Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Charlie Liang.
Everyone is talking about Account Based Marketing (ABM), and it’s a hot button topic right now for good reason: it helps business better focus their marketing and sales resources so they can generate more revenue. But account based marketing isn’t easy to get off the ground unless you have a blueprint of how you’re going to get there.
Luckily, organizations the ABM space have done some research and narrowed it down to 6 steps to be successful with your ABM efforts:
- Choose Your Target Account List
- Find the Right People
- Gather Account Insights & Research
- Create Account-Relevant Content
- Disseminate Your Content to Key Stakeholders
- Craft a Repeatable PlayBook of Your Top Plays
I won’t go in depth into how to choose your target accounts on this blog post – for information on how to select target accounts, check out this ebook from Everstring and Engagio.
Finding and mapping your contacts is a more difficult endeavor than you might imagine if you don’t do it right – you have to identify your personas, find the contact information of those individuals, then track their engagement and behaviors to understand when to reach out. For more information on how to map contacts, check out this recent webinar we did with DiscoverOrg.
How to Parlay Insights into Meetings
Let’s talk how to gather insights from your target accounts. Accounts are just a collection of people. So what you want to do is to track engagement from key people at an account. You’ll want to put yourself in their shoes and understand what’s important to them from both an individual as well as a company standpoint. These insights, or simply triggers, are great moments for someone to reach out and strike a conversation on.
I huddled together with our own Account Development team a few weeks back to brainstorm some of the top triggers that can be leveraged effectively in outreach. We came up with 16 key data points to monitor for – see below:
Think it’s a tall task to monitor for all this data? Not to worry – there are tools out there to help you monitor for many of these triggers. Some of my favorites are Google Alerts, Crunchbase, Owler, Datafox, Clearbit, LinkedIn, TechTarget, Bombora, Everstring, Datanyze, HG Data, SifData, LeadGnome, SiftRock, Siftery, DiscoverOrg and I’m sure I’m missing a few others.
After you’ve gathered your insights, you’ll need to create content and use that in a relevant manner to reach out. For your top accounts, you may want to host 1:1 workshops, webinars, or even create white papers that are specifically tailored to that account’s’ needs. See the content spectrum below to understand how personalized you should be with your content.
But if you’re a small company with limited resources, you may not have the ability to create content that fits into all of these categories. But your options aren’t as limited as you think. In fact, oftentimes it’s just as effective to refer prospects to excerpts or sections in existing pieces of content.
For example, you may direct prospects who are tweeting about Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) to a chapter in a recent book where you cover the metrics needed for successful QBRs. Because you’re using existing content, but still citing a topic that’s top of mind for the audience, you’ve effectively gotten around the challenge of personalization at scale by leveraging existing content in timely situations.
The other challenge when it comes to scale is the ability to monitor, or listen for triggers as they happen in real time. For example, when one of your target accounts tweets about something you’re selling, wouldn’t it be great to respond in real time?
Better yet, wouldn’t it be great to follow-up across multiple channels as to be sure your message doesn’t go unnoticed? There’s been much literature written about the importance of reaching out in a timely fashion, or striking when the iron’s hot, so to speak.
The Importance of Multiple Personas
Think about your average customer. How many people were involved in the deal from start to finish? Chances are it’s more than 1. And oftentimes, it’s more than 3. And how often do people respond to your outreach? It’s probably less than 50%, and much less than that if the messages are super generic. That means you’re leaving a lot of money on the table simply because you were unable to get a hold of the person, even after repeated attempts.
So what do you do? Sure, you can craft more personalized, more relevant messages based on what the prospect shared. But you can also reach out to multiple personas at the account to better your chances.
A company is a lot like a herd. Members of the herd hunt at the same time, sleep at the same time, and eat at the same time. So chances are, if one member of the herd is thinking or talking about something, other members of the herd are thinking about the same thing. So, if you’re unable to get a hold of one person, why not leverage that timing window to reach out to other members of the same organization?
Engagio’s Core Prospecting Play is deployed to a set of cold target accounts and generates approximately 1 meeting out of every 5 opportunities it’s run on. The reason this play is successful is because it targets multiple people in an account and tries to engage people through multiple channels and touch points – including direct mail package and related follow-ups from influencers within Engagio.
Getting started with ABM isn’t hard, you just need to have a plan. After you come up with your list of target accounts, start acquiring the insights and buyer persona data that are going to be valuable to use in prospecting messaging and content. Leverage all the channels you have available and use tools to help you scale when appropriate (like Engagio & Socedo). Then, you’re ready to tie it all together and run campaigns that get real engagement!
About Author: Charlie Liang
Charlie is the Director of Marketing at Engagio. He’s an all-in-one marketer and Account Based Everything evangelist. He’s passionate about everything marketing, including innovation, evangelism, content and technology. Charlie loves building startups. His is a 4x Marketo Champion and certified in Salesforce, Marketo and Google Analytics. He holds a BS Management Science from UCSD.