One-to-one Account-based Marketing - treating one account as a market in its own right - is where it all started.
While ABM has evolved considerably since with new program types (One-to-few and One-to-many) as well as a plethora of technologies and tools, One-to-one ABM is, for many, ABM at its purest.
In the latest episode of Let’s talk ABM, Neil Berry, Head of Global Account & Deal Based Marketing for FSI at Atos, talks about their One-to-one ABM strategy and why it is all about giving your customers the best of you.
In the interview (full recording here), we discussed:
- Atos’ approach to One-to-one ABM
- How to build strong Sales and Marketing alignment
- What constitutes an ABM Center of Excellence
- Advice on how to succeed at Account-based Marketing
Here’s a summary of the key points that Neil and I discussed during the interview.
7 steps to a successful One-to-one ABM strategy
1. Keep it simple
When introduced to something as powerful and effective as ABM, it can be tempting to get carried away and go all in.
And while it’s fine to want all the 'bells and whistles' - don’t lose sight of the foundations of ABM.
“At Atos, there's something I always try to do, is just we really try to keep it simple” - Neil Berry, Head of Global Account & Deal Based Marketing for FSI at Atos
Always remind yourself why you have chosen ABM as a strategy. To provide the most value to your customers? To raise brand awareness?
So that’s where your focus should be. Concentrate first on creating an engaging, personalized, meaningful experience for your customers.
“That's what ABM should do - is giving you the best of the organization at the doorstep of the customer” - Neil Berry, Head of Global Account & Deal Based Marketing for FSI at Atos
2. Focus on building an emotional connection with your customers
One-to-one ABM is all about treating one account as a market of one - One-to-one ABM could be called ABM at its purest.
And that’s because One-to-one ABM goes deep into one account and allows you to focus all your efforts on building reputation, relationships, and ultimately revenue opportunities.
“That for me is ABM. If you treat an account as a market in its own right, that's where you'll be looking at their audience, their internalists, their demographics, their core messages, their core strategies, the things they need, the challenges that they've got” - Neil Berry, Head of Global Account & Deal Based Marketing for FSI at Atos
It’s important for Marketers to get as close to customers and prospects as they can. Why? Getting close allows you to understand your customers to build more personalized and engaging content.
“As a Marketer to get directly involved with the customer; normally we're kind of hidden back a little bit. So it's nice to get that direct engagement with customers and really help the Account teams through” - Neil Berry, Head of Global Account & Deal Based Marketing for FSI at Atos
Remember, that people buy from people. Do everything you can to humanize your brand.
This will create longer-lasting relationships with your customers.
3. It's all about the personalization
We’re seeing personalization driving greater engagement and delivering greater impact.
What is the account (and the contacts you are looking to engage with) experiencing?
Carry out deep insights research into their professional objectives, their day-to-day challenges, or even their personal interests.
Weaving that research into your messaging will make a world of difference to the success of your campaigns, as ultimately your accounts are likely to feel much more valued and important.
And creating those experiences is ultimately what will drive those conversations and build pipeline.
“For me, that 10 to 15% personalization is a great way of reusing content and reusing things and just being smart with what you've got” - Neil Berry, Head of Global Account & Deal Based Marketing for FSI at Atos
4. Marketing and Sales alignment makes it all happen
Marketing and Sales alignment - the secret ingredient of ABM success.
And yet, only 17% of ABM teams report complete alignment. So what’s going wrong? Why aren’t ABMers able to get the best out of their Sales and Marketing teams?
In many cases, the teams simply aren’t speaking the same language.
So what can be done to help bring these two teams together?
Appeal to your Sales colleagues in a way that they will understand. Sales teams are all about building relationships and building trust.
Get to know them, not just at a professional level, but also at a personal level.
To get that business-wide buy-in, you need to create a positive ethos and environment, where everyone is eager to chip in and try something new.
Without that, your teams won’t align with one another and you’ll both be working towards different goals in different ways - which will ultimately lead to ABM failure.
“I think ABM cannot be done without Sales. As much as we can try, it will never be as successful in my opinion. And Sales guys will love to see what Marketing can bring to the table” - Neil Berry, Head of Global Account & Deal Based Marketing for FSI at Atos
5. Be transparent
Not just amongst your team, but with your audience, too!
Opening up on social media or in blogs about what your company is going through and the challenges you’re facing will help to humanize your brand - you’re not showing your weaknesses, but in fact, are showing a level of self-awareness that many people will admire.
Over time, this transparency and support will give you that ‘trusted advisor’ status that really drives engagement and drives meaningful relationships.
“It's that release to be able to go to the network I've got and say, ‘This is what we're going through. And actually, if you have got that challenge, don't worry about it because there are other things that you can do, and there's new ways of being able to build your program and engage with your customers, and work with your Sales teams’” - Neil Berry, Head of Global Account & Deal Based Marketing for FSI at Atos
Seeing that raw side - that human side - means your audience is able to step back and realize that the content your company is sharing is of real value.
And that’s what starts conversations.
6. Investment is key
Investment is crucial to ABM.
And that’s not just financial investment. It’s also your time, your resources, the commitment of your teams, etc.
It’s key to get that investment all lined up at the beginning. You need to have that investment at the very outset because the last thing you want is to get halfway through your ABM program and suddenly realize that you don’t have that buy-in or the required resources you need to make a success of it.
So part of the prep-work to ABM is essentially being 100% sure you have the financial backing as well as the commitment from your team to see this program through.
7. Always keep improving
Once you get the ball rolling and your ABM program is running smoothly, that’s not a signal for you to sit back.
The key to true ABM success is to constantly push for more. Look to improve - whether that’s processes, content, scale, whatever it is that you think could be better, push for it.
Account-based Marketing asks for a lot of drive and that passion.
“We all get guilty of kind of sitting there and going well, it's running, we're moving things, things are happening, which is great, but actually there's always marginal gains. There's always improvements that can be made” - Neil Berry, Head of Global Account & Deal Based Marketing for FSI at Atos
So constantly reviewing your strategy and finding ways to improve is a major part of ABM success.
And remember, to get the most out of ABM, you need to have patience.
You can learn more about all things account-based in our Let’s talk ABM webinar series, where we hear the latest insights from leading ABM experts.