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The 5 rules for successful account-based marketing

The 5 rules for successful account-based marketing

At Ambition ABM, we help enterprise organisations like the London Stock Exchange Group and Fortinet conduct successful account-based marketing (ABM) programs.

It’s a proven approach that we know can deepen your customer account penetration, open up opportunities and accelerate prospect engagement.

As ABM experts we’ve learned a few things along the way and turned these into best practices that that can help B2B marketers faster street their ABM efforts toward success.

Here are our five recommendations to keep in mind when you plan an ABM initiative.

  1. Communicate to the entire target account

As an organisation you need to make sure your ABM effort encompasses and addresses the entire target account organisation including;

  • The people your sales team engages with
  • The audience your marketing team addresses
  • The decision makers your executive team has relationships with

You need to be mindful of the parts of the organisation you don’t know, and that don’t know you. Gaining the awareness and mindshare of these unknown stakeholders and influencers is key.

  1. Optimizing content for account uniqueness

The content you deploy in your ABM efforts needs to speak directly to what your customers or prospects care about (their needs and challenges). Content that has a laser-like focus on their needs has relevance and will resonate more than general messaging.

Creating new content to fit this requirement is essential. You can repurpose existing content and adjust it to the target account needs of the ABM effort. The best approach we have found is often a blend of these two approaches.

The point to remember about crafting your content: your ABM materials need to use the terms and language the target organisation uses – and stay laser-focused on how you can help that organisation achieve its unique goals or overcome specific challenges.

  1. Feed your database with contact insights

Your ABM effort will need to reach stakeholders and influencers that you, your sales team, and your executives don’t normally communicate with.

So how to you get in touch with them? One tried-and-true tactic is to reach out to internal resources and tap their networks for information.

Another way is to use LinkedIn and connection build with those target audiences you need to communicate with. With this approach we typically see an ROI of 25 – 40% success.

Third-party data can also be purchased to help you fill any blanks.

  1. Make every effort to create a sense of partnership

No matter how great your products and services are, your ABM program should go beyond just highlighting the benefits. You need to show your truly and deeply understand the target organisation’s business and strategy, provide proof you can solve its challenges, and communicate your commitment to enabling success.

Your products are important, they should be shared and discussed – within the context of a larger strategic discussion that’s focused on business partnership and problem-solving.

As your relationship and trust deepens, you’ll be able to win customer-side advocates that can help you penetrate the organisation and reach higher-level decision makers.

  1. It takes time to see results

Patience is a virtue and this is more so for the ABM practitioner. The rapport and sense of partnership you require to be successful takes time to cultivate.

With our years of ABM experience, we believe the first 6-12 months of a program are all about laying the foundations and establishing a meaningful connection. Remember that many of the people at your target organisation might not know anything about your company at the beginning and that you may not see significant results at first. You are creating awareness and influencing your audience.

As your effort gains traction, you can expect the outcomes you want in the second year, and the ones that follow it.

If you want to know more and talk about your ABM challenges let’s discuss how our team can help.

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