Since the start of the internet, savvy marketers have always tested out the latest and greatest ways to attract the largest amount of visitors to a any particular website. Most early (as well as recent) strategies seek to cast extra large nets with the intent of pulling in as many leads as possible and only then filtering out prime leads to label as targets and prospects. When implemented, these strategies can take the form of websites and blogs bloated with keywords, keyword spammed website pages, and broad articles rarely focused on the specific's of a business's products or services.
After all, it isn't what type of traffic that came to a website that matters in this marketing strategy, but only that such traffic comes in high volumes. The idea here being that if you attract enough leads, you're bound to find a promising few that will pan out and become sales.
Account based marketing takes this philosophy of casting wide and far and later narrowing down to targets and turns it on its head.
The Basics of Account Based Marketing
With account based marketing, instead of casting out to reach every possible, every individual lead, marketing starts with isolating and recognizing the target companies most likely to become leads and end up buying the organization's products and services. This takes a research-first approach in which marketers and businesses identify their biggest, most promising opportunities at the beginning of a desired campaign and implement a proactive strategy to land those targets as leads.
In other words, the primary points of an account based marketing approach are as follows:
- Identify target companies, groups, and niche audiences
- Engage, entertain, and entice those targets with personalized campaigns
- Build lasting relationships with targets and sustain strong relationship with current customers to nurture potential new leads and opportunities
Account based marketing is a highly efficient and effective system that eliminates a lot of the low-quality leads that come with those aforementioned early inbound marketing and black hat marketing tactics. While this strategy can look similar to outbound marketing strategies, note that this style marketing is defined as being much more strategic and hyper-focused on targets.
As top marketing strategist Trish Bertuzzi best summarized in a recent interview on the subject,
"With ABM, you're creating this really strategic orchestrated set of activities that makes you rise above the noise of what everyone else is doing and gets that account to say, 'Hey, I want to talk to you."
Of course, this also means that an account based marketing approach is not the best fit for every company. Broad-reach sales and marketing efforts absolutely have their place and are an ideal solution for many styles of businesses. But companies seeking to land specific high-value customers and customer organizations often find they are better served with an account based marketing approach.
If the latter sounds like your group, the following is a quick explanation of the key aspects of how to make account based marketing work for your group:
Making Account Based Marketing Work
- Identifying Target Audience This marketing approach focuses on narrowing down the scope of a potential audience to streamline and improve lead generation efforts. Therefore, the first step is identifying the accounts (individuals or companies) that you want to target. This is dissimilar from outbound sales approach where the accounts are rarely known before the cold call is made. This type of outreach is most commonly seen (and effective) among B2B companies that are seeking to land industry giants and decision makers.
- Researching Prospect Pain Points. A target is only valuable if your company has a product, service, or similar solution that can answer an issue or pain your identified prospects face. Research current, potential, or future issues a prospect might have and map out how best to tailor a marketing message with a solution in mind. Businesses at this stage need to ensure their marketing and sales teams are on the same page for best effects.
- Enticing Prospects with an Offer In this stage, marketers take what was learned in the previous stage to craft a personalized message and solution for a prospect to try and test out. This offer ought to be specific and molded to fit the needs of the prospect's business. If the first offer falls flat, it's back to the drawing board and crafting of a more attractive bid.
- Creating & Curating Content In addition to reaching out directly to prospects, a successful and holistic account based marketing strategy still includes content creation and campaigns just as with inbound and outbound strategies. The difference here is creating content better tailored to meet the interests and solve the pain points of researched prospects and established clients. Once tailored content is created, the proper channels need o be chosen. Run profiles on prospects and take note of what major social media platforms they most frequently do business on and run content campaigns on the right channels for those prospects.
For more information about account based marketing and how to implement this style of campaign strategy for your business, contact us today.