5 Ways to Scale Your Account-Based Marketing Strategy
So you’ve been tasked with running an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy that will target bigger deals that potentially close at a faster rate. You have thousands of accounts on your ABM list, selected by sales, marketing, or in tandem…but you’re a team of one. Sound familiar?
Without burning the midnight oil or taking your budget through the roof, how do you make ABM happen? How do you put the theory of “personalization at scale” into practice for the most important accounts for your organization?
Here are five ways to scale your ABM strategy, whether you have hundreds, thousands, or more accounts of varying sizes and industries:
1. Develop a Tiered Approach to ABM
This should ideally happen at the very beginning—during account selection. When you begin choosing accounts for your target list, consider grouping them into 2-3 tiers based on importance. Usually, the criteria for selection includes likelihood to convert as well as higher average selling prices (ASPs).
Whatever the factors are, make sure you have distinct groups of accounts and then plan your marketing strategy for each. The top tier, (e.g. Tier 1), would get the highest level of marketing investment. The marketing budget and resources for Tier 2 accounts would be slightly lower, followed by Tier 3. A helpful exercise is to list your marketing activities in a column and your tiers in a row. Then, go down and across the list to determine what activities will be run for each tier and place a check mark in each cell. Here’s an example:
2. Identify Attributes For Segmentation and Targeting
Once you have your lists, think about how you can segment those accounts meaningfully. Is it by industry, company size, tech stack, geographical region, or something else? When you have identified the attributes that your target account contacts will most closely identify with, you can design communications and campaigns based on them. For example, if 30% of your target accounts are using a competing product, you can develop an email campaign focused on how your product compares. Or if several accounts are e-commerce stores, you can promote a case study featuring a known brand in the same industry.
3. Use Dynamic Content in Emails
If your Tier 1 list is small, say 20-40 target accounts, you could execute specific programs for each account over a period of time. But what about Tier 2 and Tier 3? Dynamic emails are a great way to deliver personalized communications at scale for your target accounts. Go beyond personalizing standard components such as first name and signatures and look into personalizing the company name or the industry. In addition, don’t limit this tactic to just the body copy. The subject line is ripe with opportunities—using dynamic content in subject lines can dramatically increase your open rates.
4. Use Web Personalization to Increase Website Engagement
A website doesn’t need to and shouldn’t be a standardized experience for everyone. Web personalization refers to creating a dynamically personalized, highly relevant website experience for your prospects and customers based on their behavior, location, profile, and other attributes. Imagine browsing a website and seeing your company name or your industry on its homepage carousel—wouldn’t you be engaged (and intrigued) to browse further? For your Tier 2 and Tier 3 accounts, you can use a web personalization tool to tailor the content to the attributes you selected, so someone from a financial services firm would get a different experience than someone from an educational institution, for example. For your Tier 1 accounts, you can go as far as calling out a company’s name on your website’s main sections.
5. Leverage Paid Ads to Reach Your Accounts Across the Web
Many leading social media platforms today have capabilities that allow you to target specific companies, titles, and leads in your database. On LinkedIn, for example, you can easily target people who work in specific companies natively within its interface. An advanced marketing automation tool, like Marketo, allows you to reach leads in your target accounts on Facebook and other channels. Beyond just social media, you can also work with content syndication vendors to target leads only at specific domains.
These are just some of the ways to “darken the skies” for your target accounts and reach them where they are. There are several other tactics you can experiment with and employ, as long as your strategy is to deliver relevant communications across channels.
How are you executing ABM in a scalable way, and what will you do differently going forward? Answer in the comments section below!