Step 1 Identify precisely your target-audience

Every marketing strategy starts off by a rigorous analysis of your prospects.

During this crucial step, Account-Based Marketing doesn’t create individual persona profiles, but company persona profiles. More than ever in this task, aligning sales and marketing teams is fundamental. Indeed, who knows more which are the most promising companies in your target audience than salesreps? They are also the best fit to tell you which jobs to focus your strategy onto inside those companies. Gather up your troups and determine together an ideal portrait of the most pertinent targets for your ABM strategy.

Analysing data coming from both teams’ experiences, as well as figures from recent market studies, will enable to be as precise as possible in this portrait. The data you will need to focus on can be:

• The business sectors of your strategic accounts
• The size and revenue of the targeted companies
• The high stakes and problematics these companies encounter
• The buying habits of their decision-makers…

If you can, feel free to interview some of your existing customers that belong to these types of accounts. You can ask them questions about how your company has answered to some of their problematics, or why they chose your solution through all the possibilities. Dare to do so: most of your satisfied customers will be pleased to give you a feedback, and you will be able to collect precious data to make the most out of afterwards.

Step 2 Personalise your message

Now that you know your audience’s deepest secrets, it will be easy to personalise your way of communicating with it. You have to create content that answer their buyer problematics, leading their reflexion and proving your company’s expertise. Make sure you diversify the formats you create, depending on your target’s sales maturity. Infographics and webinars will attract cold prospects, whereas case studies and success stories will convert those who are already aware of how your solution can help them.

Thanks to the data you previously collected, you’ll easily sprinkle your content with differentiating elements that echo your prospects’ experiences. Here are a few ideas. Why not create white papers especially dedicated to one of your account’s industry? Or interview, in a testimony video, a customer that had the same needs as him? Or even insert contextualisation elements in your emails, that describe their own experience? The more precise the personalisation, the more striking your communication will be. User experience guaranteed!

Step 3 Distribute your content through the most pertinent channels

Social Media, SEO, emailing, online opinion column… So much channels to cordon, so little resources! Account-Based Marketing’s goal precisely lies in focusing on the audience, the messages and the channels that generate more business. That’s why you absolutely have to analyse where your targets go on the internet, to find information for their B2B company.

LinkedIn is sure a must-have for digital marketing, but go deeper into its groups: it is often there, in those specific discussions, that your target hides. The same goes on with SEO: you have to adopt your strategic accounts’ vocabulary to use, in your content, the keywords they will search in priority. Get closer to the decision-makers as well: give a key-task to your salesreps by involving them in Social Selling, making them send InMails on LinkedIn.

Every channel has its favorite content format, and its specific communication. You obviously don’t communicate on LinkedIn, where your audience is large and unspecified, as you do by Search Engine Marketing, where you focus on distributing sponsorised content to your key-accounts. Find the right words to attract, convert and close them. In fact, aren’t now you the one that knows them the best?

Step 4 Analyse your performance...

A 2014 ITSMA study indicates that « Account-Based Marketing is the B2B strategy that delivers the biggest ROI ». That is quite comprehensible, as it enables you to track extremely precisely the performance of your technique. However, you can’t just stop at analysing leadgen KPIs. You have to go deeper in the metrics, by monitoring, for instance:

• The traffic generated on your website: has your audience discovered your company’s products or services?
• The comments, likes and other web interactions generated on your Social Media: have your prospects engaged with your company?
• The click-through and download rates: have your campaigns reached the right target-accounts?
• The average value of your deals: does your strategy improve your sales results?
In this step, it is interesting to gather once again marketing and sales teams, so that they can estimate the real value of those metrics, and challenge them if needed.

Step 5 … and continue personalising your approach!

Account-Based Marketing is a long-term endeavour, in which pertinence and personalisation are key to nurturing your high-value strategic accounts. By monitoring your performance, and staying in tune with your salesreps’ experience of the prospects, it is possible to improve continuously your strategy. To help you with this ambitious, time-taking task, think about investing in tools such as Marketing Automation. This can enable you optimise the way you use your ressources, and save time to reinvest in your campaign’s personalisation.

After you’re done with those 5 steps, you are finally ready to launch striking and pertinent Account-Based Marketing campaigns. You will sure make a huge benefit out of them, and give your prospects the best user experience possible.

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