fbpx
How Lumavate used a creative ABM campaign to achieve 35% meeting booking rates

How Lumavate used a creative ABM campaign to achieve 35% meeting booking rates

ABM sounds pretty daunting to most…particularly if you’re a start up. So, we sat down with “ABM Ninja” Stephanie Cox to learn how the pros do it.  We also really wanted to hear the story behind Lumavate using baseball cards in one of their most successful ABM campaigns.

Stephanie is the VP of Sales and Marketing at Lumavate. Lumavate helps marketers to build apps quickly – no code required.

Why choose ABM Marketing?

Having used ABM for most of her career (even before it was known as ABM) Stephanie says that it works for B2B sales because B2B marketers should be focusing on their ICP and not trying to sell to everyone. 

She attributes Lumavate’s typical 35% ABM conversion to meeting rate, in part, to the way that they personalise their outreach. It’s not what everyone else is doing and that’s what gets them the all important meeting.

A crucial and unique aspect of that outreach is the use of personalised video the key to Lumavate’s success in terms of converting their target account list into qualified opportunities. Over 90% of their initial meetings turn into qualified opportunities.

Start with what you already know

With each ABM campaign, Lumavate looks to their knowledge of existing customers in the same space as the campaign prospects. 

It was starting there that contributed to their successful baseball card campaign. Stephanie says:

“We wanted to go after more sporting venues. We really focused on how to replicate existing use cases for other teams.

We started by really looking at who the big players were. There was lots of Googling and we created a list of all the different team types.

We looked at what the NFL was doing, NHL, Major League Soccer and whittled it down to which groups would make sense for us. Then we went after all the different accounts. 

Our goal was to help source qualified marketing meetings. The goal in terms of ABM is that after an initial meeting, sales says ‘there’s a real opportunity here’.”

Assign Budget to the ABM Campaign

Lumavate didn’t have a huge budget to spend besides internal time and resources. So, they turned their focus to what would be most impactful and came up with a  really creative, low cost, Direct Mail campaign. 

Stephanie says: 

“We decided to do something fun. We noticed during our research that a lot of people that we’d be reaching out to were in their mid 30’s to 40’s and grew up during the 80’s when baseball cards were really hot. So, we created baseball cards for different use cases – how they could use our platform. We included players stats and had them printed just like real baseball cards – including a foil envelope. We sent them out with Big League Chew Gum. The overall cost was something like $6.00 

It was super creative and also resonated with the demographic of who we were going after and because they’re also sporting venues – it was kind of cool. 

We didn’t use a ton of budget there but it was still super impactful.”

Not only had Lumavate created a truly unique ABM campaign on a low budget, but that campaign really resonated with its recipients. 

Identify the most likely qualified opportunities

Lumavate waited until the third outreach before they sent the baseball cards. In this way they had whittled down their prospects so that cards were going to the people most likely to become qualified opportunities. 

Stephanie says:  

“ Very few people respond to the first contact. The second outreach is a personalised video for every single contact we reach out to. We try to find one to two things specifically about them and why we’re reaching out. We add those specific things to the more boiler-plate content for every video. We see a large number of conversions from our videos.

By the time we get to the third outreach with Direct Mail, we’ve typically cut 30%-40% of the list of contacts. Those left get the Direct Mail. That helps us reduce cost. Of, say, 300 initial contacts, we might only end up sending it to 200 people because we have been able to clean up the list in the first two rounds.”

Plan the ABM campaign timeline

Lumavate begins stimulating brand awareness about six weeks before they launch a campaign. They work with a combination of brand awareness ads and LinkedIn targeting. This is a low cost approach and Stephanie doesn’t expect any conversions.The purpose of this phase is about getting the name in front of prospects so that they’ve heard of or see Lumavate before the campaign starts.

