Ritu Kurtakoti

Ritu Kurtakoti

Digital MarketingMarketing

Coffee’s for Closers Only – A Marketer’s Guide to Account-based Marketing

Guide to Account based marketing

“Put that coffee down! Coffee’s for closers only.”

This intense, hair-raising scene in the 1992 masterpiece Glengarry Glen Ross sparked a new interest in modern marketing decades ago and continues to stand the test of time. Even today, marketers and sales professionals go to great lengths to close a deal often spending weeks and months to devise the perfect strategy. Although the ideal scenario would involve different teams working in tandem to create a thorough and well-planned strategy, it’s a rarity. So if you’re a marketer reconsidering the way you’ve always worked, ask yourself these questions:  

  • Why isn’t your marketing plan closely aligned with your sales strategies?
  • Why do sales, marketing, and creative teams continue to work in silos?

Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a game-changing tactic that can answer these questions and help you excel in the competitive ecosystem. But before we delve deep into this subject, let’s understand the difference between traditional B2B marketing and ABM.

Traditional B2B marketing in a nutshell

The purpose of traditional B2B marketing is clear to maximize lead generation by broadcasting as much content as possible. Marketers do this by being loud, clear, and visible through a host of communication channels be it paid, earned, or owned. The biggest priority with these traditional methods is to cast a wide net and grab the attention of varied audiences.

But what if you could be smarter and more targeted in your approach? What if you could rethink how you leverage demand generation and inbound marketing, or use technology to your advantage? This is where ABM comes in.

How does account-based marketing compare?

ABM is an alternative B2B marketing strategy that focuses resources and sales on specific accounts treating them as a ‘market of one’. How, you ask? Through personalized marketing campaigns that resonate with the target audience and help further your goal whether you’re trying to make your first sale, renew contracts, upsell or cross-sell your services and products, or encourage advocacy.

When it comes to targeting, traditional B2B strategies might be as accurate as arrows but account-based marketing is a sniper. ABM promises the highest return on investment in comparison to any other technique and boasts a 47% response rate from stakeholders. That’s not all, when supported with smart and scalable technology, it allows marketers to accomplish more with fewer processes and risks.

Get started with ABM

Are you ready to make a difference to your marketing and sales strategies with ABM? Then just follow this step-by-step guide.  

ABM vs B2b

Step 1: Get your team together

The first and most crucial step to successfully leveraging ABM is having the right team in place. It’s imperative to assemble the sales, marketing, and creative teams to set expectations, KPIs, goals, etc. prior to the planning phase. While the size and the members involved in this team will differ based on your unique organizational requirements, these professionals will form the core:  

account based marketing

what is account based marketing,

Step 2: Work on your strategy

Kudos, you’ve assembled your team! Now, it’s time to put your heads together and define your objectives because these form the foundation of your ABM strategy. Common goals for an ABM strategy can include anything from launching a new product and entering new markets to building market share and targeting specific accounts. And if you’re not sure where to begin, here are four ways to help you adopt account-based marketing.

  • One-on-one ABM

Remember the popular TV series, Mad Men, where the characters focused on closing select high-value accounts? That’s exactly what 1:1 ABM entails – a strategic and customized approach to not more than 1 to 10 accounts at a time. This is ideal for enterprise-level accounts and demands highly personalized content and experiences. Although 1:1 ABM is the most resource-intensive model, and the least scalable one, it promises high ROI and value for both organizations. Which is why 1:1 ABM is not done to clients, but with them.

  • ABM Lite

If you’re attempting to crack into a new segment using this strategy without taking a big risk, ABM Lite is the way to go. This one-to-few model includes customized programs aimed at a few accounts, typically 5-10, with common needs and pain points. ABM Lite targets accounts with similar business attributes, initiatives, challenges, and objectives – and complements the efforts with personalized content.

  • Programmatic ABM

Programmatic account-based marketing can be the most scalable method of targeted and personalized marketing – provided you have the right tools and technologies. This allows you to target up to 1,000 accounts at a time.

So how is it different from traditional marketing methods? Standard lead-based strategies involve channels of mass marketing, such as print, broadcast, and direct mail, to drive maximum conversions. And unlike targeted account-based marketing, these traditional methods often generate a lot of noise, but are incapable of filtering the right leads. Programmatic ABM, on the other hand, is enabled by smart technology that allows you to scale up and target progressively larger groups efficiently and cost-effectively.

  • Bolt-on ABM

A fundamental truth about B2B marketing is that you’re not selling to individuals, but to organizations. Marketers are often required to engage with a group of decision-makers while still communicating with one specific lead – something that contradicts the process of lead-based marketing.

