It’s a no-brainer. Intent data should always be paired with a thoughtful content marketing strategy. But what makes the difference in achieving proven results? Kristina Jaramillo, President of Personal ABM, tells us it’s getting more personal with your target prospects, and understanding which account gaps may be influencing individual frustration. Let’s dive in.
Intent data solutions from market leaders like Bombora have allowed marketing teams to rapidly evolve their ABM programs from mass ‘spray and pray’ tactics, to more targeted, personalized outreach campaigns.
- Sales and marketing teams spend more time nurturing prospects with an increased signal of interest and Intent.
- Content marketing campaigns include messaging that directly address account pain points throughout the buying journey.
- Less time is spent on chasing large cold calling lists and more resources on specific target accounts that can drive ROI.
Although sales and marketing teams made great strides in using Intent data to deliver content and messaging that is tailored for what buyers are searching for, there are further opportunities for growth. If you want to engage and convert even more prospects that matter the most to your B2B pipeline, then you’ll likely need to go beyond a personalized, Intent-driven experience, and make it a personal more approach.
The need for more personal Account-based Marketing (ABM)
To build a personal experience, sales and marketing must move beyond campaigns based on generalized persona assumptions and pain points that are foundational at the very top of the funnel. At Personal ABM, we found that organizations get “stuck” or they “leave the funnel” because their value proposition didn’t identify with the specific needs of their prospects, or there was a lack of competitive differentiation in how it was presented. This identifies a clear need for B2B marketers to speak with accounts and individual buyers vs. simply speaking at accounts.
With those accounts that do not actively engage with your sales and marketing campaigns, using Intent data combined with personal outreach can foster an authentic connection. This can be achieved by:
- Going beyond “general pain points” and speaking to “unconsidered gaps” that lead to personal impact.
- Challenging your prospects’ specific assumptions and speaking to their domain in ways they haven’t thought of or appreciated.
- Understanding their specific use cases and suggesting new ways they can solve their problems.
- Delivering demand insights that help improve competitive advantage and help them reframe how they think about their business, and how they operate.
- Unifying the potential of your sales and marketing tactics by taking a ‘personal approach’ in content marketing and sales outreach throughout the buying process.
Going beyond Intent data to make the personal connection
So how do you improve from personalized experiences to more personal interactions? You need to dig beyond “Intent data” and to uncover:
- What’s behind the prospect’s Intent and specifically what is their million-dollar headache, on both an account and personal level?
- What’s going on within the organization and the different divisions that can impact operational excellence, customers, and P&L?
- What are the account-specific or competitor-focused gaps that are not being considered and the personal impacts which may be under-estimated?
Utilizing Intent data as a starting point to qualify real interest, you can now implement a more custom approach for priority accounts, engaging with prospects through a personal tone of connection versus speaking at them.
Communicate personal relevance across all digital channels
Once you identify the ‘right in-market’ accounts, it’s worth evaluating the content messaging across all the digital platforms those accounts may engage with. Whether it’s email, your website, or favored B2B social media channels like LinkedIn, prospects are more likely to engage 1-to-1 with your brand if the tone of your content’s message is conversational and value-based to their specific needs.
My recent study found that 95% of LinkedIn profiles show little to no relevance to the key accounts they want to win or the key customers they want to keep or expand. It’s key to remember that “value” is different from one organization to another and from one decision-maker to another. To drive a personal connection on LinkedIn, plan to factor in industry, organization, role, personal, and customer relevance to avoid being viewed as spam.
Personal ABM works hand-in-hand with your Intent-data-driven campaigns
While we talk about the need to get personal, scaling this approach can be a challenge. It requires a great investment in time and resources so it should be considered a key strategy for accounts that:
- Stop engaging with your sales and marketing campaigns
- Match your “most” ideal customer profile
- Has substantial revenue potential
While personal ABM approaches should only be reserved for those accounts that would be part of the 20% of customers that bring 80% of your revenue (the ‘whales’), the impact will be far-reaching. It also helps with bringing greater alignment to the efforts of both sales and marketing arms within your organization by speaking to the prospect, with a unified front through your content messaging.
As a result, you’ll also have a proof of concept for the messaging and content that’s most effective in driving conversion. These insights together with continued use of Intent data to identify content opportunities can then be used to optimize your ABM success and engage more meaningfully with prospects that actively are looking to find solutions your products solve for.
About the author:
Kristina Jaramillo, President of Personal ABM and Stop the Sales Drop, helps sales and marketing teams create 6, 7, and 8 figure deals with “stuck” accounts that stop engaging because they do not see personal relevance. To learn more about her personal account-based approach that speaks “to” your named, in-market accounts and the buyers within those accounts, go to personalabm.com