As a part of our Account-Based Marketing Strategy Session for B2B technology companies, we recently had a prospective client reach out to us and ask us if we can execute an ABM campaign for them. Being their first time, they really did not have any idea about the costs or the effort it takes and the time required before they actually start seeing results.
This and several other such instances made us come to a realisation that the information available on Account-Based Marketing is only portraying its beauty of it and not really highlighting the underlying challenges.
Several B2B organizations are increasingly leaning toward Account-Based Marketing (ABM) to execute their target account acquisition strategy. However, they are still in the evaluation phase and are missing out on key aspects. Here are a few important considerations to note before you decide to pursue Account-Based Marketing for your organization.
1. Spend Vs ROI:
Whether you are doing a 1:1 or 1:few outreach, you will still have to select your target accounts, profile them, create personalized messaging, produce targeted content, create a well-orchestrated ABM campaign plan and have a strategy of execution using Organic and Paid outreach methods.
ABM requires a 360-degree approach to marketing and sales and hence the budget and spending will be a lot higher. No ABM platform can do all of this for you, 70% of the work has to be done manually within your organization or with the help of an Account-based Marketing agency. Tools will only help you execute certain campaigns.
2. ABM Platforms:
Increasingly most sales and marketing automation platforms are positioning themselves as Account-Based Marketing enablers, however, cannot guarantee success. Here are some key features they provide:
- List segregation: You upload a list of companies and present the buyer persona criteria and the tool finds the appropriate contacts
- Scoops: Get company-wide information in terms of their spending on IT, Marketing, Tech Stack, changes in employees, investments etc.
- Content Suggestions: Most ABM tools these days can help you get content suggestions based on the target prospects you are going after and possible content that might be relevant to them. However keeping your content original, genuine and targeted to the prospect is key to getting their attention.
- Targeted Ads: ABM platforms work with various cookie providers and data aggregators to target specific individuals or organisations using their Cookie data and IP addresses. While GDPR strictly restricts this within the European Union, companies are able to run targeted display ads for other countries. Remember, your CPC on ABM platforms will be no less than $15 per click, only going upwards.
3. Emails and Workflow:
You will be able to create your email workflows to target contacts and set up specific nurturing drip campaigns based on actions taken. On average you will have to spend anywhere between $30-$40K on ads and larger ABM platforms require that you sign up for at least 1 year.
4. Content Generation:
Creating compelling and solution-focused content that is based on thorough research of the organisation in a format that is presentable is key to getting the attention of end prospects. You will have to find a team that is capable of doing the required research and creating such content.
5. Offline Gifts, Mailers and Workshops:
Email, social and ads can help you get in front of your target prospects. However, they may not always create a personal connection.
Sending offline gifts is one option. However, ensure that you send gifts to only relevant prospects you know or with whom you already made an initial connection.
Sending gifts could also be considered bribing according to a few company policies, hence avoiding it if possible.
Offline mailers on the other hand can work wonders. Send out an invite for a local workshop you’re conducting or an event you’re attending. Design and print a good eBook or booklet with content specific to their organization and send it to the prospect and follow up with a mail, call or even a tweet.
6. Social Selling:
This plays an important role in your ABM strategy, several ABM experts bet on social selling to be a big part of their success story. However knowing the channels where your target audience is active, learning about their interests, connecting with them and establishing a rapport are key to success. If you send a LinkedIn connect request and make a sales pitch in the message, forget about connecting with them let alone a response.
7. To do all of these activities, you will need to clearly understand how many accounts you are going after Vs how many accounts you actually plan to acquire and the ACV of each of those accounts and the overall sales cycle time. You will then have to do a Spend Vs ROI analysis to see if ABM actually makes sense for your company.
If you’re planning to start your ABM journey, feel free to get in touch with us for a complimentary ABM strategy consultation.