Agencies are responsible for helping their customers move the needle. If there are paltry results, then the agency probably won’t have those clients for long.
No pressure, right?
Fortunately, agencies that proactively plan their strategy and hone their focus can achieve results that make their clients jump for joy. Helping clients fill their pipelines, convert high-quality leads, and get new business takes a powerful account-based marketing (ABM) strategy.
More good news is that many agencies have embraced the ABM strategy approach. The 2019 ABM Benchmark Study reported that companies were earmarking an average of 29% of their marketing budgets to ABM campaigns.
We’ve put together some insight to help agencies crush their ABM strategy for their clients. Let’s look at what an ABM campaign is, how to measure it, and strategies to help maximize success.
What is an account-based marketing (ABM) campaign?
When an agency works with a client to pinpoint their ideal customer profile and forges marketing and advertising strategies to land more of those customers, the approach is account-based marketing. By tailoring the experience per account, the client is more likely to land those customers.
Agencies can help their clients plan and execute an ABM strategy that reaches their targeted buyers and helps close more deals.
How do you measure the success of an account-based marketing campaign?
Using data gathered from the ABM campaign, agencies can formulate the level of success the ABM campaign reached. Knowing which marketing efforts performed well, which ones were mediocre, and which ones failed to launch altogether gives agencies and their clients a look into how to improve future campaigns.
While there are many metrics to be gleaned from an ABM campaign, these four give agencies the deepest, most impactful insight.
Since ABM campaigns create highly personalized touchpoints that target the client's ideal customer, they should produce higher engagement rates than regular, blanket marketing campaigns. They should pique the target's interest, hold their attention, and tempt them to take the desired action (like filling out a form or registering for a webinar).
Agencies should closely review engagement metrics like email opens, website visits, the amount of time the target audience spent interacting with the client's content, and the prospect's interest in the client's offerings.
The ratio of the key accounts that take the desired action compared to the total target account list is called the conversion rate. The higher the conversion rate, the better the ABM initiative performed at creating qualified leads.
Stated at a percentage, the conversion rate centers around the predetermined action pinpointed before the campaign kicks off. These actions can be filling out a form on a landing page, scheduling a demo, or making a purchase.
Some of the most vital metrics in determining ABM success come from the sales team. After all, clients hire agencies for assistance in filling their sales funnels, shortening the sales cycle, and closing more deals.
Many types of analytics can be calculated from sales figures. These could include the number of deals closed, the average deal size, and the speed at which deals are closed.
Return on investment (ROI)
Measuring the ROI of an ABM program is simple to calculate. Take the total cost of the campaign and divide it into the profit recognized from the ABM campaign.
Keep in mind that an ABM strategy may not show a big ROI overnight. It takes time for a company’s targeted prospects to warm up and respond to your client’s marketing tactics.
Savvy agencies always discuss other metrics with their clients in addition to the campaign’s ROI, especially in its early stages.
Customer lifetime value (CLV)
CLV is the net profit a company can expect to make from a customer over the life of the relationship. It plays an important role in ABM marketing, making it an essential metric to review. Companies can use their CLV to know how to designate their budget. A high CLV also drives home the importance of putting effort into the customer experience even after the initial purchasing decision.
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ABM campaign strategies for agency and client success
Agencies can assist their clients in crafting high-performing ABM strategies that reach those potentially high-value accounts with personalized content.
However, there are many avenues to take with ABM, and some won’t get you and your client where you want to go. Avoid using tactics that hinder your ABM program from performing as well as possible.
Here are the top 10 ABM campaign strategies that are most successful for agency success.
1) Multichannel outreach strategy
Would you rather have one chance of getting a top prospect’s attention or five chances? This question is the foundation of multichannel ABM marketing.
Agencies can help clients attract and engage with their buyer personas on the buyer’s terms. Using channels like the company website, social media, display advertising, email marketing, and other forms of marketing drive better results than each one separately offers.
By using more than one channel for outreach, the company (your client) is more likely to be in front of the right prospect at the right time to get them to take the desired action.
Now, a multichannel ABM strategy can get overwhelming, which is why using marketing automation is crucial. Setting up campaigns to automatically execute saves time, costs, and resources compared to handling them manually.
2) Content-driven social media campaign
Using thoughtfully written and curated content, on-brand messaging, videos, quizzes, and contests to engage your targeted audience works well as a component of ABM.
This tactic is a less invasive way of connecting with the prospect compared to direct mail and email campaigns. Plus, a little effort can potentially go a long way with the vast reach of social media.
Creating content to share on company social media channels is a valuable way to increase brand awareness and get conversations flowing with the company’s buyer persona.
3) Targeted advertising campaign
Investing in ad campaigns that target the ideal buyer profile can get the company’s message in front of them and compel them to take the desired action. These can be ads on Facebook or LinkedIn, Google Ads, or retargeting ads to help revive once-interested parties.
Using this type of advertising as part of the marketing strategy provides another touchpoint for buyers to see and connect with the brand and message.
4) Personalized email outreach campaign
Email marketing is still one of the favorite go-to tactics for many companies. It’s easy to understand why. It’s cost-effective, simple, and still brings results when done well.
Using a highly targeted message, your client can enjoy high open rates, click-through rates, and lead generation from their email marketing efforts.
