With every new marketing trend the question arises; will this hype slowly vanish, or does it make sense to invest time in getting familiar with it? This is the case for account-based marketing. Research, conducted by Smart Insights, of B2B marketers states that account-based marketing is one of the top trends for 2017. But what exactly is it and how can you make it work for your brand?
Actually, the concept is pretty basic. It means focusing marketing activities on your so-called ‘wish list’ of prospects or accounts. Ideally, such a list would be a joint effort by marketing and sales. This is one of the advantages of account-based marketing; marketing and sales work closely together in order to achieve better sales results. An important part of this process is defining the challenges per account, which enables you to make content as relevant as possible. Prospects will appreciate this kind of content. In this way, making new contacts suddenly becomes easier and can really add value to the buying process of your prospect.
Relevancy and personalisation
Sirius Decisions research shows that this kind of marketing is one to keep an eye on. It continues to evolve, with 60 percent of companies investing in tools such as marketing automation to generate leads more effectively. Marketo has also identified the relevance of account-based marketing, and as a result have developed a strategy that, among other things, includes segmenting accounts, quality scoring and optimisation. At LEWIS we apply this method of lead generation regularly with our customers because we believe in a targeted and relevant approach to prospects.
Whether account-based marketing is the buzz word of 2017 or not, we’ll see, but either way, it is interesting to apply.
Five steps to apply account-based marketing
Here are five steps that you may find helpful to kick it off:
Create a wish list
Start at the very beginning. Make a list of hot prospects that you would some day love to be your customers, but have not yet been successful with.
Find out who your main contact should be
Carefully consider who to approach within the organisation; what their role is and, more importantly, what level they are. Once you know this, you are one step closer to stage three.
Determine the challenges of your prospect and base your content on it
Define the challenges of your prospect that you are aiming to solve with your product or service before approaching the prospect, then base your message and content around this.
Approach the prospect with a personalised message and the right content
By creating a relevant and personal message, in which you describe the challenges, you will be more noticeable than if you keep your message general or vague. Include relevant content in your message that meets the needs of your prospect. It shows that you are an expert in their sector.
Find the right communication channels and be visible there
Where does your prospect search for information? You need to be there as a company as well. Think of social media channels such as LinkedIn (which allows you to approach your prospect in a relatively simple manner through an InMail), media platforms and blogs.
The core of account-based marketing is actually what true marketing should always be about. Always think of your prospect and continually ask what it is that they need or would find most useful.
Traditional lead generation will fade away
Traditional lead generation campaigns where you send generalised information to your prospects are starting to fade away more and more. Companies that do not adopt new marketing tactics will ultimately be less noticeable. For this exact reason, account-based marketing will most likely be one of the most important lead generators in 2017.