Should I Hire an Account Based Marketing Agency?
Account based marketing (ABM) can be a very powerful strategy for B2B marketers targeting enterprise clients, but most companies don’t practice it well. Most rely on traditional B2B marketing tactics, in which prospects pass through numerous levels of qualification or nurturing prior to conversion. If the B2B marketer is successful in getting a marketing qualified lead (MQL), the sales team likely must parse through numerous opportunities to determine if each is a sales qualified lead (SQL). This traditional process can be costly to fill the top of the funnel and then nurture the opportunities though the middle of the funnel. A lot of time, effort, and money spent can lead to low conversion rates and low return on marketing investment.
Sales and marketing effectiveness and efficiency can be improved through strategic, well executed account based marketing. An account based marketing agency experienced in B2B strategy can help.
What is Account Based Marketing?
Account based marketing (ABM) is a business-to-business strategy that a marketer customizes to each key prospect in its target market. ABM is based on the premise that every enterprise account is unique: Different use cases, procurement practices, and buying criteria.
Rather than solely trying to cast a wide net for inbound leads, account based marketing focuses outbound efforts toward targeted, high-value ideal accounts, which should maximize conversions and ROI. ABM is most useful when the product, service, or solution being sold has a higher price and a longer, more complex buying cycle.
Because of the complexity, it is common for the potential client to have a buying committee of multiple influencers (personas) involved in the decision making process (e.g., members of procurement, operations, finance departments). With such a complex buying and selling process, it is logically beneficial for the seller’s marketing process to be personalized to each target account.
How an Account Based Marketing Agency Can Help
If the seller’s marketing team is under-resourced or inexperienced in customizing unique one-off campaigns, it may be beneficial to hire an account based marketing agency to facilitate the strategy and execution. An external ABM agency can help the sales and marketing better align their goals and collaborate more strategically. For each targeted account, the ABM agency may help in identifying, researching, and understanding the target account’s various buyer personas. The agency can help repurpose generic marketing assets and messaging into customized communication workflows. The agency can help leverage and customize existing case studies, white papers, videos, presentations, articles, and proposals for each persona in each account for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
The Account Based Marketing Process
A strong ABM strategy begins with defining the attributes that make the targeted account an ideal fit. Focusing on the traits and needs of these organizations will help the marketing team develop campaigns that leverage intentional person-to-person relationships and deploy effective messaging and placement. Because account based marketing is designed with each targeted client in mind, it can create a better customer experience, shorten the sales cycle, and increase the closing rate. An account based marketing agency can help prepare the targeted personas with thought leadership content and positioning tactics before the buyer is approached by the salesperson. As the selling cycle progresses, content can be modified and quickly delivered to each buyer persona based on the behavioral triggers in the ongoing engagement.
Benefits of Hiring Account Based Marketers
An experienced, knowledgeable, strategic account based marketing agency can execute the heavy lifting of content creation, customization, and delivery. Such an agency partner can research target markets and industries, ideal customer profiles and can deliver custom campaigns to drive sales. The best ABM agencies can research and expand one targeted campaign to reach another similar one, opening the opportunity for even greater increased revenue with little extra effort on the selling company’s part.
The success of ABM relies heavily on tracking buyer journey stages, optimizing conversion rates, and calculating customer acquisition costs (CAC). Skilled account based marketing companies like Nvent Marketing can provide reach, engagement, and conversion analytics so that future campaigns can be improved. I
Should I Hire an Account Based Marketing Agency?
If you’re still contemplating whether to hire an account based marketing agency, it may be worth the effort to get a complimentary consultation to learn more and consider the costs and benefits. Contact Nvent Marketing to get started.
Today, social media and online marketing are driven by digital transformation. Digital marketing has changed the way nearly every business communicates with its current and future customers, especially since the pandemic. However, 63 percent of digital marketers still struggle to personalize their services to their intended audiences today. The challenge for brand owners is understanding how marketing strategy can help execute impactful plans and generate ROI. Business marketers must align their business goals with their marketing plans. Following are seven reasons why marketing strategy is critical for marketing return on investment.
