3 B2C Strategies You Can Eliminate When Doing Account-Based Marketing
Columnist Peter Isaacson outlines three mass marketing tactics that you should say goodbye to when planning your Account-Based Marketing strategy.
For years, B2B marketers have been obsessed with broad-scale lead generation.
According to a survey of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn, the number one challenge (61 percent) for B2B marketers is “generating high-quality leads.” We’ve planned, implemented and executed campaigns with the sole purpose of generating a bulk of inquiries at the top of the funnel — hoping that 0.04 percent will ultimately convert to revenue.
As we’ve all grown weary of this shotgun approach to demand generation, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is emerging as an efficient way to reach the specific companies that can have the greatest impact on our businesses.
In past columns, I’ve discussed how ABM requires you to abandon the notion that you should reach as many people and acquire as many leads as possible. This means giving up on untargeted, mass audience marketing tactics in which every inquiry is a good inquiry, and instead focusing on the accounts with the greatest potential.
Here are three mass marketing tactics you can sunset when implementing an Account-Based Marketing strategy. Each one of these approaches is better suited to the needs of B2C — which, unlike B2B, only requires one person to complete a purchase.
Targeting Everyone With Display Advertising
For as long as I can remember, B2B marketers have struggled with the role that display advertising can play in the online mix. We’ve attempted to mimic campaigns run by our B2C counterparts, targeting everyone, and have seen dismal results.
Or we’ve bought ads based on personas, knowing that we’re not really reaching the buyers we want to reach. That’s because advertising for B2B works a little differently from advertising for B2C.
Unlike consumer marketers who may have millions of potential customers, we have a limited number of possible buyers.
By segmenting advertising to reach specific accounts rather than individuals, you can spend your advertising dollars wisely — on the companies most likely to become customers — all while eliminating waste and ensuring that your message reaches the right stakeholders.
Since you’re advertising to accounts that have a higher propensity to convert, you’ll be directing more valuable traffic to your website.
Attending Events Without Knowing If Your Target Accounts Are There
Let’s face it, a lot of us attend events based on their themes, instead of critically understanding if the audience is a fit for our products. If you’re like the 67 percent who think that event marketing is the most effective strategy, you really don’t want to waste your budget on events that target the wrong audience.
With ABM, you can use your list of target companies to plan your quarterly activities. By identifying which cities have high volumes of target accounts, you can determine which regions require the most marketing investment and focus your budget accordingly.
This way, you’ll only attend events that have a high volume of target accounts, which will lead to more valuable interactions and conversions.
Relying Exclusively On Personas
Understanding your buyer is a critical element of good marketing, which is why many of us devote significant time to developing buyer personas.
While it’s helpful to understand the people who will be implementing your technology, their needs and how they could benefit from your solution, targeting a single individual with your marketing programs isn’t enough.
While you could target at the individual level, you’ll still need approval from the rest of the buying committee — which, according to Gallup, can include 34 decision-makers at enterprise companies! According to CEB, 78 percent of B2B buyers say the buying group is getting bigger.
With Account-Based Marketing, personas become just one part of your marketing strategy. You’ll still use personas to understand the wants and challenges of your buyers, but you’ll focus marketing efforts on your target accounts first.
We need to move beyond these mass marketing tactics and focus our efforts on the accounts that can have a real impact on our businesses.
By running focused advertising campaigns, attending events with the right audiences and extending your targeting beyond personas, you can create the kind of high-performance marketing plan that actually drives revenue.