Bolt-on ABM leverages technology and triggers actions to help you qualify and nurture inbound efforts. This strategy allows you to engage individuals from a specific company, create opportunities for conversion, and enhance account engagement. And although you may not get the same results as targeted one-on-one ABM, Bolt-on is a positive first step in your transition from lead-based marketing to account-based marketing.

abm marketing

Step 3: Leverage the power of technology

ABM technology is a great way to engage with your customers across multiple channels, allowing you to connect with more than just an individual lead. While the best people and the right strategies can give your ABM campaigns a great start, you still need relevant technologies to take it one step further. Thanks to technology, you have the liberty to personalize marketing strategies basis different campaigns, personas, and activities.  

  • Advertising: These technologies allow you to expand engagement with set audiences, retarget visitors who return to your site, and optimize web conversion through digital platforms such as video, social, display, and mobile ads  
  • Automated marketing: A scalable tool to boost pre-sale and post-sale engagement, these Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) provide support through traditional marketing tactics and outbound email marketing. In addition, they also include functions such as linking contact profiles with their activity, account-scoring functionalities, and other features to enable effective sales and execution
  • Automated sales-force: From account management and reporting to lead management and a host of other applications, ABM largely relies on automation platforms to manage contacts, accounts, and opportunities. In addition, many companies also use these platforms to oversee sales assets in an effort to define insights and content. It’s no wonder then that one-third of the companies undertaking ABM are investing in sales-force automation tools
  • Customer intelligence and analytics: Predictive analytics and insight-driven tools allow organizations to channel their sales and ABM efforts in the right direction. Some of the most common solutions in customer intelligence management include handling feedback, collecting and analyzing data, and formulating responses. This information is gathered from various touch-points to better understand customers. That’s not all, with the help of further insights, you can improve messaging, engagement, segmentation, etc. and better target your customers      

In addition to these platforms, you can also explore automation tools for social media management, Content Management System (CMS), and more to help boost your current ABM strategy.   

what is abm

Step 4: Find the right channels

Now that you’ve got your A-team and your best strategy, it’s time to execute it through the right channels. Fortunately, ABM can be propagated through multiple ways, such as:

abm vs b2b

Step 5: Measure your success

account based marketing vs b2b

The definition of success changes from one strategy to another. However, there are a few common metrics you can track to measure the results of your ABM strategies. Account-based marketing doesn’t bring instantaneous results but when done right, it reduces your sales cycle length i.e. the time taken to close high-value accounts. By nurturing a decision-making process, accelerated by sharing relevant and educational content beforehand, you stand to make a sale much faster.

Start by tracking your progress with specific engagement metrics such as click-throughs and secondary actions across multiple devices, accounts, and personas. You can also consider your website’s engagement by comparing page views, clicks, and conversion rates. In addition to engagement metrics, you should keep an eye on your revenue – how many target accounts have you converted into valuable customers who stay? A simple way to calculate this is by comparing the average deal value of traditional marketing programs with your ABM campaigns.  

The final word

While traditional B2B marketing methods have their own merit, only a few have proven to be as effective as ABM. With the right measures in place, you too can excel in this intensive and rewarding exercise. All you have to do is remember your ABCs – Always Be Closing!

Marketing

Marketing to Millennials: The Subtle Art of Connecting with Generation Y

Marketing to Millennials

Millennials – creators of memes, eaters of avocado toast, and experts of animal personality quizzes. These stereotypes, while unfairly limiting to a diverse demographic, tell us a whole lot about this mysterious generation.

Millennials don’t like labels, neither do they aspire to tread the beaten track. They prefer to carve their own and fight for the freedom to be who they are. And when it comes to the world of advertising, their unique sense of humor, tech-savvy pastimes, and a refreshing outlook on life has left marketers baffled – “If our traditional marketing methods don’t work anymore, what do we do next?”

Fret not, your key to tapping the millennial market is to first understand them.

The Anatomy of a Millennial

Born between 1980-2000, millennials have been thrust into a volatile economy, where dealing with lack of suitable employment opportunities and sufficient income is just a regular Tuesday. And because of these circumstances, they’re more likely to:

Although these trends may tell you a lot about your target group’s interests and priorities, you’ll never truly connect with millennials unless you understand how they think. Here are some tell-tale personality traits of a typical millennial.

  • They are unique and diverse

Gone are the days when young adults followed a set blueprint – graduating, settling down, buying a home or a car, and retiring. Today, you’re no longer talking to a homogeneous mix of people. Millennials are leading unique lifestyles that suit their sensibilities. You’ll find everyone from single parents and college students to middle-class employees and affluent yuppies. In short, millennials do what they want, how they want, when they want!

  • They are constantly connected

Millennials were the first generation to grow up with technology. From personal computers and the Internet to modern smartphones and tablets, millennials have easily adapted to new technologies, programs, devices, and operating systems. That’s not all, they’re now connected through multiple devices and constantly communicating with each other. Which means that they’re probably streaming their favorite show, live tweeting about it, watching cat videos, and having an entire conversation in emojis – all at the same time.

