Welcome back to our ABM blog series! In our previous post, we emphasised the importance of accurate information in laying the foundation for a successful ABM programme. Now, we will explore how to shape a compelling ABM one-to-one or one-to-few engagement blueprint. This will serve as a roadmap to ensure that marketing and sales efforts are highly targeted and coordinated. Ultimately, leading to stronger relationships and increased revenue from your most important accounts.
1. Taking learning from the discovery phase
As we discussed in last month’s blog, during the discovery phase of your ABM programme, you gather valuable insights about your target accounts and their pain points.
But how do you organise this wealth of information into actionable insights that pave the way for impactful engagement? Begin by collaborating with Sales to map these insights to their account profiles. Consider how the gathered information aligns with the specific characteristics and needs of each account. And identify areas where you can offer unique value. For a one-to-few approach, pinpoint commonalities among your group of accounts – pain points, priorities, and goals – so you can create a single campaign that is relevant for them all. This mapping exercise ensures your engagement strategies are tailored to the distinct attributes of your target customers.
Next, assess the existing rapport between your company and the target account. For high-value accounts where personalised attention is paramount a one-to-one approach is worth the investment. Spend the time to reflect on past interactions and successful touchpoints. Seek opportunities for collaboration and partnership. And just as important, recognise any barriers Sales might need to overcome. This evaluation guides you towards areas prime for strengthening connections.
2. Visualising the relationship brand
Armed with this comprehensive understanding of each account, it’s time to create a compelling ‘relationship brand’. The ambition: to fosters a sense of partnership and joint enterprise.
A relationship brand is all about the perception and emotions associated with your brand. Visualise your brand as a partner in the success of your target accounts. Craft a brand narrative, with a distinctive value proposition. This should highlight how your services align with their goals and unique challenges, and how you’re committed to their growth. You might want to share success stories from similar companies to illustrate how your partnership can yield exceptional results. Or if you are targeting an existing account, focus on the things that successfully bind you together. While acknowledging the existence of things that might not have gone so well. This gives you an opportunity to create a powerful narrative based on a shared history, valuable ‘hard won’ experience, a desire to build on the lessons learned and a common ambition to succeed.
Once defined, the relationship brand will be central to how you tell your story. It can also be visualised to reflect and reinforce the partnership with the target account using key visual themes, common imagery, and story specific iconography. Everything should be designed to frame and reinforce the idea of successful partnership.
Relationship brand in action
For example, if your one-to-few campaign is focussed on accounts in the energy sector, imagery will be reflective of that. While key content might explore and respond to: their increasingly complex regulatory environment/ aging workforce / and the distributed energy revolution.
For a one-to-one ABM campaign, we are able to be even more specific, looking for ways to combine the two brands. For example, if you are targeting a well-known fast food franchise, you might use imagery that shows their logo, their restaurants or brand packaging, to build immediate recognition. While you build alignment between your brands’ vision, mission and values within the relationship brand story.
3. Building strategy and timings
One-to-one ABM focuses on a specific set of larger or high-value accounts, which require a unique journey map. Through the account/buyer mapping you will have done in the discovery phase, you will be able to pinpoint their preferred marketing channels – their inbox, social media, webinars or events, for example. This will give you a competitive edge. With an omnichannel strategy, centred on these “preferred watering holes”, marketing and sales teams work together to make sure you’re creating an integrated buyer’s journey across touchpoints.
And remember, timing is crucial in ABM. You need to engage your target accounts at the right moment, when they are most receptive to your message. Utilise the insights gained during the discovery phase to determine the best times to reach out to key decision-makers. Coordinate with your sales team to ensure that your marketing efforts complement their outreach.
Once marketing and sales are aligned on approach and when to target the account, it’s time to define clear activity goals. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Determine what actions you want your prospects to take. Such as scheduling a demo, signing up for a trial, or attending a webinar. Having well-defined goals will help you map out a go-to-market plan, with a strong content strategy, track progress and measure the success of your ABM efforts.
4. Streamlined content approach
Your content strategy should align with the different stages of the buyer’s journey. Map out the content streams that you will deliver to your target accounts at various touchpoints. And remember, bespoke content isn’t always the only answer. This is a good time to carry out a content audit and gap analysis to evaluate what you have vs what you need.
Whether you reuse, repurpose or invest the time to create new hero assets, each piece of content should be relevant, valuable, and aligned with your relationship brand story. From informative blog posts to personalised emails or desk-drops, every interaction should be part of a cohesive content approach to support your omnichannel marketing.
5. Campaign activation
The final step is just bringing it all together. Your campaign activation is the moment your blueprint comes to life. It’s when you set your content hub live, press send on your emails, launch your paid media and start to measure their impact. It’s when your relationship brand story meets your target accounts through personalised messages and content across selected channels.
The takeaway? By taking insights from the discovery phase and aligning your touch plans and content approach with the account’s needs, you can create meaningful connections that drive engagement and conversions. A compelling relationship brand based on the concept of partnership and joint enterprise is a powerful asset in your ABM arsenal.
Stay tuned for our next blog, where we’ll explore how to optimise your ABM programme and measure its success. Can’t wait? Get in touch to see how we can support you before launching your next ABM programme.