With the explosion of ABM talk and tools the past year, many demand generation marketers are struggling to shift gears to ABM methods and metrics.
Do not panic.
There really isn’t any reason for any marketer to worry about ABM. Most firms have their top 100 wishlist customers and each salesperson has that list for his territory. The question ABM has brought up is, “How can marketing help automate more of the work required to bring together the buying team?”
The answer is already in front of you. Your existing frameworks, databases, tools, and content are often enough to move forward on a Target Account List. Could you do better than today? Yes, of course. Do you need fancy tools and new list techniques first? Not at all!
Do ABM now, with what you have.
And just how do you do ABM without all the fancy ABM martech tools? Let me show you.
Create Your Target Account List
This is not just any old list in a Word doc. No, this is a special list. Once you have the names in a Word doc, transfer them to Excel.
- Company Name IS
- Company Name STARTS WITH
- Email Address CONTAINS @domain.com
If you do happen to have tools, interns, or existing Scoring Lists, you can use those to help construct this faster.
Create a Target Account Persona List
Then divide this list into similar industries or solution areas, depending on how your firm best works with others. Usually Industry+Solution is the best bet.
Once you are done, you will have grouped all of your Targets in a way that can be easily converted to a Smart List in your marketing automation platform.
Create Buying Team Persona Lists
If you do not already have a Buyer Persona segmentation or profile, make them now. Then map those against the Account Personas so you have a deeper set of smart lists:
Account Persona+Buying Persona = ABM
Now you can identify precisely whom to target in each Account. You can also see a count to understand your Coverage in each Account and across Account-Personas.
Database Cleanup and Appending
At this point, you will likely realize that your database is woefully out of date and has bad data. Most of us do happen to have list cleaning and appending tools already, so use them now to fill in data gaps and fix errors. If you do not have a list tool to draw on, there are several, non-cash things to try:
- Map Title to Role using data management flows.
- Adjust State and Country picklists and entry points for geo targeting.
- Clean up Territory Rules and Assignments. Nothing breaks ABM like sending emails from the wrong rep to the wrong list.
- Ensure you have permission to email your target account lists. If you are missing this, then your initial strategy may need to change
Using Content and Storytelling Effectively
While we can’t go deep right now, it is important to organize your content in a way that will resonate with your Account Persona Buyers. You aren’t speaking to companies, you are speaking to the individuals who play a particular role they were assigned by the Decision Maker. Here are some tips:
- According to some experts, you get one chance to make a target account email work – do it right.
- Draft content areas for each Account+Industry+Buyer persona so you speak the language the people do and offer real solutions to their daily problems.
- Use website personalization effectively along with retargeting, but this is not really the point of ABM.
- Find your audience at their watering holes – communities, LinkedIn, newsletter ads, and syndicated content. Make sure your landing pages and offers are highly targeted to these Buyers.
An example for this site might include the following:
- Directors of Demand Generation at Medium Sized Tech SaaS Firms using Marketo.
- Tell stories about getting Marketo setup right the first time. Talk about how easy it is to feel the implementation is a failure. Talk about how to fix key areas in a step by step way. I could also write about how hard it is to find great marketing operations talent and how to find and recruit that talent.
- Post content on website, but also link from LinkedIn Groups, Ads, and Guest Posts on vendor sites.
Similarly, your nurturing flows must operate in a way that tells this story naturally for each buyer.
Reporting without ABM Tools
While Jon Miller and others have offered reporting frameworks tied to their products, you can easily take their concepts to plug into any existing tool such as Salesforce or Marketo.
|Report Type||Marketo||Web Analytics||Salesforce|
Lead Performance+Custom Columns
Dashboards by Title
|Engagement||Company Web Page Report
Scoring by Company
Program Success+Segments (RCE)
Last Interesting Moment
Visits from Personas
|Contacts by Score or Asset used
|Awareness||Company Web Page Report
Web Activity (Anonymous)
Company Web Activity (Anonymous)
Visits from Personas
Update: May 10, 2016:
Here are the slides from the original presentation, with resources at the end.
Charlie Liang says
Great piece, Josh. Looking forward to presenting this with you.
Stephen Susina says
I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get into the room for the live presentation–looks like a great session. Looking forward to the replay.
Josh Hill says
Thanks Steve. The videos should be available in another 2 weeks I hear. I’ll take a look at your predictive session then.
Hi Josh – do you know if the video recording is available yet? Thank you!
Josh Hill says
Yes, it’s at summit.marketo.com.