Their campaign process usually looks like this:

  • Call
  • If the prospect can’t be reached leave voicemail talking about the video that they are going to send them
  • About five days later send a personalized video. 
  • 2-3 days later follow up if the video hasn’t been watched e.g. “hey, just shoving this up to the top of your inbox”
  • 4 days later drop the direct mail and send a “YouTube unboxing video”
  • SDR’s will call once  the direct mail has arrived (timing depends on the size of the organization and how quickly the post is likely to get to them) 
  • 3-4 further outreaches after the direct mail has arrived
  • Switch to sharing useful resources to position Lumavate as the resource for the prospect
  • If a prospect has engaged highly with emails and visited the website, send a handwritten note with a low-cost incentive – like stickers 
  • Following this last attempt to convert, switch to a nurture track that sends more content every two weeks for the next two months
  • Switch to a standard nurture track

Lumavate didn’t stop at sending highly personalized video and direct mail. They further enhanced strategy what Stephanie calls ‘The YouTube unboxing strategy’:

“The YouTube unboxing strategy creates this really cool “waiting for it effect”. 

The day we drop the direct mail in the mail we’ll send them an email with a video that says “hey something’s headed your way” including a video of our SDR opening the box that they’re going to get and showing them what’s inside. We will have people that are literally waiting to get this box of this item even though it’s only worth a couple of dollars. They’re contacting us and saying ‘oh I haven’t seen it yet’ or ‘oh I think you may have had our address wrong, can you ship me a new one?’ 

Stephanie says that the majority of the conversions to meetings happened as a result of the video and the direct mail – the two most personalised elements of the ABM campaign. 

How personalized should a personalized video be?

We were really intrigued by Lumavate’s use of personalised video, so we asked Stephanie how personalised the videos are. 

Having tested both tailored to the company and tailored to the individual, Stephanie has shown that ABM campaigns using video are more effective if personalised to the actual individual.  She stresses: 

“If you are wanting someone to watch the video, make the extra effort.” 

This is where the whiteboard comes in. Lumavate typically adds the individual’s name to a whiteboard and collects information about what products, sports teams etc they like. Stephanie acknowledges that there is a fine line between creepy and cool though! Know enough information about someone that they know you’ve done your homework. Don’t leave them wondering “why do you know so much about me?”. 

What Stephanie loves about  video is that it creates a different level of personalisation:

“Anyone can send you a video specific to your company but it’s very different  if I send you a video and the first things I say was ‘hey I noticed in this LinkedIn post you wrote last week, it said this, that’s a really interesting concept’ – I’d love to talk to you more about that. Or ‘hey I watched this speech that you did at this digital marketing conference and this is the two takeaways I got from it.’

Going beyond ‘hey I noticed you went to this School’ or ‘we know the same people’ is very specific and clear that I’ve dug into who you are. I know something that’s unique about you and I really want to have a conversation with you.

These little things make it very clear that I am not trying to just get a meeting with the company. I’m trying to get a meeting with you. It feels really special when someone doesn’t want to talk to your company, they want to talk specifically to you at your company.”

What’s really interesting about the personalised videos is that Lumavate sends one video to one individual and then they will notice a hundred views of it. The recipient is not watching it a hundred times. They have forwarded it to other people, it’s going ‘office viral’. Stephanie has lost count of the number of times that prospects tell her they have been  asking their own sales teams why they aren’t doing the same!

A successful ABM doesn’t require heavy investment

With ABM there’s often a misconception that it needs to be a “bloated tech stack” and very expensive. Lumavate’s baseball card campaign created a meaningful impact and shows just how much is possible with a small budget. They didn’t invest heavily in ads or new tech. 

In addition to the baseball cards, Lumavate:

  1. Spent a couple hundred dollars per campaign for brand awareness. 
  2. Personalised their email signature banners to the target company. 
  3. Matched the theme of the direct mail with LinkedIn ad and their email signatures. 

There was no huge financial investment. Lumavate were simply strategic about the timeframe so, to their prospects, it felt like they were everywhere – and that’s what the prospects were actually telling them.

Conclusion

Where Lumavate stood out was in the impact of creative direct mail. No one else was doing what Lumavate was doing. Even Stephanie was blown away by the impact that the baseball campaign had. As a result, when planning new direct mail campaigns, Lumavate always tries to find ways to send something that their prospects have never received before – and something that they would actually use.

“It doesn’t matter what money you can spend. What really matters is the creativity behind it and whether or not someone’s going to get it and say: “Alright, they’ve earned 30 minutes of my time”. Because that’s what we’re trying to do – to get 30 minutes of your time.”

