Account-based marketing is taking over the marketing world. Gartner Research Vice President, Todd Berkowitz, predicts that every B2B tech company with over $5 million in revenue will start moving away from the traditional marketing qualified lead-based tracking and more to the precise, targeted tactics of ABM this year.
The tenets of ABM are very simple: target the right people, and then create content and offers that are highly personalized to their needs. From sending specific direct mail to IP-based retargeting ads to account-specific webinars, the entire concept hinges on the ability to get in front of key stakeholders at an account and craft a message that specifically resonates with their individual pain points.
But it can’t end there.
Too many companies are overlooking some real opportunities to bring that high degree of personalization into the rest of the buyer’s journey. When prospects receive highly targeted messages from your emails or other touch points, their next step is to research your company online. According to Acquity Group, about 84 percent of prospects check businesses websites for information in their research process.
This is where many companies are falling flat. These users have seen a “pitch” for some highly targeted content, and then start researching your company online. The generic content on the website just doesn’t resonate and the lack of personalization is disorienting. To avoid this, create engaging content in a robust content ecosystem – and see a higher conversion rate from your efforts. Here’s how:
Building a Robust Content Ecosystem
Start with understanding what happens when users can’t find the information they need on your website. They go to the search box. When they search for the key elements in some of your ABM materials, what results do they see? The ideas and concepts of your ABM campaign need to be represented on your website, and in a meaningful way, not just pushing users from landing page to landing page. How do you meet prospects’ expectations for personalized content on the website?
There are two different ways to solve this issue: efficient and inefficient.
First, the inefficient: create as many pages as possible and just keep building. Get the marketing and content teams in a room together and think of every possible question every ABM prospect could have, create that content and don’t ever stop. Only teams with unlimited budgets can afford to do this, and still not have guaranteed success
The problem with marketers trying to anticipate prospect questions on their own is that, like most user experience principles, users often don’t take the expected or logical routes. For example, security is a major hurdle for procurement teams. The prospect’s first order of business, even though he or she may be completely separate from IT, may be to get a handle on security capabilities. They want an easy one-page PDF that they can forward to their IT team – but the generic one-sheet rundown won’t work, because standards vary by industry, such as FERPA in U.S. education and HIPAA in U.S. healthcare. Marketers and content authors may miss this vital insight without having the data to look at what prospects are trying to find on the website.
The efficient way is for the rest of us with finite resources. Powerful usage analytics gives the insight into what content gaps exist and what content leads to successful outcomes. Content authors build their content plan based on what the prospects are actually trying to find. Taking the time to fill in those gaps leads to more engagement from prospects and higher time-on-page. Running targeted A/B tests on what messages are helping to convert these users into seeing a demo or downloading more gated content can also enable your sales team to make a more tailored pitch.
It doesn’t stop there. Once the marketing team has more data into their prospect’s online behavior, the team can extend this even beyond targeted search results into role-based website content personalization and search-driven landing pages. This is different from the customized landing pages you are creating for the ABM campaigns; rather than trying to influence prospects’ journey, content fits into it naturally, using their online behavior to guide content creation. Once the marketing team has “hooked” a prospect with an ABM pitch, it’s time to be as informative as possible and aid the prospect as they research your company. Give prospects the content they need as they research your company, and conversion rates rise.
If every B2B tech company with revenues over $5 million starts adopting some form of Account-Based Marketing, then it’s going to be harder than ever in the next year to stand out. Every competitor will start sending very similar targeted pitches to these prospects. How will your marketing team break through the noise? Find out more about how to put a website content personalization program in place to set your products apart with the latest whitepaper from Coveo™, “Intelligent Site Search for CMOs.”