EST 1980
Account Based Marketing

Jun 15, 2022

Watermark Water Cooler | Account Based Marketing (ABM)

Aaron Headshot
by Aaron Campbell

Who can benefit from account-based marketing?? Our very own, Aaron Campbell - account coordinator, will tell you in this month's Watermark Water Cooler.

Cameron: Hello and welcome to the Watermark watercooler. I'm here with Aaron, Aaron, welcome to the cooler. Aaron, tell us a little bit about it. I've been marketing for four years. Mostly was in-house marketing now moved over to an agency role and I've always loved the B2B space and kept Ben and design development and putting campaigns together is kind of my favorite thing to do as part of marketing.
And you just ran a marathon. I did just run a marathon. Yes. Yeah, that's cool. Yeah, that's a good time. Yeah. What was your time? For. It's pretty good though. It's pretty good stuff. Yeah. With the acronym soup that we all kind of know about SEO ABM, one of those CRM, you know, w what does ABM stand for?
Aaron: Yeah. So ABM stands for account-based marketing and it's great for B2B. There's another acronym for B2B marketers. And what it's done in the past two years, especially with this new marketing technology out there is to take sales teams and marketing that used to be kind of fractured and make it into like one cohesive kind of package that really goes after who your clients are going after.
Yeah. So who does ABM marketing target? So ABM marketing is going to target your key accounts. Whoever that is within an industry that you're targeting you might have a certain service that applies to one business in a different way that applies to another. So account-based marketing will personalize your marketing communications towards whichever account you're after.
So just says on your, we're talking about this a little bit give us an example of what like an ABM campaign is because I think that helps somebody. What that means. Right? So an ABM campaign takes into account each stage of the buyer journey starting with the awareness stage. So you have like your set of accounts that you want to go after, and you want to let your accounts come to you rather than you go into it and like selling them for causing them to turn away.
So we'll get into more of this later, but like, you want to start with so while I, when I was going to like an example of like an ABM campaign, like, you know, something that we've done in the past is like we put together a very specific box. There was a physical thing that had very specific items inside that box that were like specific for an executive that we knew, you know, when, to a certain, certain normal mater and we put.
The baseball cabinet and we knew they liked golf. So we put some golf tees inside of it. So it's like very, very super targeted to that person. It's like casting is like a really wide net of like, like your typical Google campaign or whatever. It's very like, Hey, we might be targeting a certain group of people, but it's like industry and entire industry maybe instead of like, Very specific.
And that brings up another acronym for targeting that certain group of people where you start with is an ICP or an ideal customer profile. And that's defined by like company characteristics, like how many employees they have. What was their revenue was, their funding was for regionally. They are so that's box number one.
And within that box, do You want to define each of the personas that you might be selling to within those companies within your ideal customer profile? So you're after not only companies, the accounts but the people that make them up and cause that's who you're going to gain attention from. So now that we've kind of identified the target.
How do we communicate with them? Right. So there are a lot of ways of communicating with them, especially through online Omni channels, like social media paid media, or just your website. And first and foremost, you want to time out your message effectively. So that comes from understanding each stage of the buyer's journey.
If there is a new account you'll want to focus on content, that's most likely to serve them and position you as like a thought leader. So you're not giving them a hard sell right off the bat. So things like blog posts or a white paper that's relevant to them and their industry that'll guide them through something that they might have a problem with right now with their company is really going to be valuable to them.
And then, you know, the next stage in the targeted mesh. It would be the prospecting stage. So whether it's inbound or outbound marketing once that lead is marketing qualified, that's when you want to have a bigger conversation on how something that serves them applies to what you're doing at your company.
As we're talking about messaging to people, how specific should that kind of ABM content be? Cause we just talked about like, Hey, there's a difference between. Just a normal inbound campaign that might, might turn a bigger swath, of the market. How do we make sure we're not too targeted or maybe, maybe we are, what's your opinion?
Well, I think it's good to cast a big net and go after just the whole company so that, you know, even if it's an entry-level position person that you're after you know, the more people within an account that you're attracting attention from is better. Cause they could always go to their manager with something that they saw online from your company.
But ideally, you do want to get into finding those decision-makers, and while your prospects are in the prospecting or new stage, that doesn't quite matter as you're gaining awareness. It's when they're sales-qualified that you'll want to focus your attention solely on the decision-makers or champions of your ABM marketing campaign.
Yeah. So we talked about a lot of things and their different types of content. What did you mean by that? Or what's important about those to create that content for account-based marketing? Yeah. Well, you must engage across all channels that you have running. So I kind of mentioned earlier with social media paid media and having a cohesive message across all of those is going to be good surgery.
Well, email marketing is a great way to personalize your message. So that's a big piece of ABM marketing is, you know, finding the values that your one target has, which might not match another value of another target, and making that the sole focus point of a message to them in an email. So there's a lot of ways of personalizing that message.
