Team Up with an Agency to Fast-track your ABM

By Yeager Marketing

Whether you’re interested in trying account-based marketing (ABM) for the first time or already running one or more targeted account programs and want to do more, there’s a great way to accelerate your program launch – work with a marketing agency. There are clear benefits to getting agency support to build your ABM program. Here are three that make it a no-brainer.

Perspective on Target Account Selection

Identifying ideal target accounts is critical to the success of your ABM program. Unfortunately, bringing marketing and sales together to get this right can be really challenging for a variety of reasons from schedules to egos. Working with an agency helps set a different tone for the initiative and brings an impartial third-party perspective to clarifying target accounts. A good agency will work with you to understand what types of accounts are driving your successes today and will bring a structured approach to recommending target accounts that are ideal to focus on going forward. Lean on your agency to do the research required to understand the intricacies of your target accounts such as identifying installed equipment and competitive relationships, the decision-making unit and key contacts, and what is currently happening in the business that may motivate a decision to purchase. These important insights can make or break the success of your program and are constantly changing, so getting an understanding at a point in time when your campaign will run is critically important.

What You Provide

  • Define what your goals are from an ABM effort including success metrics and impact
  • Provide current customer account info and firmographic information
  • Share your unique selling proposition (USP) and competitive advantages

What an Agency Can Do

  • Facilitate structured planning sessions with marketing and sales
  • Solidify target account strategy, adds influencer contacts, expand potential contact as needed
  • Research target accounts for missing details such as current vendors, installed equipment, recent activities that may influence purchase decisions.

Relevant and Personalized Communications

Persona-based communication is a fundamental element of ABM programs. Whether or not you’ve done persona work on your customer buying committees, an agency can be extremely helpful here. From mapping out and clarifying personas, to determining key messages and ideal content, to identifying the best approach to reach your audience, an agency can take this strategy work and accelerate getting it done. A good agency will give you a process and framework for how they will develop proper personas and messaging and will involve your marketing and sales teams in an organized, focused way to get the most out of the time spent together. An agency can do a content review to assess and leverage your existing content assets for the ABM program, and help develop new content to fill gaps. They can also do a review of your competitor’s messaging to avoid the risk of going head to head against your top competitors with too similar vs. differentiating offers.

What You Provide

  • Share communications, assets and messaging that you are currently using
  • Clarify your sales process, who is involved and what the interaction typically looks like
  • Provide introductions to current customers for your agency to conduct interviews
  • Identify key competitors that could impact your ABM success

What an Agency Can Do

  • Build qualitative personas based on the current sales process and customer interviews
  • Develop persona-focused messages to use in marketing and sales outreach. Recommend other personas to sell to and relevant messaging for those new audiences
  • Complete a competitive messaging review to determine opportunities to differentiate for USP
  • Evaluate existing content assets and recommends/develops assets for the program
  • Determines the best channels to reach targets prospects

Implementation Support How You Want It

There are a variety of ways an agency can support your ABM efforts from point support to full campaign implementation. If you are unsure of the tech required to run ABM, some agencies can provide guidance and help you get the right tools in place depending on your goals and budget. Lean on an agency to write and design your email sequences, ads, social posts, and landing pages. Depending on their expertise you may also be able to use them to develop high-value, easy to consume content assets. Let them create and implement your paid advertising and social programs as well as those non-digital touchpoints, such as direct mail and executive door openers, that are an impactful element of successful ABM programs. Specialty B2B agencies can bring you highly creative and innovative ideas, and can typically implement these elements at far less cost than if you did it yourself. You can work collaboratively with your agency to make adjustments to campaign elements based on feedback from your team, but the value of having a resource to work with can make the difference between launching a program in weeks vs. a quarter or longer.

What You Provide

  • Share your corporate brand and messaging guidelines, including voice and tone
  • Provide access to tools and channels currently in use including an email platform, CRM, and social media channels (or ask for help as needed)
  • Collaborate with your agency on creative ideas they bring to you.
  • Review, provide feedback and approve all copy and creative timely to keep the project on track

What an Agency Can Do

  • Consult on the right ABM set-up and tools for you
  • Build the implementation plan including what outreach strategies will be used such as email, paid advertising and social media
  • Bring creative ideas for each channel and persona to engage and drive conversions
  • Develop and set-up communication sequences, messaging and relevant content for ABM outreach, personalize by persona
  • Build lead funnels and scoring in your marketing automation platform, create hooks into your CRM for sales follow-up
  • Write, design, and code all emails and landing pages. Create search and display ads and social media posts.
  • Set-up and manage your paid ad and social media program, optimizing for performance and conversions.

Finding the Right Balance

While there are many things agencies can do to fast track your ABM initiatives, it’s important that you determine how they can best support you based on your resources, priorities, and budget. If you’re new to ABM, bringing on a partner is a great way to build a solid foundation and set your program up for success. If you’re already having success with ABM, consider an agency to fill gaps you’ve identified that need improvement or to help you scale your program faster than you could do on your own.

If you’re looking to explore options for how an agency can help your ABM efforts, we’re here to help. Let’s talk.