Account-based marketing is a methodology that is especially effective for technology sales where there is often a long sales cycle, involvement of multiple decision-makers, and/or multiple buying centers. Best practices for account-based marketing involve multiple strategies including:
- data map and append of subsidiaries and business units,
- profiling of corporate entities as well as subsidiaries and business units identified,
- identifying decision-makers and major influencers within each entity,
- collection of business intelligence,
- one-on-one email marketing,
- social listening to the conversations within corporate entities, subsidiaries, and business units,
- cross-promotion of relevant client events,
- inbound marketing, and
- outbound lead generation.
While digital marketing strategies by themselves are excellent tools for cost-effective management and measurement of general lead activity and behavior, there are pieces of the target account puzzle that may be missing by utilizing only these tools. Account-based marketing ensures that marketers:
- identify all the relevant target audiences at every prospect account,
- identify and verify all the decision-makers and influencers within each target audience,
- learn what technology and environmental factors are driving the prospect’s business and how your solution might resolve their pain,
- test and modify your messaging so that it resonates with each target audience at a prospect account, and
- learn who your competition is.
Leveraging a strategy of account-based marketing provides marketers with:
- a greater awareness of the business intelligence and technology infrastructure impacting each prospect,
- detailed information on organizational infrastructure, including subsidiaries and business units, to improve the ability to up-sell and cross-sell,
- intelligence on key triggers that will help better align and focus prospect messaging via both digital and live channels,
- identification and awareness of key decision makers and knowledge of the key influencers in the decision-making process.
Putting multi-channel, account-based marketing best practices into effect requires a well mapped strategy but also requires a constant focus on flexibility and the ability to make changes in the marketing modalities in use to respond to new information gleaned about each account.
Account-based marketing is scalable. Any size organization can employ this method of discovery for qualified leads. But it is important to note that while there may be immediate qualified leads generated, the primary benefit of account-based marketing is long-term. SiriusDecisions distilled that concept this way. “Beyond demand creation, ABM (account-based marketing) looks at the role of marketing throughout the customer lifecycle including the development of insights and advocacy to support better execution and revenue outcomes.”