This post originally appeared on the PFL blog.
Everyone wants to “do some ABM this year” but there aren’t many tactical playbooks to get you started. We want to fix that, so here are some ABM plays that have worked for us. Each play orchestrates tangible and digital marketing to create a true multi-channel customer experience that actually gets traction.
“There’s nothing better than calling a prospect after PFL’s “Secret Weapon” was delivered to learn that they were just about to pick up the phone to call YOU back. How many times in your sales career have you had a Fortune 500 VP level prospect, that you’ve never spoken to, pick up a phone to call you back?” — Suzanne Davis, Account Executive, PFL
Play #1: Multi-Channel Warm Up
ABM depends on multi-channel success, that means flawless multi-channel orchestration. Warm contacts up with tangible marketing that they can hold, open and pass around. Marketing they can touch.
Conversations start and then you’ll start to see how tangible engagement drives digital responses. In fact, email response rates rise to 7.9% when combined with tangible marketing, but that number doesn’t account for true channel orchestration.
Direct Mail and Phone Outreach = 22% Response Rate
We sent our accounts our ‘Secret Weapon’ kit, a package with our top-performing content printed in full color, bound booklets and branded Nerf guns to promote office shenanigans (we love shenanigans). It’s no fun having a Nerf gun shootout by yourself, so our kit creates buzz and starts a conversation throughout the account.
But direct mail alone isn’t enough, we followed up with a phone call within minutes of delivery and saw our response rate jump to 22%. Following tactile marketing with a call completely changes the dynamic of the call. You aren’t calling to make a sales call, but to check up on a package you delivered. Use the package as a reason to get on the phone.
Launch Digital Outreach
Now that the account was primed, we went digital.
Use personalized retargeting ads, a tailored-made email campaign and Real Time Personalization on your owned media. Always balance resources with opportunity, but get as nuanced as possible. If you have the ability to craft an email stream for each group within the account, you should.
The point is: don’t let warm contacts cool off. The more personalized you are in your communication, the more effective it will be to keep the conversation alive.
Play #2: Land Larger Group of Smaller Accounts
Smaller accounts require less attention, yet you must cast a wider net. This play is perfect if you’re trying to establish name and credibility in a market before you snag a huge brand.
Industries as Accounts
Tailor tactics for an industry vertical, rather than a specific account. Every account in the vertical will use the same jargon, have similar pain points and want similar value. Start your research here:
- Scrub company sites, blogs and follow thought-leaders to learn their language.
- Attend webinars or, if possible, go to an industry conference.
- Got some money to spend? Hire a consultant within the industry, otherwise, find one you like and follow them on social media.
Be Broad, Be Bold
It’s not important to be specific in this play, but it’s certainly important to stand out.
When you’re planning a tangible send, don’t be afraid to send something that’s fun. If it begs to be held, touched and used that’s even better. In some campaigns, we’ve literally sent toys: remote controlled cars, drones, Star Wars droids, Nerf guns and Legos. Your overworked contacts will appreciate the break, and most importantly – they will remember you.
Be bold with messaging even if it’s hyper-personalized. The point is: don’t let them forget you. Keep price in mind.
Get the Team Together
You will drive a high volume of leads with this play, so it’s imperative that you align your sales and marketing teams. How do you get everyone on the same page? Here are a few tips:
- Process, process, process. Build a sales and marketing process for outbound and inbound leads, qualifications, follow-up and communication.
- Over-communicate. Everyone should know where an account is in the sales pipeline at any given time. Your CRM is, of course, critical, but don’t stop there. Have stand-up meetings, call each other and get face-time as much as possible to keep your teams aligned.
- Get buy-in from the start. Don’t make a grand marketing and sales plan that leaves sales out in the cold. They’ll just toss your plan in the trash. Get their buy-in from the beginning.
Play #3: Land and Expand Play with Account Based Marketing
Once you’ve landed a division within a large account it is time to expand. This play helps you do that, using account based marketing tactics to grow influence throughout the account.
Make Customer Experience A Priority
Focus on delivering high-quality service to the areas you’ve landed. Nothing you can do to move the needle will work as well as old-fashioned word of mouth. But make sure you advertise your customers’ great experiences. Send out updates to your customers, maybe highlight specific success stories.
- Try a rewards program for your users.
- Make sure there’s plenty of great educational content that’s easy to use.
- Listen to feedback and be transparent with your service — give them a VIP experience.
Reach Out to Internal Champions
You’ve already got an internal champion, leverage them to get further with your account. Here are some tips to entice your champion and get them to help you out.
- Ask your champions for intros to other potential champions in the account. Make it easy on your current champion and give them a profile of who, exactly, you’d like to meet and how you’d like to help them.
- Once you get a tip on a new team, send them all some cool, branded swag to get their attention. Follow it up with relevant, useful content and don’t be afraid to reference your existing champion — it will help your credibility.
Want more ABM tips, tactics and plays? Check out our guide to Account Based Mail and get inspired to add a physical touch to your digital campaign.