Practical ABM Tips for a Virtual World
Recently I had the pleasure of being on a panel with Dave Munn, ITSMA President and CEO, and Eric Rasmussen, Aventi Group Partner, to discuss strategies and tactics for a blended ABM approach.
According to ITSMA’s recent ABM benchmark report, companies investing in ABM have reported 71% greater ROI than any other marketing initiative. On this panel we discussed how as businesses turn to virtual marketing strategies, ABM must also become more digital to help contribute to sales opportunities.
To get a more in-depth overview of this topic, I suggest you check out the #AventiLive Chat. In the meantime, here’s a high-level overview of some of the practical ABM tips we discussed on the panel.
Replace in-person account engagements with virtual ones
As ABM marketers we rely on small, intimate events like VIP dinners, Lunch & Learns and wine tasting to develop relationships with decision makers and influencers, but how do you create the same type of atmosphere using virtual events?
Here are a few ideas that might help you get started:
- Virtual Lunch & Learns – companies like Uber Eats and Grubhub help you coordinate lunch deliveries across the country. You can also include an extra lunch voucher or two for your customers’ children or spouse who are stuck at home and would love you for it.
- Virtual Wine Tasting – Most wineries and some local wine shops will help you set up a virtual wine tasting event for a small group. They’ll provide the wine and an expert to guide you through the tasting. It’s a great way to network and provide an entertaining experience for your prospects.
- Airbnb Online Shared Experiences – Airbnb offers a variety of experiences from coffee and beer tasting led by connoisseurs to a Sake class from Japan’s oldest brewery. You can bundle these with virtual experiences for kids, so you can get your prospect’s full attention.
Maximize the impact of your influencer strategy
Influencer strategies can be very effective in helping you build a community around your services or offerings. Including your ABM list as part of that strategy can help you become even more effective. You can identify influencers in your ABM list who are trying to build their brand and invite them to participate in activities like a Radio Show or a blog series.
It’s helpful to invest in stakeholder research too so you know your buyers and who and what influences them—internally and externally. ITSMA’s recent “How B2B Executives Engage” study reported that senior executes rely on a variety of consultants, analysts and advisors to make decisions. When researching your influencers, it is useful to get a full picture before reaching out to them.
Combining the right mix of tactics for better results
No matter what marketing tactics you’re using it’s best to take an integrated approach. Rather than doing a single one-off ABM program like a direct mail campaign or an event, it’s helpful to have a long-term integrated approach. For example, you can apply the integrated marketing campaign method to an ABM list, and define your message and theme, and create relevant content that maps to the buyer’s journey. After that, what tactics you choose depends on your objectives, budget, and resources.
For example, you can use a direct mail campaign to target your buyer, such as the Head of IT at Company A, while, at the same time, running LinkedIn Ads to target all the IT and Networking professionals within the same account.
The idea isn’t to overwhelm a single person but to increase brand awareness and drive demand within an account.
For more tips you can download this “4 ABM Practical Tips for a Virtual World” eBook. You can also check out the #AventiLive Chat below.