Stephanie Cox, Lumavate

Find Stephanie at  [email protected] or via Twitter: @stephaniecox04

How Atlantic Growth Solutions Uses LeadSift to Prioritize Leads and Start Conversations

How Atlantic Growth Solutions Uses LeadSift to Prioritize Leads and Start Conversations

“Having intent data allows you to prioritize your ABM accounts so you can work more efficiently while improving the relevance of your messaging.”

Kent Murphy, COO, Atlantic Growth Solutions

The Problem

Before getting started with LeadSift, Atlantic Growth Solutions (AGS) manually identified their target prospects for ABM lists then imported the list into their CRM with minimal account and contact prioritization. Without a process to score and prioritize accounts, it was difficult to understand which accounts were more likely to buy so the team could focus their efforts there first. Fast outreach to interested leads is crucial to an efficient sales process, resulting in a 50% more likely closed deal over the competitor who came second, and with a manual process and no prioritization, it’s hard to get there first.

How AGS Uses LeadSift

AGS uses LeadSift to gain insights into their target accounts and prioritize their activity cadence daily. LeadSift’s data scores each account and provides insights into accounts based on intent. This way, AGS could set a clear prioritization and cadence for how to action their most relevant leads first in their multi-channel approach.

The Results

With LeadSift, AGS now prioritizes accounts with confidence. By validating the quality of a prospect and triggers for a campaign before kick-off, they are able to target the right people with the right message.

Their ABM campaigns have been even more successful because now not only are the lists prioritized and backed by intent data, but they have insights into triggers and topics their prospects care about. With contacts opening emails with personalized subject lines at a 50% higher rate, AGS now leverages these insights for high-conversion conversation starters with prospects.

About Atlantic Growth Solutions

Atlantic Growth Solutions (AGS) works with companies in all industries who are focused on driving sustainable repeatable growth. We do this by applying process, expertise , rigor and focus to all areas of the sales , marketing and business development realm. In the end our clients experience more qualified leads, bigger pipelines, higher close rates and in turn more revenue and profits.

About LeadSift

LeadSift is a contact-level intent data platform for leading B2B technologies companies helping them identify in-market customers and engage with them with relevant messaging. Moving beyond targeting by static profile elements like title or company size, we show you who is engaging with competitors, keywords, and events in a dynamic way that is relevant and actionable.

The Definitive Guide to Activating Intent Data: How to Generate and Nurture Relevant Leads

The Definitive Guide to Activating Intent Data: How to Generate and Nurture Relevant Leads

Eighty-one percent of marketers predict that the majority of their decisions will be data-driven by the end of this year. Big data drives marketing strategies in every industry.  But with big data flooding in every day, marketers are still learning how to make sense of it all and use it in the cleanest and most productive ways.

The data you work with should help you refine your targeting strategies and develop actionable insights for your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Ideally, it connects you with customers who are ready to purchase your solution and prepares you for what to do when you meet them.

Enter Intent Data. Intent Data provides high-quality information about buyers and accounts already in the buyer’s journey. Sales Hacker* magazine calls Intent Data one of the “hottest topics in the B2B sales and marketing space.”

Download the Shareable Ebook:



activating intent data ebook

Intent Data: What is it?

Your potential buyers are out there right now searching for products and services you provide.

They’re consuming content and speaking with competitive representatives. Intent Data captures the information of target customers who are already inching their way through the buyer’s journey. Exactly what information Intent Data provides you depends on the source. 

“Intent Data at its core helps predict the likelihood of an organization being in-market for a specific solution at a given time.”

Tukan Das, CEO of LeadSift

Businesses can track B2B Buying Intent across multiple different sources both online and offline. Software vendors rely on three sources of intent.

First-Party Intent

Picked up from your owned digital properties. First-party intent includes website visits, asset downloads, email engagements, product usage. First-party Intent Data could live in HubSpot or through visitor id companies like Lead Forensics. This data includes: contact name, company, job title, email, and phone number.

Second-Party Intent

Second-party Intent Data is when a company sells their first-party data. They collect information on their users and then package it for other companies to buy. G2Crowd and Tech Target are examples of second-party Intent Data providers. This data includes: contact name, company, job title, email, and phone number.

Third-Party Intent

Third-party data is intelligence mined from up-to millions of sources, websites, publisher networks, public forums, SEC filings, data co-ops, Ad networks, social networks, etc. The data collected isn’t specific. Usually this data includes only the knowledge that someone at a company has engaged with specific content, it’s up to you to guess who.

