ABM Best Practices: Identifying Buyer Intent

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) represents a new model for B2B lead generation. Even though it’s three unwieldy words, the solution to Account-Based Marketing is pretty simple: Account-Based Marketing brings specific, individualized content and highly relevant messaging to targeted customer accounts. The three core principles of ABM are illustrated below. But let’s focus on the first principle: Identify. And let’s couple it with Buyer Intent. Here’s what happens when you Identify Buyer Intent:

 

1. You learn who’s talking about your solution, technology, or competitors.

When you focus on the right audience, you gain market knowledge – and get more satisfied with your results.

Let’s get literal with an analogy (warning: you may get hungry). The world of advertising is cookie-based. Cookie-based ads are like the quick-hit of a sugar high. They make you feel good temporarily but you end up regretting your decision. Even though advertisers who use cookies can tailor the online experience, the information is often superficial.  

So let’s bring on the main course: Breadcrumbs!

 

2. Behavioral information is left all over the Internet.  

As a modern marketer, you’ll need to know how to follow the breadcrumbs. While your traditional marketing practices have a long sales cycle (and a sugar hangover), account-based targeting has a short sales cycle (and no hangover).  

You already know how to map out buyer persona and track your customer journeys. But did you know that a shortcut exists to show you who’s interested? The best part is that the solution is more satisfying than the sugar in cookies. Account-based targeting allows you to reach your prospective buyer at the moment of need. It’s like when the waiter brings you a big loaf of bread right when you sit down at a restaurant. It’s no secret that you’re hungry. But seeing the warm bread get delivered to your table makes you feel like he gets it (even if he’s only doing his job).

A 2017 Gartner study predicts that 85 percent of customers will manage their brand interactions without speaking to a single human by 2020. When you track your customer’s behaviors to predict what they want to buy, everyone ends up satisfied (and you don’t even need to speak!) The bonus is that time is never wasted on prospective accounts outside of the target criteria list.

 

3. You craft thought leadership posts that make an impact.

Your customers are searching for an independent voice. They cringe when they read generic advice and tips that every other marketer says. If you’re offering vanilla advice in your articles, your customers will get vanilla results. When you’re a true leader who can speak the language of your customers, everyone wins.

Thought leadership articles are no longer a luxury. Here’s why: According to a LinkedIn report, marketers are massively underestimating the impact that thought leadership could have on buyer’s confidence in their company.

Leaving a content “breadcrumb” with your unique voice will bring in leads and increase profits. Precision targeting using buyer intent has never been easier. Take the guesswork out of your content marketing efforts. Follow the breadcrumbs of your buyers by getting started with Account-Based Marketing today.

 

ABM Best Practices: Start at the Top (of the Funnel)

Lead generation and account-based marketing (ABM) best practices help you drive more targeted leads and bring in more business. One of the best ways to learn about account-based targeting is through an acronym, and Top of the Funnel Leads (TOFL) can cause a smart marketer to roll, errr, Trip on the Floor Laughing (TOFL). 

When you have so many of the right leads coming in, your account-based targeting works. Although rolling on the floor isn’t the most ideal way to generate leads, laughing is always a good start to account-based targeting.

Top of the funnel leads (or laughing hard) go hand-in-hand with account-based targeting for a few reasons. But first, let’s put on our super serious thinking cap (try to wipe away that smirk). We have some serious points to make! Ready? TOFL are a way to generate leads quickly that match the intersection of data points that you identify. For example, let’s say that you’ve identified either:

  1. a revenue
  2. stagespecific geo-location
  3. competing or complementing technologies

Using the TOFL tactic, you can take an entire universe of people and narrow it down using filters. When you pinpoint your list to an even smaller group of prime targets, you can focus your efforts in the most effective way. Sometimes you can make your list super narrow list which gives you a focus list of people you can target. The good news is that you’ll know that these potential customers will be the right fit when they come in.

The biggest challenge of Top of the Funnel Leads is not to get stressed when you see that your list is small (it will happen and it’s something to watch out for). But if you make sure that the assets match the filter that you’re using, the majority of your list will become an ideal customer. For example, if your company is targeting customers for their technology use, you’ll need to make sure that any ad that you’re using mentions that particular technology. The marketing industry term for this is technographic segmentation, and it’s used to identify and profile the characteristics and behaviors of consumers through the process of market segmentation.

According to Forrester, customers are now in charge and they have growing expectations around a company’s ability to deliver superior experiences. Businesses must respond based on four design principles:

  1. Put customers at the center of their universe
  2. Use insights to anticipate and delight them
  3. Move fast to outpace competitors and disruptors
  4. Connect functions to deliver seamless, differentiated customer experiences

Leaders are using these principles to transform operations around the customer. Using this operating model, you can highly target with real time marketing. But the real fun happens when you start automating engagement based on the customer buying stage. This process can improve and repeat itself.

The system learns from itself (through machine learning) and improves account based targeting. When you’re always getting data, you can make more informed choices for your targeted advertising techniques, which helps narrow and improve as it continues to loop. More predictability with your B2B predictive marketing tools allows you to sit back and watch the leads come in. Whether you trip on the floor or laugh hysterically (or do both) is up to you (we won’t judge). But if you’re looking for results-driven account-based targeting, we can help.

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