It's just finding those channels that work out. So we just talked about some like strategy and how to do this, but now there's this execution piece and you know, the, the marketing stack you might need. What, what, what is your advice there? Yes, there's a lot of marketing technology out there. First and foremost is the CRM which we talk a lot about here at watermark is the customer relationship management system.
So this is what your sales team realized. And this is what you can use to automate the marketing which brings us to another marketing technology, which is the marketing automation platform. A lot of them, couple CRM, and marketing automation platforms together. And what that'll do is use all of the API APIs to touch like your social media channels your email even your paid advertising all until like one hub.
So you can monitor everything from. Another thing you'll need is obviously a website. So a CMS and other acronym would be ideal for that, whether it's WordPress or a headless CRM, CMS like Contentful. And then there's, you know, all that, all those channels that we mentioned earlier with social media organic through blog posts advertising for paid media.
So things like that, but beyond all of these core technologies what I really suggest is investing in a business intelligence tool. So there's a lot of tools out there that will scrape all the data that's out there on LinkedIn, or just websites from everywhere, and actually give you. People's names, titles, emails.
So you can go direct to them or enter them into a targeted campaign. And having that, you know, enriched data of who you're going after is really gonna help all that targeting and we use . So that's a great tool. Zoom info. I know it was like, it seemed like it was like the first one and used to be that sale.
People would use it just for when they're doing cold calls, but now marketers have gotten to like the big data data of it. And so they can put it together like a really targeted campaign. So it's a little creepy, little big Brother-y, but, you know getting people to the marketing message that you want sent to that.
Yeah, it doesn't have to be reviewed because I think the, you know, the ticket can I answer to that is again, we're in theory, delivering better content to the right person. Instead of it being blasted all over the place, we're actually going, okay, we know this type of person needs this type of content. And we, we truly believe in that inbound methodology and education first.
So, you know, People follow that it's not really necessarily a big sales pitch. It's education of why you need to do something to help your business to grow. So, and if that happens to me, like for us happens to be marketing or inbound marketing or whatever it may be. We'll, let's have a conversation.
Maybe we're a right fit for you. At the end of the day, you're trying to build trust with your lead to can them convert. Yeah. That's always been true for marketing and especially now, Being able to have that data to go after them. You need that trust aspect. In order to go through the whole buyer's journey, Erin, how do you optimize and measure for success with ABM?
Yeah. So there's a way of looking at it where you can look at it two ways with qualitative data and understanding who you're going after, who the contact information. Is so are you reaching the right people? And how many people at that one account or company that you're after are you reaching?
And who's becoming sales qualified in the process. So a lot of that's qualitative and looking at job titles and results of campaigns of people who have converted through your lead forms. And then the other component is the. The more quantitative data, I guess, would be the like conversion rates.
So through each stage in the buyer's journey from awareness to just, you know, making a decision to go with you, to convert into an actual customer, each of those conversion rates can be measured to attract success, success of your campaign. And it's likely that is your campaigns will be pushing leads to progress through each of those.
So, you know, that's a great way of understanding the effectiveness of each of those campaigns is to break them up into little different conversion rates. Your sales team might be looking at, you know, one, you know, deal close or not close, but in marketing, you have to understand the stages of building that trust with the target that you're after.
One of the thing with ABM that helps with measuring success. You have a little bit clearer of a goal, maybe and understanding of exactly what you're targeting. So like success and failure is probably a lot easier to see than what a typical like inbound campaign that's again, got a little bit more broad and maybe you have to dig into the data a little bit more, but I do like the great conversation of like, it doesn't end with.
Okay. We, we, our sales person, I had a conversation with somebody it's like, well, where are they in the, in the different phases of closing where, you know, even after they're close, how do we continue to, you know, make this, this client really it happy and enjoy our brand and everything we're about. So they can.
New clients to us. Okay. The wrap things up here. Do you have a tip that you'd like to leave people with about ABM that you've found a successful? I would say, you know, I've always looked towards conferences and trade shows and not necessarily that you have to go to them, but it's a great way of understanding an industry and who the players are within the industry.
And also it's important to understand that with ABM, it doesn't stop once they become a customer that nurturing process for your leads and your customers never stops because there's ways of, you know, becoming a customer of your customer. We'll allow you to learn their business, which will help you gain other customers.
And there's always word-of-mouth marketing so that if you're working within a major player, within a big industry, they know who their friendly competitors are and they can easily refer you and be an advocate for your brand. Yeah, totally. Well, thanks so much, Aaron, for being on the watercooler with us today, as always, if you have content that you would like to hear from us about.
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