What Technology is Essential for Effective Account-Based Marketing?
May 6, 2021 •Nikole Rose
An account-based marketing (ABM) strategy heavily relies on the right combination of marketing technology to scale effectively. Without the technology, account-based marketing efforts won’t be able to scale for long-term success.
As you started to explore the world of marketing technology, you realized there are (literally) over 7000 marketing technologies. ABM is a strategic, scalable marketing program that requires optimal CRM, marketing automation, and other software to streamline your processes.
So as you look into developing your account-based marketing technology stack (Martech stack), below are the essential pieces of technology you need to run an effective account-based marketing strategy.
The Quick Tech Checklist
- A customer relationship management software (CRM)- You need technology to organize all of your customer information in one place. You will increase your efficiency as a company when you align everyone with one source of truth.
- A marketing automation software (MAS)- If you want to create an effective ABM campaign, you need the ability to automate your campaigns. Without automation, you can’t scale. If you can’t scale, ABM won’t work long-term.
- An ABM Platform- You need the technology to run your ABM campaigns effectively. An ABM platform will give you the ability to run the most commonly used ABM tactics all in one place. With this platform, you will have better reporting and increase visibility into what’s working.
- Data Enrichment- You need easy ways to create target account lists, then contact the accounts. Data enrichment platforms let you filter down to a list of companies that meet a highly specific set of criteria and then get the key decision-makers contact information. Additionally, they can keep your CRM up to date with the latest contact information for your salespeople.
- A Gifting Platform- You love getting gifts. So do your customers, especially when the gift is personalized to their preferences. A gifting platform can equip you to send gifts at scale so every customer and prospect can develop a one-to-one relationship with your company.
Important Note: Many marketers get incredibly excited about new technology. The newest technology is what takes your marketing to the next level, right?
Not quite. Your technology is only as strong as the marketing strategy behind it.
Don’t buy the technology thinking you can create a strategy based on the technology. Your business goals should inform the strategy you create. Once you have a strategy, you should pursue the appropriate tools to implement. If you’d like a hand in creating an incredibly effective ABM strategy, schedule a call.
Customer Relationship Management
The most critical piece of technology for your business's growth is a customer relationship management (CRM) software. A CRM is a software that organizes all of your contact information into one easy-to-navigate database. This database includes the information on your leads, customer opportunities, customers, and anyone else you need to contact.
A CRM becomes the one source of truth for your organization. If you presently aren’t using an effective CRM, implementing one will dramatically increase your productivity. Instead of asking around to understand a customer’s situation or just to find basic contact information, you can go find anything related to your contacts in one place.
Once you have implemented a CRM and have your team using it as a part of your company's daily function, you will naturally have more organizational alignment. Your entire marketing, sales, and services teams will operate from the same system.
Everyone will have access to real-time data. Real-time data translate to more accurate and actionable reports. Actionable reports eliminate confusion and clear the path to increase productivity.
If you don’t have a CRM or have a CRM you don’t think works well for your organization, we recommend using HubSpot. Companies we have worked with often adopt the mantra, “If it’s not in HubSpot, it didn’t happen.” This mantra helps with the adoption of new technology and increases the accuracy of the data collected.
Regardless of the CRM you move forward with, this mantra will help your employees to see the absolute necessity to enter information into your CRM.
With an effective CRM in place, you can start to implement effective marketing automation. Any ABM program looking to succeed long-term will need to implement automation to reach numerous high-value accounts.
Effective marketing automation can create a personalized customer experience at scale. Most marketing automation systems function by creating a series of events that start after a predetermined trigger has occurred.
For example, once a prospect has scheduled a meeting, they would get an email confirming their meeting time. This email will have the prospect’s name, meeting location, and contact information for the sales representative. Marketing automation systems pull the relevant information from the CRM to incorporate the personalized content in each email.
Once the marketing team has created the marketing collateral and has mapped out the workflows, executing digital marketing campaigns that target key accounts becomes immensely easier to accomplish.
The marketing team can send a relevant offer (like a webinar or guide) to a decision-maker of a specific account to prompt them to opt-in to further marketing messages. Once the prospect has opted to receive the offer, they will start to receive additional marketing messages relevant to the offer and speak directly to their needs.
As a result of effective automation, the sales and marketing teams can see in their CRM what prospects respond well to the marketing material and prioritize additional outreach. A sales representative can follow up regarding the offer sent to see if there are any questions. The sales process then speeds up because sales reps have a logical reason to engage in conversation.
Many CRM’s, including HubSpot, have marketing automation tools built-in. If you are looking at implementing or transitioning to a new CRM, also take time to explore the marketing automation features.
