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[PDF] Account-Based Marketing: A Practical Guide to Accelerating Growth in Strategic Accounts



[PDF] A Practitioner's Guide to Account-Based Marketing: Accelerating Growth in Strategic Accounts




Account-based marketing (ABM) is a focused growth strategy in which marketing and sales collaborate to create personalized buying experiences for a mutually-identified set of high-value accounts. ABM can help B2B marketers who need to increase pipeline quality, retain top accounts for longer, and boost the revenue those accounts bring in.




[PDF] A Practitioner's Guide To Account-Based Marketing: Accelerating Growth In Strategic Accounts



But how do you implement ABM effectively in your organization? What are the steps and tools you need to succeed? And what are the benefits and challenges of ABM?


In this article, we will provide you with a practical guide to ABM based on the book A Practitioner's Guide to Account-Based Marketing: Accelerating Growth in Strategic Accounts by Bev Burgess and Dave Munn. We will cover the following topics:



  • How to identify and prioritize your target accounts



  • How to align your marketing and sales teams for ABM success



  • How to create personalized and engaging content for each account



  • How to measure and optimize your ABM performance



By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of how to apply ABM in your business and accelerate your growth in strategic accounts.


How to identify and prioritize your target accounts




The first step in ABM is to identify and prioritize your target accounts. These are the accounts that have the highest potential value for your business, either in terms of revenue, profitability, strategic importance, or long-term relationship.


To identify your target accounts, you need to conduct a thorough analysis of your existing customer base, your market segments, your competitors, and your ideal customer profile (ICP). You can use various data sources and criteria to segment your accounts based on their fit, intent, engagement, and opportunity.


To prioritize your target accounts, you need to rank them based on their attractiveness and accessibility. Attractiveness refers to how desirable an account is for your business, based on factors such as size, growth potential, profitability, strategic alignment, etc. Accessibility refers to how easy it is to reach and influence an account, based on factors such as decision-making process, relationship status, buying cycle, etc.


Based on these two dimensions, you can classify your target accounts into four categories:



Attractiveness


Accessibility


Category


Action


High


High


Strategic


Invest heavily in personalized and tailored marketing and sales activities


High


Low


Developing


Increase awareness and engagement through targeted campaigns and outreach


Low


High


Tactical


Maintain relationship and satisfaction through standard marketing and sales activities


Low


Low


Nurture


Educate and qualify through automated marketing programs and content


By identifying and prioritizing your target accounts, you can focus your resources and efforts on the most valuable and reachable accounts for your business.


How to align your marketing and sales teams for ABM success




The second step in ABM is to align your marketing and sales teams for ABM success. ABM requires a close collaboration and coordination between marketing and sales, as well as other functions such as service, product, finance, etc. ABM is not a marketing-only or sales-only initiative, but a cross-functional approach that involves the entire organization.


To align your marketing and sales teams for ABM, you need to establish a common vision, goals, roles, processes, and metrics for ABM. You also need to foster a culture of trust, communication, and accountability among your teams. Here are some tips to achieve alignment:



  • Create a joint ABM team that includes representatives from marketing, sales, and other relevant functions. Assign clear roles and responsibilities for each team member and ensure they have the skills and resources to perform their tasks.



  • Define a joint ABM strategy that outlines the objectives, scope, timeline, budget, and expected outcomes of ABM. Align your ABM strategy with your overall business strategy and ensure it supports your value proposition and differentiation.



  • Develop a joint ABM plan that details the activities, tactics, channels, and content for each target account. Align your ABM plan with your buyer's journey and ensure it delivers personalized and relevant messages and offers.



  • Implement a joint ABM execution that involves regular coordination, feedback, and adjustment of your ABM activities. Align your ABM execution with your account's needs and preferences and ensure it creates value and trust.



  • Measure a joint ABM performance that tracks the results, impact, and ROI of your ABM efforts. Align your ABM performance with your account's goals and expectations and ensure it demonstrates improvement and growth.



By aligning your marketing and sales teams for ABM, you can create a seamless and consistent buying experience for your target accounts and increase your chances of winning and retaining them.


How to create personalized and engaging content for each account




The third step in ABM is to create personalized and engaging content for each account. Content is the key element of ABM, as it allows you to communicate with your target accounts in a way that resonates with them and addresses their specific challenges, needs, interests, and goals.


To create personalized and engaging content for each account, you need to conduct a deep research on your target accounts, understand their buyer personas, map their content journey, craft their value proposition, and deliver their content mix. Here are some tips to create effective content:



  • Research your target accounts thoroughly by collecting data from various sources such as CRM, web analytics, social media, surveys, interviews, etc. Analyze the data to uncover insights about their industry, company, role, pain points, opportunities, etc.



  • Understand their buyer personas by creating detailed profiles of the key decision-makers and influencers in each account. Include information such as demographics, psychographics, motivations, behaviors, preferences, etc.



  • Map their content journey by identifying the stages of their buying process (awareness, consideration, decision) and the questions they have at each stage. Align your content with their information needs and decision criteria.



  • Craft their value proposition by articulating how your solution can help them solve their problems or achieve their goals better than any other option. Highlight your unique benefits and differentiation points.



  • Deliver their content mix by choosing the best formats (e.g., blog posts, ebooks, videos), channels (e.g., email, social media), platforms (e.g., website), devices (e.g., mobile), etc. to reach them with your content. Optimize your content for SEO , readability , engagement , conversion , etc.



By creating personalized and engaging content for each account , you can capture their attention , educate them , persuade them ,and nurture them until they are ready to buy from you .


