By Usman Khalid, founder & CEO, Centric DXB*
More than a buzzword, account-based marketing (ABM) has the limitless potential to be a new approach towards achieving sales initiatives, blending marketing with sales. Here’s the checklist we use to ensure a campaign’s Key Performance Indicator’s (KPI’s) experience a significant boost.
There are a number of tools to get started but not everyone makes sense to use. It doesn’t heed well to experiment with every single one, but the right combination makes a world of difference. Before jumping in, gather your core sales teams and marketing teams to ask the following questions out loud, opening the floor for open dialogue:
What is the end goal of this campaign?
Our B2B clients like Falcon Aviation want more airlines to consider their services and initiate a conversation that shares data points from which customized solutions and packages can be shared. Be realistic in where the line between marketing ends and sales begins, with both working off each other’s knowledge.
Who is the target audience
Whether is business to consumer or business to business, there are various players with their own decision-making capacities in the buyer decision journey. Our work for Hitachi Data Systems, for instance, recognises that while the CIO is the expert for the product, the system administrator has a personal and professional gain in the system. The messaging for each stakeholder varies in accordance to not only their own job-related KPI’s but also their professional growth within and beyond the employer. Know which stakeholders your ABM campaign is going after and tally up their reason’s to believe in your message.
Are there campaign parameters?
In short, how far does the rabbit hole go? Where does it begin? In other words, where does awareness begin and where does the “aha” moment rise? Tracking every element will be critical.
With this information in hand, and your internal stakeholders accountable on the same page, the strategy has a chance with it’s creative, copy, targeting, and metrics.
Your internal measures of campaign performance must align with what is offered within the ABM software. A campaign is nothing without predefined key performance indicators that mirror that of the sales, and marketing teams respectively, while the elephant of automation is recognised. Capture as much data as you can with unique URL’s, mapped with Google Analytics to ensure objectivity and places eggs in more than one attribution basket. The last thing you need is to start making assumptions after the fact.
An ABM campaign works best when the target audience has been thoroughly qualified. It would be counter intuitive if the vendor had a minimum targeting requirement, which defeats the entire purpose. If you are a publisher, you are likely aiming your campaign on Agency Awards at dedicated PR managers at advertising agencies. That can be a small list, particularly in the MENA region. The whole point of being targeted is to be able to optimise focus and attention on the audience you want in your corner. The ABM vendor should ideally be able to optionally help your campaign target by location, actions taken, and more to further drill down time spent per account.
The creative and the copy of your campaign will either speak to the inner advocate of the target audience or the inner critic. You want to appeal to the former, not the latter. As stated above, it is more than likely that there are more decision makers involved in the purchase of your product or service. You would do well to respect each and every one and use emotional cues to drive the intended response. Even for B2B, it pays for emotional messaging. Research shows that even with technical purchases, the purchase motivator is emotional, while the consumer chooses to rationalize it with data. When mapping out creative and copy, be willing to A/B test and empower your teams to experiment often and swiftly. No one gets it right the first time around, resolve to start over when need be. In the event that you do get it right, remember to mix up the messaging and context or risk campaign fatigue.
Remember, break the clutter by building & telling an engaging story that draws in your target audience and distances itself from your competitors.
Usman Khalid is the founder & CEO of Centric DXB, a Dubai-based digital strategy firm that serves brands such as DELL, Perfetti Van Melle, ASUS, Falcon Aviation, and helps a number of traditional advertising agencies execute campaigns on digital. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed by the author are his own and do not necessarily represent those of Gulf Marketing Review.