Rubik’s Cubes are best solved in layers. And while it might seem impossible to solve one at first—it’s not if you have a plan.
In the 1980s, just about everyone was attempting to figure that out, during a so-called “Cube craze.” In today’s world, a sea of YouTube tutorials can teach us different methods for solving the often-infuriating plastic puzzle, though at the height of their popularity, the challenge was more likely to be solved with old-fashioned trial and error.
As with any puzzle, it’s often helpful to have a strategy for assembly—with lots of room for those aforementioned errors. When we assemble things systematically, layer by layer, we can easily find alignment.
When you’re assembling a strategy for account-based marketing, consider taking that layer-by-layer approach, allowing you to focus on results.
Layer #1: Identify Targeted Accounts
To get started, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and get to researching. At first, this task can seem overwhelming, but by leveraging tools that allow you to perform market research, you can more easily identify accounts you’d like to target.
This research process should be a joint initiative between your marketing and sales departments. Start by determining your definition of an ideal prospect, and brainstorm ideas as a group—what industries are a logical fit for your product or service?
As you’re considering what those high-value accounts will be, remember to look at data like company size, annual revenue, and market influence. The more information you gather during this process, the better, as it will inform the content and messaging you create to support your campaign.
Layer #2: Create a Plan of Action and Alignment
Next, you’ll need to determine what your messaging will be, and how you will execute a content creation plan that supports your new initiative.
Take a step back and examine your existing content from a bird’s-eye view. What has been helpful for potential customers in the past? What can be repurposed?
In the age of content personalization, it’s important to incorporate your prospects’ and customers’ challenges and goals into account. By repurposing your existing content into an interactive experience, like an assessment or calculator, you offer customers or prospects extremely personalized content and results.
If you have several high-level pieces that can be repurposed into different formats, such as a whitepaper, a presentation deck, or even a webinar, you are in a great place to begin. Take a thorough inventory of your content from a new perspective, and determine which assets might align with accounts that you are targeting.
By supplying content that resonates with problems that your prospects need to solve, you are on track to engage and retain their interest, while providing genuine educational value at time that matters most.
This aspect of ABM is so crucial, in fact, that Marketo reports that 79% of consumers say they are only likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalized to reflect previous interactions the consumer has had with the brand.
Layer #3: Create a Playbook and Get to Work
Once you’ve assembled the content you’ll be using, it’s time for your sales team to begin outreach. Marketing duties at this point might include hosting a webinar, sending targeted email blasts, or even creating a direct mail piece.
As the marketing team drives awareness through different channels, the sales team can still utilize traditional methods of communication, like calls and in-person visits. With the targeted accounts already engaged, follow-up messaging from sales can become more personalized throughout the buyer’s journey. Advanced planning and effective communication between sales and marketing is key to the success of any ABM strategy.
Layer #4: Execute and Measure Your Results
The proof is in the pudding: ABM is gaining steam across countless marketing and sales organizations, though it may take some time to see results. We suggest implementing a weekly check-in meeting between sales and marketing that you can use to monitor the progress of your ABM campaigns.
Another tip? Remain persistent—Demand Metric found companies that have been using ABM for at least one year have seen a 10% increase in revenue, while 19% reported over 30% of revenue growth.
Measuring results frequently is crucial in building your ABM strategy. You’ll likely need to make content tweaks or other changes that tailor your approach if it isn’t resonating at first.
As ABM is an alternative approach to traditional marketing, results may not be measured in the same way. It’s up to your teams to define those metrics ahead of time, whether they include specific success by channel (webinar, email blasts, etc.), or are more general, like awareness and coverage.
Some Assembly Required
While the Rubik’s Cube craze has faded, the ABM wave is just getting started. When it comes to assembling your account-based marketing strategy, remember to work in stages—and to be patient, just as you would in solving the cube.
Need help getting started on market research? Reach out to us for a demo of TrendHub today.
Kate Mills is an Editorial Content Strategist at ScribbleLive.