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ABM 101: How to Personalize Your Account-Based Marketing Efforts

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December 9, 2021

Dec 09, 2021

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Whether you’re dabbling in account-based marketing (ABM) or running a full-fledged program, you know that personalization is at the core of any successful ABM strategy. ABM is a B2B marketing approach where a marketing team identifies and targets specific accounts and prospects, rather than targeting a whole market.

According to the Information Technology Service Marketing Association, 87% of B2B marketers say that ABM delivers a higher ROI than other forms of B2B marketing, like inbound marketing.

While hand-picking a targeted list of accounts and prospects implies a more personalized approach, this is just the beginning of all the ways you should personalize your ABM efforts. You’ll likely consider different levels of personalization for different tiers of accounts (e.g. one-to-one personalization for top tier accounts and one-to-many personalization for lower-tiered accounts) and accounts that are at different places in the customer journey (e.g. marketing lead vs. sales opportunity). Either way, when you mix thoughtful personalization with ABM—one of the highest-converting marketing strategies—the results are impressive.

According to Econsultancy, 93% of companies experience a lift in conversion rates from personalization. Understanding the importance of personalization and how to incorporate it effectively into ABM can help you fuel your most successful campaign yet. In this article, we’ll discuss the various components of personalization in account-based marketing and how you can personalize your own ABM efforts.

Why Personalization in Account-Based Marketing Is Important

Account-based marketing is all about capturing the attention of and convincing your target accounts that you’re the right solution for them. Personalization is a powerful way to transmit that message. By taking the time to research your target prospects and craft tailored messages that speak to their specific interests and pain points, you’ll show them that this isn’t just another sales pitch and that your solution truly is the right fit for their needs.

What Does It Mean to Personalize Account-Based Marketing?

Personalization in ABM means customizing your message to suit one particular prospect (or group of prospects) instead of using a one-size-fits-all message. Personalized ABM could include the following tactics:

  • Developing personalized landing pages for a specific company, or even a key individual or group at that company
  • Customizing your email copy to address a prospect’s pain points, based on what you know about their job and area of responsibilities, and to offer solutions
  • Creating ads that speak to common pain points or key metrics measured in the company’s industry
  • Sending personalized direct mail to a contact at a target account based on their individual interests

Personalization is increasingly important in today’s marketing landscape. As personalized marketing becomes more common across B2B industries, more prospects will be waiting for customized offers that solve their specific challenges.

Who Should Use Personalized Account-Based Marketing?

Across sectors, B2B marketing strategies are leaning on personalization, and this trend is continuing to increase and become the norm. As more technologies that enable personalized ABM become more widely available, early adopters will see a competitive advantage, since they’ve already worked out the kinks and determined the dos/don’ts. And those who continue deploying more traditional marketing strategies may fall behind.

As you get started with personalization, here are some steps to prioritize:

  • Extensively researching and understanding your target accounts and key contacts at these target accounts
  • Ideating and developing relevant, meaningful personalized touchpoints across the entire customer journey
  • Choosing the right personalization tool to enable and automate your efforts

Building Blocks of Personalization in Account-Based Marketing

Now that you understand what it means to personalize your ABM efforts, the next step is to develop a strategy that targets the right people and delivers the results you want. As your business begins to tackle personalized ABM, you can break down the process into three key components:

  1. Choose accounts to target. The first building block of any ABM program is to create your ideal customer profile (ICP). It’s foundational to know which companies you should be targeting based on criteria such as company size, industry, revenue, and more. Additionally, you can review your list of current customers that are most successful with your product and then include similar companies (possibly competitors) in your ICP. From here, you’ll then need to determine which job titles and roles are in your ICP, so you know which prospects at the target account you want to try to engage with personalized outreach.
  2. Develop your ABM strategy. Start by determining the best channels and tactics to reach your target accounts, perhaps with the help of an ABM platform. Then develop personalized content for your ABM program by analyzing industry trends around the target account and researching the account itself. Personalized content could include custom personalized landing pages, emails, digital ads, social media, and webinars.
  3. Measure your success. There are multiple metrics you’ll want to measure in your ABM program to determine if your efforts are successful or if there’s room for improvement. To measure the success of your personalized content, look at engagement metrics like form fills, session duration on your landing pages, and overall what content your prospects have engaged with. Of course, you’ll also want to measure which of your target accounts turn into sales opportunities and ultimately convert to become paying customers.

Determining What Is Important to Individual Accounts

Data is key in determining what matters to a specific account. Consider looking at the following types of data when researching your ICP accounts and prospects:

  • Industry data. This can give you the big picture of what your target prospect is most likely struggling with and what solutions and messaging will likely appeal to them.
  • Firmographic data. This is data about the specific company you’re looking to target. It tells you information like its revenue, employees, growth, and locations.
  • Intent data. This tracks your target’s behavior. For instance, it may show which ads they’re clicking on, which keywords they’re searching for, or which content they’re downloading from your site.

Benefits of a Personalized Account-Based Marketing Strategy

A personalized ABM strategy generally results in higher sales closed/won conversion rates. However, that isn’t the only benefit associated with this approach –– let’s take a deeper look at the top benefits of personalization in ABM.

