Account-based marketing (ABM) is a trending topic in B2B marketing, building in popularity over the past few years. In 2016, more than 70 percent of B2B companies had staff dedicated to ABM programs, compared to just 20 percent the previous year, according to a study by SiriusDecisions. In 2017, B2B marketers are looking to refine their approach, leverage new tools, and better focus their investment on critical key accounts.
The concept of ABM hinges on the convergence of Sales and Marketing — two historically divided sectors — working together to define key accounts and develop campaigns designed to engage target prospects. A successful ABM program involves building brand awareness, engaging target prospects and growing customer accounts, all in a highly targeted fashion.
Sales & marketing success metrics
With ABM programs, Sales and Marketing share goals, create cross-departmental assets, and execute against a unified strategy. Companies that already have a strong alignment between Sales and Marketing have an advantage when implementing successful ABM programs.
ABM programs often instigate a shift in B2B marketing KPIs, away from traditional lead generation metrics (such as lead volume, marketing qualified leads and cost) toward engagement-focused metrics (such as content engagement, contact with target prospects, meetings, sales opportunities and closed deals), which align closely with Sales success measurements.
List segmentation and content alignment
An essential element of ABM campaigns is list segmentation and content alignment. Once a target account list has been determined, it should be segmented to strategically deliver the most appropriate content and messaging to the right person at the right time. Common ways that B2B lists are segmented include:
It’s no small feat to be a successful B2B digital marketer in today’s complex, ever-changing environment. In this article, I offer several proven recommendations related to the domination of search engine results pages (SERPs), testing, attribution and ROI.
Utilize these tips to jump-start your search results in the new year and start 2017 with a bang.
New year, new opportunities
2016 was a year of incredible change. Google changed the SERP game by shifting visibility to paid advertising, while also changing the core organic algorithm to natively include Panda and RankBrain.
Search engine marketing isn’t getting any easier. Top it off with the rapid expansion of marketing technologies, system integrations, and now account-based marketing, and we’ve got an uphill battle.
As you look for opportunities to improve your 2017 results, these five tips offer big wins:
1. Ensure SERP domination.
2. Maximize conversions via testing.
3. Capitalize on attribution insights.
4. Integrate with the sales funnel.
5.Understand total ROI with call tracking.
1. Ensure SERP domination.
Owning the SERP for high-priority search queries (keywords) builds brand recognition, credibility and trust with your target audience. Aligning paid and organic search provides insights into customer behavior you wouldn’t have in a siloed approach. Develop a cross-channel strategy that educates, builds trust and moves prospects through the funnel faster.
Test different messaging in your paid ads for target keywords, and start to understand the visitor intent behind the query. When writing your organic listings, make sure you follow the new rules for how your listings will display in the Google SERP to ensure your message doesn’t get cut off.
Look to your paid search queries for insight into what terms are driving real business results, including phone calls, content engagement and conversions. Identify search terms that are bringing top-of-funnel visitors to your website, and write organic content that aligns with the intent behind the query. To maximize results from organic search, you simply must incorporate the data and insights from a well-managed paid search campaign.
In the screen shot below, QuickBooks is demonstrating SERP domination and integrated messaging across their organic listing, paid ad and product listing ad.
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