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minute read
April 13, 2021

B2B Account Based Marketing Guide Your Campaigns

Written by
Terry Kelleher

Account Based Marketing To Guide Campaigns

As you gear up to launch your account-based marketing campaigns, questions are running through your head.

  • What is account-based marketing?
  • What account based marketing tools are there?
  • What channels should you focus on?
  • Will your messaging resonate?
  • Is this effort going to be for nothing?

These are valid concern but it's key to remember that the effort you invest upfront in planning an ABM campaign is worth it. If your prospect sees your message and finds it valuable, they’ll be glad that your company is here to solve a problem for them. Data has shown that ABM campaigns can lift average annual contract value by 171%. That’s because an effective campaign leveraging effective ABM intent data will be personalized and leave your prospect wanting to book a meeting with you. You’ll build trust with decision-makers in your target accounts, and choosing you over your competitors will be an easy decision.

In this post, I’m going to show you examples of real companies using account-based marketing that you can learn from and find inspiration for your next campaign. The ABM examples will show you the level of personalization and targeting you should be aiming for if you want incredible results from your ABM efforts. Let’s dive in.

Choosing Your Channels for ABM Campaigns

Account-based marketing is a powerful way to engage with prospects. Rather than focus your resources on attracting as many potential buyers as possible, you focus them on attracting a select few. It’s perfect for any company selling to large companies or enterprise, enabling you to use your sales and marketing resources more effectively, and keep them aligned.

We’ve talked about the various ABM tactics and strategies you can use to get in front of key decision makers before.

  • Personalized email outreach
  • Highly targeted advertising campaigns
  • Intent data to see who is actively looking to buy

But, the best part about account-based marketing is that it’s channel agnostic. It doesn’t matter if you send someone an email, cold call them, or meet them at an event. What matters is that your sales and marketing messaging makes the value you can offer to your target accounts clear.

These Examples Show the Real Power of ABM

Your prospects see hundreds of ads every single day, and most are ignored. To truly stand out and guarantee that you book meetings, you need to do something special. Successful account-based intent data marketing campaigns aren't just about channel selection or sending as many outreach emails as you can. Sometimes, you need to break free from the norm and show your prospects that you’re willing to invest your time, energy, and money into winning them as a client.

Let’s take a look at the examples.

1. Snowflake’s Database of One-Pagers

Snowflake, the data-warehousing company, works with major clients like Cisco, HubSpot, Sonos. Clients that size will need a significant amount of data stored, and will bring substantial revenue to Snowflake — if they become a customer.

Snowflake’s ABM Strategy

Rather than rely on generic sales and marketing assets that won’t impress their prospective clients, Snowflake creates custom one-pagers for every client they approach.

Snowflake's one-pagers are a great example of ABM

This is key in ABM. 77% of B2B sales and marketing teams believe personalized experiences make for better customer relationships. It’s key to ensure every prospect feels you’re tailoring your sales experience to them. Snowflake’s one-pagers are a great approach.

Benefits to Their Prospects

In their outreach to new prospects, Snowflake’s sales reps can let them know they’ve created a completely custom sales asset for them. Key decision-makers will trust Snowflake, as they’re showing proof that they care about winning their business.

How Much Work is Involved?

A custom one-pager is a great idea because it’s relatively simple to create. There will be a content overlap between one-pagers Snowflake is creating for different target accounts, but, the key is that each one is unique. There will be preparation work involved for every account, but once your team knows the process, it’ll be simple and repeatable to execute at scale.

2. Intridea’s Billboard for Ogilvy

Intridea, a software and UX agency, ran a brilliant campaign, targeting the well-known advertising agency Ogilvy. Getting a meeting to partner with global agencies like Ogilvy takes work, and Intredia knew they had to stand out to have a chance.

Intridea’s ABM Strategy

Rather than rely on outreach emails, targeted digital advertising, or cold calls Intridea went with a format their target audience couldn’t miss. They purchased a billboard across the street from Ogilvy’s HQ. The billboard was designed to catch their attention, and it had a single call-to-action: a website URL.

ABM Billboard Example

The website contained information on the benefits of working together and next steps. It’s an incredible example of knowing exactly who your prospect is, and creating your marketing assets in a way you know they can’t ignore. The result? Intridea managed to book a meeting with key decision-makers at Ogilvy.

Benefits to Their Prospects

Their target account — Ogilvy — knows that Intridea isn’t doing this for every company they want to work with. Because of that, it’s a fantastic way to build trust. It’s also an effective way to elicit a response. If they relied on digital ads, it would have been easy for decision-makers at Ogilvy to ignore them. But with a huge billboard opposite their office, it’s hard to ignore the efforts. Even if they weren’t considering partnering with another agency before, now they were. It also shows that Intridea isn’t just a small agency. The advertising format reflects that they’re relatively successful already (if not, they wouldn’t be purchasing billboard ads) so Ogilvy’s team knows there’s a real team behind the brand.

