You probably have the wrong idea about account-based marketing (ABM), says Robin Bordoli, CEO of NextRoll, in a talk from HubSpot’s INBOUND 2020 virtual conference.
Most marketers think ABM is only for enterprises with deep pockets. They believe it’s only used to nurture select groups of VIPs through expensive, in-person activities that take a long time (like private dinners).
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, says Bardoli in the talk, titled Why Marketing Teams of 2-10 Run Some of the Best ABM Programs on the Planet.
ABM is actually suitable for everyone. It can be digital, fast and affordable. And every small marketing team can use it to drive success. In Bordoli’s talk, I found three great strategies for any business looking to do ABM well.
Strategy #1: Get Laser-Focused
One way small teams can win at ABM is by getting laser-focused on target accounts—and staying focused for the life of the campaign.
Bordoli relates the story of Auditoria.ai, a finance software company that spent the time and energy to clearly identify 92 key accounts that mattered to its business. Audioria’s one person marketing team then kept a laser focus by marketing a single, strategic ebook to the buying committees within those accounts using display advertising.
The result was that a single person operation engaged a full 31% of all target accounts, precisely because they stayed focused on a small group of accounts and kept the approach simple.
ABM Takeaway: One way to win is to focus on a single offer for a single, select group of accounts.
Strategy #2: Get Hyper-Personalized
Another way to crush ABM, even as a small team, is by getting hyper-personalized. Instead of focusing on a handful of accounts, the two-person marketing team at Personify, which makes software for nonprofits, focused on creating messages that resonated for every type of account.
The team created highly personalized outreach communications that were personalized by both lifecycle stage and persona. The deep level of customization across messages meant that every single prospect, across thousands of possible leads, received messaging relevant to where they were in their journey and who they were as a buyer.
To say it worked is an understatement. The campaign produced a 39X lift in engaged site visitors.
ABM Takeaway: You can also win at ABM by getting personalized at scale. Sometimes, a tailored message for a lot of people matters more than identifying a small group of target accounts.
Strategy #3: Keep It Simple
ABM doesn’t always have to be rocket science.
Blackbaud is a publicly traded software company. But it only had three people available to work on a recent ABM campaign that was designed to target thousands of prospects. That meant the team didn’t have the time or resources to create a highly complex campaign.
That didn’t matter. Sometimes, moving fast and keeping it simple works. The team created three basic email campaigns for ABM: a prospecting campaign, a cross-sell promotion, and a retargeting campaign for previously lost deals. They deployed the campaigns across thousands of accounts. And they got a whopping 94% of accounts to become engaged.
ABM Takeaway: ABM does not have to be complicated. Don’t be afraid of running a simple, fast solution to engage target accounts.
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