want to focus on three key areas where automation can help: account selection, personalized content, and interaction and engagement. This will allow you to identify where you may have gaps in technology.
We provided solutions for account selection and personalized content in part 1 of this post. Here, we’ll provide some tips for building the ultimate marketing stack with an unlimited budget. I’ll tie those tips with specific interaction and engagement tactics you can use to execute your ABM strategy.
Interaction & Engagement
Once you’ve determined who the stakeholders are within your targeted accounts, you can then deliver highly personalized messages across multiple channels that include email, ads, and your website. Not only is this highly targeted, it’s efficient and delivers a tremendous ROI.
a. Outbound Email
Your ABM email tactics will look like the traditional email nurture strategies and campaigns for lead generation, but each email carries a personal message to prospects. Marketers may produce the content, but your sales team makes determinations about personalization and timing.
Applications like Outreach, ToutApp, and SalesLoft allow you to use email to engage with the right people with the right messages when it counts. You can create meaningful relationships in your accounts, get insights about what works and what doesn’t and satisfy marketing’s need to assess ROI.
If you want to level-up, consider using Engagio to orchestrate your ABM plays. With that ABM orchestration software, you can coordinate multiple teammates to reach out via email, calls, ads, and more channels identified below.
b. Targeted Advertising
Demandbase offers a managed service ABM advertising tool, giving you the ability to deliver display advertising to decision-makers in key accounts. Terminus can also deliver account-based ads to key accounts. Both of these tools carry a hefty price tag since account managers are bundled into the subscription. ListenLoop offers a simple, low-risk and self-serve alternative to Demandbase and Terminus.
c. Website Personalization
Once you have your leads interested enough to visit your website, you’ll want to make sure you’re not turning them off with the wrong messaging. Tailoring your website or landing page content is important in a 1:1 or 1:few ABM strategy, and may be accomplished using unique microsites. But that approach will not work in a 1:many strategy given ROI constraints. There, industry or vertical-specific content can drive home the selling points you’ve identified for your personas.
To alleviate the pain of building unique landing pages or microsites, use web personalization technology, from vendors like Marketo ABM, DemandBase, Triblio, and ListenLoop. Those solutions enable you to show unique content for each account that visits your website. You’ve worked hard on your contact data strategy, so leverage that info on your website to increase conversions.
d. Direct Mail
The low-cost nature, convenience, and ease of MarTech have caused many marketers to forget about the engagement direct mail can offer. The integration of direct mail into your ABM campaign can be both strategic and scalable. PFL offers a tool that allows you to augment your digital ABM efforts with scalable direct mail tactics. Lob also offers intelligent mail solutions for sophisticated API integrations, such as the integration with Autopilot HQ.
e. Social Media
A comprehensive ABM strategy may include social media, such as LinkedIn and Facebook. At a minimum, you should retarget engaged prospects on the social networks to boost brand awareness and engagement with your brand.
In addition to basic retargeting, consider building Custom Audiences from your CRM contact list. By uploading a spreadsheet into LinkedIn or Facebook, it is possible to deliver ads to people whose cookies match the email address you provided.
For more sophisticated techniques, use LinkedIn to create Sponsored Updates, watch who “Likes” them, then reach out to them directly using email and phone calls. You’ll want to leverage your list building tool, like DiscoverOrg, to obtain contact information.
Events are an important element in account-based marketing. But the cost per lead from events can make them problematic from a return-on-investment perspective. To get the most from this approach, research the ideal events that have the largest concentration of decision makers and, ideally, the influencers too. Make sure the subject of the conference, and not simply the track of a conference, aligns closely with your product.
Then, invest in thought leadership. Make sure you submit papers if there’s an opportunity for that. Pay to have a speaker at the conference if you have the budget. Don’t just send the speaker. Surround that speaker with customers or experts from your company. Lastly, contact the accounts you’re targeting and invite them to your booth, the speaking engagement, dinner or any other opportunity where you can engage with them.
Do fewer, but bigger, events in a way that amplifies what you’re doing with account-based marketing. Get sample lists from the event sponsor and compare it against your ABM list. Reach out to the companies that have been clicking and opening your emails, and get more of their attention. Remember to use Salesforce Campaigns to attribute conferences and events to your campaign efforts.
Using CRM properly cannot be overstated. Salesforce is the most popular CRM among companies executing ABM.
You need to track who you’re targeting. In particular, you must identify the multiple stakeholders per account and coordinate your attack strategy. It’s not enough to know that John Smith is the buyer. You’ve got to know that Sally is their CMO and Jane is assisting with buyer research. Having that information together in your CRM gives your sales team visibility so they can communicate effectively with multiple stakeholders.
A word to the wise: Align sales & marketing by reaching an agreement on sales activity process, such as identifying criteria for sales qualified accounts (SQA) and recording opportunity information, close dates, probabilities, amounts, and any other critical information.
Putting it all together
You can build an ABM stack that’s robust and scalable by aligning marketing and sales. If you choose the top providers in each of the categories above, your ABM software budget would total almost $500,000 per year. That’s not bad for a program that aims to build $30 million dollars of pipeline revenue.
While comprehensive ABM tools can help you execute your strategy, you don’t need a huge budget for ABM success. In part 3 of this post, we will reveal a scaled-down version that leverages the tools you may already have in place as well as no-cost or low-cost tools.
Have you read the ABM Playbook? Download and read the definitive guide to nailing your account-based marketing strategy. No fluff, just good stuff.