Did I just equate ABC’s “The Bachelor” to account-based marketing? Yep! I did. And, here’s why. I’m not crazy, I’m not even an avid watcher of the show (although some members of PMG’s awesome marketing team are). But, you don’t have to be a fan to know that the premise of “The Bachelor” revolves around a single guy who is looking for his soulmate. The bachelor believes he has a lot to offer, and quite honestly thinks anyone would be lucky to have him. Alas, he’s seeking one special woman with whom to share his offerings – you know, his soulmate.
The season begins with said bachelor being presented with 25 eligible bachelorettes, each with their own set of issues. Over the course of the season, he systematically weeds through these prospects over a series of group and one-on-one dates, culminating in the season finale in which he bestows the final rose upon the winner. Could there be one soulmate in the bunch?
The Elimination Process
If we were to translate this to account-based marketing, it would essentially boil down to this; you (or your company) are the bachelor, trying to get your goods or services in front of your soulmate—your ideal target account. After conducting some thorough research, you're certain this organization is experiencing issues that your company can resolve. You truly believe that if you could only get some time alone with them, they would see all you have to offer and become a customer.
Thankfully, weeding through your prospects doesn’t have to be as awkward or as cringe-worthy as the rose ceremonies on TV. If you’ve already developed buyer personas, then you have a good sense of who you want to pursue. And, unlike “The Bachelor,” you don’t need to limit yourself to only one organization. Of course, expanding the account list will expand your workload, but there are marketing platforms designed to keep all your efforts in check.
What Really Happens in the Fantasy Suite?
Sales and marketing alignment!
I’ll say it – sometimes marketing and sales are...not so aligned. Marketers know firsthand how frustrating it can be to churn out content, find new and innovative ways to promote it, and hand off the SQL to what can sometimes feel like “The Black Hole of Sales.” On the other hand, sales reps might feel they aren't receiving enough of the right leads. What if marketing and sales worked together to identify high-value target organizations and their decision makers and worked backwards; in essence, turning the funnel on its head?
ABM is a shift in your overall marketing approach. Instead of casting as wide a net as possible to get leads, many of whom will never become a customer, you home in on your target account and deliver ultra-personalized content aimed directly at the key stakeholders. Effectively nurturing these prospects through every available channel virtually guarantees you seal the deal.
A Group Date? Or One-on-One?
Once you have identified your target company(ies), the real work begins. It’s certainly possible to coordinate the individual efforts on your own, but there are a lot of moving pieces in play, and it can get complex and expensive. The advent of multi-channel marketing platforms can make your job a whole lot easier. Platforms like Terminus can integrate with your CRM and deliver your message seamlessly via social, video, email, and display. Remember, the key to a successful account-based marketing strategy is speaking directly to the targets, but also staying in front of them in a low-key way. Doing this naturally can take time and patience.
Will you accept this rose? Spoiler alert: They always do.
Doing your due diligence up front will pay off – although it does take time. If you carefully curate your target list, create personalized content that speaks to their individual needs, and coordinate your marketing tactics you will likely see an engagement with greater return than traditional lead generation techniques.