Finding Your Total Relevant Audience
ABM, Account Based Marketing, Total Relevant Audience, Acount Marketability, Always-On ABM, Contact Discovery, Contact Discovery Audit

In order to achieve the positive outcomes ABM is intended to bring, there are numerous factors that need to align. One of the biggest gaps in the Always-On ABM matrix is whether any specific account is marketable. Do you have enough people across enough parts of that account to introduce your product/service to? Have you done the appropriate auditing to understand who and how many represent your Total Relevant Audience? If not, you will likely only reach a fraction of potential in-market companies. Furthermore, you will likely lose a valuable first-mover opportunity.

Account Marketability

The biggest mistakes marketers make when launching ABM programs are:

  • Thinking they know the size of the Total Relevant Audience based on who is in their current contact database
  • Relying exclusively on titles/functions to determine that audience
  • Taking a Target Account List from sales, where there are few or no contacts in their current contact database

In order for an account in an ABM framework to be marketable, it requires at least 2 – 3 personae. These are people who represent different parts of a buying team and beyond. Also, it requires anywhere between 5 – 15 actual contacts (again, depending on the size of the account).

Why these numbers? First of all, you want to make sure your message is delivered to all people inside an account who will impact the decision to buy. You must not only reach the people who are directly involved in the decision-making process, but also the people who will contribute their thoughts and expertise along the way. However, you also need to take into account what a person has done (their skillsets, certifications, hands-on experiences with your categories, etc.), not just seniority and functional title. This information can be obtained through a Deep Persona Contact Discovery.

Deep Persona Contact Discovery

A Deep Persona Contact Discovery audit complements the process of building out personae by adding social graph data – their description of themselves through time, and their possible participation in your categories. This data is both descriptive and behavioral. One describes a person’s experience, while the other reveals active involvement in your category. Adding these elements, along with seniority and functional title, will significantly broaden your Total Relevant Audience.

Big Assumptions, Little to Show

We have conducted numerous Deep Persona Contact Discovery audits for clients. Believe it or not, the match between who we find in accounts of interest and what a client has in their current database is 16% at best. Most clients have less than 10% of the Total Relevant Audience in their current database.

And some have none. Yup, that’s right – we have clients that give us their sales team’s Target Account List, and when we do the audit, it comes back empty. In one case, when a client gave us a list of Target Accounts, one third of them had zero contacts, and over 50% of the total had 2 or less.

That is no way to begin your organization’s transformation to an Always-On ABM framework.

Remember, just because you have a stack with really cool box platforms means absolutely nothing unless you fill them with data that drives your business, automated plays that you can regularly activate, and enough people inside of the accounts that you want to target.

As always, we are happy to share our views and processes to help everyone get out there and turn your Always-On ABM aspirations into a reality.


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