Having bubbled away beneath the radar these past few years, account based marketing (ABM) has burst into view in 2016. Which-50 reporters have attended nearly a dozen international marketing tech conferences since February this year and account based marketing has featured prominently in most of these.
Last year it did not rate a mention.
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These days it’s a hot topic with real potential says the Everstring VP of marketing Dayna Rothman. And the reason is simple enough. “85 per cent of marketers think that ABM has one of the highest ROI of any demand generation tactic that they’re thinking through today”.
Account based marketing is made possible “with data science, and machine learning, and modelling, and a whole bunch of really cool, scientific, database types of technology,” she says.
Rothman outlined to delegates at the recent Toronto Uberflip Experience Conference how account based marketing could prioritise and enrich client databases.
ABM is a fashionable and important topic right now says Rothman; “More than 90 per cent of marketers think that ABM is extremely important or very important as it’s becoming something popular …Every influencer is talking about it. It’s definitely a very hot topic.”
Rothmam says ABM is; “basically a strategic approach to how you are building relationships with a universe of named target accounts.”
To be effective it requires a coordinated approach from marketing and sales. Rothman believes that is the essence of ABM; “It is very, very integrated because it is so high touch, so you want both your marketing team and your sales team to be on board”.
Successful ABM begins with creating different account tiers. Demarcation of accounts allows marketers to “really narrow in on who we should be targeting, and what type of effort we need to put forth for each type of account,” she says.
“It’s super important to make sure that you’re looking and targeting the correct target accounts, because this is such a personalised, very high resource-intensive, and often times pricey way to market, but at the same time also gives you some of the highest return,” says Rothman.
Everstring employs this tactic, identifying 3 tiers of accounts;
- Tier 1 accounts are the executive selection and require a high level of personalisation. “These are like the sales whales, the dream accounts, the list that our sales team is like, ‘please’, praying that we can close.” The number of accounts in tier 1 is dependent on the organisation, as they require significant resources. “My advice to you for Tier 1’s is you only want to select as many Tier 1’s as you think that you can market to in a highly personalised way.”
- Tier 2 accounts require less personalisation. They are targeted on a 1-to-few scenario rather than the 1-to-1 of tier 1 accounts. “These might not have very, very specific copy, but you’re still going to do some quick hacks to show them that you are still personalising it.”
- Tier 3 accounts may only be personalised by industry or company size; “This is still personalised, still target accounts, but it does have a lot less personalisation to it.”
Content creation to be the foundation for personalised outreach campaigns to these tiered accounts.
According to Rothman, “You need to provide them with very personalised high-level content that speaks directly to them and their specific wants, needs, and pain points.”
For a tier 1 account it may mean a personalised eBook or infographic for the individual organisation she said. The content must be highly personalised says Rothman. “It’s got custom copy in it.”
Content creation for tier 2 may not require as much personalisation or resources. “Maybe you’re not creating an actual custom e-book, but you’re doing a quick design swap on the cover,” says Rothman.
She recommends using custom content hubs for tier 3 accounts. Allowing for content that is more scalable and less resource intensive, bit still personalised.
Channel tactic and selection follows on from content creation. “What different channels do you need to execute in order to be where your target accounts are? All these different channels that you need to be very highly targeted,” she says.
She stressed that marketers must ensure content is in the right channels to be effective.