LeadSift’s Third-Party Intent

At LeadSift we take a fundamentally different approach in identifying Intent signals. We crawl and mine the public web and provide you with detailed contact level signals. Our team will tell you a contact’s name, company, job title, email, Linkedin profile URL, phone number, what tools they/their company uses, what intent signal they showed and what keyword that might be associated with, and more. [4] 

We know B2B buying behavior is extremely complex so we cross-reference intelligence from multiple-sources to infer Buying Intent. It goes way beyond just content consumption on the Internet, some of the strongest Intent signals are actually latent or indirect. If we notice a company hires a new Director of Culture, that might be a signal of intent for an employee engagement company. Or if we learn from a SEC filing or podcast recording that a company is going to double down on IT security and compliance for next year, that could be a good indicator for a cyber security company. [5] [MOU6] 

“Intent Data is a far more cost-effective resource for us to prospect and get in front of organizations that could well be in the market for a solution like ours, much more efficient than spending on PPC.”

– Mark Flaherty, CMO at InetSoft

Getting the Most Out of Your Intent Data

Making Intent Data actionable, measuring success, and developing appropriate programs are the top challenges B2B marketers face, according to TOPO’s Eric Wittlake [reference]. Treating Intent Data leads the same as every other lead is a mistake. Ask yourself how you can use these insights to supplement what you’re already doing to make your strategies more effective.

Marketing

Leverage Intent Data for a competitive advantage in campaigns like ad buys and email nurtures. With Intent Data, you don’t have to wait for potential buyers to visit your site and give up their contact information before generating a lead.

Intent Data provides you with information about companies and the contacts within companies who are already actively searching for solutions, engaging with relevant content, and moving through the buyer’s journey across the entire web. Intent Data provides a whole picture of buyers including what they care about, the languages they speak, how they prefer to receive information, and what prompts them to act or buy. Then you reach out at the perfect time with the content and solutions they’re seeking.

Intent Data revolutionizes marketing strategies like inbound marketing because you’re moving from a place of reactivity to joining your target customers when and where they are on the buyer journey.

Actionable Marketing Strategies:

  • Custom ad audiences: Use contact-level Intent Data for more targeted and efficient ad strategies by creating custom audiences and target leads already in the buyer’s journey. On average, a person needs 7 impressions to make a buying decision. Intent Data shows you prospects who have already had a few impressions. You can then step in when the lead is warmer and have a higher chance of getting in the door.
  • Content strategy: Use Intent Data to see what your ICP is actively engaging with so you can tailor your content marketing to topics your target audience cares about.
  • Marketing nurturing: Segment and customize marketing nurture by intent signal and keyword for more meaningful and personal marketing touches. By the time a prospect reads your message, they’ll feel like you’re speaking directly to them – which you are.

Sales

Use Intent Data to supplement lead scoring models, prioritize sales leads, and improve personalization. Your current scoring models rely on user behavior on your own website, third-party data will arm sales representatives with a more accurate score of prospects. Then, they target leads early in the buyer journey and personalize the prospect’s experience based on their behavioral intent.

Actionable Sales Strategies:

One of the biggest difficulties in outbound prospecting is targeting people and companies who have active initiatives related to our solution. The sales intelligence provided by LeadSift helps solve this problem since the prospects they deliver are engaging with industry content. This gives confidence to our SDR team that their messaging will resonate with LeadSift prospects, and confidence to our Account Execs that this company has a need Looker satisfies and represents a viable sales opportunity.”

Kyle Coleman, VP of Revenue and Growth at Clari (ex-Director of Sales Development at Looker)
  • Personalized solutions pitches: Use Intent signals to create personalized outreach based on the terms, competitors, events, and content that a prospect is engaging with. This helps boost conversions because your outreach is tailored to what the prospect cares about and isn’t just a generic sales email. 
  • Prioritized leads: Focus on the warmest, most relevant leads to close sales more quickly. Since these leads typically fit your ICP and are showing interest in purchasing, you know they should be reached out to first. Most Intent Data providers also offer lead scoring models based on levels of intent.
  • Segmentation: Match prospects intent information with the right sales rep to ensure they have the best chance of conversion. Knowing what they’re looking for as well their personal interests allows you to match them with most qualified sales representatives.

