Rise of Account-Based Marketing Through COVID-19
When the quarantine was introduced as a pandemic measure in most parts of the world in March 2020 and face-to-face meetings were no longer an option, sales and marketing teams struggled to find new ways to stay close to customers and prospects. At this point, the new focus on getting closer to customers and generating more interest and interaction across all touchpoints has been on Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategies. We discussed what Account-Based Marketing is and how it is applied in another article.
With ABM becoming a large part of the overall strategy for many brands, there has also been more integration between approaches to traditional lead acquisition programs and more targeted account-based solutions.
In the following article, we’ll examine some of the specific strategies and tactics for B2B brands that have proven successful in this transformational and disruptive era.
- How have companies successfully complemented the vacuum of physical events with creative content and virtual offerings?
- How did integrated omnichannel campaigns become a more standardized approach?
- How have goal data and other data become more critical in creating Ideal Customer Profiles and engaging target audiences?
- How has sales and marketing cooperation strengthened during this period and how will it form the basis of ABM’s success in the future?
- Which metrics should you look for to analyze your Account-Based Marketing strategy correctly?
Creative Approaches of Marketing Experts to Cover the Absence of Physical Activities with Account-Based Marketing
Face-to-face meetings are traditionally one of the most popular tactics for Account Based Marketing and demand generation campaigns, but during the pandemic process, this process emerged as virtual events and became a trend in the second quarter.
Companies are now inviting their most important customers to events such as innovation workshops that are still high in touch but require no travel. Overall, we’re seeing an explosion of creativity, including truly relevant content and other new approaches.
Account Based Marketing is understanding that individuals and committees working together play a key role in making B2B decisions in specific companies, rather than marketing to an “account”. These people work in the same company, so their collective actions create an indicator of interest, intention and commitment. Also, the characteristics of the organization or company information are the best indicator of which accounts are likely to be eligible in the first place.
An important part of ABM’s promise is the ability to customize messages, content, and programs to suit potential customers based on the stage in a sales cycle or the role of any individual. We can see the use of buzzword as “right message at the right time”. 2020 opened doors for us to take personalization to a new level in messages. We see that personalization is at the forefront not only in the e-mails sent but also in the bidding processes.
Response DGA’s Account Based Marketing Approach
As Response DGA, at the center of our account-based strategy is a basic list of target accounts. Thousands of companies are in the middle of our ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) point. Each account is scored first and then we create a progressive list of accounts. This account-based strategy provided us with the necessary infrastructure to run micro programs run by these people. This method allowed us to go beyond the return on investment and generate great personal satisfaction after a while. It turns out that the “real message at the right time” is better than the “right” one. We attacked super-real pain points (going far beyond our own solution) that appeal to our entire audience.
Apart from using multiple channels for outreach, it is equally important to closely measure and monitor the interaction between these channels. “Are these accounts interested in the incoming or outgoing content you have? Are they visiting your website? Are they clicking on your ads? Do they interact with your social channels? If you can superimpose this potential engagement analysis to really see which accounts are scoring high in each of these areas, you can double those accounts.
By examining and analyzing your Account Based Marketing results, you can identify parts of your strategy that need to be changed. This process includes your strategy; It will enable you to make it more effective for your business, marketing & sales teams and customers.
To measure ABM during the purchasing cycle, you need to measure the value your potential customer gives to their experience with you and the impact that experience has on sales.
Things to consider when making these measurements are as follows:
Coverage, Engagement, Impact and Influence
After listing the accounts that are compatible with your ideal customer profile, decision makers must be identified among the profiles in the listed accounts. In order to reach the stakeholders in the accounts, we must make sure that we have the correct data. We must check that we have reached each of the correct accounts for your business and products.
The metrics we look at to measure the interaction and analyze it correctly are as follows. We can look at how much your content is used and consumed by your target audience. We need to look at the time your target audience spends viewing or using your content. The volume of content consumed (how many content viewers visited) is among the factors that affect engagement rates. As the campaigns increase and the content is personalized, we can follow the increase in your number of visitors.
When you have a relevant audience, you need to measure the outcome of your strategy. We should look at whether participation has increased with interaction in different formats such as web forms, phone calls, e-mail, demo requests. The responses to the messages and offers you sent via ABM should increase positively and this percentage should increase as your program gets busier.
Although Account Based Marketing success is typically measured by revenue, there are three key metrics that may be more or less important for defining success:
Speed of sales: Is the sales cycle taking shorter for accounts in your ABM strategy?
Deal size: Deal size increased compared to non-ABM accounts?
Win rate: Has the conversion rate increased for ABM accounts compared to other accounts?
After analyzing all of these, we can determine the points that need to be improved and developed and ensure that the Account Based Marketing strategy proceeds correctly. Marketers are now better equipped with the skills and technology needed to identify, engage and transform decision makers in targeted accounts in the early stages of the purchasing cycle, i.e. before the sales cycle. ABM programs today are extremely poignant, with better scale and monitoring levels. What’s more, we can speed up the feedback loop and use data to improve our efforts with less manual work.
Which tactics make sense, especially for your target accounts, depends entirely on how well you understand the potential customer’s ecosystem, content consumption habits and preferences, and their internal and external impacts. The following is to serve as a representative inventory of content types and tactics to both inspire and prioritize getting started on the field. Many of these interaction tactics distribute content through the use of various ABM technologies such as marketing automation systems, demand manipulation software, website personalization, and IP-based ad targeting tools. There are several key benefits to automating content delivery through technology: greater efficiency, transparency, insights, control, scalability, and predictability.
Account-Based Marketing Content Types
- Blog posts
- White Papers
- How-to guides
- Email Templates
- Slide sharing presentations
- Customer Questions and Answers
- Display Banners (for IP targeting)
Account-Based Marketing Oriented Owned and Earned Media Tactics
- Web site
- Social (customized for the channels your goals are using)
- Influencing media organizations
- Email – mostly used to feed named leads
Account-Based Marketing Paid Media Tactics
- Third-party content marketing – to acquire individual leads and known credentials
- IP ad targeting and retargeting – on targeted accounts to increase brand awareness
- PPC (search and social)
- Telephone marketing
- Setting an appointment (internally or a third party company)
- Buying signal responses
- Direct message
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