Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is probably the only proven marketing strategy to support sales to strategic enterprise accounts. Winning large accounts is impossible without a consistent and holistic marketing strategy targeted at them. But why do so many marketers remain unsatisfied with the performance of their ABM programs?
Here are the key challenges they face:
Orchestration dissonance. Going after a specific account is great, but can you say that you are communicating with the same decisions-makers inside the target account across all communications channels? Imagine you are targeting Microsoft, and you get 2000 impressions and 30 clicks from your ABM campaign from this account. Microsoft employs 163,000 people: are you sure the decision-makers in your target buying-group have actually seen any ads? This question becomes even more challenging as remote working has become the new norm. Traditional ABM tools use reverse IP-tracking which essentially means they target people spending time in offices and connected to LANs: this does not usually describe senior decision-makers.
Engagement signals remain in the dark funnel. Outbound marketing assumes that you will have to communicate a lot to get a little response: one out of hundreds of recipients responds to your emails, one out of thousands of viewers clicks on your advertising. That’s why every response, every engagement is so precious. ABM practitioners mastered the engagement tracking and scoring across the majority of communication channels, but nearly all advertising engagements remain in the dark funnel. Your content produces countless engagements, but you can’t follow up with engaged visitors by email or pass the most engaged ones to your sales team.
Accounts don’t make decisions, people do. A successful ABM program goes after accounts on the strategic level but speaks to people on the execution level. Here are the key features of a high-resolution ABM program:
- Drill to the buying group. Go beyond choosing the target accounts: research specific decision-makers comprising buying groups of your target accounts. Refer to the persona definition of your ICP to put together a list of decision-makers you want to go after in your high-resolution ABM program.
- Personalized messaging. The ability to talk to specific people takes your personalization to the next level. Junior managers think differently from C-level executives. Apply appropriate language to deliver relevant messages to different personas.
- Use person-based communication channels. Account-based sales development tools like Outreach or Salesloft replaced broadly targeted email-marketing campaigns to make communication truly personalized. Influ2 was developed to make advertising personalized to the same degree.
- Multi-touch customer journeys. Leverage person-based engagement signals to build sophisticated multi-touch journeys. A click on a report ad can trigger an email with a link to download the report. A person consistently interested in a specific topic can be added to a campaign about this subject. People who attended a webinar can receive post-attendee advertisements. You can think of thousands of multi-touch journeys that can be unlocked by a high-resolution ABM approach.