5 Ways To Master “Marketing-As-A-Service” Platforms For Account-Based Marketing
How can you make account-based marketing suit your particular needs? Columnist Thomas Koletas outlines five ways to deliver the best possible results.
Account-based marketing — the practice of marketing to an individual or prospect as an audience of one — is gaining efficacy with the latest wave of targeted advertising because it enables reaching an ever-more-specific audience on a much larger scale.
When marketers leverage data and perform sophisticated analysis of this information, helping them choose where and how to focus their marketing dollars, campaigns become more relevant and engaged.
While this one-to-one account-based marketing has swiftly become the new gold standard of media transactions, especially in business-to-business applications, it’s still very much an evolving space, and we have yet to fully understand its potential for success or its possible areas of risk.
Here are five ways that marketers can make account-based marketing work to suit their unique needs, including how to adapt to an ever-changing environment while optimizing results.
1. Help “Marketing-As-A-Service” Help You
It’s common for marketers to acquire a sophisticated, new marketing service platform and then expect to be able to set it up and forget it. But savvy marketers know that technology can’t magically solve all of your organization’s issues and deliver stellar results all on its own; it needs some human brainpower behind it too.
While marketing-as-a-service vendors can help with activities like campaign design, landing page creation, lead nurturing and analytics, account-based marketing’s job is to do the heavy lifting of mining the massive amounts of data and discovering, defining and targeting those high-value accounts. Your job is to create the infrastructure and processes necessary to deliver optimized results, and for your entire organization to leverage the insights gleaned from performance.
The concept of “marketing-as-a-service” is that an organization should develop a blueprint and framework for marketing campaigns, then use unique elements as the building blocks for each individual effort.
Describing the idea, Ashley Friedlein, the head of Econsultancy, writes:
[blockquote]…if we can create the right building blocks, including data, content assets, rules and logic, then we can create ‘composable’ marketing that is unique in discrete executions, yet more scalable, efficient and quicker to execute.[/blockquote]
In your own organization, make sure anyone who could benefit from the customer data and insights from the platform know how to access it (and understand it). Eliminate data silos to get the most robust targeting capability out of your platform and ensure that insight is being leveraged across your organization to improve everything from customer relationships to sales and revenue.
2. The User Experience Is Dependent On Effective Messaging
It may have taken us a while, but marketers have finally learned that our jobs are not solely about promoting our brands. Instead, our goal should be to provide the best possible user experience for consumers, and the improved sales and long-term loyalty will naturally follow.
So how do we provide that experience?
We listen to what our customers and prospects are saying: We pay attention to their signals, what they are reading and what sites they are visiting. By using the mountains of signals they give us every day to identify their needs, we utilize account-based targeting to answer those topics in a timely fashion.
Through the use of intent-based marketing-as-a-service software, you can perfect your messaging and make sure it’s relevant, useful and timely to ensure a positive user experience. After all, a well-structured message is completely relevant to a consumer’s needs; smart use of targeting with a sophisticated marketing-as-a-service platform can ensure that ads are targeted to a user’s unique needs at a specific moment.
Why waste ad spend and risk alienating consumers with irrelevant messaging when you can improve targeting on the front end?
3. Data: Quality Over Quantity
Just like any other approach, account-based marketing is only as good as the data that feeds it.
More and more user data becomes available every day, but it’s important to focus on the real-time interactions that signal intent. It’s not the size of your database but rather the insights you glean from that wealth of data that drive performance.
Some marketing-as-a-service vendors target by IP addresses and others by identifying consumers with both interest in and intent to purchase a particular brand product or service. Make sure you know what’s going on inside the black box and choose wisely.
That intent insight is key to improving both campaign results and efficiency, because you are zeroing in on the prospects with the highest likelihood of converting, while reducing the number of impressions wasted on consumers who may fit your target profile but will still never buy your product.
4. Improved Productivity And Timeliness = Improved Revenue
In addition to improving targeting accuracy with intent data, there are many ways in which account-based marketing can be used to create efficiencies within the media transaction process. When determining your goals and benchmarks for an account-based marketing campaign, besides driving revenue, make sure productivity is a priority.
Marketing-as-a-service platforms usually come equipped with advanced measurement and reporting capabilities that can help marketers ensure they are getting the most out of their investment and eliminating areas of waste and inefficiency.
5. Don’t Forget To Measure, Learn & Optimize!
With all this discussion about data, targeting and measurement, you can’t be complacent. “Measure twice, cut once” is the old adage that can apply to the digital space. Utilize A/B testing and develop tools that can optimize your campaigns.
Remember these simple guidelines to ensure you are maximizing your account-based marketing programs with the intent data it needs to deliver the best possible results.
Navigating today’s complex data landscape may seem a bit daunting, but the good news is, with the right technology steering the ship, marketers can avoid potential areas of risk while leveraging insight to effectively communicate with customers and prospects at every stage of their journey.