Adotas is pleased to offer a Q&A with Scott Vaughan,CMO of Integrate, that explores account-based marketing and how it can boost your company’s sales.
Q: Why do you think account-based marketing (ABM) is receiving a new level of attention as marketers plan for 2016?
A: As marketers plan for 2016, many see account-based marketing as a fundamental part of their marketing plan. The biggest driver of this shift is that marketers now have the data and emerging tools to take this on. It is not just sales driving this initiative. There has been a clear realization that a full-fledged ABM program is more than just an engagement tactic; it supports the entire customer lifecycle, contributing to the overall customer experience. Done right there’s a big promise for ABM delivering efficiency and effectiveness to programs by targeting higher value opportunities. Lastly, from a MarTech vendor perspective, deals like ABM Demandbase acquiring Whotoo solidify the bet being made that marketers will invest in this targeted marketing approach.
Q: How can marketers incorporate account-based marketing techniques into their existing programs?
A: For marketers to successfully execute an ABM program, they should by no means abandon broader lead-gen initiatives.. Otherwise, they risk depleting their pipeline with no chance of identifying new target audiences based on persona and marketing account types. If marketing teams make a firm commitment to an ABM approach, they must keep in mind that companies don’t buy products or services; people do. Therefore, data and an ability to target specific people and roles is a critical piece of an ABM strategy. An advertising, retargeting or emailing already secured contacts within your target accounts is simply not enough.
The good news is new capabilities are being launched on a regular basis to add to the mix of tools and techniques. With that said, here are the fundamental tools for successful ABM programs in 2016:
o CRM and Marketing Automation
o Predictive Analytics
o Account-Targeted Ads
o Automated Outbound Demand and Lead Generation
o Website Personalization
o Data Management and Measurement
Q: How does predictive analytics help enforce account-based marketing?
A: Predictive analytics technologies are vital for a successful ABM program, as they take all available data from existing databases and external sources and use configurable algorithms to define and target personas. Available data can range from sources including CRM, marketing automation systems, blogs, websites and landing pages. Data can be gathered from external sources such as government sites and social media channels. Together, these can be used to define the persona of individual decision-makers within an organization.
Essentially, predictive analytics act as an intelligence tool to provide the necessary user information for ABM programs. This data enables marketers to score and segment their customers based on attributes like social activity, technology usage, credit score and job data. With this insight, marketers can then create a realistic plan by carefully identifying the types of accounts that are likely to close deals.
Q: What are some examples of inbound and outbound tactics that account-based marketing can leverage?
A: To effectively generate new, qualified leads, both inbound and outbound tactics must be leveraged. The core of ABM is targeting new leads in a personalized way based on a specific persona. For this to effectively happen, a variety of tactics must be incorporated. To determine which tactics make sense for certain accounts, it’s important to understand content consumption habits and where they go for information. It’s also important to have a healthy understanding of the prospect’s behavior patterns and preferences as well as internal and external influences.
When it comes to ABM, inbound tactics ensure the material prospects are searching for is relevant and you are driving them back to relevant, targeted content on your web site and landing pages. This can be found in the form of a pop-up offer, a sidebar registration link, a Live Chat, personalized social posts and influencer media outlets.
Outbound tactics can be used to effectively identify individuals – not just companies -based on both company activities and user profiles. For example, if you have captured first-party data from specific activity on your web site or in your data pool, you can then apply a couple of effective approaches to create known IDs to generate a lead or contact. .. One common approach is ad targeting and retargeting to try and engage a user within your named accounts. Another technique gaining in popularity is going a step further using lead acquisition programs to generate specific contacts with specific roles based on activity within targeted companies. This outbound demand approach can include targeted content syndication, telemarketing, appointment setting, and LinkedIn alerts..
Q: How can sales and marketing teams align to develop the best possible account-based marketing programs?
Sales teams have been targeting specific ‘named accounts’ for quite some time via their own efforts. Today, using data and a digital approach, marketers can work hand-in-hand with their sales colleagues to create more targeted, effective outcomes. . The best results come when marketing and sales lock armsto develop a data-driven approach to identifying companies, contacts and building an integrated and personalized marketing effort with sales and marketing playing specific roles. Without this integration and alignment, the buyer journey significantly suffers from a disjoined transition of accounts. All successful ABM programs start with a plan that outlines and breaks down roles throughout the customer journey.