Marketing is a tricky game. Building a brand is invaluable and as such very difficult to value. Most companies spend a small fortune trying to create brand recognition, hoping consumers will know what the company does and how well they do it just by hearing the name. This is an amazing asset; Rolls-Royce, Rolex, and other iconic companies have brands synonymous with excellence, which helps them charge a significant premium for their products. Clearly, brand marketing is important.
But, the major new trend in marketing is Account-Based Marketing (ABM). Unlike brand marketing, which is intended to let anyone who will listen know that you exist, account-based marketing is focused on communications revolving around specific prospects' interests and reaching them on their terms. Usually, ABM uses automation to help make the process more feasible as customized messaging for every client is often a manual, demanding and probably unrealistic process. As the kids say, it does not scale.
Technology, in all its wondrous glory, allows for a new paradigm. Myriad software services allow for companies of nearly any size to adopt tools to gather info on prospects and automate messaging to build interest or “nurture” the lead until someone is ready to speak to a real human being. However, this revolves around the pivotal concept of knowing what someone wants to hear. If you automate the process of sending content but send content that doesn't interest them, you are not making any progress versus the blind “spray and pray” tactics of yesterday.
This leaves us to reflect and embark on the core digital ABM concept that “data is king.” This fact shapes our lives more and more every day as we cut through the noise of Facebook, 100s of TV channels, text messages, and other clutter throughout our modern connected lives. Therefore, one must know what is relevant to your prospects before you truly know who they are. But how is this even possible?
Demographic research provides some clues but these generalities tend to be inaccurate. Pay per click (PPC) and retargeting ads may be an efficient way of targeting prospects, but you may be competing with much larger companies. Therefore, as an alternative, using relevant content to drive users to your website and building out their digital profile can now be used to assess their needs and predict when they are ready to buy.
This option, which is ABM-friendly, has the advantage of presenting you with information about exactly what that prospect wants from your company. It is a more affordable marketing option, and when combined with a solid overall marketing strategy and rounds of testing and optimization, your efforts can become very effective for a low cost in a short period of time. All you need is the right tools, a good process, and a little bit of creativity.
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