Account-based marketing (ABM) has moved beyond the hype in the last three years. Ninety-one percent of respondents to a recent SiriusDecisions survey said ABM has made a difference in the number of deals they are able to close. It’s early days with ABM. We're still developing methods for implementation.Continue reading...
“Leads are the new vanity metric for B2B ” — Eric Wittlake, senior analyst, TOPO Raise your hand if you love that quote as much as I do. If you’re familiar with account-based marketing (ABM), you’re probably raising your hand and nodding your head.Continue reading...
We know buyer personas as being one-dimensional — a snapshot overview of the people who are involved in the buying process in one way or another.Continue reading...
Do you ever sit back and think how utopian the world of account-based marketing (ABM) seems? If we’re being honest, the idea of a “one team” and “one revenue scorecard” sounds phenomenal in theory, but nearly impossible to actually execute.Continue reading...
Inbound marketing efforts play an important role in B2B marketing success. But inbound alone won’t achieve the goals being placed on most B2B marketing organizations today — for three reasons. Marketing Is Increasingly Accountable for Pipeline and Revenue First, a greater number of marketing teams are now on the hookContinue reading...
If your company is like most organizations, one of your biggest headaches is your database. Underpinning everything the sales and marketing departments do, a database can make or break your growth. Yet databases often get very little attention. I get it.Continue reading...
Tom Cruise’s “Jerry Maguire” sports agent movie character famously shared a mission statement with his entire company where he suggested “fewer clients” and getting back to “caring for ourselves.” Money and clients should not, he suggested, be the focus. He was fired the next day.Continue reading...
A central component of your Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategy is content. Regardless of the account, content is one of those needs and wants that crosses all industries, niches, and demographics. That's because content is a tool that helps businesses find solutions to some of their most critical business problems. The thought-leadership they can find from other companies also shapes their purchase decisions to invest in a brand's products or services. Content is a way to convince them you are the right choice.
The challenge is to craft the content in such a way to build awareness, drive engagement and perceived value, and support your overall ABM efforts to deliver personalized messaging. There are some specific ways to generate scalable content that will achieve these goals throughout the customer lifecycle.Spend Considerable Time on Research
So often research is the most rushed stage of the ABM marketing effort, despite the need to focus on specific information about each account. Marketers think that what they can find during initial research endeavors is good enough. However, when you think you have looked enough and collected substantial data, start again to see what else is still out there.
Your content will be that much better for the more comprehensive and methodical approach you take to the marketing research effort. The research you need should focus on anything that will help you understand your accounts and what is important to them. What you discover essentially gives you the framework for your content.
When delving into these accounts, also find out more about the environment and factors that impact those pain points and the opportunities they are looking to leverage. Directly ask your audience about where they consume information and what type of format they enjoy. After collecting more research than you think you'll ever need, start identifying patterns. Also, consult with sales to get more intelligence.
Some of the insights may call out differences between your accounts to inform how to improve personalization. Additionally, there may be signs as to where similar content can assist more than one account.
These are the details that will improve your content and illustrate why it's worthwhile to spend the majority of your time on this part of the content process.Inventory Available Content
You may already have existing content that was developed prior to developing your ABM strategy. Some of your previously published content could be repurposed and used effectively now that you are following an accounts-based focus. Look for any specific topics in your content library that would resonate with your accounts. While you may need to update certain aspects of it, this is a good way to use available assets and get more mileage out of them.
As you go through your existing content library, this is a good time to organize it with dates, information, and notes on how various articles or other content formats can be used in future ABM campaigns. This will help you quickly locate it when you are ready to start a new marketing effort, giving you more time to spend on personalizing it for each account.Create a Content Matrix
From there, use the existing information to develop a content matrix. This provides a more succinct way to stay on top of the content you have and the content you still need to create. Plus, it keeps the information you need to develop focused on each account's needs and interests.
Your matrix should have a column that lists out each account. From there, map out content that builds on each objective you want to achieve with that account. For example, one content campaign can raise awareness while another can inspire a call to action. From there, the matrix provides you with space to personalize the content while staying relevant and aligned with your overall ABM objectives.Test and Re-Test Your Content Efforts
Marketers often skip the testing phase that is so vital to content success. They either believe they don't have the time or that testing doesn't yield any results. In reality, testing can be as valuable as the initial research. Testing is a way to experiment with different content, visuals, formats, and messages. This only involves a small segment, but it provides insight on how the larger audience will react.
