February 26, 2020 by Sitara Raman

About 84% of marketers believe account-based marketing delivers higher returns than any other marketing tactic. That’s no coincidence. Account-based marketing is popular for a reason: it works. But many a time, execution strategies go wrong. 

That’s why today we’re going to give the the step by step guide on how to implement account-based marketing and get the best possible results out of it.

What is Account-Based Marketing? 

The term “Account-based Marketing” is pretty self-explanatory. Account-Based Marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on key business accounts. It’s that simple. The targeted accounts will be directly approached through various channels. Each account will be treated differently based on it’s pain points, needs and the persona(s) being targeted within that account in the organization.

Note: you sell to an organization but actually deal with some key accounts from that organization. 

In this strategy, the marketing team and the sales team will have the same objectives. They have to consider the needs and pain points of each key account to collect resources and execute campaigns smoothly. As a result, the message and program of all teams will be highly account-emphasized. 

6 Steps to Implement Account-Based Marketing 

Step 1: Identify Ideal Target Accounts

In any organization of any industry, there will always be a few key accounts that have the highest possibility to be a strong fit for your business. Keep an eye out for the existing accounts list to choose the most profitable, long-term customers. They are likely to contribute to a greater business deal’s value. After choosing the organization, you need to pick the potential accounts, consider the organization where the account is from because you are dealing with an organization, not the people. 

PipeCandy provides E-commerce market reports and detailed insights into popular industries. You can find the potential prospects, industry trends, market shares, web sales revenue, traffic, volume, brand strategy, news with the clean and latest data updated on the reports.

 

Source: PipeCandy

Step 2: Investigate

Once you have the targeted account list, it’s time to deep-dive into each one. By doing that, you can obtain critical information about the organization and accounts. Familiarize your sales and marketing team with the decision maker and influencers from your potential business organization. Who those key individuals are is going to largely depend on what you’re trying to sell.

For example, let’s say you are selling a human resource software service. The key individual list will include the HR manager, CFO, and CEO. On the flipside, if you are selling a specific SEO tool, you might want to reach out to both the SEO team leader/members and the division manager.

 The more carefully the research is carried out, the more accurate your account map is and the more targeted your prospecting efforts are. 

Remember that data is very important in account-based marketing. To not waste resources on each account, you should gather credible information from multiple channels such as statistical portals, socials, and references.

  Note: Personal contact is essential but it has to be in the context of the entire account which is the organization.

Step 3: Create Personalized Content

Now, using the information you gathered in the previous phase to tailor content that resonates with targeted accounts. Start looking at each detail in the research including account’s needs, interests, and pain points. Based on that information, map out a marketing strategy with a suitable message and decent content.  

Rather than creating something useful to the whole market, you should craft a content reflecting a specific issue within an organization and send it to the key accounts. Avoid casting a wide nest if you haven’t identified the real problem of all prospects.   

 Step 4: Pick the Best Channels

Choosing a suitable channel is very important in order to bring your content to the targeted individuals. Ask yourself questions like “What is the most convenient channel for the key accounts?” or “What are the most frequent channels that the key accounts use?”. 

If you have evidence on which channel is useful to approach your key accounts, then just go for it. On the other hand, if you don’t have previous experiences, then research to find a suitable channel. 

There are many marketing channels that you can use, such as social media, email marketing, content marketing, pay-per-click, etc. No matter which channel you choose, make sure that both your marketing and sales team can access that channel completely and nurture the relationship diligently.

Step 5: Execute Your Campaign

So far, you have identified your key accounts, researched carefully about those targets, created personalized content for them and selected the right marketing channels. It’s time to execute the plan.  

To make progress, you and your team should draw an action plan showing required resources, a timeline, and personal tasks. This plan will keep the whole team on the right track toward the final goal. Also, your marketing team and sales team need to work in tandem to execute the campaign. This ensures the key account has a stakeholder touchpoint throughout the journey and doesn’t hit a roadblock.

Step 6: Measure and Optimize 

To accurately measure your account-based marketing performance, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are those selected organizations the best fits for your business? 
  • Have those target accounts contribute to the greater business deal value?
  • Has the personalized content been proven to be efficient? 
  • Have the channels selected worked for those key accounts? 
  • How much revenue have we generated from those Account-Based Marketing campaigns?
  • Which steps need to be improved? And how?   

To answer those questions, you need to whip up some metrics (given below) after having the campaign run for a period of time such as 30, 60 or 120 days and more. 

  • Average open rate: how many people open your emails? 
  • Average click-through rate: how many people opening the email click the attached link?
  • Response rate: how many people reply to your email or fill in the appointment form? 
  • Unsubcribe rate: how many people turn your request down? 

After having the assessment of the marketing performance, addressing the issues, you can start to make improvements on each step. 

  • If you haven’t chosen the right targeted organizations and accounts, go back, examine the selected methodology, the prospects/stakeholders targeted, the data sources and even the business relationship between your company and candidates’ organization.
  • If the content hasn’t driven enough engagement, proactively A/B test formats, designs, styles, tones, until you nail the ones that work. 
  • If you couldn’t meet targeted accounts on the channels selected, find other channels.
  • If the marketing team and sales team haven’t worked smoothly together then re-evaluate your communication and coordination efforts

No one can address the problem and optimize the performance better than you with your colleagues. Look deep into your issues and come up with the solution to spice up your strategy!

Conclusion

Account-Based Marketing strategy has proven its ability to help companies to understand their target customers better, reduce cost and gain higher return-on-investment. The important elements of a successful campaign are profound market research, dedicated content and suitable channels. Thus, the more accurate the market information collected is, the more effective marketing tactics you can build to maximize the strength of this strategy.     

Author Bio:

Wings is a content creator at Avada Commerce. She thinks e-commerce is changing every minute and tries to adapt to that change by learning and practicing. She is also an unchangeable babbler, an avid reader and explorer.