If you are a B2B marketer, chances are you have been hearing a lot about account-based marketing (ABM) in the past few months. According to Wikipedia, ABM Is:
Account-based marketing (ABM), also known as key account marketing, is a strategic approach to business marketing in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one. Account-based marketing is typically employed in enterprise level sales organizations.
Basically, account-based marketing is an approach to targeting not just individual prospects, but an entire universe of potential prospects within a target company. Rather than marketing to just the individual, campaigns are designed to reach a larger group of stakeholders and decisions-makers. ABM relies on coordinating closely with sales teams in order to provide a very unified, cohesive approach to winning new business, collaboratively through the efforts of both marketing and sales.
I like this definition of account-based marketing from the ITSMA even more than the Wikipedia version:
“Treating individual accounts as a market in their own right.”
A structured approach to developing and implementing highly-customized marketing campaigns to markets of one, i.e. accounts, partners, or prospects. This approach involves marketing and sales taking a close look at key business issues facing the target, mapping them to individuals, and tailoring campaigns to address those issues.
When you think about targeting a wide group of stakeholders within specific organizations, the way ITSMA describes it, what comes to mind?
Hopefully what comes to mind is content. Because if you are marketing to a group of one with tailored campaigns, what you are going to need is really targeted, relevant content. What’s the point of sending the generic content and messages—anyone in your marketing universe can, and does, receive those messages. If you are going to go after an account, it’s got to be highly individualized—perhaps based on industry, org size, roles and functions, market, or any other unique characteristics you can bring to bear.
Here are some great ways to get started with highly targeted content for your account-based marketing & sales.
- Use the company name throughout the digital experiences you drive them to. If you send emails with calls to action to content, make sure the page they land on when they click your call to action incorporates their company name. “We’ve got solutions for Oracle…”, “Improve efficiency at Oracle…” is better than the generic alternatives. People respond well to personalization, even when it’s personalized for their organization and not them as an individual.
- Create a content-rich microsite. Pull together all relevant content resources, including data, links to third-party data, and anything else available to you that will be meaningful for that account. A single “hub” of information is a great, useful resource for your target account and their engagement with the microsite is highly measurable so you can see which content and resources are most accessed, how many different visitors are checking out the content, etc.
- Arm your sales team with account-specific tools. When sales makes the connection with a prospect from a target account (enabled by all your fantastic campaigning to increase response rates, of course!), help them succeed by providing them with interactive tools they can use in guided conversations with their prospects. Sales can use these tools as value-driven offers to get their prospects to respond to them—“I’d love to walk you through an assessment and show you some of the best practices you may be able to capitalize on.” They can then guide their prospect through these interactive experiences, providing narrative and adding commentary as they also gather critical data that will help them speak to pain, needs and goals. The outcomes of these experiences can be easily shared with other stakeholders within the target account, helping to expand your footprint and gain exposure across the account.
These are just a few of the ways to leverage content for account-based marketing. How do you use content for account-based marketing?