“We were able to scale MQL and appointments from outbound as a channel within the first month of being users. The added firepower has been a significant contributor to growth and ROI was almost instant.”

– Lance Muranaga, VP Marketing Abacus Agency

Customer Success

According to Gartner*, 80% of a company’s future profits come from 20% of its existing customers. 

Creating a positive customer experience is critical to your future growth. Use Intent Data to help customers address pain points and get the most out of your product. This ensures their loyalty, reduces churn risk, and identifies customers that would welcome an upsell or cross-sell.

“Finding intent-driven undiscovered leads. The data was strong. In more than one scenario we found current clients who were researching potential competitors. This allowed us to connect with them in a timely manner from a customer relationship-building perspective. Which opened doors for upselling.

– Customer quote on G2

Actionable Customer Success Strategies:

  • Reduce churn risk: Identify when current customers are engaging with competitors. Intent Data provides an early warning system to alert you to existing clients that are looking at other options to your products and services so you can step in and formulate a strategy to keep them.
  • Identify upsell opportunities: Intent Data gives you a window into which offerings or expanded versions of your solutions that customers are engaging with. When you can make customers happy by identifying their needs and providing services they can use, you can upsell or cross-sell them on

McKinsey* noted in one survey that “happy customers are also willing to add services or upgrade their existing package.”

Download the Shareable Ebook:



activating intent data ebook

Get Started

Step 1

Define your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Who do you want to sell to? Once you define that, then you can use intel data to determine what leads are relevant to your ICP.

Step 2

Audit your internal scoring criteria to determine which criteria triggers specific actions. Your marketing and sales teams should agree on lead definitions and the prospect journey.  Otherwise, you’re at risk of losing the bulk of your prospects, according to Industrial Marketing Today. Marketing usually focuses on website engagement, social media interactions, content engagement, and similar behaviors. Sales focuses on company size, industry classification and other demographics. You have to join forces and resources.

The following lead criteria are widely used:

  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): A MQL lead has been identified as more likely to become a customer based on their engagement with your content, including visiting your website or downloading resources. They’ve expressed interest, but they aren’t ready to buy yet.
  • Sales Accepted Lead (SAL): A SAL is ready to be handed off from marketing to sales. We know this because they have engaged with content in a predefined way as well as fit industry, company size, job title, etc. to be a fit for the sales process. They are ready to move to the next stage in the sales funnel. The sales team will do more research and look at more data.
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): A lead that is ready to talk to a sales rep. An SQL has shown purchasing interest in the solution you offer. The goal is to complete the sale

Step 3

Develop specific content for each stage of the funnel. This could be segmented by persona, industry, geography, company size, or intent signal.

Step 4

Extract the core topic themes from each stage. Use this information to set up your intent triggers.

Step 5

Gather actionable insights and craft your campaigns to match, including email, ads, and SDR outreach.

Measuring Effectiveness

As with any marketing and sales strategy, it’s important to track how well Intent Data is working. Use the following metrics to continue adapting your strategies.

  • An increase in qualified leads
  • Higher close rates
  • Shorter sales cycle
  • Increased revenue per new customer
  • Improved pipeline velocity: Number of SQLs X current close rate X average revenue per new customer / total sales cycle days. Increasing your pipeline velocity is one of the secrets of revenue growth.

Intent Data in Practice

“Intent marketing is the life-changing magic of giving people what they want.”

– Wordstream

Intent Data helps you understand your prospects better so that, suddenly, an account you would have otherwise ignored comes front and center to your attention. Consider these segments of prospects and how Intent Data helps you use your resources and efforts more effectively.

  • Company A DOES have the pain points you solve for, and they ARE aware of your solutions A high intent and high account score
  • Company B DOES have the pain points you solve for, and they ARE NOT aware of your solutions. A high intent and low account score
  • Prospect C DOES NOT have the pain points you solve for, and they ARE aware of your solutions. A low intent and high account score
  • Prospect D DOES NOT have the pain points you solve for, and they ARE NOT aware of your solutions. A low intent and low account score

With Intent Data in the picture, you don’t treat these accounts the same. Prospect D scores low in intent and account, and it’s not likely they need your services right now. Divert resources going towards Prospect D and put them to prospects who are farther along in their journey.  

