ABM – The Ultimate Collaboration Between Marketing & Sales
Account-Based Marketing, or ABM, has gained popularity over the past few years in B2B (Business-to-Business) marketing efforts. In practice, it is not a new concept, and many companies have been engaged in the practice for years.
ABM has been adopted by more companies, as of late, due to two factors:
- There are more platforms that make it relatively easy to implement, and
- ABM is showing remarkable results.
More specifically, according to HubSpot, 93% of B2B marketers are using ABM or planning to start soon, and 45% of ABM users see at least double the ROI compared to other marketing methods!
So, what is ABM exactly? ABM is a marketing strategy of targeting specific and highly-valued customers or potential customers with semi-custom and highly-personalized campaigns that are designed to address their specific needs and move them along the sales pipeline.
To successfully implement this strategy, Marketing and Sales must work together, and the right tools (such as marketing automation platform and CRM) have to be in place. Without getting into too many details, here are the basic steps for implementing ABM that produces results:
- Identification of the targeted accounts
- Thorough definition of the Buyer’s Journey and Buyer’s Personas
- Preparation of marketing assets for the different stages in the Buyer’s Journey
- Tight collaboration between Marketing and Sales
- Tracking of the most important metrics
Once created and implemented, adjustments might be required to fit specific targeted accounts, as well as improvements based on outcomes. The number of accounts targeted using ABM depends greatly on the company’s ability and capacity to engage, follow up, and track the progress of each individual account.
Fractional CMO & Marketing has helped many clients over the years to set up and successfully implement ABM. If you are thinking about ABM, or would like to see if it is right for you, we will be happy to discuss this approach with you, without any obligation on your part.
Duke Merhavy, MBA, Ph.D.
President & Chief Marketing Officer
What Is Fractional CMO & Marketing?
Fractional CMO & Marketing is ‘Your Outsourced Marketing Department’ when you need expert marketing leadership and marketing services to accelerate growth and improve profitability, but you’re not quite ready to hire a full-time Chief Marketing Officer or your own marketing department.
Our unique arrangement is the most efficient, innovative, and cost-effective formula for you. Click on the image to the left to watch a short video.
We Help When You Need To:
- Generate more of the right kind of leads
- Close more sales faster
- Get repeat sales
- Formulate a more effective message
- Produce powerful sales tools
- Establish brand awareness, recognition, and preference
- Differentiate your brand from the competition
- Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Develop lasting relationships with customers
- Introduce new products
Marketing Lingo: Icons
An icon is a symbol that carries powerful universal meaning, making it instantly recognizable and memorable. In marketing, icons are artistic expressions often used to quickly convey, describe, and remind the target audience of products, services, or actions the company offers in place of lengthy verbiage.
In recent years, icons became very popular, in part because people view websites and collateral on mobile devices, where screen sizes are much smaller than those of computers. Well-designed icons are easy to see and recognize, and making them clickable, works great in the digital world we live in.
Here are a few examples of icons we created for us and our clients:
* ‘Marketing Lingo’ is a regular column in which we define, or otherwise explain, terms often used in marketing but not necessarily correctly or properly by some
What’s In a Name? Or a Consumer Cost?
It’s official! After 85 years, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is to be known as a new moniker: Kraft Mac & Cheese. Although it may seem like a small – or even obvious update – this change does represent the modernization of a brand that consumers have known for over 8 decades.
It seems to be a smart change, “meant to reflect the way fans organically talk about the brand” as a company announcement in June proclaimed. Packages reflecting the new name, as well as an updated logo, modern font, and monotone blue will be seen in stores in August. The familiar ‘noodle smile’ will still be prevalent.
As if we didn’t feel this way about it already, Kraft is putting forth an effort to rebrand this absolute pantry staple as “comfort food”, and to distinguish it from more healthy options, such as Gal Gadot’s Goodles startup with a higher price, but more protein and fiber; Banza’s high-protein and gluten-free offering; and Annie’s organic boxed macaroni and cheese. But are consumers consumed with ‘healthy’ when making their mac-n-cheese choices?
Affordability also enters the picture, and with inflation, even the OG – plain Kraft – has taken a hit. The 3.5% hike on EZ Mac and a whopping 20% on a serving size of their Big Bowl Mac-n-Cheese hasn’t gone unnoticed. Still, there’s strong demand, even while supplies and uncertain factors increased Kraft’s costs (which no doubt met consumers head-on, in the form of a higher retail price to bring this product into their homes).
Although it requires a higher cost to bring into our homes, Kraft Mac(aroni) & Cheese, is a staple. And whether we like it or not, staples will always be part of our dining choices. Even with an increased cost, and a modernized name, we know the brand from our childhood – and that means something. It just goes to show that a brand you know and like will absolutely endure, regardless of shortening the name or increasing prices.
Do your customers feel the same way about your company? You can create the same kind of brand loyalty that Kraft has – just contact us to find out how.
Email Marketing Best Practices – Part 2
Last month, we shared Part 1 of our Email Marketing Best Practices series, which listed and explained the first four. Below, we outline and describe five more you need to know to have the best metrics and results from your email efforts.
5. Optimize Your Emails for Mobile Devices
More and more, people are using their smartphones and tablets to do work and read emails.
Most of us always have our phones no more than an arm’s length away, and when the notification sound goes off, it’s become a reflex to check what’s come in, and take action on it right away. And, unfortunately, if emails you send are not mobile-friendly, there’s a good chance it not only won’t be read, but it’ll just be deleted when a quick scroll reveals the recipient can’t easily read it. This is not a new phenomenon, as a study from several years ago found that 75% of subscribers to email lists will trash what they can’t read on their mobile devices.
