Note: this is a guest post from Anna Talerico, EVP and co-founder of ion interactive.
Even though account-based marketing (ABM) means targeting an entire organization, it should never feel like shouting into a crowd. Most B2B marketers have probably heard the term “account-based marketing” dozens of times this year, and for good reason.
Instead of targeting a specific team member within an organization, who then probably has to reach out to several co-workers and superiors before making purchase decisions, account-based marketing reaches out to the whole team at once, ensuring that the message not only gets heard but that it falls on the right ears.
However, account-based marketing should never seem like mass marketing. It should be customized to the target’s specific needs, identifying both pain points and customized solutions in order to stand out among a sea of marketing content clamoring for attention.
Personalize Your Approach
Studies show that two-thirds of your audience wants customized content, so make sure you’re meeting that need in your call to action (CTA). When your customers click on your CTA in an email, make sure your landing page greets the company by name. And, from there, make sure you’ve incorporated a customized message. Instead of something generic sounding like, “We’ve Got Solutions for Acme,” identify the specific service you’d like to provide for the brand, like “Let’s Improve Lead Generation at Acme.”
Accounts, like individuals, never want to feel like a name being checked off a list, so show them you know them by taking personalization to the next level.
Specify Your Subdomain
Attention to detail is important for ABM. One commonly overlooked personalization tactic is the account-specific subdomain. Including the brand in the subdomain name is a great way to nurture a new relationship and make the campaign feel created with the client in mind. A little touch like this can mean the difference between seeming indifferent and to help make a potential client feel included.
Just because an organization has indicated interest doesn’t mean they’re ready for a full-on sales pitch. In fact, a recent study by Marketo found that 50% of new leads aren’t yet ready to buy. A phone call, or even gated content, can be seen as too much, too soon. So instead of pressuring new audiences for information, strike up a reciprocal conversation by using interactive content, such as quizzes or interactive infographics and lookbooks, to provide valuable, and shareable brand information without piling on the pressure to buy or even to give up information. This way, when users fill out forms offering up e-mail addresses and contact numbers, it’s an invitation to talk more.
Leads who fill out forms after they’ve seen interactive content, as opposed to gated content, are 20% more likely to convert.
Mirror With Micro-Interactions
In face-to-face conversation, mirroring body language increases engagement and lessens tension. The same rule holds true for account-based marketing, where paying attention to micro-interactions can significantly reduce friction between the brand and audience. Think about how many times a day the average person taps, swipes, clicks and pinches their screen; all those tiny little micro-interactions add up to a more seamless user experience. Incorporating responsive design, with a special focus on micro-interactions, into your mobile, tablet and web experience mirrors the behavior of your customer, rewarding them for even minute engagement.
According to Google, these engagements “encourage deeper exploration by creating timely, logical, and delightful screen reactions to user input. Each interaction is thoughtful, perhaps whimsical, but never distracting. What will happen if I touch this screen? And then this icon?” Rewarding your audience’s curiosity with these small engagements creates a “virtual salesperson” to set your brand apart by emphasizing thoughtful details.
And when your new accounts move from virtual salespeople to engaging with your real-world sales team, make sure they’re ready to continue the conversation with interactive sales tools to identify pain points and prove your brand’s benefit.
For example, providing sales teams with assessment tools will give new clients an opportunity to self-reflect on areas where they can use improvement while providing sales team members with the data they need to offer highly customized solutions for new client’s individual needs. Additionally, the results of these assessments are easily shared with account stakeholders, which can help justify purchase decisions and earn greater exposure within the target account.
Programmatic buying has made it more possible than ever before to target an entire team within a company with real-time ads.However, that ad spend is wasted if technology outstrips personalization. Making sure your account-based marketing efforts are customized to the client is still the best way to make new audiences feel like top priorities instead of faceless bids.
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