Account-Based Marketing (ABM). It’s all the rage, and a lot of B2B companies are making it a must-have marketing strategy. Many think ABM is just selecting your target accounts, creating some emails and pressing send. But there’s so much more potential. What if you could contact your target accounts when they’re looking at you, and deliver messages based on what they’re looking at? Well… you can and we call it Intent-Based ABM, and it’s real, and this blog will show you how to do it.

Why Use Intent?

A lot of B2B companies utilize some form of intent data. Or at least they pay for it. Unfortunately, many still don’t know how to use it, so let’s dig in.  

Some of the key B2B intent-data companies include TechTarget, Aberdeen, and Bombora. They can show you which of your target accounts are actively looking at your company and/or related topics to your business.

Some of them can also show you WHO in your target accounts is showing intent (not just at the account level). That’s when it gets really fun – because it allows to hyper-target and personalize messages to the individual in your target account.

Look for useable data everywhere.

Content isn’t the only place to measure intent. ALL your entities are fair game. You know, your .com, landing pages, customer portals, communities etc.  You can find intent almost everywhere. Be sure to incorporate web tracking on your entities and take it into consideration of your intent-based ABM strategy so it ties in with third party intent.

Think beyond tactics.

Even with solid intent data in hand, most marketers’ first (and likely only) step would be immediate sales follow-up calls and an email. If this is your usual M.O., you’re likely not seeing stellar results, right?

That’s because this is very tactical thinking. It only gets you to the next campaign or asset without much thought into how it all works together.

A more effective way to go would be to use that intent-data to take a step back and ideate how it could fuel a completely integrated, automated ABM campaign that utilizes a combination of marketing and sales-related efforts.

But don’t forget tactics.

We like an omni-channel approach. One that includes media (in this case you’d utilize an Account-Based media solution like Rollworks or DemandBase), email, direct mail (find an automated direct mail platform like Sendoso or  Alyce), and sprinkle in some automated sales touches (emails, InMail, and phone calls).  Design your communications plan with the tactics you want to use with the spacing/timing you want between deployments first and then craft the message, content and design for each tactic from there.

These are tactics that build on each other. They are part of a bigger integrated strategy that uses intent data to amplify the effectiveness of each. Thinking bigger and doing more will get you more.

Tell the Right Story

Getting the story (i.e. what you want target contacts to think and feel) is critical. To be effective, the messaging needs to be relevant to their interests. For example: if one of your key topics are Database Management, develop your campaign around a message about that such topic. Don’t forget to incorporate personalization and dynamic content whenever possible to really connect with your account. Oh, and your copy and creative shouldn’t make you seem like a robot either. You’re still talking to people after all.

Integration + Automation is Key

No matter where the data comes from, funneling it into your automation platform is key. Automation can trigger your tactics when a contact reaches a certain threshold of intent. This helps you hit them WHEN they are searching on THEIR time with intent-based related messages.

But MarTech is hard, right?

Not if you have the right partners! First, you want to make sure you’ve partnered with the right data provider and/or agency to help you port your intent-data into your automation platform via integrations/api’s, etc. Let’s get that intent data synced with your automation platform so you can segment and deploy!

Hey! We can be a partner!

This is all basic marketing. Match the right people with relevant messaging. But as you can see, there are some nuances, and we’re here to help you maximize your ABM campaign’s potential.

We’ve helped our clients do just this. Want to chat about it – give us a shout! We can help you too.

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Mighty & True’s Hall of Awesome is our place to write about all the things that our clients and community care the most about. We’ll try to keep things focused on B2B Marketing, Marketing Technology, Creative Best Practices and all things digital. Let us know what you think.