How to HUMANIZE the B2B Marketing?

Every client is different, with varied requirements and dispositions. No single business policy can guarantee client satisfaction. Mostly, clients are wary of sales pitches due to their generic character. So, how do corporations devise a marketing methodology beyond the one-shoe-fits-all notion that often fails to attract niche customers? In short, how to give the required human touch to a very abstract B2B marketing approach companies employ?
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is the key to cater to specific client requirements, helping companies create sustainable development and profitability with their significant clients.

A unique and differentiated strategy

ABM focuses solely on individual client accounts and their specific requirements. It is a collaborative approach engaging marketing, sales and delivery, and key executives to help achieve the client’s business goals. ABM helps businesses—whether catering to one account or several key accounts—develop personalized content to meet specific needs, essential in B2B marketing.
Waking up to the importance of addressing individual client requirements, big corporations today are engaging professional help for creating impactful ABM strategies. MOI, a B2B marketing firm was given the task to create a high-impact campaign, raising awareness of Oracle Primavera at senior executive levels targeting major firms in the oil and gas segment. The result was a highly innovative, ‘video-in-a-card’ mailer, featuring an industry-specific video that surveyed the value of Oracle Primavera in the format of a news broadcast. This mailer was sent to the top 20 C-level targeted clients—propped up with the twin tools of electronic direct marketing (eDM) and telemarketing follow-up campaign. The outcome was 33 marketing qualified leads and a whopping USD 2 million net sales pipeline.
In another instance, another B2B marketing firm
The aim was to devise an ABM strategy for targeted companies with clearly developed value propositions addressing each individual buyer. Content was delivered using IP-targeted advertising and marketing automation, generating lead information. A micro-site was created with locally relevant content to augment web traffic, while an IP-targeted banner advertisement was used for the identified target companies, supported by social media. This resulted in increased visibility and enhanced customer insight. The tracking mechanism on the site helped Wärtsilä identify companies interested in its product portfolio. 

A clear and succinct game plan

A well-developed ABM strategy compels clients to give the business proposition a second thought and they may come back with queries resulting in increasing engagement. The service provider gets an opportunity to show targeted clients the USP of its products and services that is widely different from the cookie-cutter marketing formula. 
ABM is characterized by certain components that set it apart from run-of-the-mill marketing methodologies. These are underlined as follows:
  • Alignment of sales and marketing: ABM requires a more evolved synthesis of the two to completely understand client requirements.
  • Extensive research into the prospect's pain points: It involves accurate identification of probable trouble zones, business requirements of the prospect, and the problems encountered as their emotional triggers.
  • Consistent storytelling: Be it client interactions or during the innovation process, each phase of the execution must be aligned under one storyline.
However, in order for an ABM strategy to be successful, the marketing team must start with the right target account list that offers precise knowledge of decision makers and influencers. The team also needs to gauge correctly the bonds between one’s targets in order to streamline communication channels.

Building a relevant technology stack

Although ABM initially was devised as an acquisition strategy to acquire new accounts, it has gradually evolved into an integral component in account nurturing and growth. In today’s world of varied and highly-niche customer demands, ABM is a key driver for channeling sales pipelines, boosting profitability, increasing brand awareness, and securing customer loyalty in the B2B environment.
Therefore, in order to drive higher quality sales pipelines through ABM, companies need to integrate data and technology to arrive at relevant content or conversations. Big Data and analytics can help marketers sift through exponential volumes of data points to arrive at accurate buying-intent predictions, within a short time frame. Online and offline interactions can be efficiently analyzed to gain actionable business insights regarding accounts that can be targeted. In a B2B scenario, buying cycles vary according to the products, or services that are offered, and demand time-sensitive analysis—requiring access to predictive intelligence solutions.
Additionally, businesses need to automate workflows, and need to move towards a dynamic target account list. This would help marketers monitor customer activities, identify buying patterns, and zero in on accounts that exhibit strong buying intent. In the long run, a relevant technology solution stack would reduce manual efforts, weed out errors or instances of data duplication, and reduce ABM-based expenses.

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