Account-based marketing is the new buzzword in the marketing arena. Traditionally, companies developed and implemented generic marketing campaigns where the focus was to reach out to as many companies as possible. The marketing landscape has changed drastically over the years. Hyper-personalization is the need of the hour.
Initially, it was expensive for companies to customize their message. However, it has now become simple for them to do so due to the various technological advancements. These advancements allow personalization to a higher degree. Let us first understand the nuances of account-based marketing.
What is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing is a marketing approach in which the marketing and sales teams target specific accounts and work together to turn them into paying customers.
Map the entire buyer’s journey and develop a communication strategy for each step of their journey. Develop specific communication, content, and campaigns for each account. It is completely opposite to one size fits all marketing strategy that most companies follow.
The main aim of an account-based marketing strategy is to acquire, retain, and ensure increasing recurring revenue from high-value clients. For it to be effective, it is critical to developing a process that acts as a guide. The objective is to gain maximum return on investment from these high-value clients.
The following are a 7 step process to implement Account Based Marketing.
1. Define an Ideal Customer Profile
The very first step is to come with the ideal customer profile. We should focus on the industry we want to target, followed by the company size, company turnover, number of employees, designation of employees we need to target, region, etc. The more detailed the profile more clarity will it provide about the accounts we want to target. A critical factor you should define is the lifetime value of your ideal customer. It will help you determine the RoI of your marketing campaigns.
2. Map accounts and key stakeholders within the account
The next step is to shortlist the accounts you want to target. You should gather business intelligence about their mode of functioning, their specific problem areas, organizational structure, key decision-makers and stakeholders, influencers, etc.
Again, the focus should be to research as deep as possible and unearth details that will help you customize your messaging.
3. Team alignment
The next step is to form teams for each of these accounts you have identified. Each team member should have complete clarity on the role assigned to him/her and expectations from the assigned responsibility.
There should be clearly defined deliverables based on which the performance of the entire team, as well as an individual team member, will be evaluated.
4. Define and develop personalized communication strategy
The next step is to create a communication strategy as per the account mapping done earlier. It is important to note that the messaging would vary within the organization as well.
It means the communication sent to the CEO will be different compared to the message sent to the VP of Sales. The focus is to highlight the challenges they face and the solution you can provide to solve those problems. You should develop all the content, communication, and campaign around the pain areas and how you can address them.
5. Messaging Distribution Channel selection
The next step is to determine the different channels that you would use to distribute your messaging. A multi-channel multi-touchpoint distribution yields success more often than not.
Experiment with a variety of channels to determine which works and which does not. It helps you derive an optimal channel-communication strategy.
6. Execute campaigns
Once you have laid the foundation and are ready with the groundwork, the next step is the actual campaign execution. Ensure that the right message is sent through the right channel and to the right recipient.
7. Let data speak
Post-execution, continuously observe and track the performance of all the campaigns, content, and communication. If the data suggests that specific messaging is not working or if a particular channel is not delivering the desired results, be ready to tweak it. Let data be the deciding factor.
A data-driven outlook will guide you to select the approach giving results and discard the one that is not. Also, in this way, you will be able to determine the RoI of all your marketing efforts. Account-based marketing may seem like a lot of work. However, there are many tools available in the market that will help you automate these processes. If you efficiently implement the steps listed above, it will be profitable for your business.
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