This is How I ABM: Strategy Tips from Digital, Direct Mail, and Field Marketers

We wanted to explore how marketers ABM. So we teamed up with some of our partners for their insights into how a marketing team can implement ABM across every role. We share what they had to say in this special, three-part series, This Is How I ABM.

Check out more of the This Is How I ABM partner series:

This Is How I ABM: Tips on ABM Programs for Demand Gen and CMOs – Leaders from Elevated Third, Quarry, and Spear Marketing Group share how ABM programs have helped their clients.

This Is How I ABM: Tips from Marketing Operations and Sales Development Pros –Leaders from our partner organizations Spear Marketing Group and Inverta share what ABM means to them.

Can’t-Miss Shows on Streaming TV, It’s Kind of Like Great Content for B2B

Lately, it feels like there is a new streaming service popping up every other day. All of them flaunting their can’t-miss content and showing off what sets them apart. Whether it’s a new show that I want to see or an old show that I miss being able to watch every day, I fall for it every time. I’m not sure how many of these streaming services I’m subscribed to. Honestly, it feels like it would be easier for me to name the ones that I don’t watch on a regular basis. And it all boils down to one thing: They all have content that I feel is worth taking the time to consume.

This doesn’t just stop with content on TV. In ABM, there are a ton of different channels where we can promote our content. Whether that’s through an e-book, webinar, direct mail material, or blog post, it all comes down to one thing. We need the content to back it up. It’s not just about creating something. It’s about creating the right something that people will want to take the time to consume.

In this post, our partners at BusinessOnline, Inverta, and PFL discuss the importance of using a creative edge when putting content out into the world, and on the immediate need to focus on the happiness of our existing customers (in light of the current angst caused by a pandemic and an economic downturn).

Digital Marketing

Angela Myrtetus, Sr. Strategic Account Director, BusinessOnline

The term “account-based marketing” has become a mainstream strategy for B2B marketers. They use it to target high-value customers with personalized messaging across various channels, like ads and direct mail. But great ABM campaign performance doesn’t just happen with the tools we use; it happens with our content. Your team might be using the best ABM tool on the market, but if you’re lacking in content and creative development, your campaigns will struggle.

ABM requires great tools to help you identify your target accounts and the insights needed for personalization. And it also requires a very specific set of skills in strategy, copywriting, and design. Every type of content you’d normally use in marketing and sales is effective in your ABM campaigns, so long as it’s personalized and relevant to your target audience.

A Strategy for the Buyer’s Journey

The key here is to focus on the format and stage in which your audience will engage, which requires strategy. You’ll want to develop and design the content that will deliver the value necessary to educate your prospects through their buying journey in an empathetic and compassionate way in the right format. You need to know your audience and understand who will watch a 3-minute video, read an e-book, or just want to read an article. Then you can create that content that’s compelling enough to keep them engaged.

An example of this is how Business Online is currently working with a well-known leader in the financial industry. Our client’s ABM team has been great at identifying their target audience, value framework, pains, and challenges. But they lack great copywriting, artwork, and design skills that speak directly to their audience. When you marry the two, the results are endless.

Direct Mail

Eva Jackson, Director of Demand Generation, PFL

Think beyond what’s “in the box” for a memorable direct mail experience.

According to PFL and Demand Metric, personalized and orchestrated direct mail is the #2 most profitable tactic for ABM marketers (second only to events). However, simply sending a gift and hoping that it gets you a meeting or signed contract isn’t an effective or scalable approach. If you ever feel like you’re sending a bribe in exchange for someone’s time, hold that thought. Revisit your ABM strategy and make sure your direct mail:

  1. Conveys a strong message and call to action.
  2. Visually enhances your brand.
  3. Triggers at the right time based on the warmth of the prospect or customer.
  4. Personalizes the content for both the sender and the recipient.

Direct Mail Listen Up Campaign with HeadphonesDemandbase sets a great example for marketers looking to create a remarkable brand moment. They recently partnered with PFL to trigger branded headphones with the messaging “Listen up! This is how you ABM” to their top target accounts. You simply need to read the title of this post to recognize the awesome brand continuity. And I promise Demandbase didn’t ask me to include this use case – that’s just good ABM!

CMO/VP Marketing

Catina Martinez, Senior Consultant, Inverta

In an era of pandemic angst and economic downturn, there is more pressure on CMOs than ever to produce marketing-influenced pipe. Data-driven CMOs are anticipating that the cohort for seeing a return on marketing dollars will increase, just like sales cycles. This is why both CMOs and CROs are hyperfocused on relationship building right now.

This new reality isn’t all dire. In fact, it presents an opportunity for marketing, sales, and account management teams to refine the way they work together and to be better at ABM. Yes, I said “account management,” because it is crucial.

Giving the White Glove Treatment to Existing Customers

COVID has kicked off a pivot away from acquisition to customer retention and expansion. Marketing budgets have been reallocated toward renewing and growing the customer base, and more than ever, CMOs have pressure to demonstrate that what they are doing is working or risk losing budget.

Nurturing relationships that have already been established just makes sense for ABM. Your customers are always in the process of evaluating the benefits of your product or service. If you are waiting until renewal to give your most important accounts the white glove treatment, you’ve already increased the risk of losing them.

If you are waiting until renewal to give your most important accounts the white glove treatment, you’ve already increased the risk of losing them.

Now is the time to focus on customer experiences, and creating advocates within target customer accounts. Advocates will fight to continue their relationship with you and will be your introduction to leaders in other parts of their business. Advocates also help you to build the foundations for new logo acquisition, even when times are tough.

Delighting existing customers is how CMOs are implementing ABM while creating a new normal for marketing.

Check out our This Is How You ABM page, where we’ve curated content for every marketing and sales role.