Much has been written about Account Based Marketing (ABM) and how to use it to target specific accounts. Leading the charge in the discussion are Jon Miller of Engagio, Sangram Vajre of Terminus and Craig Rosenburg of Topo and Funnelholic. It is said that it takes at least 2 to create a new market…I’d say Jon, Sangram and Craig are establishing the framework for ABM at a breakneck pace.
What I’d like to add is the idea of augmenting ABM (typically outbound) with an inbound account based marketing component. Before we jump into specifics, here are the basics of most ABM constructs:
1) Establish a targeted client list based on a variety of criteria
2) Establish dialog/collaboration with all internal stakeholders for the defined accounts
3) Run a consistent “always on” mix of touch marketing into the defined accounts
These constructs make perfect sense and may seem to overlap with an outbound sales model. What’s different is that instead of marketing casting a wide net with generally “qualifying” content, the information delivered can be much more focused because the target accounts are already qualified.
Adding an Inbound ABM component
As Gary Vaynerchuk said in his book Crush It, outbound (including ABM) and social marketing are for building awareness and interest while a company’s website is the place for converting that demand into dollars. In other words, it is the inbound methods that turn activity into deals. Those can range from clicks to form fills to (in our case) a request for pricing.
How an inbound ABM model might look
Let’s use an example. Suppose you are a technology marketer trying to reach a handful of large enterprise clients. You’ve done your research and come up with a short list of targets:
Ford Motor Co. (ford.com)
You’ve setup your outbound ABM platform to begin targeting these three companies and begin running your campaigns.
What would happen if the Chief Technology Officer from Coke sees one of your targeted ads, but doesn’t take direct action? Instead, he waits until he’s back in his office later that day and visits your website from a machine that has no tracking information.
That’s where inbound ABM comes in
To set up an inbound ABM model, you simply use the DOMAINs of your target company list as the trigger for action. Using inbound ABM, you could see from the Internet Protocol (IP) information that someone from coke.com visited your site. In addition, if he shows interest in pricing for your solution and clicks on the EchoQuote pricing button, you could be notified that the CTO from Coke is interested, closing the ABM loop.
An Hourly, Daily or Weekly Account Based Marketing report routed to the rep(s) for Coke could show the following:
Account Target: coke.com
4-2-2016 10:19pm – Unknown user visited
4-5-2016 12:50pm – Tom Jenkins, Sys Admin, 770-555-1212 requested pricing
(SPECIFIC REQUEST INFORMATION)
4-10-2016 14:20pm – Unknown user visited
4-12-2016 9:30pm – Dan Ryan, CTO, 770-555-1212 requested pricing
(SPECIFIC REQUEST INFORMATION)
4-14-2016 14:20pm – Unknown user visited
Imagine if the rep(s) that handle Coke got this feedback in real-time? They would be able to follow-up with the appropriate people at Coke at the same time when those same people are thinking about the vendor’s solution. It would help the rep(s) manage their time more wisely by allowing them to reach out to clients when the client is more receptive to contact.
What inbound ABM gives you is constant, REAL-TIME feedback; both general and specific about the effectiveness of your ABM campaigns. The fact that the inbound EchoQuote pricing requests will show you specific products/services that the Account is interested in can be helpful for sales during the follow-up process.
We are excited to be part of the ABM shift and look forward to augmenting solutions from Engagio and Terminus with closed loop inbound ABM.