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How to Leverage a Data-Driven Account-Based Marketing Strategy

Published on November 13, 2018
Marketing | Sales |

Is your business looking for new ways to increase sales? 🤔

Have you tried various marketing trends to no avail? 😟

Whether your business has already had a foot in the door in the market or looking to establish itself, account-based marketing is vital. In this article, we’re highlighting some of the best strategies that can help you implement data-driven account-based marketing. 📈

What You’ll Learn:

What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?

First thing first, it is important that you develop an understanding of ABM. The strategy is not about targeting just any account or lead but specific ones. By specific, we mean you target those businesses that have a need for your service or product.

There is a need to treat each account as their own and run marketing campaigns that are tailored to them.

The strategy is highly reliant on data, data that enables you to determine if the account fits your ideal customer profile. This profiling allows you to develop an understanding of what type of firms to target.

It will also allow your business to then segment such accounts for different markets or services you offer. Marketing material can then be tailored for each, it can be sent out to the accounts accordingly based on their segments or separately.

ABM strategy has become rather popular with B2B companies, 70% are either planning to or already implement account-based marketing according to SiriusDecisions.

How to Identify Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)?

In order for your account-based marketing strategy to be successful, you need to make sure your ICP is well defined.

This is done through research and the development of parameters of traits that the ideal customer for your business possesses. During the process, you need to focus on the following:

Firmographics: A detail on the physical attributes of firms that are suitable ICPs. This includes traits such as company size, location, revenue, and budget. While their demands would be the most important trait, having an ideal profile for physical attributes allows you to ensure that the company is properly aligned.

Technographics: This accounts to look at the technology required for your ideal profile. A look into which technology is generally present and what technology-based services the account relies on that compliment yours.

Cultural fit: While most businesses may ignore cultural fit in sight of revenue, this is an important qualitative measure that benefits the interaction between your business and the client. If the cultures don’t mesh well together there are chances of lower engagement which can result in lower profits. It can even lead to the deal going soar, in the worst case scenario.

Buyer persona: This focuses on the persona of your clients, what pain points do they normally possess to opt for your business. You can evaluate your services and products to see which type of buyers they appeal to along with study your existing clients to develop the data for buyer persona.

The ICP doesn’t just stop with the traits; you need to determine which characteristics have more weight than others. For example, a company that deals with bigger clients may give more weight to firmographics, company size, than they would cultural fit.

This allows you to develop a grading scale to target companies with higher grade first.

Through ICP you will set a baseline to judge which accounts should be targeted. This enables your business to target firms that have a higher chance of opting for your services; these leads will be higher in quality. Leading to a more efficient approach for both your marketing and sales teams.

If your business is having trouble identifying these traits, you can even approach existing clients to help you out. You can ask existing clients to participate in surveys asking them questions such as:

1 – Why did they decide to opt for your service over others?

This will help you determine USPs that your business offers over others. While you should already be aware of these, this question at times can provide you with USPs that you weren’t aware of.

2 – What their business major points are?

This question allows you to develop an understanding of which businesses to target that have similar pain points.

3 – How has your service helped them solve problems they come across?

This is great to use as a testimonial for marketing and also developing a better understanding of your own services.

4 – Who makes the key decisions in their business, is it an individual or a committee?

This question will help you determine who to usually target when an account is identified.

A great way to get customers to actively participate in such surveys is by offering them discounts on your services.

How You Can Leverage Data To Enhance Your Account-Based Marketing Strategy

Technology has helped businesses accumulate tons of data, which presents them with an opportunity to employ marketing strategies like never before. There is so much data that they usually don’t even know what to do with it.

From CRM to billing systems and so on, there is so much data that can be used for analytics but is going to waste.

This data can be used to enhance your approach to ABM in ways that weren’t possible a decade ago. So it is important that the data is organized first in a manner that it can be utilized.

Preparing The Data

The preparation process starts with the gathering of all your data in one place. This means you need to grab all the customer information you have from the CRM and other databases.

During the process, you want to cleanse the data also, get rid of details that are not relevant to you.

Enrichment Of The Data

Enrichment means adding more depth to the data of customers you have. In order to do this, you will need to fill out firmographics, buyer persona, and other traits.

