ABM and conversational marketing: perfect bed fellows

April 24, 2018
By John

We’re huge fans of Account-Based Marketing (ABM). It can be a great complement to the right inbound campaign… but so is conversational marketing. So, what would happen if you combine ABM and conversational marketing to create an approach that not only targets the right high-value prospects but also engages with them in a more 'human' way?

Why we love ABM

An ABM approach helps you find those prospects you deem most valuable and most likely to help accelerate your growth strategy. It helps you zero in on them through the channels where you’re most likely to get their attention and provide them with outstanding and highly personalised content to win their interest and bring them on board.

Read more: why we love ABM and why it may be the perfect fit for your growth strategy

We love ABM not only because it's part of a more ethical and efficient way of doing things, but it also refines and perfects the inbound approach for better results.


What about conversational marketing?

We’re not married to ABM though, and sometimes our eyes can wander, which is why we also have a strong attraction to conversational marketing. Also referred to as chat marketing, a conversational approach is also part of the inbound stable and offers value when it comes to interacting with and nurturing potential leads.

Anyone can begin to implement a chat marketing campaign on their website right now. There’s software out much of it is initially free, easy to use and gives a good introduction to the process. Start one-to-one conversations with prospects as they navigate your website, and provide more engaging, helpful and memorable customer service than a static page ever could.


Conversational marketing and ABM: the perfect bedfellows


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How do the two disciplines intersect?

Conversational marketing caters to your website visitors, who have already chosen to look into your company and can thus be considered slightly warm at the very least. Tepid prospects, perhaps.

While chat marketing software can begin to show results almost instantly, ABM is a different kettle of fish entirely.

Now, imagine you want to talk to the head decision maker or CEO of a much larger company, feeling that you can provide them with solutions that will make their working processes easier and more effective. It’s a perfect fit; if only you could get in front of them and state your case…

Well, you can with an ABM approach, by discovering the social channels that person is most active on, creating content that states your case and reaching out to them in a professional and engaging manner.

While you’re highly targeted and innovative in your approach toward key decision makers, ABM has to be handled in a sensitive manner lest you put them off, close important future avenues and – in the worst-case scenarios – get blacklisted. A single loose cog in your overall strategy may shut down the conversation before it’s even started. 

Drift’s VP of marketing Dave Gerhardt shared an excellent story on the Everyone Hates Marketers podcast last year, about a man named John Westonbear who followed 150 digital marketers on Twitter. Because of marketing automation techniques, John got over 100 direct messages from those marketers as soon as he followed them.

“It’s a good example of marketers just over-rotating on automation,” Dave commented. Why’s that important? Because marketing automation can be hugely effective, but unless it’s managed closely, it could be detrimental to your carefully constructed ABM campaign.

Imagine finally piquing a CEO’s interest on LinkedIn, only for them to follow you on Twitter and be put off by spammy messages as they enter your regular inbound campaign organically. They may feel you didn’t really care about them, and that they’re just another name on your sales list.

Read more: Our guide to conversational marketing


What can conversational marketing do to help?

This nightmare scenario can be avoided by pairing your ABM campaign with a chat marketing strategy. As the first ever UK Drift partner, we know that this software platform has its own approach to ABM that effectively personalises and, in some ways, reinvents the traditional inbound methodology of ABM.

With some sincere creative thought, conversational marketing could increase your chances of success in your ABM approach – especially when it comes to opening dialogue channels.

Instead of making the people most important to you fill out dull, lengthy lead forms on your website, you can chat to them naturally, personably. Receive push notifications when key decision makers visit your site and provide them with assistance there and then. You can help them without stunting the process with the traditional CTA to download to follow up email. You keep them engaged. You keep them in a position to keep helping them, building trust and potentially leading them through to sale.

With 92% of B2B marketers across the globe valuing ABM as extremely or very important to their overall marketing efforts, making a great first impression with the right software could help accelerate your company’s growth sooner rather than later.


Six & Flow is the first ever certified UK Drift partner


Here’s where Six & Flow comes in

For many businesses, CEOs, senior sales and marketing managers, simply reading this blog won’t be enough to propel them to the next level. Do you really have time to implement the right software, rewrite and refine conversational marketing scripts, and integrate a chat philosophy into your wider approach?

The answer is typically no, which is why a lot of the time they approach a conversational marketing agency to help with the process. It’s at this point we like to raise our hands and toot our own horn; we’re the UK’s first and only Drift partner, after all, who better to learn from than the experts?

Drift coined and perfected the term ‘conversational marketing’, and as a Drift partner, we’ve managed to use their incredible platform to improve on the traditional inbound approach and better engage leads, reduce sales times, improve lead quality and increase revenue. For one client, we were able to generate over £475,000 through Drift leads alone over the space of four months.


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