When you make the decision to add account-based marketing (ABM) to your strategy, you’ll probably spend a fair amount of time and effort building your list, and creating custom content to feed your marketing automation platform. Once you do this, what’s next? Your list will be short and laser-focused, so you will have ample opportunities to personalize your customer communications on a granular level, and keep those targets engaged, throughout the buyer’s journey.
Reaching your ABM base efficiently and effectively, without annoying them, requires a combination of skill and technology. It all comes down to strategic personalization; of which we’ve put together five strategies for personalizing your touchpoints with targeted accounts and keeping those relationships “warm” until they’re ready to buy.
Personalize Sales Enablement Content
Ever notice that, even in a noisy, crowded room, you can almost always hear someone saying your name, or the name of the city you grew up in, or the name of the company you work for? Our brains are hardwired to respond to the words we associate with our identities. As marketers, we can tap into this phenomenon by leveraging personalization to make an impression with our ABM targets.
When you personalize your sales enablement materials with the name of a target company, you make your prospects feel special. Create a PDF template with customizable fields that your sales team can fill in with the account name before sending the resource to influencers. Remember to position your materials in a way that speaks to the entire company, not just to one or two job titles.
Create Offers Leading Up to a Personal Meeting
Online customer communications are convenient, and (when positioned correctly) effective, but they’re no substitute for personal, one-on-one interactions. Design offers with the potential to lead in to a personal meeting with one of your sales reps, including:
- Quality scores
Once you can engage a prospect in one-on-one conversation, you may notice their journey towards a sales decision begins to accelerate.
Mention Target Accounts in Blog Content
Incorporating ABM target accounts into your blog content delivers two advantages. First, you pay them a huge compliment by holding up their organization as a role model. Second, it gives you a reason to mention them on social media and even to email decision makers with a link to the post.
In addition to email and social media, there’s another resource that will let them know about your content: Google. Many people have Google Alerts set up to let them know when the company is mentioned on the web. When you publish blog content that highlights the organization, those alerts can create additional touchpoints that you didn’t even have to orchestrate.
Explore different opportunities for incorporating your ABM target accounts into your blog content, such as:
- Case studies
- Best practices
- Contributions of thought leaders within their organizations (conference presentations, publications, etc.)
Personalize Your Website’s User Experience
The same approach to personalization that works so beautifully in sales enablement materials (see #1 above) can also be leveraged for your website content.
Work with your web team to insert dynamic fields that automatically populate, with the name of the account, when the prospect visits your website. Welcome them personally, and if they’ve visited before, thank them for coming back. Before they leave, try to connect with them to discover whether they found what they were looking for and whether you can provide additional support.
One word of caution: personalization is great, but it’s easy to cross the line into creepiness, especially online. Don’t go overboard with mentions of the account name and other personalized fields. Make it clear that you know who is visiting, and that you’re happy to “see” them, and then let them create their own experience.
Tap Target Account Mentions on Social
When you share your blog content mentioning a target account (see #3 above), be sure to tag the company in your social media posts. Most companies closely monitor social media mentions, so you’ll attract their attention — as well as the attention of their extended network. They’ll appreciate your initiative in helping grow their brand awareness, and in doing so, show you understand them on a more profound level.
Studies have shown that it can take anywhere between seven and 13 touchpoints — or more before a prospect will buy. By leveraging personalization in your customer communications, and using a little creativity, you can create a system for reaching your ABM base in unique and exciting ways. This will make them look forward to interacting with you. And, when they’re ready to move into the decision phase of their buyers’ journey, your brand will be the first one that comes to mind.