Understanding the Account Based Marketing Framework
In the previous post, “10 Steps to Implement Account Based Marketing”, we discussed the ways to implement account based marketing in your business. However, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it is important to understand the account based marketing framework even before you think of implementing it in your business.
I’m writing this article on popular demand because a lot of people out there don’t know the actual framework in which account based marketing should be carried forward and they ask if it is okay to implement the steps randomly.
I need you to understand this first – in any business marketing process, a proper framework should be followed. With that said, when you embark on your ABM initiative, you need to have a framework in place beforehand. Your ABM planning, as well as operations, should be based on a specially designed framework. It acts as a blueprint for building the infrastructure of your ABM to make sure that they are in alignment across your business and directed towards your desired goals.
Account based marketing framework involves identifying people or accounts and marketing your products to them as your own little market. Each account becomes a unique list of prospects that you can target that involves taking all your unique attributes and then targeting them as unique individuals. It means that you will target a single company and make them see what you have in store for them. With ABM, you can easily personalize your messages and customize them either according to an individual or an account.
An effective account based marketing framework should ideally comprise of three phases, namely –
- Customer Profile
The profile phase of your framework should cover all the important investigations and outlines of the accounts that you plan to target. A lot of companies make the mistake of starting off with their ABM strategy to get it off the ground pretty quickly and pulling their target list based on the pre-existing accounts or by determining where the sales team want to target. Though this can get the results faster there is no guarantee that it’ll remain successful in the long run. Account based marketing should not be viewed as a ‘quick-win’ strategy.
In the profile phase, you need to understand your ideal customer profile, the buying committee, and the buying process. If you understand these 3 aspects you can successfully come up with a target list which is robust, focused and acuminated.
The next phase of the account based marketing framework is to create a plan based on the previous phase of target customer account profile. You need to identify and put in place your goals and proposed values for specific accounts before you go ahead with tailoring your message and the approach to these accounts.
For planning the process, it is essential that everyone in your business is on the same page, especially the sales and marketing team, for a successful ABM. One of the main components which are necessary to put out is that measurement and personalization should be overlapping every activity which is to be undertaken. While personalization is important for building relationships with target accounts, measurement is critical for studying which efforts are fool-proof and which of them require fine tuning.
The third and final phase of the account based marketing framework is ‘perform’. Since ABM is basically about making sure that the sales and marketing teams are in synchronization so that they can work together for targeting the accounts that are likely to convert and drive maximum revenue. Therefore, there should be more focus on the interlocking of these teams if and when you want to perform account based marketing in your business.
Instead of launching huge lead generation campaigns to attract hundreds of prospects who may not even be a good fit, you can gather a list of companies dealing with the profile of your ideal customers and then use it as your starting point for a lead generation. Though this is not a new idea it is certainly an idea that works where you can contact busy people with the right content to convert them into buyers.
It is evident that the ABM provides many positive outcomes, from improvement in the sales to aligning the marketing activities, to an obvious and demonstrable rise in the business. It has been experienced that the quality of such target accounts and their brainstorm sessions, as well as their structure, is equally important for a successful ABM. The reason for this is mainly because during the brainstorming session you can collaborate ideas from your staff and create an agreement in the team for effective execution and distribution of resources and tasks. Sharing the progress with the team regularly is also important when different interfaces are managing the customers like the delivery, sales specialists, post-sales services, etc., each of which can have an idea about the issues of account and the needs of stakeholders.
Account Based Marketing Framework is a document that is to be worked on between internal teams collaboratively. It should be ideally treated as an internal guide for providing refinement, focus, and alignment as you create and put your ABM strategy to use. ABM is not a strategy that runs on ‘one size fits all’ notion and should be changed as per your needs.
With the framework in place, you will be able to save a lot of money (otherwise spend on mass advertisements), time (sales and marketing team trying to reach everybody) and face value (which can be ruined with messages passed on to irrelevant people). ABM has gained momentum and there is a right reason for it too. You should definitely experience it once to know what I mean!
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