Three Pillars of Successful ABM

Engage Smarter. Deliver ROI.

Today’s B2B buyer engages with brands on their own terms. This means moving beyond the traditional B2B sales channel, leveraging social, display, email, and other channels to discover and learn. Further, buyers expect to be served relevant information with the same feeling of personalization as a one-on-one conversation.

Digital interactions with buyers are critical, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has forced a shift to distributed workplaces. But given that so many companies are trying to engage with buyers via this important channel, marketers need to look for an edge – a way to stand out in the crowd.

Account based marketing (ABM) can provide the edge. It provides an opportunity target prospective buyers with relevance, and a marketer who can target a prospect with a relevant offer at the right stage of that buyer’s journey is in a better position to engage in a conversation and make a sale. According to Demand Gen Report’s 2020 ABM Benchmark Survey Report, more B2B brands are stepping up their investment and approaches. In fact, 58% of marketers have integrated their demand gen and ABM processes to streamline their marketing efforts, and 20% prioritize their ABM efforts over their traditional demand generation efforts.

In working with our clients, we have identified three pillars of a successful ABM strategy that will help you engage with prospects and deliver ROI to your business.

1. Identify, target, and prioritize

Who do you want to target? Identify your highest priority accounts, your ideal customers, Then break them down further, for example by industry vertical, company size, roles, and personas.

We haven’t met a business yet that has complained of having too many resources, so you want to work efficiently. This means prioritizing your target accounts. The quality of your ABM program takes precedence over the quantity of leads you’re targeting.

Leveraging data and buyer insights such as first- and third-party intent signals can help uncover which stage of the buyer's journey your target accounts are in, what use-cases they are expressing interest in, which location is expressing the interest and how likely they are to buy in the near term. Having these insights can help to prioritize, tailor the messaging across digital channels and the web, and serve up the right offer.

Also, think beyond your target persona. Consider targeting personas in your target accounts, for example, the end users, who influence your buying persona. Never underestimate the end user regardless of spending power.

2. Engage with relevance

Once audiences are identified and selected it’s time to activate the data and deploy a personalized digital experience to selected accounts. You want to make sure your prospect gets your message and has all the information they need to make a purchase decision.

Businesses often the mistake of serving everybody the same creative – a critical error,

Businesses often the mistake of serving everybody the same creative – a critical error, especially after all the planning that goes into making audience-based decisions. The average consumer may look at a digital ad for less than two seconds, so it’s critical to show relevant content. Messaging, artwork, and photography should speak to the individual. Avoid generic content at all costs! For example, if your decision maker is in the healthcare industry, showcase an image or content that has a healthcare focus.


3. Measure

Good marketing is data driven. Targeting the right people is helpful but giving the right people the right content is even better. Measuring in real time how your efforts are performing will put you in an even better spot because you can better inform your targeting and engagement.

Work with partners who bring together a best-in-class ability to measure engagement on website: impressions, content consumed, form fills, etc., Then track that account all the way through to pipeline and if it converts into a sale. This builds correlations to the attributed ROI.

Thoughtful ABM

Today’s buyers expect relevance across all channels. Thoughtful ABM can drive ROI, including improving engagement on ad programs, driving incremental meetings, creating more pipeline, opportunity, and engagement.

See how Dun & Bradstreet helps a Fortune 100 company use data and buyer insights for smarter ABM, to engage targeted accounts with relevant, personalized content.