This will give you a more in-depth analysis of each customer so the account can be targeted accordingly. The more information presents the easier it is to target the account with specific services.

During this process, you can even segment companies that have similar features together so specific promotions can be sent out to them at the same time.

Research, Research, Research

You can never have too much data about the accounts, the more data the better. Developing a better understanding of the market and specifically each account requires a lot of research.

The process of enrichment should allow you to determine not just what the needs of the account is but how you can approach them and exactly whom to approach. Identifying the key decision maker is important so you don’t waste time talking up your services with employees that don’t have that power.

During this research process, you should also be able to analyze which approach will be more effective.

What may work for one account may not for another so your marketing material from your content to how the company is approached is important. Your research should be so in-depth that it helps you figure the approach out.

Data For Understanding The Market You Should Approach

The data you gather and sort should also tell you which markets your business strives in and which it has trouble with. When preparing the data is enriched you will begin to see a trend in specific markets that opt for your services and your ideal ICP will automatically develop.

This enables your sales and marketing team to focus on these specific markets for better conversion rates.

Benefits of Data-Driven ABM

Data is always an asset to companies, the more data the better. However, it is also important that the data is analyzed and utilized. Otherwise, it is useless to hoard so much data. ABM is an old practice that has experienced a “makeover” of sorts with the help of data, which is now more readily available.

The approach has numerous benefits for your business and we go over them here.

Enhances The Process Of Customer Acquisition

The data helps marketing teams in various ways it starts with the elimination of leads that are poor, so the sales team doesn’t have to waste time on them. It also enables them to approach the leads in a more personalized manner. Through the data, a specific marketing campaign is launched for the account.

Services and products that provide value to the account are highlighted so there is a higher chance of acquisition.

Unites Sales and Marketing Plan and Approach

All the data that is enriched and finalized should be available for both marketing and sales teams. This allows them to work in harmony and their approach to the accounts will be in sync. This is important because one easy way to lose a client’s interest is by having a marketing team pitch one thing and the sales team pitch another upon contact.

The CRM or database where the data is stored should be available to both teams so they can work together to lead a more effective ABM campaign.

Improved Path To ROI

Through ABM you approach targeted accounts, those that you know have a need for your business. The strategy is considered to be one of the most effective B2B marketing tactics that have little risk and wastage.

The approach is measured, in the sense, that key decision makers are approached, which saves time, and the accounts pain points are targeted. The path to ROI is far clearer with this approach since it is well calculated.

Makes Efficient Use Of Resources

Targeting key accounts that need your services doesn’t just improve conversion rate but increases revenue also. These accounts are more likely to give you continued business and opt for services of higher value.

By targeting such account, your marketing and sales resources spend their time and effort wisely. They have a higher chance of converting such account than just random accounts they would approach without prior research.

Along with resources, ABM is also a cost-efficient approach. The approach targets a specific audience that understands the importance of your business. Think in the sense of social media marketing, you can save cost by targeting specific accounts, groups, and organizations online rather than just rolling out a full-scale marketing campaign for everyone.

This approach will save money and have a more likely chance of accounts showing interest.

Forms A Relationship-Based On Trust

For a business to succeed it is important it forms relationships rather than just transaction. Each company becomes a part of your network from the moment the account is identified. You need to build a relationship with them using the right processes, ABM allows you to do that.

By personalizing your approach, letting them know how your business can benefit theirs rather than just marketing your products, builds trust with the account. Their business is not just about revenue but a mutual agreement that benefits both businesses.

With so much ABM has to offers your business there is no better time than now to leverage data to enhance your approach. It may take time to collect, enrich, and arrange the data but the effort will be worth it.

Be Patient With Your Approach

ABM is an approach that takes a bit of time and a lot of effort. But it is a calculated approach that can prove to be fruitful for those that are patient. Be sure to monitor the strategy so you can determine the best approach for your business.

Remember that ABM starts from the data. It is a process that relies heavily on data and the quality of it. Unlike other approaches that start with customer engagement, ABM starts well before that.

The whole purpose of it is to enhance customer engagement and to build a more valuable relationship. That is why research and taking the proper approach to data leveraging is important. It can either make or break your strategy.

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