Get Ahead of the Buying Cycle

With over 70% of B2B buyers starting their research with generic search and regulations in Europe of the GDPR, understanding your buyer is critical. As a B2B Marketer based in the UK and operating in the EMEA region, the changes in regulation and how I was going to reach my buyers was a pretty daunting prospect and something that required a shift in focus.

That shift for me was an ABM approach. Due to the nature of our business and the sales/SDR team I had to support, a one-to-many ABM approach was the best fit for us as we could use our own technology to get ahead of the competition and reach key decision makers as early as possible in the buyer’s journey.

But as a B2B Marketer in Europe, I know that for many Marketers ABM is not a common approach and a lot of people just don’t know where to get started.

It all starts with an ABM strategy – from building your ABM Leadership Team, to getting sales and marketing aligned on a joint approach to evaluating your existing tech stack to see where you need to fill the gaps.

The first step is building your target account list, but wait! You’ll need input from your ABM leadership and sales team to understand what types of accounts are right for your business and who ticks the boxes on your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

Now the fun really starts and you can put the technology to work. Take your ICP list, some keywords from your SEO/SEM programs and tah dah you have a target account list. Of course the technology does all the hard work for you. It helps you understand why you have this list of accounts and provides you detailed information on each of those accounts. This allows you to see what types of intent that account is showing and the content they are consuming. To put this into context, for me as a marketer at Demandbase, I want to know what accounts are researching ABM-related topics and see what content they are consuming that is related to ABM.

So I’ve got all this amazing data and I’m now starting to feel all warm and fuzzy inside as I have a list of accounts that are showing active buying signals right at the start of the buyers journey. So what happens next? I dig deeper into those accounts and see they are not coming to my website – but it’s ok as I have a strategy for that – account-based advertising. Let’s start an ads campaign to those accounts not currently engaging with us. Let’s serve them content that is relevant to their business and where they are in the buying cycle. Not only am I able to see those accounts now engaging with us and visiting my website, but I can also measure the effectiveness of my ads campaign to really understand how it is performing (see it in action). Great for me as a marketer as I can really prove value to the business and I’m connecting my sales team with in-market accounts that are researching solutions our business can help with.

As a marketer, I also care about a good user experience and I want that customer journey to be connected. So when those target accounts hit my website I’m going to implement an engagement strategy so I can engage each customer with the right content at the right time.

Finally, the key tenet of an ABM Strategy is sales & marketing alignment. I want to be a strategic partner with sales, so I’m going to deliver insights where sales is already working to make it super easy for them. My sales team will get email notifications and Slack alerts when one of their accounts is on our website. I’m also going to share all the intent signals with them so they have the context and insights they need to take-action, personalise their outreach and maximize the quality of their conversations.

ABM doesn’t have to be hard. By adopting a “crawl, walk, run” approach, you can identify what’s working and what’s not without a huge investment.

Want to learn more about ABM? Then join our webinar on 15 August to hear how to align your Sales and Marketing teams and see real world examples of successful ABM implementation.