ABM Pilots: Getting Your ABM Program Moving
One of the biggest challenges in ABM is how to get started. I know many marketers who have considered ABM for several years before getting going. One of the best ways to get moving is to run a simple and short ABM Pilot. In this post, we review three examples of simple ABM campaigns.
The Three ABM Campaign Types
In simple terms, there are three types of campaigns to consider.
- 1:1 or Strategic ABM: This is the ABM approach when targeting fewer than 50 accounts. Typically this involves deep account research, highly tailored marketing, and a focus on relationship development.
- 1: Few or Segment ABM: This is what you use when you target 50-200 accounts, and you can cluster accounts based on commonalities such as market segment, common need, or fit with a specific offering you are testing.
- 1:Many or ABM at Scale: This type of ABM approach is for firms trying to apply the principles of ABM to reach thousands of accounts. This is highly data-driven, using intent data and often an orchestration platform to determine which accounts are in-market and target them with personalized messages.
Three ABM Pilot Examples
1:1 ABM Approach
If you are dipping your toe in the water and have limited resources, start with 1:1 ABM. Pick a few accounts and develop a simple, measurable pilot with clear goals.
For example, Company A has long-term agreements with around 50 major healthcare systems. They were looking for ways to cross-sell additional services. Company A ran a pilot using intent data to identify who was in the market for these additional services. By switching on intent data, it was immediately identified that one of their largest customers was showing high interest in this additional service. This customer was unaware that company A offered this service. The account manager identified the right person for the customer to speak with. After explaining their capabilities to them, the customer agreed to add them to their RFP.
Company A’s SDR team implemented this technique across 25 major accounts. They integrated intent data from Zoominfo into Salesforce. The SDRs start their daily prospecting routines by focusing on high-intent accounts.
1:Few ABM Pilot
This type involves targeting prospects with something in common. For example, Company B has a technology-enabled service that is especially useful to customers who use a certain ERP platform. They determined that new customers who had most recently adopted this ERP platform had a higher need for Customer B’s solution.
Company B identified that customers who adopted this ERP platform typically only realized this issue was problematic a year after switching.
Company B developed an ABM campaign targeting ~100 accounts known to have switched ERP platforms in the last three years. This included building a list of ~1,000 contacts across these accounts, representing the typical buyer collective. These accounts were targeted with LinkedIn and email sequences using messages, content, and other tactics tailored to the problems encountered by these accounts. Throughout the pilot, 25% of these accounts engaged with the campaign. Contacts downloaded content, opened emails and accepted LinkedIn connections. The SDRs focused their prospecting activities on these accounts to secure meetings.
1:Many ABM Pilot
This is hard to do at scale without implementing an ABM platform such as 6Sense, Terminus, or Demandbase. You can, however, test out hypotheses about 1:Many ABM in simple ways, such as LinkedIn ads.
For example, Company C ran a multivariate test using LinkedIn ads. In this test, Company C promoted multiple solutions across 650 accounts.
Company C set a baseline in the first three weeks by running ads on LinkedIn to a defined buyer collective across the 650 accounts. In weeks 4-6, Company C narrowed the target account list to only those showing intent. They used third-party intent data from ZoomInfo. Ad performance increased by refining the target to only those with intent signals. They found that over the three weeks, engagement with these ads with thor ads increased by 50%.
By the way, if you like this post, we created a post a while back with 25 different use cases. You can read it here.