1. A strategic marketing agency can help you understand your ideal customer profile:
Understanding buyer motivation and audience behavior is critical for any business. This is especially true in niche businesses where markets, services, and products offered may be highly specific and narrow in focus. Since one brand can’t be highly valuable to every customer, it may be necessary to narrow the target audience and identify your ideal customers. The development of a marketing strategy can help in profiling your ideal buyers and specifically target them with points of relevant value as they progress through the buyer’s journey.
2. A strategic marketing agency can help you understand your customer personas:
To capture and engage your ideal customer, you need to know and understand them. What is each buyer’s role in the decision to buy your product or service? Are they motivated by the economics, utility, or user experience? Is sustainability, customer service, or low cost most important to them? How do they discover and learn about products and how do they make decisions? Your solution and your message to each potential buyer must address their pain points and desires. An effective marketing strategic plan should probably include market and customer research to validate who you are selling to, why they care, and what processes they follow in making a buying decision.
3. A strategic marketing agency can help you illuminate your business goals and values:
It’s important for your company’s leadership team and your marketing messaging to be able to effectively articulate your brand’s ethos and values. People today tend to buy from brands with meaning and purpose. Your marketing strategy and messaging plan may be to target potential customers, investors, employees, colleagues, vendors, and partners. To reach the right audience with the right message, your marketing strategy requires a clear position on why, for whom, and how.
4. A strategic marketing agency can help you establish benchmarks and KPIs:
Marketing strategy creation can help you quantify metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that define the success of your campaigns, projects, and investments. Once you understand the metrics that matter the most, you can track and understand how your target audience responds to your marketing and which investments and strategies you should prioritize. Over the long term, this measurement and analysis can create the baseline to determine success or failure.
5. A strategic marketing agency can help you build a budget and plan of action:
Marketing plans are critical to ensure advanced scheduling, prioritization, proper resource allocation, and cost control. Your marketing plan will guide your team in decision making and in performance analytics. Understand all the variables in your plan, including communication channels, messaging platforms, and events. The goal is to align the short and long-term goals of your business with the marketing plan so you receive the best possible return on investment.
6. A strategic marketing agency can help you understand how you compare to your competitors:
One of the best ways to know where you stand in your market is by conducting a competitor analysis. Formulating a marketing strategy can help you understand who your competitors are targeting and how, as well as what’s working for them or not. It can be an opportunity for learning and for validating your own actions.
7. A strategic marketing agency can help you create a baseline for trend analysis:
We can see things well in hindsight because tracing patterns is simpler. A marketing strategy executed well over a period of time can help collect enormous sets of usable data for trend analysis and subsequent decision making. Data is essential for understanding audience behavior, competitors, and other market patterns that can be leveraged to push a marketing plan forward.
Developing a marketing strategy will help you focus, reduce waste, and make better business decisions. Whether you manage a business in Arizona or anywhere else in the world, a strategic marketing agency can work with you and your team to write your own roadmap that will help you navigate through the unknown ahead. If you ever decide to hire an agency, you may need to issue a web development rfp, an SEO rfp, or a social media rfp. If so, now you are armed with more knowledge about what factors to consider.
Social media needs to be integrated with non-digital channels. The old school thinking that social media is just “a secondary tactic” doesn’t fit today.
Today, customer acquisition is the top priority for most brands. It should be a part of your company’s product marketing strategy. Targeted demand generation processes must also satisfy your customers’ needs.
To stay ahead at this game changing moment where new technologies are making everything easier than ever before—from finding information on Google Search pages or Instagram stories-to engaging directly one consumer who may purchase something online without having another advertisement interrupt their experience -you need every edge possible.
People often utilize social media as an additional tool in their demand generation investment strategy, but it is important to not neglect the power of organic content marketing.
if you want your campaigns and efforts on Facebook or Twitter be effective then they need integrate paid advertisements with this type digital outreach technique so that both forms can complement each other instead just being done separately like many companies do today .
I recently spoke to a VP of a billion-dollar brand who told me about his million-dollar TV/radio ad campaign that produced negative ROI. They’re now shifting more marketing budget to digital channels. CMOs often struggle with the conflicting priorities of brand marketing and measurable demand generation. Sometimes it must be either/or, but it can be both if well integrated.
Another proof point on the value of marketing campaign integration: A new Hootsuite study of 2,000 marketers shows that 78% feel social media improves the operational efficiency of their other digital and non-digital marketing channels. I don’t think that’s too surprising.
