One of the biggest unfilled promises of the digital age is the opportunity to go beyond demographics and census data. Personalization wasn’t supposed to be a cleverly veiled way to chase prospects around the web, showing them the same spammy ad for the same lame stuff as everyone else sees. No, it is a chance to differentiate at a human scale, to use behavior as the most important clue about what people want and more important, what they need. Seth Godin
Seth Godin never actually mentions the words Account-Based Marketing. But it’s quite possible he was thinking about it when he wrote those words. Account Based Marketing (ABM) prescribes that each advertisement be tailored to each key account being targeted. The basic philosophy is that personalized B2B targeting is more efficient than generalized scale. I’m going to divulge a few of the personalized Account Based Marketing tactics we’ve used with our clients to successfully grow their businesses.
Offline Tactics- Direct Mail
Old school is now new school. B2B Marketers have been using direct mail for decades. It took a bit of a dip in popularity with the digital revolution but is making a comeback as a viable campaign support channel. Before you send anything off by mail, you should always have a clear goal of what your are trying to achieve. Are you trying to set up a meeting, are you trying to capture an email, are you trying to get them to visit a landing page to be retargeted. As a best practice, give your prospect all necessary information to take that next step: QR codes, website url, phone#, email, mailing address.
- 1 Dimension is Boring: Use dimensional mail. Any envelope or package that sticks out is bound to draw attention and get opened.
- Be Creative: Include a quirky conversation starter. If you’re targeting a CFO and trying to illustrate how your product/service solves some pain, include a big bottle of aspirin. Or how about creating some bandaids with your logo on them.
- Fast is Better than Slow: Use overnight services’ packaging to send send your marketing/sales collateral. No one sends junk mail in a FedEx box. It’s just one more signal that what lies inside is something of value and should be opened.
- Be Useful to Them: Provide something of value beyond novelty. Do you have any white papers, industry research, or a private surveys about your target’s industry. If so, that may be the key to engaging them in the next step of the funnel.
- Delight The Team: Send a branded gift basket to the department you’re trying to onboard. The C-Level executive may be the final decision maker. But he/she is surrounded by gate-keepers and influencers in the department. If you can get buy-in at a lower level, that’s one step closer to getting buy-in at the C-Level.
The digital side is a little easier to track than offline but the same ABM principles remain the same: Ensure contact with your target prospect is always highly customized.
- Amplify Their PR: Use Google Alerts and social media monitoring tools (Mention, Hootsuite, Talkwalker) to stay relevant in real time. If your account prospect puts out a press release of a new acquisition or tweets about new product line, help them promote it. Comment and congratulate. Retweet and share on your social channels. Make your efforts knowns by tagging them on each push. You can also incorporate this information into any campaign you are running for a temporary boost in relevancy.
- Write About Them: Leverage your target account’s PR efforts and strategize how you can fit your prospect into a company blog post. Similar to before, once you publish you blog post, promote it on your social channels and tag your prospects.
- Make Your Guests Comfortable: Set up at least one unique landing page per account. You can do this by creating one landing page per account or using a dynamic landing pages(Unbounce provides a low cost option) that changes elements based on url parameters. The landing page is also a great place to utilize any news related events you discover in your Google Alerts and social media monitoring.
- Talk to Them at an Equal Level: This one has elements of both online and offline. Have your upper management reach out at a similar level position to your target account. Your upper management wouldn’t necessarily need to write the emails or letters. Marketing can do all the leg work. You’re just using your C-Level avatar to connect with another C-Level prospect account. The goal is to get a conversation going between these two parties, either via phone or in person.
- Their Friends are your Friends: Sometimes making a direct connection with your prospect account’s upper management is difficult. One option is to move out one degree of separation and find their non-company acquaintances . Linkedin provides a service for making these connection called Sales Navigator. Sales Navigator, less than $100/month at the entry level, will give you access to Out of Network Unlocks. This option allows you to make connections around the periphery of your target account, the objective being a warm introduction.
- It’s Not What You Say, It’s What You Do: Base your lists on job function, not just title. Titles can vary from company to company. If you specify the function you want to target, you’ll by-pass those creative titles like “Head of Ideation” or “Chief of Innovation.” Metadata along with a few select other companies offer this functionality.
- Steal from the Competition: Target potential customers that are using your competitors. At Metadata, we have the ability to identify your competitor’s key accounts. Use this information to not only target those accounts, but to also point out their weaknesses. Do you provide some service your competitor doesn’t. Does your competitor have a lot of bad reviews you can subtly mention. Acknowledge their experience with your competitor and tell them why they should take that next step to see if the grass is really greener on the other side.
- Re-engage Them Where They are, Not Where They Were: Retarget your accounts based on your leads’ IP address. Most retargeting is still cookie based. Cookie retargeting has flaws as your leads can delete their cookies from their browser, their cookies can expire, they can use a different browser, or a totally different device. Metadata lets you target a range of IP address and serve customized ads to each account.
- Mirror Their Behavior: Retarget your ads based on your customer’s behavior. Don’t just send out a generic retargeting ad for your whole site. Relate your ad to their expressed actions with your site. Did they watch a video? Ask them how they liked it. Did they download a whitepaper? Mention you have more whitepapers. Did they go to the “Contact Us” page? They might want to talk to someone. Maybe they repeatedly visited the same page over and over again. They probably had a question or wanted to understand that subject better. Call it out in your ad.
What else would you add to the list? Let me know in the comments below.