At the SiriusDecisions conference last week, account-based marketing (ABM) was a central focus. This isn’t surprising, considering marketers are moving away from the ‘batch and blast’ approach to much more targeted and personalized communications. ABM takes what we know about marketing to individuals today and applies it to the B2B environment where it’s about marketing and selling to the multiple decision makers within a given organization or account.
With an ABM strategy, marketing and sales are more aligned as they share similar objectives and work together to identify, develop insights, and gain knowledge about how to best approach key accounts. Events bring this partnership to life by providing marketing and sales teams the ability to develop and execute a clear plan for targeting the prospects and customers that matter most.
As I listened to the various presentations at the SiriusDecisions conference it was clear that events can play a major role in each of the four ABM segments: large accounts, named accounts, industry/segments, and customer accounts.
Use events to drive greater value in the following ways:
- Start by assessing your attendee list and segmenting it into target account types.
- Research these targeted accounts and the business objectives that will drive their purchase decisions.
- Have a strategy for how to best engage with individuals within each account during your face-to-face meetings at the event.
- Have a plan in place for post event follow-up, including lead scoring and nurturing, using insight that is integrated with your marketing automation platform.
- Ensure your marketing and sales teams are in lock step in these processes to drive pipeline results.
For user conferences or field marketing events you host, you have an even greater opportunity to leverage your event data with your marketing automation system to improve your ABM approach.
At the very beginning of the event process, gather attendee profile and interest-level information that will help you better understand and engage with targeted accounts. Then, from pre-event marketing and registration processes and following through to the activities that take place at the event, continue to capture data and broaden your view of the individuals within your targeted accounts. Use data to uncover the products and services that are of most value to each account and use these insights to plan post-event sales and marketing engagement.
If account-based marketing is high on your radar and key to your B2B sales and marketing success, you owe it to yourself to learn more about the role of in-person events.