Your 5-step program to achieving great account based marketing results

3 minutes read
John - 21.09.2017
Rear view of businesswoman pointing at drawn target

Are you part of a B2B organisation that wants to work with larger companies, and dreams of partnering with brands on both a personal and professional level? We call it ‘whale hunting’. A more general marketing industry term for it is Account-Based Marketing (ABM).

You can work with these brands and discover other companies similar to them. What’s more, you can build solid long-term relationships, increase profitability and generally make work far more fun by changing your way of thinking.

Similar to an organic inbound marketing strategy that naturally attracts targeted leads, an ABM strategy uses less of a ‘blanket’ approach. Instead, large levels of research go into discovering the roles and professional backgrounds of key decision makers at the companies you’re looking to work with.

It can sound complicated, but if you’ve already got an inbound lead generation strategy working for you, a couple of small tweaks to your tactics and overall philosophy may be all you need to achieve ABM success. 


5 things to consider for ABM perfection 

A lot of thought goes into an ABM strategy, however. Identifying the owner of a company you want to provide a B2B service to, and spamming him or her with message requests on LinkedIn, may not only get you blacklisted. It could also see you generate an unsavoury reputation within your industry more broadly.

So, what’s the best way to approach ABM and attract the businesses you most want to work with? 


1. Assess where you are and define your goals

It may sound like every business owner’s dream to cherry pick the people they want to work with, but ABM can help to make it a reality. As with an inbound marketing strategy though, a lot of thought needs to go into what you can realistically offer, who you’d like to target, whether they need the service you’re offering and what you constitute as success.

Setting clear, realistic ABM goals can help you to achieve them more quickly. 


2. Research, research, research

Once you’ve got a clear idea of the people and brands most likely to fulfil your B2B ambitions, it’s time for the most important part of the campaign: research. 

There’s no excuse not to conduct research, with LinkedIn and other social networks offering professional services which allow you to identify key decision makers within companies. You can see their career path, their personal interests and even the challenges they face in their daily role. 


3. Leverage creative content

Once you’ve discovered the key decision makers within a company and identified the problems that you can help them solve, it’s time to scratch their professional itch. 

Do this with a creative content marketing strategy that’s educational and entertaining in equal measure. This encourages potential partners to see how you perceive their problems, and understand what can be done to make their working lives easier, encouraging them to explore your brand in their own time. 


4. Engage with people and sell yourself

Approaching your prospects in the right way, through social selling and the right online interactions, is key to promoting and sharing your content. At the same time though, your target leads can also be attracted through more technical means.

Boost your creative content by targeting people and segmenting data prospects through their job title, location, annual revenue, company classification and other qualifiers. This will all help you to get seen by the right people.


5. Be consistent throughout 

One problem faced by a lot of ABM campaigns is that company departments are often singing from completely different hymn sheets. For instance, if your marketing department is creating problem-solving content, but your sales team is more interested in closing the lead than carrying on the conversation, this disconnect could cost you a potential deal. 

It’s so important to align internal sales and marketing departments for ABM success.


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