The B2B world is a very different place than it was just a few short years ago. Sales cycles are increasingly complex; buying groups are much larger; and decision-makers now conduct anonymous research online for most of the buying journey. B2B marketers, in turn, are embracing new marketing strategies and technologies to not only adapt, but also become growth drivers in this new digital era.
Everyone from Gartner to Forrester to marketing practitioners around the world agree: account-based marketing (ABM) is proving to be the most powerful way to leverage and scale modern B2B marketing. B2B organizations with successful ABM programs see shorter sales cycles, bigger deal sizes, higher win rates, and better marketing ROI.
While there are different “flavors” of ABM and no two B2B marketing programs are exactly alike, the following three tips can help ensure success and get the best return on your ABM investment:
Tip #1: Go Deep on Key Accounts
One of the most efficient and profitable approaches is “Strategic ABM.” The objective here is account expansion, growing relationships, and opportunities with existing customers. This could be in the form of cross-selling new products and services, securing renewals and upgrades, or even expanding into new regions and territories. So rather than spreading valuable (and usually limited) marketing resources across thousands of new prospects, you’re zeroing in on a handful of your most valuable accounts that are already proven to bring in revenue.
Like many B2B companies, you may find success using the 80/20 rule. Focus on the top 20 percent of your key accounts that already generate 80 percent of your profits. Then, score this key account list—based on intent signals across your website, ads, and email marketing—to prioritize the accounts most likely to buy. Going deep on these accounts will eliminate marketing wastage, improve the account experience, and drive a dramatic increase in engagement and sales growth.
Tip #2: Orchestrate Your Marketing Across the Major Channels
Once you’ve identified and prioritized your strategic accounts, it’s time to start moving the needle on marketing and sales engagement. The key is to implement a measurable omnichannel plan across all digital marketing channels. Campaigns should include account-based IP display advertising, Facebook and Instagram, Google, LinkedIn, website personalization, and email.
Each of these channels will generate engagement in its own right. But ABM is at its most powerful when all channels are orchestrated together at an account level, delivering sequential messaging to guide buying group members—known and unknown—along a consistent, highly personalized digital journey.
Here’s a basic guide for delivering the right messaging and introducing the right channels, at each stage of the buying journey:
Stage 1: Awareness
Kick things off with messaging around general brand awareness, delivered via always-on account-based IP display advertising. Ads should direct your strategic accounts to assets on your website, blogs, or social media pages. Then you can introduce “challenger messaging,” or content highlighting your target’s pain points that gets them to acknowledge and relate to those challenges. IP display advertising; email; website personalization; and account-based retargeting on Facebook, Instagram, and Google are great channels to really get that challenger messaging across.
Stage 2: Consideration
Then show your key account buying groups how other companies have solved those very same problems. This is an ideal time to introduce LinkedIn marketing and offer more educational assets, like downloadable case studies and webinars. Guide their research into solutions with informative white papers, as well as content that introduces your products and services, think spec sheets, videos, virtual showrooms, to name just a few.
Stage 3: Decision
Multiple influencers and stakeholders, both unknown and known, impact final buying decisions. So to build consensus, continue delivering messaging across all channels that reminds buying group members of their challenges, highlights your company’s value, and demonstrates why you are the partner of choice. And if you’ve been educating and guiding them through the buying journey, this is when the magic will happen, and your sales team will be well-positioned to win that opportunity.
Tip #3: Build a Single Source of Truth for Your Account-Based Marketing
Throughout each of these stages, it’s crucial to monitor account-level engagement across all channels to see what’s resonating and to better understand where accounts are in the journey. The goal is to see a compounding effect, with consistent engagement increasing across every channel.
Keep in mind that until now, many B2B marketers haven’t had the necessary tools to accurately assess omnichannel engagement at an account level. Fortunately, modern ABM platforms with account-based analytics are changing the game. When all digital channels are seamlessly integrated in a singular, omnichannel ABM platform, you can get an accurate view of critical engagement data at the account level.
For example, the Jabmo omnichannel ABM platform provides IP-based account analytics and integrates with the world’s major marketing platforms—including Xander, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, and most recently, Google. These integrations empower Jabmo customers to reach deep into their target accounts, as well as gain unfiltered insights into marketing performance at an account level.
When you have all critical account engagement data available within a single platform, you can double down on your most effective omnichannel ABM strategies to drive strategic account expansion. Furthermore, you can send alerts to your key account sales reps informing them when a buying group may be forming and what products and services they are showing interest in.
Now isn’t it about time you dive into the new way of digital B2B marketing and selling?
Learn more about omnichannel ABM in our latest webinar.
Nick Heys is the founder and CEO of Jabmo a leading account-based marketing platform company.