Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a big buzzword in the industrial manufacturing space, and recent statistics reveal why. Here are just a couple of eye-openers:
Given these impressive percentages, you probably want to get your own ABM plan up and running ASAP — but don’t jump in without familiarizing yourself with these ABM basics and implementation strategies.
Simply stated, Account Based Marketing is a B2B strategy that focuses on a targeted set of desired accounts using highly personalized campaigns. It provides marketing and sales teams with a number of advantages, including a faster sales process, cost effectiveness, and a more efficient use of marketing resources than traditional marketing.
With all of the things ABM is, though, it’s important to remember that ABM is not targeted outbound marketing. It’s much more considered, personalized, and strategic than a cold, irrelevant email blast or call to every contact at a company. Also, ABM is not meant to be the only tactic your company employs, and it shouldn’t replace your inbound marketing strategy. (In fact, ABM and inbound go hand-in-hand.)
An account based marketing project plan is most effective in situations that typically align with the business models of many industrial manufacturing companies:
Once the ABM goal has been established, shaping a campaign around it generally consists of one of these two approaches:
To maximize ABM’s tactical effectiveness in your marketing mix, choose the approach that best aligns with:
But, ABM isn’t quite that cut-and-dried. It’s imperative that the following pieces of your account based marketing plan are well thought out before launching your campaign:
Since your target accounts might not have previous knowledge of or organic online interaction with your company, sharing relevant content to provide context behind your outreach is a must. Evaluate your offerings to see which pieces can be tailored for targets’ specific needs, pain points, or roles. If your allotted budget allows, create new content to fill gaps. You’ll also need to develop a strategic cadence for content delivery that follows this general format:
Your ABM plan won’t go anywhere if there aren’t commonly understood protocols in place for following up with target leads, and what to do with leads who express interest. If you’re running an effective inbound marketing program, you’ll already have this process ironed out.
Detail how your ABM plan will be carried out. Make goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Arbitrarily targeting and reaching out to contacts with no way to gauge success is akin to wasting your company’s money. Similarly, if the data on your contacts’ typical journeys through the sales funnel suggest unattainable results, consider spending your marketing dollars elsewhere. A 90-day budget and timeframe for your ABM campaign is recommended to help determine what is achievable with the content portion of your strategy, and how long to wait before pulling final analytics on overall campaign effectiveness.
Have your sales and marketing teams define your “ideal customer” based on characteristics such as industry, size, location, previous purchases, opportunities for growth into different departments/divisions, and annual revenue. In addition, identify the job titles of potential buyers. Use the criteria to pull lists of companies and contacts from your marketing automation platform, CRM, social networks, and various company websites.
If you’re using the HubSpot platform, this can initially include company score reporting, workflows, custom contact properties, social media ads, and tracking URLs. If you have HubSpot Marketing Enterprise, more ABM features are available as well.
Once these key pieces are in place, it’s time to launch your ABM plan! Be mindful of:
Account Based Marketing is a popular and effective B2B strategy for industrial manufacturers, especially if built to complement an existing inbound strategy. Check out our completely free Inbound Marketing Guide to learn the basics!
1FlipMyFunnel, Account Based Marketing Isn’t the Death of Anything, Undated