Personalized marketing content is at an all-time high and the numbers speak for themselves as 91% of consumers are more likely to shop at companies with relevant offers or recommendations. And 71-74% of customers are frustrated by impersonal or irrelevant content.

This is where account-based marketing (ABM) comes in! The ABM method is all about targeting a personalized approach to each customer group or ‘account’. This allows you to be more personal with your B2B content experiences.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at how you can utilize bespoke content to get the most out of your ABM strategy.

Aligning sales and marketing to achieve successful ABM
When marketing and sales are on the same page, they can work together to identify and target high-value accounts that are most likely to convert into customers.

ABM strategy

Okay, so you might be thinking that there is no way you can target each of your accounts individually. You’d be correct - personalization takes a lot of time and effort so you can't put that effort into each of your accounts unless you have a time machine!

That’s why there are ABM strategies, ensuring you get the most out of your time and your customers get the most out of your content. Win-win!

Strategic

Strategic ABM is hyper-personalized, one-to-one marketing. This strategy does have you researching and understanding each account on a deeply personal level. The abbreviation MUBRIPE can help you to build your strategic ABM strategy.

  • M - Map out buying centers for each customer account.
  • U - Understand the potential revenue.
  • B - Build an organizational chart. (Who do you know and/or need to know?)
  • R - Research business priorities and motivations.
  • I - Identify relations and connections to the account.
  • P - Publish detailed account files and update them regularly.
  • E - Engage internal communication channels dedicated to each customer.

Since this approach is so personalized (i.e. time-consuming) you should only have a handful of accounts that receive the strategic treatment.

Scale

Scaled ABM is slightly broader - you’re looking at a one-to-few approach! You still want to customize some aspects of your content but you can reuse some of it with other accounts. When it comes to your research, you should use the three-to-five rule. This means you should spend around three minutes to find five selling points for your outbound emails.

Another rule to try for scale ABM is the 10-80-10 rule. This involves personalizing the first 10% of an email (the opening), then using a templated main body to get the key marketing points across (80%). You should also personalize the last 10% of the email (the ending). This should give you a good balance between personalization and time spent.

Programmatic

To create a little personalization and save time, automation can be your friend. Programmatic ABM is known for the use of automation and AI to subtly personalize your content with lower effort than other ABM strategies.

Although this method doesn’t get you super personalized content - it can help you to reach out to more accounts in record time.

The important KPIs to get the most from ABM
To truly reap the benefits of ABM, you need to be able to track the progress of your strategy and identify what’s working well and what needs improving. This is where KPIs come in.

Tier accounts

The great thing about the ABM strategies listed above is that they can all be used simultaneously for different clients. This section will help you to decide which accounts should receive VIP content and which should have scale or programmatic interactions.

This is all about balance, you need to have fewer accounts in the more time-consuming groups - but you can’t spend all your time on any one group or you will miss out on valuable leads!

One to one

Your one-to-one accounts are your VIP clients. They have high potential revenue so it’s important to ensure they get lots of time dedicated to them. They should be receiving bespoke content regularly.

One to few

These accounts are smaller and have less value than one-to-one accounts - but are still important. You should spend a smaller amount of time personalizing content for this group - but they should still be receiving customized content.

One to many

Smaller accounts again, and there are so many of them! These are low-value accounts for now (this could eventually change) but they are also the majority of your accounts. Make use of automation to personalize their content quickly, but you should still treat them well. You never know, they might one day become a high-value account!

Identifying the right accounts for ABM
ABM can produce great ROI for B2B, but you need to know which accounts to focus on. In this article, we look at how to pick high-value accounts.

Account entitlement framework

To understand how to allocate resources to your accounts across these tiers make use of the account entitlement framework.

List your reps

Start by identifying and talking to sales reps. Ask them about how many reps are on each account, how much time they have for prospecting, and what their current budget is. This can give you a basis for where accounts already sit in terms of entitlement.

Set the baseline

Set a baseline for the number of accounts in each tier using best practices to help. Top tiers should be in the 10s, middle-tier should be in the 100s and the bottom tier should be in the 1000s. This may be different business to business though, so make sure this baseline suits your capabilities!

Document each ABM campaign

Make a list of all your ABM campaigns, that’s anything that will cost sales reps time or money from the budget. This will help you to understand how you are already spending time and money.

Marking the success of this current allocation could also give you an indication of if this works or not - so you can adjust accordingly.

Input your numbers

Define a reasonable output expectation for any one sales rep based on tier. How much outreach should they be expected to do? How frequently? This will give you a basis to estimate the necessary time spent.

Refine the numbers

In this step, you play around with these numbers until they make sense. Depending on the activities you plan you may need to reduce the number of accounts in some of the higher tiers to make the math add up.

Your guide to ABM team structure success
Since ABM is all about marketing and sales working closely together, it’s important to structure your teams properly. It needs to be clear who takes ownership of what and who reports to whom if you’re going to be successful with ABM.

Deliver bespoke content

Now that you’ve decided what accounts should be targeted for highly personalized content, how do you deliver that valuable content? Well, you start by understanding what your accounts want to see, then you deliver the content through the right channel at the right time, then you measure the results. But if you want a more detailed explanation, keep reading!

Understand

To understand your customers you need to get your hands dirty with some research. You need to know what it is that your customers need to see, and when they need to see it to create a conversion.

Here are some things to consider when trying to understand your accounts:

  • Map the customer journey.
  • Create buyer persona information for each stage of the customer journey.
  • What are your customers' problems? How does your product or service solve that problem?
  • How can you add value to your customer?

Deliver

Once you understand what your customers want to see, you need to deliver that value. The right message at the right time to the right customer can go a long way.

Here are some things to consider when looking to kick off your personalized ABM campaign.

  • What communication method will you use? Direct mail, PPC ads, social media, web personalization? Or simply email? Perhaps a mixture.
  • When is the best time to target your customer? In the morning, when they check their work emails? Or in the evening, when they get back from work?

Measure

And last but not least - to ensure that your ABM campaign is working you need to track and measure your success. This means you can change out tactics that aren’t working and make a new game plan, or be confident your AMB campaign is going swimmingly!

Final thoughts

To sum it up, creating bespoke content experiences for ABM is super important. To ensure you get the best out of this you can allocate different levels of personalization to different levels of revenue potential accounts. This will make sure you spend enough valuable time with the right customers - without abandoning the rest.

Once you have this allocation sorted, you can move on to understanding your accounts, delivering amazing content, and measuring the results!