Increased Efficiency and ROI

There’s a reason most B2B marketers say ABM delivers the highest ROI of all marketing strategies. For one thing, it improves efficiency within your sales and marketing teams since they are focusing on a targeted account list and not wasting time on accounts that aren’t a good fit for their solution. For another, it makes your advertising spend more efficient by targeting only prospects that are more likely to recognize your value and convert. Personalized ABM helps your organization save precious time and money while increasing your chances of converting ICP accounts into sales opportunities and closed deals.

Improved Customer Experiences

Personalized ABM is a great way to build positive relationships with prospects: almost 85% of marketers say it significantly helps nurture customer relationships, according to research from Marketo. People appreciate personalized marketing because it makes them feel special, delights them with unique experiences that they’re not getting from other vendors, and cuts down on information overload by providing the exact information they need.

In this way, ABM greatly improves the customer experience and can even fuel brand advocacy. A personalized ABM campaign is more likely to create a customer journey that people will enjoy, remember, and talk about.

Top Personalization Tactics in Account-Based Marketing

Now that you understand the benefits and building blocks of account-based marketing, you’re ready to start putting your ideas to work. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular personalization tactics you should consider using as part of your ABM efforts.

Website Personalization

Your website is the most important touchpoint to personalize in your prospect’s journey. Just think: all of your other ABM efforts drive prospects back to your website, and a prospect’s chance of converting will be slim if they land on a static, one-size-fits-all page that doesn’t speak to their needs or interests. That said, website personalization should be your first priority.

Here are a few ways you can provide a super personalized and relevant experience to keep your prospects moving down the funnel:

  • Personalize web copy, images, layouts, and calls to action (CTAs) for the individual visitor based on who they are and their previous behaviors and actions
  • Insert dynamic content like a company name, logo, review, or case study
  • Recognize returning visitors and serve up content based on their previous visits, like pointing them to where they left off

Just as important as your personalization ideas is choosing the right website personalization software. Every business is unique and certain types of solutions will fit your needs better than others. Two common types of personalization software you might consider are:

  • Rules-based personalization: This type of website personalization software involves creating “if this, then that” statements for various segments of your target audience. With rules-based personalization, there are often three main components: defining the audience the rules apply to, creating the experience this specific audience will see on your site, and determining which page(s) the rules will apply to.
  • Predictive personalization: This solution goes a step beyond rules-based personalization by using machine learning to predict what will be the best experience to show each website visitor (as opposed to each segment). Rather than having to manually set up rules, machine learning automatically predicts which is the best combination of your personalization ideas to show each visitor to give them the most personalized experience for them.

Personalized Social Media Ads

Social media ads are a great way to connect with a targeted decision-maker and drive them to your personalized website; in fact, 84% of C-level and VP-level buyers are influenced by social media, according to Articulate.

When creating personalized social media ads as part of your ABM program, consider the following:

  • Speak to the pain points that your prospect has or metrics they care about, based on their industry and job title
  • Promote content the prospect would be interested in, based on the same data as above
  • Promote products the visitor has already researched on your site

Personalized Email Campaigns

Whether you’re connecting with one prospect or many, personalized email campaigns are a beneficial tactic to include in your ABM program. Here are two types of email campaigns you might consider sending to your prospects:

  • One-to-one emails: With one-to-one emails, you first research your prospect online to learn more about them (e.g. their interests or hobbies, their area of responsibilities at work, which metrics or processes they care about in their job, etc.) and then use this research to write well-crafted, personalized emails (and subject lines!). This kind of hyper-personalization grabs your prospect’s attention and makes it clear that your emails were solely written for them.
  • One-to-many emails: With one-to-many emails, you’re still crafting thoughtful, personalized emails but perhaps to various prospects at the same company. Instead of focusing on individual interests here, these emails will speak to the specific company’s needs or pain points they’re enduring. You could also make these emails reach an even broader group within your ICP and write the same email to many prospects at several different companies that are all, say, in the same industry. The idea here is that those companies in the same industry have similar pain points, have similar metrics they measure, have similar case studies that would intrigue them, etc. While one-to-many personalization is at a higher level, it still focuses on the group’s relevant needs and interests to capture their attention.

Supercharge Your Account-Based Marketing with Machine Learning

Of all of the personalization tactics we’ve mentioned above, we want to reiterate the importance of incorporating website personalization into your ABM strategy. Your website is an inevitable part of your ABM prospect’s journey. In order to convince your prospect to convert into a paying customer, it is crucial to personalize your website in a way that addresses all of their needs, interests, and pain points and reassure them, without a doubt, that they’re in the right place and your product or solution is a fit. Machine learning-based website personalization can help you do just that.

With Intellimize’s Continuous Conversion™ solution, machine learning automatically delivers the best personalized experience to each unique website visitor in the moment. Intellimize has helped Snowflake’s ABM team achieve 60% more landing page conversions and 49% more meetings booked.

Request your demo of Intellimize today and see how we can help you master the intersection of ABM + website personalization and convert more of your ABM target accounts.

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