Using pixels and links in online content and hashtags in offline content can drive immediate improvement in reach, engagement, and feedback to maximize trackable ROI. Plus, scheduling timely messaging to highly tuned audiences through multiple channels can optimize conversion.
In video marketing, quality should align with your brand image.
We have a client considering how to start using video in her marketing. Starting now is smart thinking, as about 85% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.
Of those businesses that don’t use video, 59% planned to start this year. In parallel to more video content, there’s also more demand than ever.
In 2021, people watched 100+ minutes of online video per day. “The amount of time people spend viewing online video has grown rapidly across the world, at an average rate of 32% a year between 2013 and 2018, boosted by improvements in display sizes and quality of mobile devices, faster mobile data connections, and the spread of connected TV sets” –Zenith
Benefits of Video
Video can be search optimized so it can help with a site’s ranking. Plus, including a video on a landing page can boost the conversion rate by up to 80%.
Video can also be repurposed for other media so it is a great foundation for a content marketing strategy. For example, one video podcast can turn into 5-10 unique social media posts. Videos can be transcribed and turned into long-form blog posts and so much more. With so many options afterward, your best choice is to start with making videos now.
On the downside, there’s a ton of video content noise online so it will get harder to compete for views. So effort should go into producing quality content that is relevant and interesting to your target audience. Although consistent uploads can be helpful, high-quality content that encourages engagement and adds value will have a better ROI.
YouTube, Facebook, and IG are the default platforms for video, but TikTok is rapidly on the rise. With all these different platforms, it’s important to understand the psychology of each platform and research what style of content works best for each. Being able to get your message across on all of the platforms and consistently adding value is crucial in this dynamic technological environment.
Live video is fast-growing and accounted for 13% of traffic in 2021. For produced videos: keep them short. 68% of people watch the complete video if it’s less than 60 seconds. Video marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, but the quality should align with your brand image.
Email subject lines affect open rates. Getting people’s email opt-in permission is harder than ever – as it should be. Because so many spammers abused email over the years, the channel has been severely damaged for those who use it properly.
It’s easier than ever for an email recipient to report a message as spam or to simply opt-out – as it should be. But once that contact is off your opt-in list, they’re pretty much gone forever.
That’s why responsible brands and marketers today must be hyper-careful with their email construction and delivery.
Even the subject line must be scrutinized and A/B tested in a sample list before sending your message to a large list (but only half of marketers actually do this).
As many recipients open an email based on the subject line alone, it can potentially make or break your campaign.
69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line.
Best practices for email subject lines include:
-Keep it short/simple.
-Create curiosity and urgency, but don’t mislead or sensationalize.
-Personalize when possible.
Finally, there are no tricks or shortcuts. The SINGLE best practice for brands is to build trust with your audience over time by providing relevant, useful, timely #content.
Direct mail and mobile marketing lead business investments in local media advertising. This some encouraging news for North American print and direct mail service providers: In 2022, US local ad revenue is forecast to surpass the previously impressive rebound of 2021, with direct mail leading to capture more than a 20% piece of the pie. BIA Advisory Services forecasts overall local ad revenue to grow 10.1% year-over-year in 2022.
This will be the second consecutive period of year-over-year growth, considering that US direct mail ad revenue has declined -5.1% annually between 2015 and 2020 (source: IBIS World).
US non-political advertising mail volumes were down in 2020 as retail, leisure, beverage, and travel services paused or reduced their direct mail campaigns in the face of the pandemic.
Counterbalancing that commercial decline, 2020 was a record year in election campaign ad spending that included high volumes of political direct mail. Political mailings helped printers stem some of the lost commercial ad mail revenue in 2020. With minimal local elections in 2021, commercial mailings made up for the massive void left from 2020 political mailings.
Despite the numerous issues facing the USPS, there are still millions of local and regional brands confidently relying on printed mail’s higher response rates and lower customer acquisition costs.
Research, data, and facts should guide your marketing decisions. Do you know someone making marketing decisions using their MBA? I don’t mean a master’s degree, but rather what I call Marketing By Anecdote.
What is Marketing by Anecdote?
