7 essential digital tools for a successful ABM implementation
Account Based Marketing (ABM) – the art of combining personalised marketing and sales efforts to open doors and deepen engagement at specific accounts targeting, is an evolving practice that will progress differently for different B2B companies.
Typically there are three levels of ABM implementation:
- Strategic - true ABM with a one on one approach to content and contact
- ABM Lite - one to few delivering customised programmes to a cluster of accounts with similar interests
- Programmatic ABM - one to many using technology to target hundreds of named accounts, less resources and tailored content required
However, no ABM strategy is the same and even amongst your chosen accounts the tactics used will differ depending on the account. But if you carefully look at the most successful ABM practitioners, a pattern does start to emerge. So what tactics are these practitioners using to ensure that ABM delivers for your brand what the industry is promising?
Here are seven digital tools you can use as part of your ABM strategy to ensure your messaging is being delivered to your individual accounts successfully:
1. IP Targeting
IP Targeting is the digital equivalent of those direct mail flyers you get through the post, but delivered more efficiently. IP Targeting starts with converting physical addresses to Internet Protocol Addresses, and it includes both residential and business locations.
IP Targeting is companywide not individual targeting. This is when banner ads get delivered to specific IP addresses. IP Targeting also works without cookies. IP addresses cannot be deleted or blocked. Because the IP address does not contain personally identifiable information; it’s an anonymous way to aggregate the audiences you need – regardless if your target account is at a small office location or a large enterprise.
Geo-Targeting, also known as Location-based marketing, is defined as “customising an ad for a product or service to a specific market, based on the geographic location of potential buyers”.
Geo-Targeting uses GPS to target users to their mobile device and if utilised correctly, Geo-Targeting can be a lucrative tool for companies of all sizes. With this tactic you can deliver personalised online ads to individual devices located at a specified address.
In today’s digital world, we know that customers use social media to look for advice and content. This is where they also go to share their experiences and complain or compliment a provider. As you know, social media is integral to modern B2B marketing, forming a solid part of promotion strategies and social selling.
In an ABM strategy, it’s extremely important to promote the right content via the channels your 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. You can access both standard banners and video inventory while layering targeting to ensure you reach the key audience in a social, engaging platform.
For example, use LinkedIn to deliver messages /InMails to individuals. Here, you are able to target individuals through company name and job functions to ensure a close fit to personas.
4. Bespoke e-mails
Using internal or data partners lists, bespoke emails enable you to send branded content directly to your target audience by email. Using bespoke e-mails gives you the opportunity to include more information than is possible on traditional banner advertising activity. These can be used to promote one or multiple pieces of content.
This tactic is a traffic driving activity – a prospect can click through to downloadable content on your website. Here the content will be personalised to ensure it is answering all the pain points your prospect is facing.
Using retargeting is a smart way to repeatedly engage with your target accounts as the employees from the accounts browse the web and consume content online. By using retargeting as an ABM tactic, you are able to provide the exact type of content or information that will move the account further through the buyer’s journey.
You can direct all inbound traffic to account specific landing pages. Retarget with specific content /offers, depending on individual interactions.
6. Live events
Events are one of the best ways to engage your target accounts. Events are also still the biggest spend in B2B marketing budgets. Companies invest in events because in-person interaction is the most effective way to create and accelerate sales pipeline.
For a successful ABM strategy, implement bespoke/onsite customer events to ensure your brand makes a long lasting impact with your prospect.
7. Outdoor advertising
Finally, outdoor advertising. This is a tactic where you can really let your creative side run wild and strengthen your brand’s fun, clever and timely side. From ads on digital billboards at core trade events/exhibitions to hot air balloons flying over your prospects headquarters, outdoor advertising has the ability to cut through with bold creative, often getting the full attention of the customer.
Sylvia Laws, Managing Director, Technical Associates Group (TAG)