ABM – How to Do Something that Works

Bill Crowley

Senior Vice President, International

abm listsABM has a lot of promise, but expectations are getting high. Sales VPs imagine it’s about Marketing focusing on top accounts with extravagant, granular efforts. Marketing Directors strive to put programs in place, recognizing quickly that many approaches are very hard to scale.  And of course, we have all witnessed the introduction of dozens of new “ABM” software tools.

TechTarget is making practical steps to help customers with ABM initiatives. We don’t claim to have all the answers, but there are some crucial ABM challenges we are helping our customers address.

Which accounts should we focus on and when?

ABM lists come in a wide variety of sizes, but assuming you’ve avoided the problems of ABM lists that are too small or too random, the big question is “which of these accounts do I focus on first?” ABM campaigns take real effort to perform, so you want to make sure you pick the right set of accounts to spend quality time on each week. This decision can determine which accounts reps emphasize in calling, which accounts marketing will write specialized outreach for, etc.  One good starting point is the accounts that have visited the products section of your site, but that’s a small fraction of the active accounts on your list and you likely don’t have their contact information so your ability to quickly have an impact here may be limited.

TechTarget provides enterprise tech companies with a fact-based way to prioritize their ABM lists. Marketers load their account list(s) into TechTarget’s Priority Engine platform and it ranks the accounts based on their recent pre-purchase research activity in your technology area on the TechTarget network.  Instead of throwing darts in the dark, Priority Engine prioritizes your target accounts based on data drawn from the most prominent and credible sites in your tech space.  These are topically relevant sites that earn 1 million visits per day from their 750,000 page 1 Google results.  The account ranking comes from the quantity and quality of contextually relevant activity exhibited by known contacts reading content about your technology. Priority Engine provides marketers the assurance that they are working on accounts that “have the pain” right now.

Do I have enough contacts and insight to make this effort pay off?

ABM campaigns sputter early because Marketers don’t have enough quality prospects to scale the effort. Think about it:  any online campaign with even the GREATEST targeting and spot-on copy may earn response rates in the 2-5% range.  To achieve those rates is hard enough.  To have them really matter to your business, you  need  to have both enough qualified contacts to make a difference (i.e. hundreds), and then you need enough insight about the account to enable you to compose creative that works. We’ve seen Priority Engine help our ABM-focused clients with this in two ways :

  • It provides many more qualified prospects per active, target account. In fact, after ranking your ABM list, Priority Engine delivers all of the contacts at those accounts that have been active on your key topic recently.  These are real prospects who have opted-in for your marketing and have been scrubbed for email and phone quality.  For one EMEA BI company, Priority Engine delivered >400 prospects that were net-new to their target account list – in the first pull.
  • Priority Engine provides rich insight into each account’s interests at the team and individual level. This is makes it much easier for marketers and  sales reps craft effective entry emails or calling points to work against a limited list. Specifically, Priority Engine provides an Account Profile detailing each account’s sub-topic and even their specific vendor investigations within your technology space.  It fulfills a wish of “if I just knew X, I could write something decent.”

If you’d like to have Priority Engine rank your target accounts for ABM or talk about other areas where these capabilities could help you, email me here today.

ABM, Account-Based Marketing, account-based marketing strategies, b2b purchase intent insight

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