At Ideaggio, we make daily connections with marketers at varying stages of ABM maturity (Account-based marketing). Some of our customers are all-in running impressive campaigns and humming along; while others are just getting started with their AMB strategy planning.
We are sharing all these mistakes, and hopefully, this can help marketers in this generation and beyond to avoid some growing pains and get onto the path for AMB successfully. Whether you are new to Mautic or an in-between campaign manager, you can rely on Ideaggio to help you plan, build, and deploy your campaigns.
Mistake i) Skip research to define target segments
While it’s important to not take a sales-provided list at face value, it’s also important to avoid forcing a marketing-generated list on a sales team. Instead, continually collaborate with sales teams as you develop your ICP and target account list; their in-the-field knowledge is crucial to your success and your effort won’t go unnoticed.
Getting sales buy-in is easier said than done. One trick we’ve used is to run an ABM pilot program using a tight segment from their list only. This generates key, opted-in leads at target accounts, which gets sales excited about marketing generated leads because it’s exactly the people they’ve been trying to reach. Once sales is excited about marketing-provided leads, trust is built and marketing can continue to send more and more leads, some of which are outside their initial target list.
Mistake ii) Fail to align promotion and sales initiatives with the right target accounts
It’s tempting to push ads to every customer. While this might be suitable for building brand awareness, It’s not a good way to send messages to accounts that are not engaged. Companies should push out ads that are relevant to target accounts.
Getting marketing and sales on-board and align with the same interest isn’t easy. It requires the team not to take the sales list at face value. As you develop your Ideal Client Profile (ICP) and account list, continually collaborate with the sales teams; their in-field knowledge is crucial to your success, and your effort won’t go unnoticed.
Getting sales buy-in is easier than done. One trick is to run an ABM pilot program using a tight segment from the sales list only. This will generate opt-in leads at target account, which will get sales excited about marketing generated leads, because this is exactly the people they’ve been trying to reach. When sales is excited about leads provided by marketing, trust is built and marketing can continue the lead flow to sales, with some of them outside the initial target list.
Mistake iii) Only rely on a static list of contacts
Overtime, it’s alarming to see the pipeline dry up for many marketers. That’s because they chose a set of accounts to target throughout the year without thinking to prioritize, expand, and even remove accounts from that list. This results in companies missing out on deals from better prospects, while they continue to chase after accounts that are not ready to buy.
Best way to resolve this problem is for marketers to do on-going monitoring on engagements and help sales team identify accounts that are good prospects. At the same time if the data shows that the accounts are not engaged or showing no intent, marketers should move these accounts down the priority list to revisit in the next quarter or two. Dynamic content is useful for account-based marketing campaigns.
Mistake iv) Giving all target accounts the same content and same level of attention
We’ve put together a chart to help peers and prospects understand ABM in different forms. This graphic can be used to find which level if right for your target accounts based on engagement stage, and potential opportunity size.
Mistake v) Focusing too much on the company itself (account); neglecting the actual buyer you are engaging with
When it comes down to selling, accounts don’t buy, people do. You will need an actual human person to get the deal done. If ABM campaigns only focus on account data and account trends, you will miss out the actual people in the company. So talk to lots of them. Make sure your effort pays off in terms of collecting any ABM data – meaning, you know how to use data to generate people to followup, and then onto the higher level decision-makers in the buying committee.
Mistake vi) Neglecting to plan based on scale (in terms of lead gen, content creation, and, demand gen)
When it comes to lead gen, demand gen, it really isn’t all that productive to go through the whole contact list on excel spreadsheet.
Mistake vii) Forgetting to test and optimize at a regular cadence
Finally, experienced ABM marketers know that to effectively test and deploy, it’s best to automate your optimization – starting with combining data from existing database with leads from all top funnel channels. Use full-funnel data to optimize campaigns, sources, and content in real-time. The more connected your data is, the faster you can optimize to be ahead of your competition.