With first-party data, you know that over 90 days, only three people from Company A engaged with your site resources and shared their contact information. You would mark Company A’s representatives as  “lower intent” and low priority, and you’d likely move your marketing resources elsewhere.

Second-party data provides a window into Company A’s behavior off your site. Company A is visiting your competitors on a regular basis and probably is in need of your solutions, they just aren’t aware of you. Second-party Intent Data scores this lead with “high intent” and worthy of a sales development representative’s (SDR) attention. In this case, you’d reach out to Company A with the segmented resources you’ve prepared and, hopefully, turn a prospect into a client.

Success happens when you get the right person at the right time at the right level of pain. Intent marketing makes that possible.

Download the Shareable Ebook:



activating intent data ebook

The Power of Segmentation and Nurturing

Intent Data’s ability to effect segmentation and nurturing can have a major impact on your results. This is a client success story from LeadSift’s customer pool.

As part of their global marketing strategy, a leading content marketing software company organizes local events for brand marketers. They run email nurture sequences to invite marketers at target accounts, but the database they rely on is static and often outdated. It has trouble tracking a dynamic workforce where people change jobs and roles a lot and the team felt they were missing out on prospects.

They tested a new approach by reaching out to a highly engaged group of marketers in San Francisco and New York. To accomplish this, they used LeadSift’s Intent Data tool. They identified a group of marketers that had engaged with a competitor or industry content within the past month. They then uploaded the target audience into a Market Nurture sequence to invite them to the event.

The company observed an open rate of 42% and a click rate of 37.9% for their nurture email sequence‑ a 30X lift in the email engagement rate. “Using LeadSift intent to build an audience and run nurture campaigns has been a game-changer for us,” said the company’s Marketing Operations Manager. “We now encourage our entire sales organization to leverage LeadSift for their sales efforts. LeadSift is one of our competitive advantages, and we don’t want our competitors to find out.”

Harness Intent Data to Boost Your Existing Technology

When integrated into your existing technology, Intent Data can provide tens of thousands of leads that generate sales. Below is another LeadSift client success story.

When a Senior Manager of Marketing Programs joined her new employer, they already had LeadSift. Her first tasks included: putting a codified demand generation strategy in place and implementing automated marketing programs that aligned with the sales team. To accomplish these goals, it was key that she had quality data and a healthy influx of new contact intent signals.

She started by automating workflows with Intent Signals pushing directly into their marketing automation system (Marketo) and syncing with Salesforce CRM. This leverages Intent Signals for both their Sales and Marketing efforts at scale. During the nurture period, leads are excluded from any other outreach. But once they engage with a content piece or request a free trial, the intent trigger routes the lead to the right team in Salesforce. The team follows up and begins prospecting.

In twelve months, LeadSift provided their client with more than 25,000 new contacts, contacts they could have otherwise missed. LeadSift provides a constant stream to feed their demand generation efforts that eventually end up in successful sales.

“As our primary source of new leads and database growth, LeadSift is a must-have for our marketing tech stack. Not only does it provide leads that are showing intent for our products, but it does so at a great value.”

Key Takeaways

Only 25%* of B2B companies are currently using Intent Data. That means most of your competitors are in the 75% who aren’t. Get your competitive edge by integrating Intent Data into your current marketing, sales, and customer service strategies. As you do, keep these key points in mind.

  • Intent Data leads are not the same as every other lead. 
  • Intent Data gives you valuable context about buyers you previously had no insight into.
  • Develop an efficient process for actioning Intent Data to avoid wasting valuable insights.
  • Use Intent Data to supplement what you are already doing to make it more effective.

Request a free demo from LeadSift for a custom report of leads searching for your solutions.