All-in-One ABM Platform
There are a variety of tactics you can use to execute an ABM strategy. As with any marketing approach, the most effective tactics will vary by industry and target audience. With that in mind, you will want an all-in-one platform to test and experiment with the various tactics to see which tactics work best for your business.
An all-in-one ABM platform will give you the tools to organize account data into actionable target account lists you can use to prioritize your marketing and sales efforts. Using these target account lists, you can create targeted campaigns using retargeting ads, display ads, social media ads, website personalization, and responsive chat.
Additionally, your all-in-one platform can provide indications that a target account has a higher likelihood of buying. Many ABM platforms integrate intent data so you can see when key decision-makers are searching for information or products relevant to your product. With this intent data, you can always provide the right message to the right person at the right time.
With everything in one location, you can easily organize and report on your marketing campaigns running through multiple marketing channels. Even better, most ABM platforms also integrate directly with your CRM so you can have the same actionable data in your CRM. The ABM platform will also pull information from your CRM to run highly targeted and personalized marketing campaigns to your target account lists.
When it comes to the potential power found in an all-in-one ABM platform, we recommend using Terminus. Terminus has continually stayed on the cutting edge of ABM technology, and Sangram Vajre, co-founder of Terminus, literally authored ABM for Dummies. Terminus has an in-depth and inherent understanding of the complexities of account-based marketing, and their software simplifies those complexities to dramatically improve results.
ABM requires a lot of data. To create a target account list, you often need information like annual revenue, current technology, roles in the organization, and contact information for the right people in each account. Attempting to track this information down would make ABM nearly impossible. That’s why technology partners take out all of the struggle and time of finding the information you need.
A data enrichment platform will allow you to filter every company you could find based on what you are looking for in target accounts. Once you have filtered down (likely based on characteristics identified in your ideal customer profile), you will have a list of companies you should target. You can then add those accounts and numerous contacts into your CRM for your marketing and sales teams to target.
The data enrichment platform will provide you with contact information found through various methods, like pulling information from email signatures or information put into apps. Regardless of the method used, the information provided is highly reliable and saves you time. Additionally, as people change jobs, you can quickly get the contact information for their replacement. You can also find out where your contact went to see if they would be interested in your services at their new job.
Lastly, many data enrichment platforms can integrate directly with your CRM so you can have your current contact information constantly updated as things change. Data enrichment helps your sales team to trust your CRM as reliable and use the tool more.
When it comes to the data enrichment tool you should consider, we recommend looking into ZoomInfo or SalesIntel. Both of these data enrichment tools are powerful when providing the data you need to run effective ABM campaigns.
There is nothing more personalized than a gift. Many companies that adopted ABM would have their salespeople provide hand-written notes and dinner events for their target accounts. These methods worked incredibly well and created a real one-to-one relationship between the prospect and the salesperson.
The problem many companies face with ABM today is that hand-written notes don’t scale. Though these methods are often effective, it simply doesn’t scale with your business. Additionally, you aren’t really sure where anyone is after COVID. Many companies have gone fully remote and have no intention of going back to how business was done.
Despite these challenges, the companies that can still have gifts as a core part of their marketing strategy will find greater success with new customers and longer relationships with existing customers.
When it comes to creating a personalized gifting strategy that scales, we recommend Sendoso. With Sendoso, you can send anything you can think of to your customers. Sendoso has a wide range of gift options and warehouse space so that you can create your own branded gift packages. You can even automate the process through integrations with your CRM.
Sendoso will also verify the address of the person you are sending a gift to so you know it will actually reach them. Gifts are a great way to increase demos, celebrate new partnerships, or say thanks to existing customers.
After reading this, you have five pieces of technology you need to implement. You may wonder where you should even start.
Simply put, start slow. Technology onboarding can take some time. If you don’t onboard with your technology well, you won’t see the return on investment you want.
Start with the CRM and Marketing Automation system. Those are the most crucial to any effective digital marketing efforts.
Once you have those pieces in place, you need the All-in-One and Data Enrichment platforms. The data enrichment will inform your sales and marketing teams on the accounts to target. The ABM platform will give you the tools to target those accounts. Lastly, to take your ABM tactics to the next level, work with a gift sending platform so you can create even more personalized experiences at scale.
Lastly, these platforms are only as effective as the strategy put behind them. If you’d like a hand in implementing these tools with an incredibly effective strategy, please schedule a call today.
As President & COO, Nikole is obsessed about building a great company made up of an inspiring culture and highly successful client engagements. Outside of Mojo, Nikole is also pretty obsessed with traveling, spending time at their cabins in Broken Bow OK, her Golden Retriever, Bella, and enjoying Italian dinners and wine with her husband, Mike.
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