In demand generation, B2B marketers use broad outbound and inbound marketing approaches to generate leads. The goal is to start the funnel wide and capture as many leads from a target audience as possible, then sort through them to discover which are a good fit.
However, the challenge with using these lead generation strategies alone is that they oftentimes capture many low-quality leads, which seldom convert into paying customers.
For a B2B company, it can be more effective to execute account-based marketing (ABM) in addition to demand generation. While ABM is resource-intensive, it, generally speaking, is very effective at driving opportunities that turn into sales. According to RollWorks, companies that use ABM experience a 38% higher sales win rate.
In this quick guide to account-based marketing tactics, we start off exploring how ABM differs from direct marketing, a term sometimes confused with ABM. Then we’ll dive into some of the most common tactics that a B2B marketer uses to drive successful engagement with prospects, from personalized email cadences to website personalization.
If you’re like other marketers, you may have learned about ABM and thought, “Isn’t that just direct marketing?” ABM and direct marketing are, in fact, different strategies, but they do have some similarities. ABM is a B2B-specific strategy. The goal in ABM is to segment your leads into best-fit target accounts, then target those prospects across multiple touchpoints with highly tailored marketing assets to encourage engagement. This strategy helps to create a highly personalized customer journey throughout the funnel. This is in contrast to running a one-size-fits-all marketing campaign where everyone is treated the same.
Primarily a B2C strategy, direct marketing is similar to ABM in that it directly advertises to potential customers across multiple channels like email, direct mail, and text messaging, with the goal of guiding customers to make a purchase. But the emphasis on personalization isn’t as high in direct marketing as it is in ABM efforts.
In account-based marketing, sales and marketing teams work together to create an ideal customer profile (ICP), list a number of best-fit target accounts, develop a deep understanding of each account, then communicate directly with key decision-makers at the accounts via highly tailored, resonant marketing assets and messaging. A key decision-maker can be anyone with weight or influence on a company’s buying committee.
To make sure you’re engaging with the right stakeholders at an account, conduct deep research using tools like LinkedIn or ZoomInfo to better understand organizational hierarchies, and read their blog and other thought leadership content to shape the messaging you use when speaking to them. Use the information you uncover on a prospect’s buying committee to decide on the best tactics for fostering engagement. Let’s have a look at some common ABM tactics that deliver results.
An email campaign can be an effective component of an ABM program. However, the campaign should focus on delivering value to individual recipients (e.g. solving their pain points or educating them on new strategies and tactics in their field) as opposed to pitching your product to as many as you can capture via templated email blasts. This requires a more thoughtful and data-driven approach, leaning on tailored messages.
Here are some tips for pulling off exceptional personalized email cadences in an ABM strategy:
While you’re sending out personalized emails, you can complement your efforts with direct mail to encourage further engagement. According to Forbes, direct mail is a top channel for direct response, citing data from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), which shows that direct mail, generally speaking, generates a high direct response rate of 4.4%, compared to just 0.12% for emails.
Why is this? The DMA posits that inboxes become cluttered with unsolicited marketing emails, so people are less likely to take the time to go through them. Direct mail channels, on the other hand, clutter much less. Also worth noting, Forbes cites a study from the UK Royal Mail, which concluded that “giving, receiving, and handling tangible objects remain deep and intuitive parts of the human experience.” If your goal is to create a strong connection between your prospects and marketing message, direct mail is a must.
Here are some tips for sending personalized direct mail to a target account:
A super effective yet often underutilized account-based marketing tactic is website personalization. You can send personalized direct mail or email all you want, but the customer journey loses traction if those efforts ultimately drive prospects to a generic website or landing page that treats them all the same. ABM can be costly, and if you successfully drive them to your site to learn more you can’t afford to lose momentum.
Here are a few best practices to consider when getting started with website personalization:
In a sense, ABM is like networking—you’re researching and therefore “getting to know” key contacts at companies you’ve identified. And you’re in turn getting them to develop an awareness of you, your brand, and your product. You want your ABM campaign to be as personal as you can get it. So here are a couple of tactics you can use to achieve this.
You’ve done extensive research on the leads you want to convert. And now is the time to use those unique insights to maximum advantage. That said, a lead-specific offer is developed for a single prospect –– presumably, no one else will be offered it.
Lead-specific offers should be so compelling to your target that they can’t help but to look at them. Lean on your creativity here. The offers you should create depend on what you’re selling, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
Work with your sales team to identify the leads who are the readiest to convert into a sales opportunity—you’ll want to make these offers to them.
In an ABM campaign, you can maximize the efficacy of your sales team by putting them into sales territories. A sales territory is a single account or a group of accounts that a salesperson is responsible for. Today, social proximity is the gold standard for sales territories. Sales professionals with high social proximity to certain leads will have better insights into their needs, so assign their sales territories accordingly.
You can’t understate the benefits of successful ABM tactics that align with a solid strategy first and foremost. While you’ll likely use multiple tactics to carry out your ABM strategy, you want to make sure each tactic complements one another to provide the most personalized experience possible for your prospects. You’ll likely need various solutions to carry out your tactics and maximize your ROI.
Website personalization is a hugely valuable ABM tactic, and Intellimize can help you create a personalized experience for each unique account and prospect in your ICP. Intellimize’s machine learning-based optimization solution automatically learns what converts to deliver the best personalized experience to your website visitors. B2B companies like Snowflake have realized 60% more landing page conversions by using Intellimize in their ABM efforts. Request your demo today and see how we can help you achieve Continuous Conversion™ across your landing pages and website alike.