The Force Behind High-Performing Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) depends on many pieces coming together: marketing, sales, channels, data and metrics, to name a few. And that’s just on the brand’s side of the buyer journey. The accounts you target for ABM have multiple players, often on buying teams, who visit many sites and look at lots of content.

The technology that gets you through this complexity to the qualified, in-market leads you need has a hefty job to do. This is what a high-performance ABM platform was meant for.

ABM in Theory and in Reality

In the best-performing account-based marketing (ABM) programs, B2B marketers align with their sales counterparts to engage a defined set of high-priority accounts and buying committee members. Teams collaborate around targeted marketing and sales support, and because the account needs are so well met, the brand wins the business. That’s how ABM works in theory.

While that’s good to know, B2B marketers work in reality, not theory. And that means lots of quality leads for the pipeline. Think of an ABM platform as your contact engine. For real.

A good account-based marketing platform provides secure, robust technology to run integrated, data-driven programs at scale. This means the platform supports:

  • Account selection
  • Planning
  • Engagement
  • Reporting

From there, an ABM platform helps B2B brands of all sizes engage audiences via:

  • Display advertising and retargeting
  • Social advertising
  • Content syndication
  • Email

Native Platform Experience Puts Tools in Same Place

Efficient ABM platforms provide a native user experience for orchestrating campaign workflows. Native functionality lets users complete workflows simply and centrally, within the product, without constantly jumping into and out of separate, third-party applications.

A mix of native capabilities and integration makes it easier to activate ABM audiences in other systems and channels.

Core ABM Platform Functionality

The core functionality of a high-performing ABM platform should include:

  • Audience management to unify first-party and third-party data
  • Third-party, account-level intent data (proprietary or licensed) to understand buyer interest and behavior
  • Creation and management of target account segments and audiences
  • Cross-channel campaign orchestration and activation
  • Sales alerts based on account-wide actions and engagement
  • Account measurement and analytics

What Really Differentiates ABM Platforms

When it comes down to it, look into these capabilities in a marketing cloud platform for ABM.

1) Where Does Contact-Level Intelligence Come From?

All data isn’t the same, but since all B2B marketing starts with data, it’s important to know the difference. Take a hard look at the source and quality of contacts provided by your demand gen partner.

  • How many verified contacts can be accessed with full company and contact information for targeting and export?
  • Are there robust filters (Firmographic, Demographic, Technographic, Intent) that help identify contacts for targeting?
  • Can the platform look at consumer and business identities and attributes? What about topical intent by contact and account?

2) How Does Your ABM Platform Support Buying Group Identification?

No account can be won without winning over the buying group. Your ABM platform should help with this — a lot. Some can, and here’s what they do:

  • Identify and target defined buyer personas and buying groups
  • Use intent for prioritization
  • Export buying group contacts at accounts that engaged across channels
  • Alerts when buying groups and buyer personas at accounts show intent
  • Persona-driven targeting and reporting for content syndication
  • Account-level reporting for programmatic campaigns

3) Cross-Channel Campaign Workflow for Full-Funnel Engagement?

Who wouldn’t want to use every tool at your disposal to earn and keep buyer attention? In-market B2B buyers aren’t confined to one channel, so your ABM platform shouldn’t be either. Content syndication, email, social media, display advertising — all work together to surround buyers with relevant messaging and brand awareness for full-funnel engagement.

Marketers want the benefits of multiple engagement channels, but really just one place to manage. Multi-channel campaigns can be executed natively through an intent-driven marketing cloud as your ABM platform. With an ABM platform and intent identification, campaigns all work together to drive buying group engagement in accounts. Integrated campaign reporting, both holistically and at the account level, answers the right questions.

What’s next? Maybe one of these articles:

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