Shiyam
Co- Founder | Tripledart - Growth Startups

Intro

How to run your first pilot ABM campaigns

Shiyam
Co- Founder | Tripledart - Growth Startups
DESCRIPTION
What is ABX? Account-based experience (ABX) is a GTM strategy that uses data and insights to orchestrate relevant, trusted marketing and sales actions throughout the B2B customer journey.
CHANNEL
Linkedin, Sales Navigator, Lemlist, Clay, Husbpot
OBJECTIVE
30-60-90 for for First time ABMer

Campaign Planning

Challenge : Needed more targeted marketing to help our sales team penetrate higher value, mid-market accounts that we know for sure will benefit our product

Solution: To generate well informed, educated  and engaged lead that they should know exactly what we do and already consumed our contents. They are primed and ready to buy.

So that we can reduce the sales cycle with these up market accounts.So if we have that classified then we can run the following targeted approaches.

1: 1 —> High value accounts (high ACV) where a lot of effort is focused on winning specific accounts. This can mean small private events just for that account, direct mail. Custom ebooks/webinars & highly targeted ads & marketing (i.e. a billboard in front of a HQ location), Sending ( Goodies. Freebies). Dedicated BDR, Personalised campaigns/creatives/copies etc

Few —> Segmenting accounts by a common denominator (such as geo, industry, vertical, use case) & structuring our marketing around those common themes instead of creating one off custom assets & campaigns.

Many (demand generation) —> consider 1:Many as a type of ABM (Example is programmatic ABM Ads (IP Based) vs Search/Social Ads (Intent/Interest based)

For our ABM campaign, we decided to focus on accounts which ( Sample)

  • Have at least 100 employees
  • Are in the B2B technology space
  • Employee growth rate atleast 15% increase YOY
  • Has revenue atleast 10 MN ARR
  • Have a defined hiring plan for the next 12 months or more.
  • Have an international expansion strategy
  • Giving more importance to company culture, benefits ( Glassdoor to check this data)
  • Additional filters using tools which we can integrate with( Greenhouse, bamboo hr etc) + VC network, Testimonial given logo's customers

Once we have this structured. we adhere to the 4-1 rule. The 4-1 rule stipulates each account should have at least 4 prospects we are going after at any point in time. And that 1 of the 4 prospects must be a decision maker with budget / purchasing power.The 4-1 rule helps to build grassroots familiarity, and ensures an account is saturated with enough "air cover" during the 45 day campaign to influence key decision makers.

We segmented our buyers into 5 distinct personas:

P1: Vp People, CHRO, HRBP, Director of People, Hr ops director, head of people,P2 : Vp payroll, Vp finance, Director finance, Director benefits, CFO'sP3: CEO's, Cofounders, CTO's less than 500 employee companies, Chief of staff, International expansion lead, intl growth program managersP4 : Head of compliance, legal, DPO, General counsel, CIOs,

P5: Senior Manager Recruiting, Senior Manager talent acquisition, Hr adminP6:  Directors & VP sales, Directors &VP marketing, CRO's and CMO's

And then we will create assets based on

  • What were their top priorities?
  • What are their biggest challenges?
  • What content do they consume?
  • What are they trying to learn now?

We then mapped all of these learnings and start creating campaign builds

Week 1:

In the first week we will,

  • Understand ICP and the target personas
  • Create list of accounts to be targeted
  • Create list to key stakeholders and influencers
  • Understanding the problems product is trying to address

Week 2:

  • Create content-led ABM plan - finalized ToFu, MoFu and BoFu content
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to create ad images and ad text based on the finalized ToFu, MoFu and BoFu content
  • Understand and create 1st draft LinkedIn advertising campaign
  • Segment target personas based on designation and create email marketing content
  • Check email marketing tool and ideate strategies and best practices

Week 3 onwards:

  • Setting up funnel 2 campaigns for reengaged audience
  • Finalized email content based on target persona segmentation
  • Running multiple LinkedIn advertising campaigns to generate engagement
  • Setup email marketing tool - sender name, DKIM, deliverability etc
  • Work on lead scoring model based on engagement we receive from advertising and email campaigns

30 Days Plan for first time ABM’ers

ABM Structure:

Step 1: Objective Setup

A growth phase company can setup 3 main goals (6 to 12 months target) for the ABM team, which is:

  • Lead Generation
  • Pipeline improvement
  • Cross-sell & Up-sell for existing accounts

Step 2: How to select the right accounts for ABM

Defining ICP is vital, hence thorough research is required while choosing the right set of accounts for ABM. Here are a few ways we can understand which accounts to target:

  • Firmographic: We can choose accounts based on the Revenue, Industry, Size of the company, number of users and geolocation. This can be done using tools like DiscoverOrg or Slintel.
  • Technographic: We also need to research companies with what kind of tools they are using, what will be the expiry date for those tools. For this, we can use Builtwith or Slintel to give us the details.

PS - These tools show 70-80% accuracy

  • Understanding maturity of the company: This is vital to understand if the company is ready for the change or ready in terms of funding and onboarding a new tool.
  • Intent: We need to understand whether the companies we want to target

in ABM has the intent to buy our product or services. For this, we can use Bambora and choose a rating of 7 and above. We have to upload the accounts into Bambora, use the keyword which our company is known for and check how many companies are searching on those keywords.

