When digital marketing became popular we built a website. Then everyone talked about “content marketing” and so we added a blog. And don’t forget social media which came shortly thereafter!
But what’s the ROI been on all these marketing tactics we’ve used over the years? Typically unfavorable because even when you are able to attract people to your website, often a large quantity are cheap, unqualified prospects.
So how do you solve this challenge? Through Account-Based Marketing, or ABM, which combines the best of marketing and sales tactics so that the qualified prospects come to your door instead.
With Account-Based Marketing Strategy (ABM), your sales and marketing resources are concentrated towards specific companies. Rather than spending your marketing dollars on keywords and SEO, with ABM you ensure higher ROI by sending your message to those leads who will give you a profitable partnership.
These three easy steps can guide you in creating a basic ABM plan:
Identify a vertical or market segment
I know what you are thinking, “we don’t have a specific industry we target.” Maybe that’s true, but I bet that if you look closely at your customer-base, you’ll be able to draw some conclusions on the ideal client profile. Maybe your clients are across a variety of industries, but the majority are less than 100 employees, and 40 percent of those have multiple offices.
Take a look at the clients you love, find the common denominators, and then go after similar companies. Also consider which types of business are bringing in the most revenue and which ones show the best upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
Find new target accounts, and choose your message
Once you identify the market segment you want to pursue, you can use tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find new prospects that match that criteria.
Next you need to choose a message. The more you know about the particular business challenges they face, the easier it will be to create a message that resonates with the target audience. Think of a client testimonial. Nothing speaks more to your success than a happy client. Further, you should strive to get a testimonial for the market segment you are targeting.
In the LinkedIn post above, for example, we promoted a testimonial and not only mentioned the vertical “renewable energy.” Within the post, but added vertical-specific hashtags in hopes of getting the attention of decision makers within that target segment.
Pro Tip:Use channels like Reddit or LinkedIn Groups to gather information about your target audience’s pain points. Also, understand that saying “24/7 support” or “Certified Engineers” won’t be enough to create a unique value proposition (UVP).
Choose the channels and tactics
When considering channels and tactics for an ABM strategy, look for channels that have a combination of marketing and sales opportunities. For instance, consider your LinkedIn strategy not only from the company page/brand distribution of content, but also from the perspective of how you can use it to engage with decision makers and influencers from your targeted accounts.
Social selling on LinkedInis a great way to involve your sales team in opening conversations with prospects while nurturing them with content that your marketing team develops, such as blogs or infographics.
A good ABM strategy will combine tactics across channels likeemail,content syndication, direct mail, cold calling, and social media. But once again, it will depend on your audience. The higher the touchpoints, the easier it will be to accelerate the sales cycle, so take the time to plan accordingly.
Pro Tip:The success of an ABM strategy is the perfect alignment between marketing (inbound) and sales (outbound). Having a CRM and some level of marketing automation will favor the flow of information between these two teams making your prospecting process more efficient.
These steps are meant to help you to start with ABM. It’s a great growth strategy for MSPs, but success depends entirely on how well it’s implemented.
If you’re looking for help to kickstart your ABM endeavors, or if you would like a more in-depth explanation on how ABM works in practice for an MSP, then you can always contactSimple Selling.