How Much Work is Involved?

A billboard takes more work than creating a text-based one-pager or writing a custom outreach email. Your ad will need to be well thought through and designed with your prospect in mind. That means you’ll need at least one in-house designer (or work with a consultant) to ensure your billboard accurately reflects your brand and will resonate with your audience. As well as that, you need to consider if the ad format will resonate with your prospect. If you’re targeting global ad agencies like Ogilvy, it’s a great fit. On the other hand, if you’re targeting a local business, it’s overkill.

3. GumGum’s Comic Book for T-Mobile

Next up, we have GumGum, an ad-tech company. They went above and beyond, creating a completely custom comic book in order to book a call with T-Mobile’s CEO. It’s a 20-page document, with real illustrations and a story. The catch? It’s based around a common problem T-Mobile customers have, and shows how GumGum can help them solve it.

GumGum’s ABM Strategy

GumGum’s strategy was to commission a completely custom, 20-page comic book. It’s a huge undertaking, but it was worth it. Clearly, it was effective. T-Mobile’s CEO at the time, John Legere, shared it on Twitter with his praise for GumGum's efforts.

Account-based marketing examples

Benefits to Their Prospects

Targeting an individual like T-Mobile’s CEO is a challenge. If they had relied on traditional methods, GumGum wouldn’t have stood out. Instead, they went the extra mile. Creating completely custom assets shows their prospects that GumGum cares about having them as a customer. It also shows that GumGum has skin in the game for this deal. A high-quality comic book like this is a big expense just to land an initial meeting with someone, so their prospects know there must be something good in it for them.

How Much Work is Involved?

An undertaking like this isn’t a fit for every company. There would be at least $10,000+ worth of expenses before GumGum even launched the campaign and knew if it was working. But, if you’ve thoroughly researched your prospect and know what resonates with them (in this case, they knew John Legere was a fan of comic books), it’s a worthwhile risk.

If T-Mobile were already considering a few vendors with similar features to GumGum, the final decision would have been made on price or features alone. In this case, GumGum makes it all about the relationship they have. No other vendor will go to the lengths they did to stand out and customise their sales process to T-Mobile.

4. ExtraHop’s Custom Direct Mail Campaigns

ExtraHop, a cyber analytics company, saw incredible results in their account based digital marketing by using direct mail. Their direct mail campaigns increased pipeline influence in their campaigns by 1400%.

ExtraHop’s ABM Strategy

Targeting high-level decision-makers including Chief Security Officers, Chief Information Officers, and VPs of Security is hard. If you target similar decision-makers, you already know that your prospect will have a packed schedule, every single day. There's never a good moment for your emails to land in their inbox. Knowing that, ExtraHop decided to focus on direct mail to stand out and build engagement inside their target accounts. The hypothesis was that direct mail would be noticed by their prospects and harder to ignore.

Benefits to Their Prospects

Direct mail is an effective way to stand out from the crowd. It builds confidence as their prospects know ExtraHop went the extra mile and aren’t relying on paid ads or cold calls like the other marketers targeting them. Their direct mail campaigns weren’t just nice-looking letters, either. They sent small gifts to key accounts to help them book more meetings. After the meetings were over, they’d follow up with another direct mail campaign including bigger gifts that were closely related to their prospects’ company or personal interests. It’s a perfect way to build a strong relationship, and proves that your job isn’t over once your prospect books a first meeting with you.

How Much Work is Involved?

Direct mail is more time intensive than digital marketing and sales campaigns. But, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more expensive. If you spend $100 on LinkedIn ads, you won’t know if your prospect actually saw your ad, and chances are, they won’t book a meeting with you as a result of an ad. On the other hand, direct mail is more personal. If you spend $100 on a gift and postage to a decision-maker, it’ll be hard for them to ignore it without feeling impolite.

It does take effort. The campaigns you run still need to be personalized to the recipient, and it is more time-consuming than hitting ‘send’ on an email campaign. But, it’s an excellent strategy if you need to engage with busy decision-makers who can’t accept every meeting invitation they receive.

Key Takeaways to Use In Your Campaigns

These ABM marketing examples show that you can’t settle for traditional techniques when running campaigns. If you’re targeting busy decision-makers that fit your ideal customer profile you need to find ways to ensure you stand out from the other SDRs targeting them. These examples are all amazing examples of how you can launch campaigns that help you stand out and book meetings. The key is to always create unique content that couldn’t be sent to anyone else, except your target account. The lessons from these examples should be on personalization. The channel you choose, whether it’s email, billboards, Twitter, don’t matter as much as your message and the value you bring.

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