Flip That Funnel: ABM's Laser-Targeted Approach
Welcome to my new blog here at Target Marketing. I think that the best way to market your products and services is by being highly targeted. If you don't do this very well, then you aren't going to convert customers very well! Am I right? Of course!
My agency focuses on B-to-B account-based marketing, content creation and what we call account-based content advertising. Each month, I’ll share tips and tricks relevant to these fields with you. This will include information about the newest and best tools and technologies, as well as various marketing hacks to benefit your B-to-B marketing strategy.
In mid-December, I had the privilege of giving a keynote at the Flip My Funnel event in Atlanta, hosted by Terminus, to a room full of B-to-B marketers who are using the account-based marketing (ABM) approach.
Account-based marketing contrasts with the shotgun approach in B-to-C, in which you are trying to drive as many people down the sales funnel as possible. In the B-to-C shotgun approach, you're casting a wide net and hoping that the right people swim down the funnel and buy your product.
But ABM is a laser-targeted approach.
At the keynote, I emphasized that it makes total sense to use the ABM approach in the B-to-B sphere because you’re targeting a specific person. But contrary to the B-to-C approach, you literally "flip the funnel." You know you are targeting the “CMO of X company.” You also realize that there are five or 10 other influencers of that scale. It could be as many as 17 people! But the key is that you KNOW exactly whom you are targeting.
There are some great companies in the ABM space that are doing epic stuff — such as Terminus, which enables your marketing and sales teams to run ABM at scale. You can connect your CRM to Terminus to optimize your marketing efforts for every stage of marketing: demand generation, pipeline acceleration, land-and-expand, etc.
Another necessity for ABM is a resource like Dun & Bradstreet. You can have the best sales platform in the world, but it’s useless without the right data. In 2015, Dun & Bradstreet acquired NetProspex, which augmented the best data on companies with the best contacts within those companies. You can build an account-based organizational chart of all the specific people that you are targeting.
Plug that information into Terminus or some other tools, and you've got a winner.
Dun & Bradstreet also just acquired Avention, the maker of OneSource solutions. It seems that most of the big players realize B-to-B sales acceleration will happen when the best data and the best platform come together.
Engagio is a great ABM platform, as well. In fact, Engagio was founded by the cofounder of Marketo, Jon Miller. Engagio does account-based marketing analytics and sales automation software for orchestrating human connections at scale. It can help you land the big accounts.
You can use Facebook, Twitter, Outbrain or LinkedIn advertising to target accounts. In fact, there are even ways to reverse engineer the IP address of the targeted accounts.
For instance, say you wanted to target developers at Oracle for some project, there are tools like El Toro, which allow you to reverse the IP of their physical address, and only inject ads where those developers are sitting within the organization.
At our agency, we like to take it a step further and build content relevant to that particular client after locating the targeted account. In account-based content advertising like this, only those specific prospects see your content.
Technology, marketing and sales are working together better than ever these days. To be at the top of your game, you need the right strategies and tools to accomplish your objectives.
If you are in B-to-B and your organization has not yet implemented ABM, it’ll only a matter of time before it does. B-to-B leaders who don’t see the value of ABM will either need to learn to embrace it or get out of the way of those who do.
Travis Wright is a successful author, consultant, keynote speaker, entrepreneur, data & analytics geek, tech journalist, growth hacker, podcast host and mediocre stand-up comic. He is the former global digital and social strategist at Symantec for the Norton brand, he was a Russian linguist in the US Army, and is the cofounder and Chief Marketing Technology Officer at CCP.Digital, a Kansas City & SF-based digital ad & content agency.
Over the past 18 years, Wright has helped hundreds of B-to-B and B-to-C companies, from well-funded start-ups and SMBs to the Fortune 100. He is also a columnist at Inc. Magazine, podcast host of VentureBeat’s VB Engage, and author of his first book with Wiley & Sons, Digital Sense, which publishes in December 2016.