How to set up an Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy?

Account Based Marketing (better known as ABM) is all about starting a conversation about high potential accounts. What if it was the right time to embark on an ABM process? Here are our tips for avoiding missteps.

Definition: what is ABM?

“ABM is about focusing on the accounts that matter” . To our knowledge, there is no better definition than that given by Laurent Ollivier, associate director of Aressy. In France, companies with potential are not legion. Indeed, the hexagonal economic fabric is essentially made up of small businesses. Of the 3.7 million companies active in France, only 50,000 of them have more than 50 employees in their workforce. Or less than 1.5%. Only … But looking at “value” rather than “volume” the perspective changes. Indeed, these companies represent 85% of the GDP. “This is the whole point of an ABM program: activate these prospects with very high potential by concentrating your efforts”, specifies Benoît Marcellin, Marketing Director of Nomination.

Define your list of strategic accounts

An ABM program is based on two legs. Data is one of them. Properly identifying the targets constitutes the basis for future actions. Updating and the fight against obsolescence are essential projects. “Managing your data capital looks more like a marathon than a sprint,” warns Benoît Marcellin. This long-distance race is a must.

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Correctly working on account lists and delineating interesting companies remain sine qua non for the success of ABM. Account mapping requires finesse. For example, one might be tempted to turn to the Bouygues group. However, it is a sprawling ensemble that brings together activities as varied as construction subsidiaries and the Auféminin media.

Speak to the right decision makers

After having clearly defined the perimeters, we must look at the decision circle. Who are we for? It all depends on your value proposition and your solutions. A company like HP will have every interest in turning to influencers like CIOs. Again, marketing and sales must agree on the subject. The quality of information is important since 22% of executives change jobs each year. An arrival? The opportunity to put a foot in a prospect. Is one of your eWorldTrade customers moving? It is a new entry point into an organization with a potential ambassador. Your interlocutor leaves? The partnership must be secured by sending its N + 1.

Personalize your B2B marketing message and content

With the data project managed, you now need to work on the relevance of the content. What is the point of having invested time in the precise identification of your targets if, in the end, you send the same white paper to a CIO of an industrial group as to a digital director of a service company? That is why personalization is the other leg of the ABM program. It is essential to engage intelligently with relevant content. Forgotten the generic message! “During the first approach, you have to be tailor-made and avoid being deceptive in order to open the door and initiate initial contacts” , pleads Laurent Ollivier. Being perceived as a legitimate player in one’s field, for example, involves sending a business case or benchmark.

Rely on technology to finalize your ABM plan

At this point, both of your legs allow you to “run” your ABM program. To speed it up and make it run, then you can rely on technology. A few examples: intensify the personalization thanks to visuals including the first name of your interlocutor, adapt the home page of your site according to the sector of activity of your visitor …At this level of sophistication, you can then rely on scoring. It offers good results to know the interest of your interlocutors. Their level of maturity will be the best indicator to get back on your feet when the time comes to hand over to the sales teams to (finally) initiate an appointment. Because in the end, the goal is always the same: talk to a decision maker! Remember “markets are conversations”.

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