As content marketers and storytellers, we should always start with the who: our audience. The people we want to read our content. Sure, it’s great when a thousand people download your new white paper. But how many of those leads will actually lead to revenue?
Forrester Research published a report that concluded only 1% of leads turn into customers. If you’re doing traditional lead-based marketing, this means you could be wasting up to 99% of your company’s time, energy, and resources marketing to unqualified prospects. It’s an unfortunate reality that so many marketing qualified leads (MQLs) we create will never become revenue sources.
We shouldn’t run our businesses off form completions. Just because someone downloaded your white paper doesn’t mean they’re going to buy from your company. With lead-based marketing, you can only capture one contact’s information through a form fill.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is designed to engage all the people who can impact the purchase decision. It’s 2017 and time to challenge the status quo of B2B marketing.
An Intro to ABM: The Method
As marketers, we need to figure out how to expand our reach to engage with all the potential decision makers in an account. Start by identifying who you want to target for your content. These should also be the people in the companies that match your ideal customer profile. These best-fit accounts will have multiple stakeholders.
From there, through a variety of marketing activities, the goal is to develop advocates who are raving fans of your brand, before they’ve even become customers. Word-of-mouth marketing from these advocates is the most authentic and organic type of marketing.
A Proven Success Formula for ABM: Fit + Intent + Engagement
You may be aware of the acronym H2H, or “human-to-human” marketing. At the end of the day, people buy from people, right? With ABM, we’re trying to get as close to human-to-human engagement as possible and doing a certain level of that at scale.
So how do we operationalize an account-based approach? How can we be sure we’re targeting the right people, at the right companies, at the right time, that have a propensity to buy?
Here’s a proven formula for account-based marketing: it’s fit + intent + engagement. Our VP of Marketing, Peter Herbert, and his former colleague Kristen Wendel designed this ABM formula that earned them SiriusDecisions’ ABM Program of the Year for 2017. Here’s a blog post from Peter explaining more on operationalizing ABM.
The ABM Tech Stack you Need to Execute
Here’s the ABM tech we’re using for the fit + intent + engagement model for account-based marketing.
For fit: we’re using EverString and LinkedIn to be sure we are finding the right contacts in accounts that match our ideal customer profile.
For intent: we’re using Bombora that’s leveraging search data showing which companies are researching ABM, Terminus, or our competitors so we know who is demonstrating intent to buy.
For engagement: our sales team is using SalesLoft for email cadences, Vidyard for personalized videos, LinkedIn and Terminus for advertising, plus Terminus to monitor which accounts come back to our website using Visitor ID.
How Terminus Uses Uberflip for Account-Based Marketing
Uberflip supports our account-based sales and marketing efforts every step of the way, from broad based content promotion, to really targeted content for that H2H personalization.
In account-based marketing, upselling or cross-selling within an existing account is its own specific stage of customer marketing. For example, Salesforce is one of our existing customers, but there are so many different divisions of Salesforce (like any large enterprise account) with potential sales opportunities.
For this customized campaign, we launched Terminus ads targeted at the contacts within this particular division of Salesforce. The ad pointed them to an Uberflip portal with curated content.
We tailored a one-sheeter with information about how we’re currently working with Salesforce. Thanks to Uberflip’s integration with Vidyard, we also added a personalized video with our enterprise account executive speaking directly to the contacts he wanted to connect with. This same video was also used in an email run from SalesLoft, and the email pointed back to the resources.
What you’re seeing is how we’re leveraging our core martech stack to execute an omnichannel ABM campaign. These human-to-human personalized campaigns have a tremendous impact on influencing pipeline.
Here’s another example of a campaign we did to warm up our target accounts.
In this instance, we partnered with PFL to mail contacts in target accounts a physical book copy of Account-Based Marketing for Dummies, with a handwritten note from a member of our executive team. (Side note – if you tweet @Terminus, we’d be happy to send you a complimentary copy of #ABM for Dummies as well.)
A few days after the direct mail went out, our sales development reps made personalized videos in Vidyard explaining more about how Terminus works for ABM while calling to connect and reaching out on social media.
At Terminus, we produced more than a dozen customer testimonial videos and needed an easy solution to house all of our case studies. Thanks to Uberflip’s integration with Vidyard and RSS feeds, we were able to pull in our blog content with the published customer case studies and Vidyard videos to have one place for our sales and customer success teams to share these impactful stories.
Account-based content marketing—that aligns activities and stories to every stage of the account’s journey from prospect-to-customer—is the most significant evolution in B2B marketing. As an industry, we’re really just getting started with ABM. Who knows what Terminus and Uberflip will come up with next.