Marketing professionals are under tremendous pressure to drive pipeline revenue from account-based marketing (ABM) programs. In fact, according to the DemandGen Report’s 2018 Benchmark Survey, 30% of marketing decision-makers say their primary success metric is revenue pipeline contributions. As marketing leaders face pressure to turn budgets into measurable results, it is logical to explore methodologies that will demonstrate the best ROI.

If your customers and prospects are not feeling enough love from your marketing narrative, and your engagement levels have suffered, it’s time to incorporate personalization tactics into account-based content to boost performance. When included in overall messaging, personalization enhances credibility, exhibits buying intent, customizes prospects’ overall experience with your brand and transforms loyal customers into brand advocates.

Shoot Cupid’s arrow into your content: Here are a few benefits of adding cross-channel personalization to your ABM efforts and best practices to effectively customize content to increase pipeline revenue.

Ignite a fire to scale personalization efforts

The average B2B marketing team spends 32% of its marketing budget on content, and the most successful B2B teams spend 40% on content creation and distribution. Successful account-based marketers know the value that customized messaging plays in their overall ABM strategy and diversify content by segmenting accounts.

ABM has three layers of personalization:

  • One-to-one
    • Personalization for top-tier accounts
    • Immensely tailored marketing and sales outreach
  • One-to-few
    • Content is customized based on designated personas and disseminated to account groups that match specified criteria
  • One-to-many
    • Scaling personalization by leveraging technology to distribute tailored content to named accounts

The 2017 ITSMA Benchmark Study found on average, the number of one-to-one accounts is 13, one-to-few is around 50, and one-to-many is 725.

After you’ve segmented accounts, it’s important to take time to understand each segment to create messaging that appeals to prospects’ specific needs throughout the buyer's journey. During the awareness stage, run programmatic display and CPL campaigns in tandem for more personalized outreach.

Data obtained from CPL campaigns (e.g. content syndication) can be used to shape custom experiences in programmatic display efforts. For example, if an individual at a targeted account downloads a whitepaper about a product or service you offer, use real-time data to drive awareness through personalized, targeted display ads. In addition, by unifying third-party demand and display, your sales team will be able to ignite meaningful conversations with potential customers using the content they engaged with.

All you need is love and personalized messaging

On average, your prospects will be targeted with 1700 banner ads per month. To cut through the advertising clutter, account-based marketers should tailor content based on data collected prior to outreach (e.g. prospect name, location, job title, seniority level, previous engagements and more).

Regardless of your team size, it’s likely that you do not have the bandwidth to produce thousands or even hundreds of pieces of content, customized to individual targets. Map target accounts and create varying messaging for buyers that address common pain points as they move through the funnel.

Personalization is the foundation of any ABM campaign; however, you don’t have to reinvent the content wheel when targeting new accounts. It’s likely your team has hundreds of pieces of content at your disposal. Before creating new marketing collateral, conduct an audit to determine what content you can edit, recycle or re-purpose. Reuse assets that proved to be successful with previous accounts that have similar attributes (e.g. company size, vertical, location, etc.)

Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder: Align marketing and sales efforts for increased personalization

If you’re moving to an ABM strategy, aligning sales and marketing teams is the most crucial starting point. For ABM programs to be successful, it's imperative your marketing and sales teams consolidate efforts to identify customers that fit your ideal customer profile. In fact, organizations with unified sales and marketing teams see a 36% increase in customer retention rates and 38% greater sales win rates.

Sales can assist marketing with establishing targeted accounts, creating personas, defining KPIs, and disseminating the right content to prospects. Once you’re no longer focusing on targets that will never buy your service, marketing and sales must work together to distribute personalized messages to targeted accounts. Using the content prospects downloaded or engaged with throughout the buyer's journey allows sales the ability to spark more meaningful conversations with target customers.

ABM Strategies Are Like a Box of Chocolates

Think of your account-based marketing campaigns as a box of Valentine’s Day chocolates. Diversify your marketing flavors to deliver an assortment of messages targeted to individual tastes. Remember, at the end of the day you’re targeting individual people. Invest in a solution that uniquely connects top-of-funnel ABM tactics and lead generation campaigns to generate and increase pipeline revenue.

I'll end with a poem. Roses are red, violets are blue, incorporate personalization tactics into your overall ABM strategy and you’ll hear your sales team say, “I love you!”

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