Account-based marketing is distinct from traditional lead generation strategies in that rather than focusing on generating a high volume of leads, the focus shifts to highly-targeted outreach to fewer prospects. You conduct research to find accounts that are a very good fit for your product, based on buyer personas, ideal customer profiles, and other indicators of those that would be a good fit. Then, you treat each of those accounts as its own market, with targeted outreach that directly speaks to the pain points and needs of that company. It’s a strategy that has traditionally been used primarily by B2B companies, but with the technology available today—such as Agile CRM, which lets you automate so many parts of the process—more B2C companies are adopting this very effective strategy.
Buyer personas are an integral part of effective account-based marketing (ABM). If you’re not aware, buyer personas are profiles of imaginary individuals to whom you sell your product or service. You build out a detailed profile for each buyer persona—some companies may have five or more different types of people who commonly buy their product, and you want to create a person for each of them. These personas should include, but are not limited to: pain points, daily challenges, personality type, position in the company they work for, objectives, and the strongest selling points your product has for that person.
This is very similar to creating a buyer persona. But, if you are a B2C company, buyer personas will likely double as ideal customer profiles. If you are a B2B company, then your buyer personas might represent various individuals in one company, so you would want to combine those to create an ideal customer profile. Often times, two individuals at the same customer organization may have competing objectives, and that needs to be represented in your ideal customer profile. Effective ABM calls for noting every detail that could influence the buying process of a prospect.
Where and how you gather the data to create buyer personas and ideal customer profiles is important for successful account-based marketing. While many will feel comfortable making assumptions about their buyers based on the anecdotal evidence they gained from their personal experience with their customers, doing this can lead you down the wrong path. That anecdotal evidence is important and should be used, but it’s advisable to complement it with a customer survey with a large enough sample size as to give you at least a 95% confidence level that the results represent the entire customer population.
Now that you have your personas and customer profiles, it’s time to put them to work. Identify prospect accounts with the most traits in common with your profiles. If you are B2B, identify the individuals within each account that are the best fit, and those will be the people you target with your outreach.
Next, you’ll develop targeted messaging for those individuals and companies you will be marketing to. As opposed to traditional outbound marketing where you blast the same message to everyone in your database, account-based marketing calls for messaging targeted at individual prospects. You may have three different buyers in the same company, and you’ll want to tailor a different targeted message to each one of them, because different things will be important to each one.
With all the above pieces in place, you’ll be ready to execute your first ABM campaign. It can mostly all be automated with robust marketing automation capabilities such as those provided by Agile CRM. As the campaign plays out, you’ll want to measure the results so you can continually improve upon your results.
The main benefits of account-based marketing revolve around allowing your sales team to focus their energy on prospects that are much more likely to buy than those they will contact if they are cold calling. It makes them more efficient, and results in a much higher close rate. It allows marketers to send personalized, targeted communications, which is much more effective than blanket email blasts. It lets you better track which tactics are working and which are not. And it produces much closer alignment between sales and marketing, which will drive revenue growth.
Use Agile CRM’s system tags to segment your individual prospects based on the attributes that they share in common with your buyer personas. Use them to segment entire account based on attributes they share with your ideal customer profiles. Then use those tags to ramp up your ABM efforts with targeted outreach.
Advanced reporting and analytics make it easy to keep your finger on the pulse of the effectiveness of each of your tactics. Do this routinely to continually improve the impact of your account-based marketing efforts.
As you roll out your account-based marketing campaign, you can use Agile CRM’s lead scoring features to keep tabs on how interested they are, and qualify them when they reach your qualification threshold. This will further improve sales and marketing alignment.
Agile CRM helps you automate the elements of sending your emails as part of your ABM campaign. Streamlining the process will free up time to further improve your approach and help you better understand your prospect so you can better target them moving forward.
Agile CRM will allow you to pull any information that you have labeled with a system tag into your emails, onto landing pages, and more. This allows you to push out highly personalized and targeted outreach, further improving your chances of converting more leads and closing more deals.