What is 1:1 account based marketing & how to pull it off

June 11, 2020

It's now 2020, and it's a fact that everyone is doing some flavor of account-based marketing by now. And while that's a good thing, we see that most account-based marketers are targeting either a small list of focused accounts or have decided to apply ABM tactics to large groupings of companies that mighty warrant a more direct approach. This is all good but the ability to really activate on ABM is realized at a whole new level when you begin a 1:1 account-based marketing strategy. This is essentially the art of targeting specific accounts with semi-personalized messaging across all aspects of an account.

... and we've seen stellar results with it.

1:1 Account Based Marketing

1:1 Account-based marketing defined

This new hyper-targeted account-based marketing approach concentrates sales intelligence and marketing muscle to reach a small number of buying influences in a single targeted account in a highly-coordinated way.

This intimate approach requires an EXTREMELY close and productive partnership between sales and marketing from the get-go. Collaboration is key because sales will always have better account insights into the selling environment,  while marketing will have the ability to put creative outreach ideas into action. Only partnership and cooperation can unlock the true power of a 1:1 account-based marketing strategy.

In some cases, these 1:1 account-based marketing strategies are so focused, that tactics and messaging are targeting just 3-4 decision-makers within a key account.

So, how do you develop a 1:1 account-based marketing strategy? We’re working with some of our clients to do just that. The following are three core applications to help you get started.

1:1 use cases

Changing perceptions at an account that doesn't understand your value

Sometimes a particular account has you all wrong. 1:1 account-based marketing is a great way to change perception fast. Maybe at one time, your brand was lagging, and now you've turned that all around to become more progressive and forward-thinking. You may have the brightest products that'll solve all of their problems overnight, but if the account has the wrong ideas about your capabilities, then you're, at best, an afterthought.

Changing perceptions is HARD. But an uber-targeted 1:1 account-based marketing strategy can be a targeted way to get there. Focusing on one account, even down to a few people, allows you to customize the message down to a person-to-person level. Basically, if traditional ABM is an off-the-rack suit, 1:1 is like having your own personal Italian tailor, make you something special. With a tailored approach, you're going to like the way you look.

A 1:1 approach provides you the opportunity to change the conversation by speaking the account's language. You can create messaging and art that has the best chance to change minds and have prospects actually listen to what you have to offer.

Tapping into new accounts where your salespeople have no relationships

When there is turnover in your primary account contacts, it can leave your sales team in a bind. How can they adapt to the new reality and reach the new folks?

No matter if you're looking to land new logos or expand current business, 1:1 account-based marketing can be an ideal tool to help you make in-roads with the right people.

Hyper-targeting a single account gives you the freedom to build a plan that puts your sales team in front of the right people with a message that'll resonate with the people at the account so they actually take action. In these cases, we've also seen success developing viral tactics that encourage several targeted contacts to talk to each other (i.e.  giving each target different parts of a story or map that they can only finish with each other).

This will get you, at the very least, noticed. But with a more targeted message to each individual's likely needs, you are more likely to book a meeting for your sales team.

Supporting deals that are in the final decision-making phases

The last 1:1 account-based marketing tactic is all about helping sales close deals at the point where a decision is pending. One team we worked closely with was in a ferocious tech RFP. They made it to the final round of pitches, and they understandably wanted an edge to help them wrap up the deal.

This is a great fit for 1:1 account-based marketing. In this case, we helped the client develop the highly targeted 1:1 ABM tactics in conjunction with broader (but still targeted) air-cover advertising to the account as a whole.

This strategy applies enough positive pressure to keep you on the tip of the whole account's collective brain so you can more effectively communicate your brand's position and differentiators. This puts your sales team in a strong position to swoop in and close the deal. Everybody's happy.

Driving results with 1:1 account-based marketing

Truth-be-told, 1:1 account-based marketing isn't that hard. It just requires a different type of account-based marketing strategy than traditional approaches. That said, whether you know it or not, you're probably already doing some of this stuff required to pull it off. But if you want to "formalize" a 1:1 account-based marketing strategy, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • When you think you've drilled down to the right targets, go further. Some of our most successful programs have targeted as few as 3-5 high-level decision-makers in a single account.
  • Sales is your new best friend. Live it. Love it. Much of the intelligence you need to create great 1:1 programs are already in place in their current sales intelligence.
  • Campaigns that work actually provide value to your targets—whether it's a business benefit, or even simply positioning your product or service in a new light that hits a specific need of their company.
  • Don't eliminate channel options given the size of the target list. We've seen great success integrating digital and physical (and even OOH) tactics to reach large, strategic accounts in an effective way.

Done right, 1:1 account-based marketing can be highly effective.

If you need more help making sense of 1:1 account-based marketing strategies, want to launch a campaign of your own, or just want to take a peek at what we’ve done in this realm for some of our clients, just get in touch! We love designing and building effective ABM programs that perform. Let us know how we can help!