Everyone’s talking about account-based marketing (ABM), and rightfully so:
Companies are increasingly focused on targeting the right accounts, rather than simply looking at them as individual leads. This is largely driven due to the following factors:
- Buying cycles have become complex and long
- Marketing technologies have become increasingly cross-functional
- Number of stakeholders involved in the buying decision for a technology purchase have increased
These changes in the buying process coupled with technological changes have resulted in a new outlook for B2B marketers: Marketing and selling to an account, rather than individual leads.
With this renewed focus on target accounts, it’s also important for marketers to create campaigns that are more account focused. Marketers stand to benefit from leveraging scores and grades to create personalized campaigns that target top accounts, rather than more generic ones designed to drive leads.
Where Does Scoring Fit Into Campaigns
For forward-thinking organizations, the process of selecting target accounts isn’t picking names out of a hat. In fact, most companies are now looking to drive their ABM strategy with the help of predictive technologies.
B2B companies are increasingly using Predictive software, along with its built-in machine learning and large external datasets, to identify accounts with the highest potential to convert. With Predictive, marketers are able to use scores and grades to build prequalified lists and segment accounts to gain insights on common attributes of ideal prospects.
Here’s an example of how Predictive scoring can help grade accounts into different tiers (from the Radius platform):
Looking at the image you can probably surmise that accounts with a higher propensity to convert fall into a top tier, whereas accounts that still need to be nurtured fall into lower tiers. The purpose of this segmentation is to identify the top accounts or Tier A accounts, which are most likely to convert and build targeted campaigns for each one.
So, what does this look like in practice?
4-Steps For Building Campaigns With Predictive
After you have assigned Predictive scores and grades to all of your accounts, your next step is to build campaigns with a focus on driving engagement with your target accounts. Here’s a framework that you can use to create more effective campaigns with Predictive:
1) Segment your top accounts by grade or score
Start the process by segmenting your top accounts with a grade or score in your Predictive platform. For example, in Radius you can use a Predictive score to sort your accounts into tiers.
2) Analyze accounts that are still early in the buyer’s journey
Once you have categorized your accounts into tiers, analyze which of them are still early in the buyer’s journey and not in late-stage sales conversations. The goal here is to focus on accounts that could use a “nudge” in the buying cycle.
Depending on your systems, it’s important to have your account grades & scores mapped over to your leads. This will allow you to identify people within your target accounts that enter the early stages of the funnel. A number of tools like LeanData and Engagio help solve this!
3) Identify common characteristics among target accounts
After you narrow down your list of top accounts, start looking for common characteristics among them. Do any of the accounts reside in the same industry? Do they share any common set of technologies? Do they share similar intent?
Group your target accounts into segments based on these characteristics. Here’s a snapshot of what that looks like in Radius:
4) Create personalized campaigns for each segment
Once you have segments of target accounts that share common characteristics and have high Predictive scores and grades, it’s time to create the campaign.
Select a segment and brainstorm ideas for personalized campaigns that will help nurture the target accounts through the buyer’s journey. Identify key pillar assets (eBook, webinars), amplification content (blog posts, paid social), and email nurture drips that help drive accounts to a favorable action.
By following these steps, marketers can ensure the campaign they create is very personalized for each segment and also more likely to convert their target accounts.
In fact, we used this approach in our efforts to create personalized campaigns.
How We Created A Personalized Campaign For Top Accounts
We started the process by asking ourselves “which industry has a lot of Tier A & B accounts without opportunities?” This led us to many companies that were prospecting in the POS & Payments industry.
Once we selected this industry, we then narrowed down our list of accounts by selecting the ones that weren’t in late-stage sales conversations, and could use a nudge in the buyer’s journey.
After we compiled a list of these accounts, we used the information to create a highly personalized webinar to nurture them.
The combination of numerous opportunities along with a great story that we had from customer case studies made developing a campaign for this segment a top priority.
More than 20% of our Tier A and B accounts in the POS & Payments space registered for the webinar, which resulted in a handful of opportunities for our marketing team.
Wrapping It Up
While account-based marketing can seem intimidating at first, it’s important to note that the underlying focus is on targeting the right accounts at the right time through the right channels.
Campaigns are an important asset in B2B marketing and by leveraging Predictive grades and scores, marketers can help drive personalization and ultimately conversions through the funnel.
Need help building out an account-based marketing tech stack that fits your needs? Read our ABM Tech Stack Blueprint eBook, which we published in conjunction with the ABM Leadership Alliance.