Vertify teamed up with Triblio, an account-based marketing software company, to explore how top B2B marketers are implementing ABM strategies. Read on to find out a few key tips and tricks to deploying a successful ABM strategy from guest blogger Phoebe Tran.
No matter where you go, it seems that everyone is talking about account based marketing. TOPO research found that 82% of organizations running an ABM strategy for a year or more are meeting or exceeding their objectives. With results like that, ABM sounds like a dream come true for B2B marketers everywhere.
At Triblio, we’ve seen how our clients started out as fledglings with ABM and now soar high with fully mature ABM B2B marketing programs. We started to notice three distinct models of how real-world practitioners deploy ABM over time:
- ABM Campaigns for the Lead Funnel
- Target Account Carve Out
- 100% ABM for Demand Generation
You can think of each model as a sequential step until an organization realizes a fully mature ABM program, but we’ve seen great results from our clients that go 100% into ABM from their first steps with us.
Using ABM Campaigns for the Lead Funnel
In this model, an organization uses tactics and strategies of ABM and applies it towards their leads-based funnel. This is a fast and easy way to get started with ABM because you don’t have to adjust your metrics.
An example would be combining account based advertising with web personalization towards your target accounts. This strategy is a great way to match your messaging across your marketing channels. It also shows your target accounts up front your most relevant, tailored content from the second they click onto your website.
This approach to ABM B2B marketing works great for getting quick results. We’ve seen clients get an immediate boost in leads in just a matter of days. However, your efforts are ultimately still focused at the top of the funnel. ABM has many long-term benefits throughout the funnel, and you won’t get them here. This is a great place to start with ABM, but this shouldn’t be where you end with ABM.
Target Account Carve Out
In this model, an organization creates a separate account-based program for a specialized set of target accounts. This account-based program augments their existing efforts with traditional lead gen. We call this the Target Account Carve Out, and we see our clients taking this approach for their enterprise accounts or accounts with higher potential lifetime value.
This approach allows marketers to create and shape different buying experiences for their highest value accounts. Because you’re only running a select number of accounts through these ABM programs, you also get to keep your operational leads-based funnel around.
Our client, Clarabridge, created a separate ABM B2B marketing program starting with two target industry segments: retail banking and healthcare. They personalized their website by industry to show relevant messaging, imagery, and content. The marketing team created a playbook with personalized collateral, sales pitches, and important industry information to enable their Account Development Representatives. With a 3x lift in inquiry-to-customer conversion and $24m in revenue influenced since beginning their separate ABM campaigns, Clarabridge has added more target account segments to their program.
Since we typically see our clients choosing to run this approach with enterprise accounts, it can take a lot longer to see value from those accounts. Slow and steady wins the race, but marketing programs can outlive the B2B marketer that initially designed them.
100% ABM for Demand Generation
In this model, an organization is completely dedicated to ABM and an account-based funnel. Everything is account-based from top to bottom. You’re not fiddling with two different funnels that communicate different metrics, and you’re getting all the long-term and short-term benefits of ABM. Messaging is consistent across all marketing channels with ongoing collaboration between marketing and sales teams.
Our completely account-based clients have seen amazing results from going all-in with this approach. One of our clients, Plex Systems, was named by TOPO’s CEO, Scott Albro, as the “World’s Leading ABM Practitioner”. By running account-based advertising, web personalization, and coordinating sales activities to over 25,000 accounts, Plex has had a 2.8x lift in inquiry-to-MQA conversions.
This approach has the highest impact with improvements in lead quality and pipeline velocity. However, converting to a new funnel using new metrics will take time and require organizational education. With new resources published every day, there’s no shortage of knowledge on ABM. Just this past year, both SiriusDecisions and TOPO Inc. unveiled their account based funnels to ecstatic marketers everywhere.
This approach is definitely our favorite, but it requires a lot of overhaul for most organizations. That won’t deter the best B2B marketers, though, because the results from using ABM speak for themselves. You might also find that one of the other models fits the needs of your organization today.
A Great ABM Strategy Begins with Great Data
Before you decide to start running any of these deployment models, though, it’s crucial that you have the right target account and contact data. These target accounts lists are the foundation for every ABM B2B marketing campaign, regardless of which deployment model you fall under.
At its core, successful ABM means targeting the right people at the right time. Vertify’s ABM functionality allows marketers to upload a list of targeted titles and targeted accounts, and Vertify will deliver a list of all the targeted titles at their targeted accounts from their database of 180M+ global contacts.
With strong contact and account data, it’s easy to deliver the right message to the right accounts.