  • They are open to sharing

Compared to Generation X, millennials are a lot more comfortable with sharing their life on the Internet. To millennials, privacy is nothing more than a bunch of settings they can adjust on their phones. Their proficiency over controlling what information goes public and what doesn’t makes them naturally adept at social networking and self-promotion.     

  • They are skeptical of promotional advertising

Millennials have grown up with advertisements bombarding their senses – whether they’re at home, in the supermarket, at the pub, or stuck in traffic. Is it any wonder that they’re skeptical of promotional material? Millennials are more likely to listen to their peers and friends when making decisions – be it for everyday essentials, products and services, or even jobs. It is this very trait that make traditional marketing and advertising ineffective.

  • They prioritize purpose and balance over money

Notice how differently millennials and their parents think about jobs and careers? The previous generation was more than happy to secure a steady job and often dedicated several decades to the same organization. Millennials however are a little more discerning with their career choices. They want to know that their actions have a larger impact on society. That’s not all, they’re also natural advocates of brands they associate with, often using social media to express their opinions. What does this mean? Free, honest, and authentic promotion for your brand!

How to Leverage the Millennial Mindset

  • Offer authentic content

Millennials spend 25 hours a week online and they simply love authentic, well-researched, and informed opinions. Focus your effort on creating content that makes them want to hit the share or re-tweet button!

 

  • Out with the outbound, in with the inbound

That’s right, millennials don’t find value in outbound marketing. Don’t harp on about your brand. Let them do the talking.

 

  • Don’t push, engage

Millennials don’t like content that targets their wallets, and not interests. They prefer transparent campaigns that introduce products and services organically. In short, be natural.

 

  • Share and collaborate

Millennials love being active participants in shaping products and services. Focus on building a relationship with them and get them involved in your process.

 

  • Have fun

Online browsing is an experience for millennials. Your sales are directly influenced by how much fun they have engaging with you online.     

The mind of a millennial works in mysterious ways. But when you reach out to them with the intention to connect instead of broadcast, your marketing efforts will become a lot more fruitful. What measures do you take to connect with the ‘in’ crowd? Let us know!

 

Web Design

Why Clean Templates Are A Must To Let Websites ‘Breathe’

blog-bannner

When it comes to designing a successful website, a good branding agency knows that it’s all about that crucial first impression.

According to a study conducted in 2012, your website has about 1/20th of a second to capture the viewer’s attention. This means that your graphic design agency has to concoct a website that pleases your viewer’s aesthetic sense, answers their immediate questions, and retains their attention – and all this in less than a blink of an eye.

That’s not all, the study also suggests that websites containing complex visual elements are not as successful compared to those with clean, organized templates. A deciding factor for your website’s success rate is how well it follows prototypical design.

 Wait, what is prototypical design? Simply put, it is a layout or template that identifies with certain types of websites. Be it an eCommerce portal, a blog, or an online magazine, you may have preconceived notions about how it will look – from its features, visual elements, and even functionalities.

 Here’s a quick example.

When you hear the words ‘online retail store’, you probably envisioned something like this:

Notice anything? Everything is exactly where you expect it to be! The logo is placed on the top left corner, a prominent search bar right next to it, along with carousel banners displaying top deals or new products with well-composed, high-resolution images. This is prototypical design.

While Flipkart and Amazon have a fair share of competitors, they continue to lead India’s eCommerce boom owing to their clean, functional, and easily navigable site.

Following a prototypical style will prove advantageous to your website because your potential viewers are already comfortable with this interface. If they know exactly where to find your product, they’re more likely to visit your site again. This allows you to build a consistent customer base, gives credibility to your brand, and helps boost conversions.

 Familiarity encourages conversion.

The fancy term for this familiarity is cognitive fluency and the explanation is simple – your brain prefers things that are instinctively easy to understand. And anything that’s unfamiliar to the average customer is subconsciously categorized as ‘less beautiful’.

Does this mean you should do exactly what everyone’s doing? Of course not. It’s important to strike a balance between prototypical layouts and unique design elements to ensure that your website makes an instant connect with the viewer while standing out.

Another factor that affects the likeability factor of your website is how much you let it breathe.

Enter the world of white space.

We’ve already proven that visual complexity of a website affects the viewer’s comprehension. So how can you say everything you need to say, without cluttering the page? The answer is white space. An experienced graphic design agency can strike an aesthetic balance by adopting clean templates with ample white space. This allows every element on your website – from your logo to color schemes and typography to layout – to do its job and work in perfect harmony.

Why Do You Need White Space?

  • Provides visual relief
  • Enables better readability
  • Enhances user experience
  • Prioritizes content
  • Complements organized layout

Don’t mistake a clean layout for minimalism. Feel free to choose colors, fonts, and website layouts that best convey your brand’s story but pepper it generously with white space.

Each website tells a unique story about your brand. And with the right branding agency and the right elements in place, you can tell a great one!