If some aspect doesn't work out, you can change out that part, revise, and re-test until you get an overwhelming response. That's when you take it to the audience, knowing your content now supports your ABM strategy.Design Parallel Paths with Content Marketing Program
Your ABM strategy and the content developed for your content marketing program should be complementary. By putting these on parallel paths, you may discover ways to derive additional value from each. This includes sharing that information and repurposing it along the way just as you have done with older content.
Consider creating a microsite that serves as a content hub for content, research, and testing insights. This site then becomes a resource for the entire organization, including sales. This maximizes the value of the research and testing efforts plus encourages deeper collaboration among departments.
Hoping to have more extensive help while you craft your content for ABM? Great! The Modern Marketing Guide to ABM is available to you for free, today! Check it out:
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“The man in constant fear is every day condemned.”
- Publilius Syrus, c. 50 BC
Addressing change and encouraging change are what our Transformation Services team pitches. We don’t create change; we simply help people understand how to deal with it. Without change, our team wouldn’t even exist. Without change, the world wouldn’t have Netflix. We would still be watching reruns of Cheers on network television at a set time every Thursday evening, or we’d be reading books by the light of a kerosene lamp, or writing long-form letters with a quill.
The world changes all the time; it's an immutable fact of life. It also happens to be a fact that is belied by the persistent fear that runs through much of the corporate world, which finds itself bracing against winds of disruption from digitally-native competitors and advances in technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI). When faced with these disruptive forces, many companies blink with denial and hope their tried and true models will withstand the competitive threat. A defensive do-nothing stance, however, is not a good strategy. Instead, companies should be running head-on to confront these changes.
This topic has been front of mind after a recent team meeting where we discussed how we could help our customers prepare their marketing practices for the future and not just the present. In our past lives as IT practitioners, we would refer to the action of preparing systems for external threat as “hardening”.
It’s a different paradigm now when we consider what companies must do to prepare themselves to face external forces of disruption. To describe it, I’ll say that hardening alone is not the goal; it’s graphene-ization (I added the suffix). Graphene is, “the hardest material in the world, but also one of the most pliable.”
That’s what we want for our clients. We want to help them build environments that are strong, agile, and adaptive and that can do more than just provide a great defense. They should be able to flex and bend to absorb and exert pressure at the same time.AI as an Opportunity
To achieve that goal we have many other related goals, all of equal importance. One goal is to allay the fear many people have around Artificial Intelligence. Oracle builds AI into its products but that’s not why our team pushes it. We encourage it because as a technology, it makes good sense for our clients’ customers, our clients’ businesses, and our clients’ employees.
For employees, we believe AI can be beneficial for those who are stymied by many of the various signs of a disengaged buyer/customer and their shifting habits because it offers the opportunity to take on tasks no human can possibly handle. It’s one thing for humans to gather, using traditional programmatic methods, the online and offline data on their buyers and customers. But it’s something else entirely to take all that data and assess it in near real-time in order to discern customer behavior pattern in hopes to produce automated, insight-driven, and business-impacting actions. How will AI help customers? They’ll be the recipients of more specific, relevant, and pertinent messaging; more personalized service; and more control over their experiences with vendors.Have No Fear
Fear can be a motivator but it can also act as a drag on forward momentum. One of our hopes is to be able to shed light on the areas of technology and process rejuvenation that can cause fear but that can also provide beneficial and substantial ROI. Artificial Intelligence carries such a promise and you might find this series of videos from McKinsey a helpful supplement to that argument. At roughly 2.5 minutes for each of the five videos, industry experts share why AI is indispensable for the modern corporation, and that despite the media hype and hyperbole. AI is not about sentience and it’s not something to be feared.
Build a strong, adaptive company for the future. Take a look at what's coming. Take a look at the Future of Modern Marketing: 2017.
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Demandbase updated its B2B account-based marketing (ABM) play today with the launch of a re-architected ABM platform that combines targeting, engagement and conversion solutions in one. With the release, the San Francisco-based vendor aims to offer marketers an easier way to plan and execute campaigns "across the entire funnel.Continue reading...