Having an automated email platform in place is vital for managing an email marketing campaign, as they offer a way to easily design, add content, personalize, send, and measure the success of every email in the campaign.
5) Customer case studies and success stories
A seasoned sales rep or slick display ad can tout a company’s high points all day long, but the information won’t be weighed as heavily by your client’s buyer as a current customer’s opinion. That’s why case studies, success stories, and testimonials should be a pivotal part of any ABM plan.
By interviewing a client’s specific accounts, content writers can weave a story that shows how the company helped the client solve an issue or address a pain point. This piece of content is a powerful testament to the purchasing decision and may just be the touch that closes the deal.
6) Webinars and workshops
Inviting targeted buyers to events created to address their specific needs allows them to get to know the company’s brand and see them as a thought leader in their field. By offering value first, which frequently happens if the event is free, the target is more likely to warm up quicker and move down the sales funnel faster.
7) Curated in-person events and dinners
One of the most successful ways of forging relationships and facilitating a sale is through high-quality VIP events and dinners. These gatherings, which can also be virtual, are optimized by being laser targeted at a small group of stakeholders, which makes for a memorable experience. They also give salespeople a chance to speak to sought-after contacts one-to-one.
Companies can run these events independently or partner with a third party (like a motivational speaker or trainer) to handle the program.
8) Influencer marketing campaigns
Using influencers in ABM campaigns is becoming more prevalent — and with good reason. The approach helps companies reap lucrative results. Influencer marketing involves having someone (they may be a celebrity or industry expert, for example) the prospect looks up to or trusts vouch for a product or service. Using influencers as part of an ABM campaign can increase a company’s lead-generation efforts and maximize client ROI.
9) Account-based content syndication
Sharing high-value, relevant content with the company’s targeted list of ideal accounts is known as account-based content syndication and can be a valuable starting point for the client/customer relationship.
By hyper-focusing the content on a small audience, your agency can create a personalized experience and make better inroads with your client's target audience.
10) Ongoing engagement to foster relationships
Buying decisions don’t exist in a vacuum, and one touchpoint is probably not cracking any new clients. The complexity of the client/customer relationship is why an ABM strategy works best when there's a consistent diet of personalized, valuable engagement.
Using inbound marketing, building website traffic, crafting compelling email campaigns, and investing in quality content are all materials that can help engage with prospects and existing customers. The sky’s the limit on the long-term ROI this strategy will return — for clients willing to commit to it.
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3 real-world examples of killer ABM campaigns
We’ve looked at the concept of account-based marketing campaigns, dug into how companies can measure success, and reviewed the 10 most advantageous ABM campaign strategies. Now it’s time to see how the concepts work in the real world!
While there are many examples of companies enjoying success from the ABM efforts, we’ve picked three that really showcase just how well they can perform when managed and executed strategically.
Multichannel ABM campaign: Rollworks
B2B growth platform Rollworks set a goal: to scale their business. To accomplish their objective, they needed to find ways to move stalled leads around obstacles faster and figure out how to nurture accounts better after that first meeting.
Rollworks decided to increase their conversions by crafting an email campaign that led to highly personalized landing pages. They also ran regular and retargeting ads to warm up the prospects.
To nurture accounts after the initial meeting, the company sent the prospect a direct mailer within a few days and some branded swag as a follow-up for prospects that hadn’t progressed after about a month.
The result? The ABM campaign directly increased Rollworks’ appointment rate by three times and the close rate by 15%.
Targeted advertising campaign: DocuSign
DocuSign wanted to improve their interactions after key metrics showed that visitors bounced before viewing relevant content that would warm them up into leads. They added a personalization aspect by creating industry-focused landing pages designed to align with the target enterprise clients' current growth stage. The pages also incorporated dynamic content to speak directly to the buyer’s needs.
Blending account-based marketing and inbound marketing helped DocuSign make great strides toward their goal: 59% of the targeted prospects visited their site, which created a 22% increase in sales pipeline growth.
Social media content (and gifts): GumGum
By using creative thinking and throwing traditional marketing to the wind, media company GumGum got the attention of fast-food giant McDonald's. The company used multiple touchpoints to set themselves apart from competitors.
First, they built 100 burger kits and mailed them directly to executives at McDonald's. Then, using the iconic Big Mac ingredients as the base, executed a social media strategy that contained short videos, tagging the corporate executives in their posts.
By leveraging their social media reach and planning the campaign down to the last detail, GumGum was able to snag a meeting with McDonald’s decision-makers.
Accomplish your ABM campaigns with Teamwork
Well-planned, consistently managed, and thoughtfully executed account-based marketing campaigns offer tons of exciting benefits to your clients. They can build the brand’s relationship with their target customers, decrease the sales cycle, and keep high-value buyers in the sales funnel.
Keeping up with ABM campaigns is seamless with a robust project management software platform. Being able to plan, visually manage, assign tasks, collaborate, and measure results are just a few features a project management system offers that contribute to ABM’s overall success.
Teamwork is a marketing project management tool specially designed for agency use. Keep your clients’ ABM efforts aligned, on track, and measurable by trusting Teamwork from the planning stages to the measuring analytics stage. Our feature-rich, intuitive platform is user-friendly and loaded with ways to help your team serve your clients faster, more transparently, and more effectively. Sign up to try Teamwork for free today!