It’s time to get personal with account-based marketing!
The way in which we market products or services is constantly evolving, just as the way in which customers are engaging is also changing.
These changes should be embraced!
However, despite digital marketing, social, eMarketing and marketing automation being all the rage over the last few years, the general marketing approach is still to target as big an audience as possible and live in hope that someone interacts.
The ‘era of the click’
Whilst you’re sat there refreshing your analytics report from the last email despatch and wondering why there are still no click throughs or downloads, you may wonder why the content you’ve sent is not resonating.
Well, it’s highly likely that the customer or prospect on the recipient list has received a few hundred emails that day, none of which are personalised to their business operation, their challenges or their personal likes.
Let’s be realistic … if you’re a die hard Manchester United supporter, would you open an email promoting Arsenal season tickets? Probably not (…or maybe for a giggle! No offence Arsenal fans!).
That scenario reflects a B2C situation, but the same applies to B2B. In this day and age, where competition is rife and so many other companies sell the same solution as yours, you need to stand out from the crowd and ‘get personal’.
That’s what Account-based marketing is all about; understanding your audience and personalising your outreach. Getting personal.
This is where ‘audience preparation’ and research to find out more about the companies you’re targeting comes into play. No one in their right mind would be expected to profile or research an audience base of 10,000 contacts, so this is the ideal opportunity for Marketing and Sales to work together, to build a meaningful and manageable list of target accounts.
This research may delay you launching a new digital or email campaign, but wouldn’t you rather create a campaign with the right messaging, for the right audience, that will produce results?
Where do you start?
- Define your target audience database
- Carry out some desk-based research on the companies to identify company size, vertical, location, organisational structure / divisions
- Telephone profiling to ascertain; relevant contact credentials and buying personas, current IT environment and preferred suppliers, challenges and paint points, supplier preferences, renewal dates, IT decision making hierarchy
- Analyse your findings; group contacts / companies with similar sales triggers or challenges into segments, remove any companies that you’ve profiled as unsuitable, i.e. no UK IT autonomy, fully outsourced, closed down etc.
- Design personal & relevant communications; create personas to target individuals with messaging that resonates, design content and value propositions to suit the profiled intelligence and carefully created audience segments (for example, for commercial companies that you’ve profiled as having challenges with increasing costs on their network support contracts, create messaging around bringing down costs and how much you could possibly save them)
- Attract attention by focusing not only the body of the email but also the subject line and header
- Test, test, test your despatch; carry out some A/B testing on your launch, to ascertain which subject line is resonating best with your audience segment, or which day / time etc.
- Monitor, nurture & engage; Monitor engagement, nurture contacts with further relevant communications, handover interactive contacts to the sales team for qualification
In summary; it’s time to get personal with account-based marketing. Integrate marketing and sales ideas, keep the audience small, research until you can’t research anymore, reach out with consistent messaging and KEEP IT PERSONAL!