Using a mobile-responsive email template, which is easily found in an email marketing platform (the first best practice we shared last month), means your dispatch will adjust to and look good on any handheld device your subscribers happen to use.
Now that you know how to make your emails look right, let’s move on to making them easier to read. Short paragraphs (and when possible, sentences too) are best. Including images when they can reinforce and enhance the content of your emails, or assist in getting your message across and memorable, are helpful. A button for your CTA (call to action) is great to use on mobile, as it pops out when compared to lines of text and catches attention.
6. Templates Should Be Branded
The same way companies wrap their vehicles with business info and relevant images or wear matching shirts with the company name embroidered on them, your emails should carry the branding and brand identity of your organization.
The six elements to branding your emails include:
Add your logo to the top of your mobile-friendly email template. You can also add a branded email signature (with your logo and slogan) at the bottom of your email; or at the end of any articles in e-newsletters or blog posts shared through email, especially when the content is company updates, new hires, or similar information.
Use company colors throughout – in headings, buttons, hyperlinked text, and CTAs. To get the exact hues to match your colors exactly, you can ask your in-house graphics department. There is also software to analyze the colors and return the RGB or Hex code needed to duplicate the colors. If you use a marketing services company (like Fractional CMO & Marketing), they can find this information so you don’t have to.
Fonts should be consistent and simple. Fonts are part of your branding, and non-ornate ones are easier to read and don’t distract from your message.
Visuals make emails more interesting, and this can include images, YouTube screen grabs or videos, and photos (of products, from company events, etc.). If you’ve been regularly posting images on social media, feel free to recycle those for use in your emails (and you can promote the social media posts in your emails too).
Include links to your website, social media channels, and events that your business is participating in. Email templates make it very easy and fast to add buttons that go directly to your presence on different social media channels.
Emails should convey the company voice and brand personality, which is done through the look and content. After writing but before sending, it is highly recommended to have the content proofed for grammar and spelling, and reviewed for any potential re-writes or edits that might be needed to better convey the company’s voice, brand personality, and message intended by the dispatch. Regular meetings with those involved in the creation of emails and e-newsletters is a good idea, because it ensures everyone is on the same page, newsworthy items are disseminated for inclusion, and goals for the communication can be set.
7. Segment Your Lists and Personalize Content
You’ll notice your email metrics and responses to CTAs improve when you segment your lists and personalize the content when relevant. Yes, you can still send certain emails (like e-newsletters and company announcements) to everyone, but there are times when specific messages to certain people are called for.
If your company employs a CRM (customer relationship management) tool, and employees are conscientious about updating records, there are many details that can (and should) be added, which makes it easy to really drill down into specifics when it comes time to segment your lists for certain emails. Want to send out a “Happy Birthday!” email at the beginning of every month to those celebrating over the next 30-31 days? Releasing an upgrade to a product and want to let previous buyers know? Speaking at an event in New York and want to invite customers and prospects within a few hours driving distance? Did you start offering a new B2B service a few months ago, and want to remind those who haven’t signed up yet? These are just a few examples of how the information from a CRM can be used to send targeted emails to certain people in your database.
Segmented lists can even be created based on actions taken by recipients of emails you send. Probably the most popular of these is the “click”, meaning when someone who reads your email clicks on any link or button in your email – or it can be a specific link or button – they can be added to a new list for future follow up.
8. Start Automating Emails That You Can
Simple examples of automated emails you may want to send include welcoming each new subscriber and date-specific birthday or anniversary messages (as opposed to what we mentioned above – one, monthly-sent “Happy Birthday!” email to a segmented group). You can save significant amounts of time and energy when you automate certain emails, plus you don’t have to remember to send them manually or find the time in your day to get them out.
Automated emails can be used for onboarding, nurturing prospects along the buyer’s journey, fostering the relationship with current customers, building anticipation for any number of upcoming events, and providing education as the subject matter expert in your industry.
You know your customers and prospects best, so think of specific ways that your company can best use the robust capabilities of automated emails.
9. Know What You Want from Your Content
Putting together a successful email doesn’t happen on the fly – it takes drafting, planning, thinking ahead a few steps, and knowing what your goals are for the dispatch (as mentioned above). Remember, emails perform better when they are concise, and that includes e-newsletters too, which, for longer articles, should include a tease or perhaps the first paragraph with a “Read More” button.
There is more to come in our Email Marketing Best Practices series, so stay tuned for that next month, and for a refresher on Part 1, click here!
Fractional CMO and Marketing Services Are Tailored Just for Your Company: Services Customized to Your Exact Needs
Every business needs a marketing executive, but not every business can afford one. That’s why we pioneered the idea of a Fractional CMO 8 years ago. This unique position gives organizations the same services as a full-time marketing executive without the steep cost, including:
- Expert marketing strategy and leadership
- Best marketing practices
- Developing sales
- Finding growth opportunities
- Leading the marketing team
A Fractional CMO brings businesses flexibility, which is especially useful when leadership and strategic planning is needed. Numerous industries have seen the tremendous value of employing a Fractional CMO, as an experienced one can quickly make both improvements to marketing strategies and changes to the plan that come from evaluating the current strategies.
Often, a Fractional CMO has experience in many industries, but to be sure, ask for their background. Even though the principles of marketing remain the same, having verified knowledge in many different industries helps to bring your company what it needs to succeed.