An anecdote is a story, usually about one’s personal experience or account of an incident. Anecdotal evidence is a deduction from that story that isn’t necessarily true because it isn’t necessarily based on facts.
When a conclusion is made solely based on personal opinion and experience, the reality can be skewed. Facts and research will always be more reliable and consistent when making decisions and evaluating situations. Take action based on what you can trust, not based on how you feel.
A business owner told me about his current marketing program, with $5k/month (most of his budget) on billboard ads: “I think the ads are working because two or three people per month say they saw my ad!” His anecdotal evidence tells him his marketing strategy, message, audience, budget, and CTA are fully optimized. No measurement, no analysis needed. Just evidence from an anecdote. Marketing By Anecdote.
Another business manager told me, “I don’t use social media for marketing because I personally don’t use Facebook for business and I don’t think my customers do either.” This is also a form of anecdotal evidence because he thinks his #customers behave as he does. Faulty logic. Would you really want to throw away your digital marketing budget based on personal bias? Consumers convert through a wide variety of platforms and eliminating one of them based on your own usage is just ignorant.
Facts don’t care about your feelings
Marketing decisions shouldn’t be based on anecdotes, hearsay, or what you surmise. Apply your personal opinion or belief on what to do, but add it on top of research, measurable data, and facts. Facts can make you money, while emotions can lead to a missed opportunity.
Facts don’t care about your feelings.
The value of content marketing is underestimated. Most people don’t know how it directly affects a website’s Google search rankings, which in turn drives new visitors to your landing page.
- Gets read, shared, liked, and linked. More links from trusted websites to your landing page gives you SEO authority (and higher rankings).
- Content that gets the most shares/linkes is typically deep, detailed, and research-based. Long-form articles with over 2000 words get more top ten positions in Google search engine rankings.
- Takes time and effort: The average blog post takes 3.5 hours to write. It is optimized for keywords and internal links and is easy to consume.
- Can go beyond the format of a blog post. It can be a video, podcast, infographic, ebook, or an “ultimate good to ___.”
- Is leverageable. A 45-minute webinar or 25-slide presentation could be segmented into sub-topics and serve as the base for potentially a half-dozen short-form blog posts.
70% of marketers say they prioritize content quality over quantity. Whether this actually happens can make a huge difference in a brand’s organic search ranking.
Read our article about Content marketing strategy – Get content rich
We have a client considering how to start using video in her marketing. Starting now is smart thinking, as about 85% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.
Of those businesses that don’t use video, 59% plan to start this year. In parallel to more video content, there’s also more demand than ever.
In 2021, people will watch 100+ minutes of online video per day.
Video can be search optimized so it can help with a site’s ranking. Plus, including a video in a landing page can boost the conversion rate by up to 80%.
Video can also be repurposed for other media so it is a great foundation for a content marketing strategy.
On the downside, there’s a ton of video content noise online so it will get harder to compete for views. So effort should go into producing quality content that is relevant and interesting to your target audience.
For many reasons, we don’t recommend TikTok or Snapchat video as a marketing too. Despite the crowdedness, YouTube, Facebook, and IG are the default platforms for video.
Live video is fast-growing and will account for 13 % of traffic in 2021. For produced videos: keep them short. 68% of people watch the complete video if it’s less than 60 seconds.
Video marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, but the quality should align with your brand image.
SEO is so mystified and so misunderstood. Getting your website organically ranked by search engines is one of the toughest digital marketing challenges companies face. Two main factors contribute to your site’s SEO ranking: Relevance. Authority.
Relevance comes creating content on your site that matches keywords your target audience searches for. Authority comes from white hat link building.
White hat link building involves getting a lot of inbound links (backlinks) from other high-authority sites to a particular page on your site. Google considers high-authority backlinks as votes of trust for your site. Higher traffic sites have higher authority (think NYTimes, CNN).
The more quality backlinks you get, they higher your organic search ranking. To get quality links, you must produce quality content that quality sites want to link to. Create relevant, useful, educational, shareable content. Use techniques like article submissions, guest posting, and blog commenting. Look for your competitors’ backlinks and try to get links from those sites. Actively submit your site to web directories.
A solid digital marketing expert will help you produce relevant content and get you high-authority backlinks. It doesn’t happen over time, but the process works for the patient and determined.