Before you can implement an ABM campaign, it's important to review your supporting toolkit. These are the key things anyone running an ABM strategy must have access to.
In its purest form, account-based marketing (ABM) has been around forever. Account-based marketing is simply instead of fishing with nets, we’re fishing with spears. You identify exactly the prospects you want to do business with and then you market very precisely and narrowly to them directly. I think we have a renewed interest in ABM now, because there’s an advancement in tools and technology that make it a little easier to execute – but the idea of doing target account selling and target account marketing is not new. - Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing
An Account-Based Marketing Toolkit
Technology has transformed the very basics of B2B marketing. Sparking the advance of Inbound marketing, digital evolution has enabled more precision targeted, cost-effective, comprehensive and scalable marketing strategies to exist.
To build better ABM campaigns, target effectively and connect with key accounts and opportunities. it’s crucial to understand what technologies and tools are available.
With the right toolkit, it’s now easier to track lead and customer data in detail, speak with priority accounts via the right channels; and importantly, personalise communication at scale.
Considerations For Your ABM Toolkit
When planning ABM activity, one of the first steps is to review your marketing toolkit to ensure the right foundations are in place. At a basic level you will need:
You need a centralised Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform in place before you can consider ABM. Think of your CRM as single customer view, recording every lead, account opportunity and customer you come across. Central to effective marketing and sales alignment, a good CRM integrates with other platforms (such as your marketing automation platform) and enables both sides to track progress and insight in real time.
With the introduction of business intelligence tools, sales teams now have access to insights that give them a deeper understanding of their activity’s impact. - HubSpot
Think of a marketing automation platform as the central point, integrating all your marketing and sales activity. Collating all interactions and touchpoints to provide complete marketing intelligence, marketing automation is the opposite of a silo, enabling a clear view of campaigns at any given time. Aligned with your CRM, automation platforms provide a central point to manage your campaign, from lead scoring, to tracking content, email campaigns and much more.
Remember, if you can effectively automate any of these activities, you’ll be saving valuable time and resource.
Your content management system (CMS) is where you host your website and content (such as your blog). Ideally, this should be integrated with your marketing automation platform for clear reporting.
ABM Content Promotion Tools
Recent advances in technology have made it easier to enhance conversion of targeted accounts. Content Personalisation Platforms and Contextual Marketing tools allow you to use a mix of IP targeting, domain based targeting, geo fencing, keyword targeting and 3rd party cookie targeting to precisely segment content to exact accounts. Depending on your targeting approach, these tools can recognise when key accounts visit your site, where they are based geographically, keywords searched for etc, and use that insight to display personalised, relevant content to them.
Where do people look for advice and content today? Where do they go to complain or compliment? Where do they share their experiences? Social media is integral to modern B2B marketing, forming a solid part of promotion strategies and social selling.
In an ABM campaign, it’s important to promote the right content via the channels key accounts actively use. Social paid promotion can enable an extra level of targeting and relevant social engagement between your sales team and key account individuals. It will result in better nurture, relationship building and trust.
The social platforms you use in your ABM campaign will be dictated by the environments your accounts use, but typically LinkedIn and Twitter will be the prime focus for B2B.
Integrating & Reporting Via Your Marketing Toolkit
Data can be your friend or your enemy. Sales and marketing efforts are limited only by the quality of your data - HubSpot
When combined, these technologies will form your ABM toolkit, and the foundation for your activity. Where possible, integrating each platform will enable better reporting, tracking and streamlining of your campaign.
Most platforms offer some kind of reporting feature. But to keep campaigns running effectively, you need to consistently track the correct data, consider all touchpoints for a holistic view, and be sure to keep your original ABM goals and KPIs in mind to monitor progress.