Everyone is talking about Account-Based Marketing (ABM) these days.
However, switching from a traditional inbound approach can be overwhelming.
And when you see all these marketers running such sophisticated strategies, it can be difficult to know where to start.
I wanted to share a simple framework on how you can get started with account-based marketing and eventually scale it to generate consistent results.
Instead of sending unpersonalized marketing campaigns to an extensive list of people, you choose which companies you market to.
If you can identify accounts that would be best fits for your software, you can focus more effort and budget on them to increase the likelihood of getting their attention.
By choosing which accounts to go after, you can increase deal size and the overall ROI of your marketing due to the efficiency of your campaigns.
How do you get started with account-based marketing?
To get started with ABM, you should try the following steps:
- Start Small
- Utilize existing demand generation channels
- Measure success through responses, meetings set, and opportunities created
Focus on 10-20 accounts to start. Find accounts that you think would be great fits for your services.
To find your target accounts, pick ones that have similar characteristics to your customers. Here are some factors to consider:
- Firmographic: Does the size of the company matter? Does your company have more success with a specific industry?
- Technographic: Are companies using technology that would complement yours? Companies using similar technology shows a willingness to adopt technology to improve their processes.
- Intent: Which companies already engaged with your brand? Maybe they’ve downloaded your guides or met you at events. Start with accounts that have shown some level of interest in your services.
If you can identify accounts that are more likely to buy your services, you’ll have greater success getting their attention.
Utilize existing demand generation channels
A lot of account-based tactics are the same as traditional marketing. The only difference is who you target and the level of personalization.
When you’re running ABM campaigns, focus on standing out to your target accounts.
Here are some of the strategies you can deploy:
- Direct Mail: Pick ten accounts and send them something that will get their attention.
- Advertising: Use Linkedin advertising or google look alike audience to only show your advertising to the people who can buy your software.
- Events: Put on a dinner where you only invite your top prospects.
- Prospecting: Instead of sending the same email to all the same clients, write 1:1 personalized prospecting emails that show why your software would be beneficial to them.
- Email marketing: Nurture a subset of your audience with targeted content by persona or industry.
All of these strategies are focused on your key decision-makers. If you focus the messaging on the prospect, you will break through the noise.
You can combine some of these strategies, but even running one of these strategies would be account-based.
Only measure responses, meetings set, and opportunities created
The goal of account-based marketing is to generate opportunities and revenue with accounts that would most likely be customers.
When you start, not many metrics matter except the following:
- Did you get in touch with the person?
- Did you set a meeting?
- Did it become an opportunity?
You don’t need to get into the nitty-gritty of anything else. Either your efforts are turning into pipeline and revenue, or they’re not.
I ran my first ABM campaign in 2018
We tried a bunch of strategies that we could get up and running quickly. We focused on a group of 100 accounts that we marketed to.
We first started advertising to our acounts using Adroll CRM retargeting and Linkedin. We then layered on some direct mail campaigns, segmented nurture emails (based on industry or persona), and more personalized prospecting emails.
Our process was not perfect. We had trouble reporting on the outcomes, and not all of our campaigns worked well.
However, we generated opportunities with our target accounts. Through our sales reps, we identified that a few companies agreed to meetings because they saw our advertising. Other accounts we knew directly scheduled meetings with us through direct mail.
We ended up booking a decent amount of demos with target accounts that were better fitting for our software and larger potential deal sizes. We generated these opportunities on top of the existing demand generation pipeline we produced every month.
But is this scalable?
When you start, this strategy is not supposed to be scalable. You can always find a way to scale ABM.
However, this strategy may not work for your business or be the most effective.
You’re better off starting small in a low-risk way to see if this strategy is right for your business. Understanding how to run ABM campaigns is a must before spending money on technology.
Give it a try
Take the steps above and identify a small group of accounts that you can run an ABM campaign with. Remember, the point is to give it a try and see if this strategy works for your business.
Let me know in the comments if this was helpful.