Buyer behavior changes faster than most marketers are able to keep pace with. Modern B2B buyers want to be marketed to on their own terms, and they expect you to plan your campaigns accordingly.

So how can you engage buyers wherever they are in the selling process and also reach all of the important decision-makers—without being intrusive? Account-based marketing ( ABM) to the rescue.

What is account-based marketing?

ABM allows you to target your marketing on the account level rather than at the individual level. That means you can deliver your marketing messages to your target accounts while expanding your reach and exposure to other decision-makers and influencers within an account.

Here are five dead-simple ways to get your first account-based marketing campaign up and running.

1. Go talk to your sales team

Let's be honest here. When is the last time you sat down with your sales counterparts and got to know them on a personal level?

If you have done so recently, great! If not, I would highly encourage you to do so quickly. You'd be amazed what you can learn simply by having a conversation with your sales team.

The beauty of account-based marketing is that it brings Sales and Marketing together around a common goal: driving more revenue through the pipeline.

Example: Marketing and Sales meet once a week to discuss which accounts are on the target list. Marketing delivers ads to those accounts with the goal that when Sales calls on those accounts they have greater awareness of the company and the conversation flows much better.

2. Breathe new life into dead accounts

One of the coolest applications of account-based marketing is "waking the dead"—reviving your cold and inactive leads.

Leads that were once hot leads can turn cold for a variety of reasons—the most common being that your internal champion left the role or the company. Failing to continue nurturing those accounts could mean losing out on a lot of potential pipeline revenue.

As you can guess, sending more emails isn't going to bring the results you are looking for. A better way is to target them on their terms with ad campaigns wherever they are across the Internet.

Here's how you can win with this technique:

  1. Decide what qualifies as a "dead account" in your company.
  2. Develop light messaging that can be helpful to all contacts within the account.
  3. Find more than one champion in the account with a variety of content offers.
  4. Optimize as you go to increase your chances of success.

3. Ramp up big-time brand awareness on a small budget

Marketing budgets are getting tighter, and expectations for results are getting higher. What's a marketer to do?

If mainstream media or big-budget advertising campaigns are not realistic options for generating awareness for your brand, here is a less expensive alternative.

Account-based advertising is a great way to develop a targeted brand awareness campaign on a minimal budget. The actual ad spend is significantly less than a traditional campaign because you are starting with a much smaller list of companies. And because the campaign is more targeted, you will yield a much greater return on investment.

Example: You are working in a small organization with limited marketing spend, but you need to get your message in front of the right buyers of your product or service. A small, targeted and inexpensive account-based ad campaign can be a key differentiator in the success of your product.

4. Bring home the big bucks from your next tradeshow

Any marketer who has ever planned a tradeshow will tell you one thing: They are not cheap to execute.

So how do you get the most out of your event marketing investment and ensure that the leads you collect aren't going to waste?

Running account-based marketing campaigns before and after the event can help build the buzz you need to make your time at the event a true success—and actually see some ROI when you get home.

Here is what that might look like:

  1. Before the event, try to get a list of current (or previous) attendees from the organizer. You will want to focus on the actual accounts that these attendees work for when planning your targeting.
  2. Create a landing page where attendees can reserve appointments with you. Run account-level, highly targeted ad campaigns to drive attendees toward your landing page.
  3. Once the event is complete, you can use the actual attendee list to target the entire company, or specific roles within each company, with content-oriented ads to stay top of mind and drive greater pipeline revenue.

5. Nurture on the account level to stay top of mind

We often get too caught up in single-lead-based marketing and overlook the importance of targeting entire accounts to reach key decision-makers. The reality of B2B marketing is that sales, not leads, close accounts.

Suppose that every lead that finds its way into your CRM also reaches out to your competitors. If everyone is emailing and calling this one lead, then it is safe to say that everyone has a fair chance of winning them over, right?

Instead of just calling and emailing that same person repeatedly, you could use account-based marketing to automatically put a message in front of all of the decision-makers who influence the deal. Now that's an unfair advantage, especially when reaching your target accounts where fast is the name of the game.

* * *

Account-based marketing is quickly changing the game for B2B marketers and enabling them to reach their target audience like never before. Are you ready to change the game for your organization?

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image of Sangram Vajre

Sangram Vajre is a co-founder of Terminus and a book author. His latest book is is MOVE: The 4-Question Go-to-Market Framework. He is the founder of the FlipMyFunnel community, where B2B marketing and sales innovators foster the account-based mindset and learn from each other.

LinkedIn: Sangram Vajre

Twitter: @sangramvajre