Have an account-based marketing (ABM) plan in mind to supplement your content marketing campaign, but don’t know where to start? We have a few pragmatic suggestions that might help…
ABM enables B2B tech content marketing to deliver sales enablement and support cross selling in a slightly different way. It’s a method through which tech marketers can move away from mass broadcast mode to a more customised approach, engaging key prospects with relevant, personalised content. Done right, ABM demonstrates value and understanding, developing a relationship with the prospect and paving the way for progression and further in-depth conversations.
ABM should not be done via an anonymous ‘corporate’ account: it needs to come from an individual to work effectively. However, getting sales folk or senior management to commit to marketing is notoriously challenging, so, here are some really pragmatic tips for content marketers looking to take their first steps into ABM…
- Find those champions: Identify those champions within your sales organisation who will serve as early adopters and embrace the principles of ABM. They’re usually the ones more receptive and open to new ideas, sales techniques and social media. Think about deploying a pilot with them, starting with around five to ten key prospects. Make sure you track the results of the pilot so you can inspire the next wave of users based on those learnings.
- Be prepared for extensive hand-holding: Frontline employees are often daunted by the idea of reaching out to a high-stakes prospect and engaging with him or her. Be prepared to work very closely with your champions: follow their key targets, suggest responses and even draft content they can easily report. Once the principles are grasped, they will be capable of doing it single-handedly.
- Target people, not companies: ABM is simply marketing, with a segment size of just one, so make sure it’s the right one! Do your research and find the right individuals to target in your campaign, rather than a corporate email or LinkedIn account. If you find the wrong person, see if you can get them to point you in the right direction. Work your sales database, observe at trade shows or simply ask around to discover the people you want to escalate a relationship with.
- Listen before you speak: Once you have identified your prospects, it’s tempting to bombard them with a barrage of marketing and sales talk in order to push them into the sales funnel, but – you guessed it – this is not advisable. Listen before you engage. Familiarise yourself with the prospect’s preferred topics, which influencers they like, what they post and more. If you’re engaging on a social networking platform: like, comment on and react to posts before you get started with providing content.
- Get a bank of content ready and available to share: Repurpose previously available content into conveniently ‘sharable’ form factors that your team can use without spending too much time and effort reworking them. In recent weeks, I’ve seen a few nifty apps that can be installed on smartphones, that allow this content to be personalised and shared conveniently with just the click of a button. But remember that just blasting out pre-packaged content is counterproductive: make sure the content you’re sending out is highly relevant and speaks to the target’s pain points.
Remember that with ABM – patience is a virtue!
ABM is a slow burner and will only work if you’ve already proved your value as a company that has a useful point of view and are generous with expertise, as the prelude to further engagement.
Does this sound of interest to you? Get in touch and we can catch up over coffee to discuss how ABM can help you better achieve your sales goals.