Creating an Organization Personality for ABM
The endgame of successful B2B marketing isn’t about winning new deals. What you want are the deals that really matter. We all know that it’s not about the number of leads you generate, but the amount of revenue potential you bring in. Two huge high-paying accounts are better than five small ones with owners and members who seem disengaged. This is what ABM allows you to focus on, and it requires a highly targeted approach for your high-value prospects.
In targeting your top most wanted, you’ll need an approach that goes beyond the traditional customer profile. So what are some important considerations that marketers should look at?
Targeting Influencers and Prospects
In B2B marketing, you aren’t targeting a specific demographic of individuals with preferences, routines, and purchasing habits. Your key contacts don’t represent themselves, but they do have preferences and standards based on their organization’s needs, values, and priorities. That’s what you’ll need to understand and target.
Let’s say you have a cool software product with fancy features, social media-like feeds, and mobile integration. An organization that says it’s high-tech and innovative isn’t necessarily your likely customer. You shouldn’t be looking at the company’s brand and what they say about themselves; what you need is its organization personality.
What are the company’s values, attitudes, and behaviors? For example, what are the company’s purchasing priorities? What do they really care about–cost savings, operational efficiency, high-quality support? How might their corporate culture influence decision making? What problem are they trying to solve? What are they trying to achieve?
Personalization in ABM
This is why you need to create an organization personality and not a standard customer profile. In ABM, you’ll be treating the whole company or group of companies as a single target. And your entire campaign strategy will depend on how well you know the account you’re targeting. You need to be asking the same questions their decision-makers are asking.
How can you become a strategic partner to the company? How do you emerge as the hero of the story you’re telling? How are you maximizing their ROI? Why should they work with you and not with others?
You’ll need to know exactly what they need and come in as the best solution to their problem.
Going back to the earlier example of a software product–an effective marketing strategy wouldn’t highlight the aesthetics of its features if the prospect’s primary concern is customizability or speed of deployment. A more personalized approach requires a real understanding of pain points.
Your target accounts require personalization at a higher level, so your perspective should be organizational.
Creating a Narrative That Sticks
Connecting with your prospect is key to the success of ABM. Designing a campaign around traditional customer personas is ironically less personal because you start with a net that is too large. However, an organization personality links you directly to the perspective of your buyer and therefore helps you design a customer journey that addresses real needs and concerns for very specific accounts.This approach creates more opportunity for you to expound on and highlight what your product or service can offer.
Organization personalities aren’t guesswork; they provide insight on real needs of real organizations. Ultimately, your goal would be to convince the prospect that you’re worth talking to, and this has to start with an authentic approach to your outreach. ABM is one strategy that allows you to achieve that.
How to Create an Organization Personality
Apart from the available information online, the leads in your database, and the insights gleaned by your analytics tools, find ways to exchange and align information with your Sales team. A lot of insights that raw data cannot tell you can be found in prospect conversations, connections, field experience, and the market knowledge of your all-too-human Sales team who does understand your very human decision-makers. Marketers and sales professionals should be working closely in this process.
Start with some basic information about the target account such as:
- Line of business or industry
- Company size
- Company priorities and values
Dig deeper to gain insight on likely purchasing behaviors:
- Pain points
- History of engagement and previous suppliers
- Decision-making process, stakeholders and decision makers, and sway of key individuals
- Market influence
- Expected ROI
- Potential for repeat purchase
Answer some key questions to help you focus on the strongest accounts:
- How well does your solution add value to the organization?
- What are the attributes of the organization, and does this fit the description of your ideal buyer?
Focus on Research
It’s important to note that putting together a clear organization personality requires intensive research, and much of the information you have will be clarified or corrected along the way. This doesn’t stop with the initial step of gathering information. Every initiative or campaign will require some level of intensive research in order to customize your approach. But as your marketing efforts lead you closer and closer to a real sale, your information will also increase in terms of accuracy and relevance. This only goes to show that despite the fact that these intensive efforts are targeted toward fewer accounts, they all pay off in terms of efficiency and the bottom line.
Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
Because ABM enables Sales teams to connect better with their prospects, overall, a thorough understanding of your target account’s organization personality results in higher customer satisfaction and loyalty. With everything so personalized, you present yourself as a strategic partner and this ideally should carry over all the way to delivery and support. This strategy creates high value for both you and your prospect for every stage of the customer journey.
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