account-based marketing

Account-Based Marketing for B2B Demand Gen: 7 ABM Resources

Many B2B demand gen practitioners have wholeheartedly adopted account-based marketing, but not everyone has fully grasped how to execute their ABM strategies. Use these seven ABM resources to plan, launch and measure your account-based marketing campaigns.

Resource #1: 4 Reasons Why B2B Marketers Can’t Afford to Ignore ABM
A combination of changing market forces and technological advances makes getting through to B2B buyers as challenging as ever. ABM offers a powerful tactic for breaching the impenetrable walls around business buyers and buying groups. With tools like intent marketing, B2B demand gen marketers can:

  • Identify and prioritize targets.
  • Find the right people to reach out to.
  • Create personalized marketing campaigns.
  • By now, ABM has been around long enough to show measurable results, like the outcomes from SiriusDecisions’ 2017 State of Account-Based Marketing Study Findings. This study shows that ABM helps sales and marketing B2B demand gen teams make better use of budgetary dollars. Instead of pricey mass campaigns with minimal return, brands can focus resources on targets with the strongest potential for generating revenue. That means fewer resources wasted on pursuing dead leads and a greater chance of success in closing deals.

    Resource #2: Understanding the ABM Framework
    “Account-based marketing” was coined in 2004, when ITSMA created the phrase to convince marketers to step away from one-size-fits-all sales pitches, and instead focus on individual organizations representing the greatest new business opportunities. As a starting point for their ABM framework, marketers can build lists of companies that align with the profile of an ideal client. In fact, ABM and B2B demand gen strategies should treat individual accounts as markets in their own right, rather than marketing to entire sectors of an industry. The “Four-Step ABM Framework” recommends that once you have the basics down, it’s time to put the rest of the pieces together with 11 advanced ABM and B2B demand gen tactics. Here’s a sampling:

  • Develop prospect-specific offers.
  • Purchase white paper and webinar leads.
  • Test direct mail with executives.
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    Resource #3: Third-Party Data: How to Identify Targets in ABM Strategy
    Your business lives and dies by new markets, and third-party customer intent data helps ensure you don’t miss accounts that are ready to talk. Third-party data (like intent signals) is essential to identifying ABM targets, but it’s been underutilized until recently. It’s easier to just stick with what you know, but the comfort of staying in familiar territory comes at the cost of missing out on new opportunities. People instinctively trust their own data, and it’s easy to get locked into this narrow view of your market. A survey from Openprise reported that only about half of respondents used third-party data to help identify new account targets, and fewer than half were using third-party B2B intent data for ABM strategies. These findings can be attributed in part to the fact that ABM, while gaining traction, is still not fully implemented at many businesses. This is a mistake that is easily solved. Third-party buyer intent data can optimize every aspect of your ABM and B2B demand gen campaigns, from personalized content to sales call prioritization, but the ability to identify new accounts is one of the most powerful capabilities. There are potentially thousands of similar sites where your prospects research purchase decisions, and they’re also downloading whitepapers, attending webinars, and talking with their peers on social media. All of this activity clearly illustrates an intent to buy that should result in new targets to add to your account list.

    Resource #4: Intent Monitoring Solves Hot-Button ABM Complaints
    The enormous amount of data available to B2B marketers creates endless opportunities to identify new markets and reach prospects. So why do we still hear so many ABM complaints about funnel leaks, poor lead quality, and other challenges that undermine ROI? Marketers appear to be awash in data and unprepared to smartly employ it to identify actionable opportunities and grow their businesses. Third-party intent signal monitoring adds context and prioritization that keeps account-based marketing (ABM) strategies from getting bogged down in too much minor data. Intent signal monitoring optimizes almost any aspect of your marketing and sales operations, from email list segmentation to creating highly personalized sales presentations. This post focuses on four common ABM challenges, and how intent can manage each of them. The article also touches on some key areas where intent data can refine and optimize ABM and B2B demand gen strategies.

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    Resource #5: Five Metrics to Watch While Growing Your ABM Strategy
    In ABM and B2B demand gen programs, marketing and sales activities get prioritized, planned, and measured in the context of how to best develop a company’s relationship with an account, not just with email addresses. ABM is a “quality over quantity” approach, and your marketing and sales activities must be based on metrics and KPIs that ultimately map to the quality accounts that lead to revenue. Quantifying your success is a matter of identifying and rolling up key measurements of individual behavior into account-based metrics and KPIs. This helpful piece defines the top five metrics and indicators that help get your ABM program up and running. You’ll start with total addressable market penetration. That is, before prioritizing target accounts in your market, you need a comprehensive view of how many potential client companies you have in your database.

    Resource #6: For a Global ABM Strategy, Think Local.
    Because ABM focuses on a manageable number of individual accounts rather than hundreds or even thousands of “prospects,” you can broaden your geographic horizons and even globalize your search for potential clients. Starting a global ABM and B2B demand gen campaign is just a matter of broadening the scope of your local ABM approach, while also thinking locally. It’s as easy to target a business across the world as it is to target one across town. If you’ve been holding back from launching global ABM campaigns because you don’t want to overwhelm your team, relax: it all comes down to the same practices that are probably already part of your B2B demand gen strategy. As you “go global” with ABM, here are a few best practices, and you’ll find more in this blog:

  • Identify target accounts.
  • Learn their challenges.
  • Launch engagement campaigns around those challenges.
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    Resource #7: ABM in Action: Imprivata Case Study
    Healthcare IT security firm Imprivata uses intent data as a “secret weapon” in ABM and B2B demand gen campaigns. In the Imprivata ABM process, Sales sets product strategy and customer challenges, and Marketing creates flows in systems that build out the journey, like scoring, email campaigns, banner advertising, and demo- and geo-targeting. Imprivata wanted additional data, so the strategies defined by Sales were backed up by behavioral information, and the firm also wanted checkpoints to validate a strategy or help define a new path, and intent data gave them those answers. In fact, third-party B2B intent data alerted Imprivata to 700 spikes of intent signals at an account that wasn’t even in its pipeline. Marketing added the account to the mix, and Sales engaged. Results like these earned Imprivata the 2018 Return on Integration (ROI) Award in the category of demand creation and lead management at the SiriusDecisions 2018 Summit.

    Whether you’re considering account-based marketing for B2B demand gen, or already engaged with it, these seven ABM resources will give you ideas to take your strategy to the next level.

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