Sources

81% of marketers: https://www.gartner.com/doc/3883171/marketing-data-analytics-survey-

TOPO Intent Data struggles: https://blog.topohq.com/intent-data-has-emerged-as-a-fast-growing-data-category/

Study: https://diginomica.com/why-do-marketers-struggle-to-do-analytics-well/

Sales Hacker: https://www.saleshacker.com/intent-data-b2b-sales-marketing/

Gartner: http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexlawrence/2012/11/01/five-customer-retention-tips-for-entrepreneurs/?__hstc=32807841.12fdf7f0d9e1a4e4127eacd91e9e7015.1420565079181.1420565079181.1420565079181.1&__hssc=32807841.1.1420565079181&__hsfp=111348769

McKinsey: https://www.mckinsey.com/

Industrial Marketing Today blog: https://www.industrialmarketingtoday.com/sal-is-the-glue-that-binds-sales-and-marketing-in-lead-generation/

WordStream: https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2016/01/26/intent-marketing

25%: https://www.demandgenreport.com/resources/reports/2018-state-of-b2b-intent-data

Additional Added Source: https://blog.topohq.com/intent-data-has-emerged-as-a-fast-growing-data-category/

7 Top ABM Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

7 Top ABM Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy that’s become increasingly popular with companies looking for new ways to improve their marketing. By focusing their efforts on the best accounts, companies can offer better experiences and close more deals. 

However, despite what many think, ABM isn’t a magic wand that will solve all your marketing problems overnight. Companies may rush to implement ABM, but not see the results the experts promise. Could it be that account-based marketing is just another buzzword, a fad that will soon pass?

No. ABM is an incredibly powerful strategy with the potential to bring in significant results for your business. However, to get those results, it has to be implemented properly. 

From our experience, we’ve identified the top mistakes that companies regularly make with ABM, accomplishing nothing but wasting their resources. By identifying those mistakes, you can put an effective ABM strategy in place and unlock the full benefits.

1. Not prioritizing your account list

The whole point of account-based marketing is to focus your efforts on high-value accounts. As a result, running an ABM will involve more upfront costs—both in time and money—compared to a more scattered approach. When you look through your account list, you need to ask if they’re worth that cost. 

If the cost of running ABM is greater than the average contract value for that account, you’re throwing money away.

This isn’t just a matter of budget. Even if the accounts on your ABM list are a better fit than the average prospect in your CRM, there still needs to be a hierarchy. The amount of attention you dedicate to an account, the time you spend on content and other messaging, should vary in relation to the value of the targeted account. If you’re dedicating the same resources to every account, you’re going to hurt your chances of securing the big accounts while losing money on smaller opportunities. 

The solution is to use data to prioritize the accounts that are the best fit. For example, intent data empowers marketers and sales teams with insights into which of their target accounts are already searching for a solution. They can then prioritize them, focusing on the warmest accounts for higher conversions.

“We wanted to see more leads coming in that would convert. LeadSift’s intent-based lead identification process was the perfect pairing with our ABM approach.”

Jeff Wharton, Director of Demand Generation & Regional Marketing at CloudHealth Technologies.

2. Limiting the use of account-based marketing

ABM has the potential to bring in incredible results, but too many companies are only using it to a limited degree. Rather than using it to its full extent, they focus exclusively on sales or ads. Instead, they should be using it for both

There’s no doubt that ABM can completely transform your sales process, tailoring it to the individual account, but it can also be used to deliver highly personalized and relevant ads across multiple channels.

Usually, this is a result of an ABM strategy being designed in a silo, without the input of other teams. However, by taking the time to educate yourself on what can be achieved with ABM, you can use it across a variety of sales and marketing activities, without a significant increase in cost. With the right approach, ABM can be used strategically for sales and adverts. When LiveRamp used ABM for a multi-channel approach, they saw a 10x increase in year-on-year revenue.

3. Lack of customer research

Before you can prioritize your list, you need to know what kind of companies you’re targeting. If you don’t already have an ideal customer profile (ICP), then putting one together should be your priority. You should know in detail who they are, their attributes, and their pain-points. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at your current top customers. What do they have in common? 

Of course, you might not want more of the same kind of customer. Instead, you might be using ABM to break into new markets. If that’s the case, what do you know about this market?

Whether you’re looking at existing customers or are trying to define a new profile, your ICP should be based on data, not guesswork. You need a solid foundation to get the laser-like focus on the accounts you’re targeting and get the best result; according to research by TOPO, companies with a strong ICP had 68% higher account win rates.

It’s also essential if you’re going to avoid the next mistake on our list… 

4. Lack of personalization

ABM isn’t a switch. You can’t just buy a new ABM platform and expect it to work by itself. Rather, you need to come up with content and overall strategies that are personalized and highly relevant to your targeted accounts. 