How to measure and optimize your ABM performance




The fourth step in ABM is to measure and optimize your ABM performance. Measurement is essential for ABM , as it allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your ABM efforts , demonstrate the value of ABM to your stakeholders ,and identify areas for improvement .


To measure and optimize your ABM performance , you need to define the key performance indicators (KPIs) , collect the data , analyze the results ,and take action . Here are some tips to measure efficiently :



How to measure and optimize your ABM performance




The fourth step in ABM is to measure and optimize your ABM performance. Measurement is essential for ABM, as it allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your ABM efforts, demonstrate the value of ABM to your stakeholders, and identify areas for improvement.


To measure and optimize your ABM performance, you need to define the key performance indicators (KPIs), collect the data, analyze the results, and take action. Here are some tips to measure efficiently:



  • Define the KPIs that align with your ABM objectives, such as account engagement, account penetration, account retention, account expansion, account revenue, account satisfaction, etc. Choose the KPIs that are relevant, measurable, attainable, and time-bound for your ABM strategy.



  • Collect the data from various sources such as CRM, web analytics, email marketing, social media, surveys, etc. Use tools and platforms that can integrate and consolidate your data across different channels and accounts. Ensure your data is accurate, complete, and up-to-date.



  • Analyze the results using dashboards, reports, charts, graphs, etc. that can visualize and communicate your data effectively. Compare your results with your benchmarks and goals. Identify the trends, patterns, gaps, and opportunities in your data.



  • Take action based on your analysis. Celebrate your successes and share them with your stakeholders. Learn from your failures and address them with corrective measures. Test and optimize your ABM activities based on your feedback and insights.



By measuring and optimizing your ABM performance , you can prove the ROI of your ABM strategy , improve your account relationships ,and grow your account revenue .


Conclusion: Key takeaways and best practices for ABM




In this article , we have provided you with a practical guide to ABM based on the book A Practitioner's Guide to Account-Based Marketing: Accelerating Growth in Strategic Accounts by Bev Burgess and Dave Munn . We have covered how to identify and prioritize your target accounts , how to align your marketing and sales teams for ABM success , how to create personalized and engaging content for each account ,and how to measure and optimize your ABM performance .


Here are some key takeaways and best practices for ABM :



  • ABM is a focused growth strategy that targets high-value accounts with personalized and tailored marketing and sales activities.



  • ABM can help B2B marketers increase pipeline quality , retain top accounts for longer ,and boost account revenue .



  • ABM requires a close collaboration and coordination between marketing , sales ,and other functions in the organization .



  • ABM involves four steps : identifying and prioritizing target accounts , aligning marketing and sales teams , creating personalized and engaging content ,and measuring and optimizing performance .



  • ABM relies on data , insights ,and technology to deliver relevant and valuable messages and offers to each account .



  • ABM is not a one-size-fits-all approach , but a customized and flexible approach that adapts to each account's needs and preferences .



We hope this article has given you a clear understanding of how to apply ABM in your business and accelerate your growth in strategic accounts . If you want to learn more about ABM , you can download the PDF version of A Practitioner's Guide to Account-Based Marketing: Accelerating Growth in Strategic Accounts here .


FAQs: Common questions and answers about ABM




Here are some common questions and answers about ABM :



  • What is the difference between ABM and inbound marketing ?



Inbound marketing is a methodology that attracts customers through valuable content , SEO ,and a delightful customer experience . Inbound marketing is more foundational and broad-based than ABM . ABM is a strategy that targets specific high-value accounts with personalized and tailored marketing and sales activities . ABM is more focused and targeted than inbound marketing . Both strategies can complement each other by providing highly relevant content and experiences to potential buyers .


  • How do I choose the right ABM tools and platforms ?



There are many ABM tools and platforms available in the market , each with different features and functionalities . To choose the right ABM tools and platforms for your business , you need to consider your ABM objectives , budget , resources , and integration needs . You also need to evaluate the usability , scalability , reliability , and security of the tools and platforms . Some of the common types of ABM tools and platforms are :


  • Data and analytics tools : These tools help you collect , analyze ,and visualize data from various sources and channels . They help you identify and prioritize your target accounts , measure your ABM performance ,and gain insights for optimization . Examples : Google Analytics , Salesforce , HubSpot , etc.



  • Content and campaign tools : These tools help you create , manage ,and distribute personalized and engaging content and campaigns for each account . They help you deliver relevant and valuable messages and offers to your target accounts across different formats , channels ,and devices . Examples : WordPress , Mailchimp , Hootsuite , etc.



  • Engagement and relationship tools : These tools help you interact with and nurture your target accounts throughout their buying journey . They help you build trust and rapport with your target accounts , increase their engagement and satisfaction ,and drive them to action . Examples : LinkedIn , ZoomInfo , Calendly , etc.



  • How do I scale my ABM strategy ?



Scaling your ABM strategy means expanding your ABM efforts to reach more target accounts or segments without compromising on quality or efficiency . To scale your ABM strategy , you need to :


  • Leverage technology and automation to streamline and optimize your ABM processes and activities . Use tools and platforms that can integrate and automate your data collection , content creation , campaign management , engagement tracking , performance measurement , etc.



  • Segment your target accounts into different tiers based on their attractiveness and accessibility . Use different levels of personalization and customization for each tier based on their potential value and needs . For example , you can use one-to-one ABM for strategic accounts , one-to-few ABM for developing accounts ,and one-to-many ABM for nurture accounts .



  • Test and refine your ABM activities based on your feedback and insights . Use A/B testing, surveys, interviews, etc. to measure the effectiveness of your content, campaigns, channels, etc. Use data and analytics to identify what works and what doesn't for each account or segment. Use best practices and learnings to improve your ABM strategy.



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