- Published in Solution Spotlight
If the goal of account-based marketing is about acquiring and retaining the best long-term customers within organizations, the customer story you tell includes two crucial parts—the acquisition message (why change from what you’re doing today?) and the retention message (why stay with us now and in the future?).
Lead quality is the top objective in 2017 for digital marketers, according DemandWave’s 2017 State Of B2B Digital Marketing study. Close to half (48%) of respondents chose cultivating sales-qualified leads compared with raw leads, which was named this year’s toughest challenge.
The study also revealed nearly half of respondents expect to invest more in digital marketing this year, while only 6% expect a decrease in budget. DemandWave surveyed 200 B2B marketing professionals.
The top channel for revenue growth is tied between SEO and email. While email retains its throne as a top channel for revenue gains (63%), marketers are paying attention to the financial gains of SEO as well.
hile respondents indicated ROI is still among the top challenges, 22% named ROI as the number one metric they use to measure performance—a 77% increase from last year.
“Once a mystery, tools like attribution models are finally offering clarity,” per study. “Perhaps the ability to better track marketing efforts is also contributing to a fresh sense of confidence in digital, and therefore leading to larger budgets.”
Whether you have embarked on an ABM program or are planning to do so, you’ll realize that contact data issues are amplified with an account-based approach. With the spotlight on your that data, there is nowhere to hide. Sales and marketing will blitz your contact data, so now you need to worry about a lot more than just email deliverability.
Think about it—you have a lot riding on these high-profile accounts, and the last thing you need is inaccurate, incomplete, or missing contacts holding you back. To ensure your efforts yield positive results, follow this six-step process to ensure your contact data is ready.
There are a number of different approaches that sales and marketing take to establish target accounts. A common one is based on firmographic criteria (i.e. company size and industry) and often supplemented with additional attributes, such as technology installs or buyer intent data. More advanced approaches include predictive analytics, which utilizes data and pattern recognition to identify the accounts with the highest propensity to buy.
With the accounts identified, it’s time to pull together and assess all the contacts you have associated with these companies. No matter the number of contacts you have, are you confident they’re accurate? How are you going to deal with fractional records, like ones missing job title, phone numbers or email addresses? To get a handle on the state of your contact data, start with a Data Health Check. Most data providers or agencies offer them at no charge.
With insight from the health check, you can now strategically clean-up your contact data. First, consider suppressing contacts that are misaligned to your audience definition. It makes no sense to invest resources and time on contacts that play no role in the buying process. Second, apply real-time hygiene to the eligible contacts to isolate bad and problematic data. Lastly, fill in missing fields and enrich with attributes that provide a more complete view of the contact.
Now that your data is clean and complete, you need to map the buying committee—including decision makers, influencers, and end-users—within each account. With a contact gap analysis, you’ll learn the extent to which your house contacts align to your audience definition, and you’ll gain insight into the ones that you’re currently missing.
With an understanding of the gaps within your database, you can design a contact discovery strategy to close the most important gaps first. The objective is to identify and acquire the contacts that constitute the buying committee within each account.
To increase ABM success, it’s imperative that your contact data management strategy is ongoing. You need to maintain a standard of accuracy with your house contacts while simultaneously seeking greenfield contacts as they become available.
Optimizing your contact data for account-based marketing is a process that requires continual attention. You can gain a competitive advantage if you can improve the accuracy and completeness of your contact data while simultaneously ensuring you have identified the right people at each account. It’s this idea of establishing the buying committee that provides you the foundation to orchestrate plays that will build brand equity and revenue. Check out this brief video to learn more:
Brian Hession is the President & Founder of Oceanos, where he helps companies design data management strategies that deliver smarter data, better marketing automation performance and more revenue. Brian is a member of MOCCA Operations Board—the leading professional association dedicated to operational excellence in marketing operations—serving as Data & Information advisor.
Proof is a new platform designed to compute marketing and sales data—along with other inputs across the business—to reveal what’s “moving the needles” and how long it takes to move them, according to the company. The solution also can calculate attribution to help marketing and business leaders better understand and manage spend.
Among B2B communities, 2016 will be remembered for several new concepts, trends and technologies. But perhaps none have captured more attention than the re-emergence of account-based marketing as a viable growth strategy.
As 2016 comes to a close, you’re probably already having conversations with your team about how you are going to revamp your marketing and sales initiatives to surpass goals, meet quotas and drive pipeline in the new year.
Building on Infer’s lead behavior and account fit scoring models, the company’s new Account-Based Behavior Scoring allows marketing teams to laser-focus their ABM campaigns on deals that are most likely to close quickly.
Infer’s Account-Based Behavior Scoring can help marketers identify marketing-qualified accounts (MQAs), drive engagement with the right people at the right times, gather faster feedback on ABM programs and measure pipeline acceleration.
The solution brings account engagement insight right into a company’s CRM system, so that go-to-market teams can see which people are showing increased activity. The solution can then pinpoint accounts that are likely to buy a particular product within a set time period. The solution allows marketers to analyze the quality of their ABM campaigns in real time and use the information to test various content, brand assets, channels and initiatives.
Infer’s Account-Based Behavior Scoring’s target users are B2B marketers, sales executives and operations managers who are looking to drive and measure engagement across their ABM programs.
Infer provides pre-built connectors into Marketo, Oracle Eloqua, Pardot and Salesforce.
Account-Based Behavior Scoring is available as an add-on for existing customers who already use Infer’s behavior scoring technology. New customers are able to purchase the solution as part of a bundled Behavior Scoring offering.
All data is hosted by the client’s CRM and Marketing Automation systems. When a change is made to the client’s systems, Infer’s technology automatically reads and updates the behavior scores accordingly.
Companies such as AppDynamics, Druva and PayScale are all using Infer’s Account-Based Behavior Scoring for their ABM programs.
Infer’s use of advanced data science — and deep integrations with both marketing automation platforms and CRM systems — make the solution unique among other ABM solutions.
Rather than manually adding up cumulative points, Infer mines signals from every act of engagement the lead or account has with a company and automatically analyzes timing, activity spikes or declines and key behavior combinations to produce accurate scores. Then, the technology seamlessly matches those leads to accounts in a company’s CRM system to provide the missing piece of ABM.
As the buying journey becomes increasingly complex, B2B companies need to engage with prospects at all stages of the funnel. Many are doing so by investing in data analysis, creating compelling content, investing in predictive and ABM technology, and enabling their sales teams to close deals with a variety of tactics and tools.