This article, by Madison Logic’s own Vin Turk, originally appeared on MarTech Advisor.
The marketing funnel is dead. But many marketers still see the buyer’s journey as following this traditionally linear path. The truth is, B2B marketers can no longer anticipate where and what type of content their prospects need and want. Thankfully, account based marketing (ABM) is giving B2B marketers new insights to identify the content that’s collectively resonating with each account, and allowing them to fine-tune messaging based on unique signals.
Marketers can easily be fooled by a prospect account’s early activity and jump the gun. Often, early-stage leads are perceived as “in-market” or “sales ready” when they are nothing of the sort. The trick is patience, and to take advantage of ABM’s powerful insights over time, from the moment a marketer identifies and nurtures a prospect account all the way to conversion. By adopting these three major initiatives, marketers can significantly improve the velocity of leads into loyal accounts.
Tier Your Approach to Account Size
Good consultative sellers and marketers think critically and methodically about how to penetrate accounts — charting and navigating an intricate course of complex decisions making and oftentimes internal politics. These maps can look significantly different inside an enterprise versus inside the SME or SMB. Therefore, it benefits marketers to create size-based tiers and execute tailored strategies for each.
For example, a buying committee at a large enterprise prospect has multiple stakeholders from different departments with widely varied vested interests. Marketing might need strategic content, IT might be concerned with ease-of-implementation information and Finance may require ROI evidence. One-size-fits-all content won’t resonate; therefore, it’s incumbent upon marketers to create a more personalized, tiered content platform. The most on-the-mark campaigns deploy content that matches the target account’s industry.
Take Thoughtful Channel-Based Approaches
Buyer behaviors vary by channel, so it’s essential to tune differently to those channels throughout the prospect’s journey. To start, consider how you will properly measure account engagements the whole time, listening across various channels, gauging digital research signals, intent, surging behaviors, asset consumption and other conversion indicators to dial in the approach and choose content assets that work for each channel.
Done right, account based marketing can help you simultaneously evaluate all your accounts, and surface a more holistic overview of your total program’s performance. With this view, marketers can more effectively and expediently optimize campaigns by adjusting content assets and their messages.
Leverage Existing Connections to Drive Relationship Building
You have a network consisting of business professionals that you’ve built since you entered the workforce. Look into these connections that already exist to find key executives or influencers at your target accounts that you can leverage. By mapping out your entryway into an organization, and building a comprehensive view of the information that matters most to these folks, you increase the likelihood that your message resonates.
Content Completes the Journey
Within a global ABM strategy, marketers should also ramp content marketing initiatives as an essential, complementary practice that leverages ABM’s intelligence.
With rich account-based insights in-hand, with per-channel indications of what’s working for whom and where you are going to need targeted, personalized, channel-specific content – and the ability to deliver and deploy the range of personalized assets this implies. The intelligence you’ve gathered will idle unless you use it to actively evolve your content marketing play. Therefore, along the course of campaign performance evaluation, it will be important for your marketing team to determine what forms your content assets can take to deliver the most value to prospects and effectively nurture them further through the process.
Webinars, instructive video modules, the right length whitepaper, interactive display media, social utilities?
Any good nurturing campaign is a garden of forking paths. Our client readied multi-channel content for each level, optimizing their program at every step to more effectively push their leads towards conversion. It’s that kind of nimble execution that rolls up to an ABM success story.