Not all B2B marketing strategies are created equal, and not all of them work. Have you ever wondered why your B2B marketing initiatives are not yielding the expected results? Why is it that in spite of pumping in efforts and resources, you aren’t able to acquire a good enough number of clients? Why won’t your target group respond to a particular marketing strategy in a manner that your team predicted?
While there can be a multitude of answers to these painful questions, the reason is that you’re probably still obsessed with traditional inbound marketing strategies. These strategies are centered on targeting a mass audience. This mass audience includes all kinds of people, and there is no way of telling the prevalence of people who fit the bill of your target group. You then keenly wait for the select few out of this mass to reply or reach out to you. These traditional inbound strategies have been implemented by marketers and B2B marketing teams for decades now! Do you know how familiarity breeds contempt? Well, similarly, target audiences have become immune to inbound marketing campaigns. Being bombarded by similar communication has rendered the audience unaffected to any similar attempts.
There has to be an alternative strategy that, when applied, can fetch the maximum possible return on your investments.
Any B2B organization’s marketing team puts in their best possible efforts to devise plans that reach out to a majority of their prospects. However, all of this goes in vain when their efforts are so callously pushed aside by the target group. The target audience can’t be blamed or labeled as fickle and tough, either. Conventional marketing strategies have hit their peak a long time ago and now, they are steadily getting obsolete and outdated.
Traditional (Inbound) Marketing Strategies
Account-Based Marketing a.k.a. ABM
So, how does one proceed with this new B2B marketing approach and adopt account-based marketing?
To use a hypothetical situation, imagine someone looking for four-leaved clovers in a field of clovers. Alternatively, imagine being on a farm where only four-leaved clovers grow. Well, if four-leaved clovers were bankable accounts, which field would you rather be in?
Similarly, in the case of ABM, you target the most lucrative accounts from the very start of the process and put all your resources and efforts toward marketing your products or services to these accounts. This tactic ensures that your accounts understand that your commitment to serving them is not all talk. Not only will this help your brand’s reputation, but it also sows the seeds for customer loyalty.
Following are some of the critical features (but not limited to) to be implemented while adopting account-based marketing-
Design Account-specific Offers and Campaigns
As stated before, the key component of ABM is developing and creating highly personalized offers and campaigns for each account. As there are considerably fewer accounts or prospects when you implement ABM, it becomes possible to customize ads, campaigns, content, or emails as per each accounts’ likes, dislikes, needs, preferences, and priorities. The personalization ensures that your account values the relationship they have with your organization and leads them to avail of your services and use your products.
The product’s quality, the customer’s service experience, the ease of doing business with your B2B firm, and other such factors are undoubtedly important in the long run. However, once your accounts are satisfied with your communication, products, and services, they are highly likely to think of you for their future requirements. At the same time, since your marketing efforts convey that you are adept at understanding their needs, this process also helps you build lasting relations with clients. This encourages them to refer your products and services to others as well. It, in turn, allows you to create trust and brand reputation.
Retargeting your accounts
How Can Your B2B Business Get There
According to Forrester, 75% of buying activity happens before a hand-raise. This just goes to show how crucial retargeting is to a successful account-based marketing strategy.
There are various online services you can hire to retarget accounts in a modern context. These services can log the IP address of your concerned accounts. Being a content-driven world, accounts are bound to consume online content on a regular basis. Hiring such a service keeps track of the accounts’ online activity, and whenever they go online, they get served with your ads or content specifically. It builds awareness and image of your brand as well as keeps them well informed about you. The process never allows the account to forget you; hence, they will reach out to you again whenever they are in need of similar services.
Depending on past business relations with these accounts is a sure-fire way to earn repeat clients. Thus it’s highly essential for you to keep retargeting accounts even if they have completed the first business with you.
Personalization to an Enhanced Level
Personalization is the key building block when it comes to the Account-Based Marketing approach. It translates into customizing and creating or designing content, ads, or campaigns in a highly personalized manner for individual accounts. You can even personalize the landing page on your website for various specific accounts. Your ads or campaigns will drive desired accounts to your website, and if they find a landing page highly customized for them, it imparts a lasting impression. More than the impression what matters is the sense of satisfaction the account gets while visiting an optimized landing page that caters to his individual need.
A satisfying account is highly likely to feel ‘cared for and to believe that your B2B organization is the right fit for his requirements. After all, you keep delivering an experience that they enjoy. However, there is a thin line between personalization and intrusion. Make sure that your marketing communication artfully stays on the right side of this line.
Social Media Intelligence
To offer an optimal experience to accounts, you must keep an eye out for recent developments and ongoing happenings at the accounts’ end. An easy way of doing this is to keep yourself updated through the accounts’ social media updates. These updates will provide you with intelligence about their current needs, requirements, and the challenges being faced by them.
If you reach out to them with the exact solution in the form of your products or services; it will drive the account to trust you and your brand. This positive experience, again, helps to build long-term relations with the account. Never let your accounts dissolve into oblivion. Keep track of them in every possible way. It is necessary that the exact requirements of your accounts are fulfilled at the earliest. With the bonus of a positive buying experience, your accounts are bound to leave with a lasting positive impression of your B2B brand.
Use Old-school Direct Mail Strategy
The practice of sending direct emails to executives was left behind after digital marketing came into the picture for B2B marketing. However, the effectiveness of old-school direct emailing strategies remains unaffected. In most cases, executive-level employees don’t have a roaring presence on social media, nor do they subscribe to mailing lists frequently.
Executive-level employees play a huge role in buying decisions, especially in the B2B industry. If you send emails directly to an executive, the chances are high that they will make an impacting decision about your offer. Ultimately, if you can satisfy the executive with your service and product offering, you automatically will gain the trust and establish a long-term business relationship with the firm.
This old-school direct mailing tactic also falls under ABM, and it has yielded satisfactory results for B2B organizations across the world.
ABM aka Inverted funnel strategy
Traditionally, inbound marketing used to comprise of attracting as many people as possible through various marketing campaigns. The leads generated through these campaigns were then nurtured using personalized content, ads, or emails depending on their role in the buying cycle. However, the interim nurturing period usually saw almost half these leads opt-out of your marketing efforts. The remaining majority left when they didn’t get what they needed out of your efforts. Only a few of these leads remained at the last stage of the sales funnel.
Is MQLs Worth It?
Account-Based Marketing awards your marketing and sales team with fabulous opportunities to drive growth and bring in more business. All their efforts and resources bring fruit at the end of the process when they are in possession of the best prospects. In the end, it is worth it when you are ready to cash in on your B2B organization’s products and services.
The Bottom Line
How BizProspex Can Help
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