In the current uncertain climate account-based marketing (ABM) is gaining momentum. To stay afloat companies are realizing they need to shift resources towards a more targeted approach. There’s also growing recognition that ABM needs to keep pace with unprecedented change. And that your account-based marketing strategy has to be agile and adaptable. Make sure you read the Step By Step Guide To Account-Based Marketing.
Here are some ways to ensure your account-based marketing strategy is agile and responsive:
1. Find out what matters to your target accounts
It’s essential that you personalize your communications with target accounts, so you need to understand their problems. Right now these are changing more rapidly than ever.
One way to keep on top of their initiatives and challenges is to monitor their social activity. Your target accounts are using social networks to share company news and achievements. They’re also on social media to announce the launch of new products or initiatives.
Stay informed by doing the following:
- Use Google Alert to stay on top of industry trends – as well as LinkedIn Insights.
- Use Twitter Social Listening Streams based on keywords relevant to your products or services.
- Make use of C Suite observations on Twitter. This can be useful even if you only use it for a short period of time – for insights into prospects’ challenges and future direction.
- On LinkedIn you don’t have to connect with prospects – simply follow them, so you can engage in conversations. (If you ask outright to connect – you risk getting ignored). Gain useful insights into a prospect’s aspirations, tendencies and history.
- Profile-check the people involved in decision making at key accounts. For example you may discover that someone at a target account recently switched jobs. If they switched from vendor to client side (and you work for that vendor) they could be a good candidate to target.
- Use social data to redirect and re-message as things change
As well as monitoring what’s going on, join in social conversations. Send out congratulatory posts in response to tweets and other social media posts. Share your content, create podcasts and videos and invite account leaders to contribute. Read more on content marketing here.
2. Make sure the tone of your content reflects the changing environment
When you’re creating an ABM strategy, sales and marketing decide which type of content will attract and engage target accounts. And also which channels to use.
This has to be an ongoing process if you are to ensure your content stays relevant.
You’ll also need to adjust the tone of the content to reflect current sentiments. For example, during the current Covid-19 crisis Wordstream have the following advice:
“ We recommend keeping a positive, inspirational and helpful tone. Avoid being humorous, witty or casual”
Make sure your landing pages reflect the changing times too.
Keep things relevant for your target customer. Give them a personalized experience when they visit your website. Create account-specific landing pages. Display copy, images and offers relevant to the customer or account visiting the page.
Serve them reports they’re likely to be interested in. For example many companies are currently looking for advice around the current Covid -19 crisis.
3. Measure and analyze account-based marketing strategy results
It’s crucial you assess your performance on a regular basis. Review and analyze campaign results so you can adapt and make your ABM strategy more effective. Take a look at how well you’re performing towards your KPIs. From account engagement to ROIs, these valuable insights will help you adapt your strategy going forward.
And right now, it’s more important than ever to gather and share data within your organisation. Share account profiles, buyer personas and campaign tracking across sales and marketing teams. Everyone needs to have a strong commitment to keep deep personalization going.
As part of your ongoing strategy, review collaboration across all functions. Who needs to be involved? Agile collaboration is crucial in order to effect change. Read our post on 5 account-based marketing metrics to monitor.
4. Stay on top of the relevant marketing channels
We don’t know when we’ll be seeing person-to-person events again, hence the upsurge in online fixtures. So you need to create a personalised experience across all online channels. From webinars and workshops to live ‘demos’ you need to identify how to engage with customers and prospects.
Maybe it’s time to think ‘out of the box’ as regards channels to use. Direct mail became virtually obsolete with the advent of digital marketing. But there are reasons to suppose it could still play a valuable role in your ABM strategy.
Senior execs don’t usually register for seminars, attend trade shows or reply to unsolicited emails. They’re actually more likely to open their letters. 90% of direct mail recipients open their mail, compared to 20-30% of emails.
Account-based marketing is about creating highly customized marketing campaigns to markets of one. To stay relevant these campaigns need to be constantly evaluated. These are unprecedented times. To run an effective ABM campaign you need to discover an individual account’s current pain points. Then use that information to create personalized empathetic campaigns.