The whole point of ABM is to talk to your chosen accounts directly about them and their situation. Think of it as a one-to-one conversation. You should never find yourself vaguely referring to general industry challenges or, even worse, spending the whole engagement talking about yourself.

Every interaction—whether that’s an email, social media, ads, or on-page content—should be tailored to the account, to their challenges and their point in the buyer’s journey

The good news is that if you’ve avoided the mistakes we’ve already discussed, you’ll be in a much better position to deliver this personalization. 

For example, significant personalization that goes beyond “Hi {FirstName},” such as account-specific pages and content takes considerable investment. If you’ve prioritized your list, you can be sure that investment is worthwhile. Personalization also requires extensive research to be meaningful. 

Intent data can help you create marketing content based on what your accounts are already researching, personalized to their current priorities and interests. By using the exact terms they’re searching for, talking about their most pressing pain points, your content will be truly relevant and personal. 

5. Thinking of ABM as a short-term strategy

It isn’t easy to get people’s attention. Every day, people are having to deal with more noise. Cutting through that takes effort, even with a multi-channel ABM strategy in place. 

Sure, you might be creating that personalized relevant content, but it still takes time (along with multiple touchpoints) to implement. Especially if you’re selling complex solutions to enterprises (which is where ABM shines most), you’re not going to see impulse purchases. Even when you successfully get a company’s attention, that doesn’t reduce the sales cycle.   

ABM is a long-term investment. It requires planning, research, and hard work. You will need to consider how exactly you’ll identify and target your chosen accounts. You will have to confirm what channels you’ll use, and how you’ll ensure the right account sees the right content. You will likely need to implement and familiarize yourself with new technology. 

The leads will be more valuable, but there’ll be fewer of them, especially when you’re just starting. If you’re not prepared for this, you (or your boss) might look at the immediate results and conclude that ABM isn’t for you. Get everyone on board for the long haul, with clear expectations. At the same time, don’t rely on ABM to bring in all your leads. Rather, run it alongside your demand gen strategies. 

6. Misalignment between sales and marketing

It’s a tale as old as time: sales and marketing teams, working at cross-purposes. This can be a problem for any company, but it can spell disaster for an ABM strategy. To succeed, you’ll need everyone in the company to be on the same page. 

For example, if your account list is up to the sales team, don’t be surprised if it’s full of difficult targets. At the same time, their knowledge of the companies you deal with is a major asset. From the very outset, both marketing and sales need to work together to come up with the right list. For a focused ABM approach to work, everyone needs to know who to talk to, what to say, and when to say it. 

Many companies who’ve succeeded with their ABM strategy have found it best to start with a pilot program, a test run using a small number of accounts recommended by sales. This helps get the necessary buy-in from the different teams, while also giving you a chance to iron out any bugs. 

Once the strategy is up and running, it’s important to keep the collaboration going. Keep sales involved, with regular meetings between the teams to check progress and address any challenges as they come up. 

7. Tracking the wrong metrics

If you’re judging your ABM campaigns using the same metrics as your traditional marketing campaigns, you’re likely to be disappointed. 

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” 

Remember, we’re not looking for a short-term solution with ABM. The campaign’s success shouldn’t be measured by clicks and conversions. Still, we need to measure performance, so how can we tell if the strategy is working? 

The KPIs you track will depend on the stage of the campaign. For example, early stages should be producing account engagement, both in terms of amount and quality. As the campaign progresses, you should then be looking at how many of the targeted accounts are being successfully closed.

You can then compare this with your other marketing initiatives, while also testing new approaches to ensure ongoing improvement. Of course, this all depends on you being able to record and access the data you need, across all of your departments.

Conclusion

Account-based marketing can be challenging, but it also has the potential to bring in high-value accounts that would be near-impossible to reach otherwise. 

By avoiding the common mistakes that others are making, by prioritizing accounts already showing high intent and personalizing your approach across all departments, you can take advantage of highly targeted campaigns.

Want to run a truly successful ABM campaign? Intent data can help you prioritize your ABM list and create personalized content. Learn more in our free webinar on highly effective ABM strategies utilizing behavioral intent data.