The objective of step 2 is to select accounts that match company goals by taking into consideration of all the above factors.

Step 3: 1:Many awareness campaigns for selected accounts

Running 1: Many campaigns for an awareness campaign for the chosen accounts. But before that, we need to understand whom to target, meaning we have to select personas/ designations who can be either decision-makers or influencers.

For awareness campaigns, we don’t have to be strict in our targeting but as a best practice, we should always show ads to job functions that will get benefitted from our product and services.

Where to find the email address and other details: You can either use LinkedIn sales navigator or use tools like DiscoverOrg/Leadiro to extracts contacts for your targeted accounts.

Where to run 1:many awareness campaigns:

  • LinkedIn ads (account & contact level)
  • Influ2/Recotap (account & contact level)
  • Email campaigns (except EU) - use AMP feature to get more signups Which kind of content works best in an awareness campaign: - Podcast (non-gated) + add leadfeeder in the website to understand

account activity

  • Webinar on a controversial topic (gated to get enrolled) - Content syndication
  • Free guide, Checklists, ebook (non-gated) + leadfeeder integration - blog (non-gated) + CTA for demo in the end
  • demo ads (gated)

The focus of 1:Many campaign would be to create brand awareness towards our target audience (product aware + product unaware)

Step 4: 1:few industry-specific + persona campaign

Before coming to 1:few industry-specific campaign, we must do a lead scoring to understand how many accounts from our target accounts are resonating with our campaign. The ones with good scores come into 1:few industry-specific campaigns. For the ones with fewer scores, we need to experiment with our content to get them in 1:many stage till they satisfy the criteria score.

In 1:few campaigns, we will create and promote content assets based on industry or job designations.

Eg: We go a bit deeper into the industry and industry segments. We run podcasts based on a specific industry, we write blogs and case studies for specific industries.

Content for 1:few campaigns:

  • Blogs that relate to pain points of a specific industry (non-gated + trackable with leadfeeder)
  • Industry-specific case studies (gated)
  • Webinar on an industry-based pain point and guest industry leader (gated for enrollment)
  • demo ads (gated)

Where to run 1:few campaigns:

  • Create a segment in LinkedIn ads and run specific industry-wise campaigns (directed to landing page + lead gen forms)
  • Run demand gen campaign on Influ2/Recotap to a specific audience (directed to landing page)
  • Email segment based on industry (direct to landing page)

Success criteria: Come closer to personas that engage with your content. Check what works and what doesn’t and take action.

Step 5: 1:1 campaigns

If we arrive at this stage then it means we know who our top 10-20 accounts are. Meaning in this stage we choose accounts whose scores are better than the rest.

Here, we have to deep dive into each account and each decision-maker, meaning we have to research on accounts (pain points + existing competitors) and create battle cards. In terms of contact research, we have to check what kind of things they are sharing and liking on social media and create content based on that.

We can create a personalized landing page for each account and run traffic to those specific pages.

We will run gift based campaigns where we will send them $100 gift coupon to attend a meeting with us.

Content for 1:few campaigns:

  • Company based marketing collaterals (gated)
  • Battlecards (gated)
  • Use case and solutions (gated)
  • demo ads (gated)

Where to run 1:few campaigns:

  • Email campaign with personalized researched content
  • SDR/AE calling activity
  • Influ2 1:1 account level ads
  • Gifting campaigns which will ask them to attend the meeting

Step 6: Metrics

In the end, ABM success can be measured in 2 ways:

  • ABM generated SQLs: Meaning ABM first generated leads from the targeted account and it went to SQL stage
  • ABM influenced SQLs: ABM did not generate the lead from the targeted account but is influencing the accounts and decisions makers throughout the funnel (will depend on lead scoring criteria)

Other metrics for ABM:

  • money spent vs revenue generated (pipeline)
  • Accounts reached: The number of accounts from your target account list that were served at least one ad or opened at least one email. - Accounts visited: The number of accounts from your target account list that viewed at least one page on your site.
  • Accounts engaged: The number of accounts from your target account list with at least three page views.
  • Unique visitors: The number of unique visitors from all accounts reached. - Total page views: The number of page views from all accounts reached. - The number of target contacts that responded to the offers - The number of meetings booked with a seller in response to the campaign

Team Structure & Budget planning:

  • MarketingOps: for tool integrations and to make sure every tool stack talks with each other (1)
  • Content writer: to design content assets, in-debt research, become a subject matter expert (1)
  • SDRs: to support and run personalized campaigns on ABM leads + calling (1)

Budget allocation:

  • Awareness stage: 50%
  • MoFu stage: 25%
  • BoFu stage: 25%

Tool requirements:

  • LinkedIn campaign manager - Ads
  • Google ads - Ads
  • BuiltWith - Technographic research
  • Bambora/Slintel - Intent research
  • DiscoverOrg/Leadiro - Getting email addresses for targeted personas
  • Unbounce - Landing pages
  • Hubspot/Pardot - email automation
  • Influ2/Recotap - 1:1 ads
  • Outreach - text email for SDRs
  • Canva & Adobe - ad and content asset design
  • Leadfeeder - to be integrated with the website to understand which accounts are visiting

Implementation timeline:

30 days before:

  • Accounts and contacts finalization
  • Budget allocation for each tool
  • Setting expectations with key stakeholders with responsibilities - Planning and Conceptualization of content for awareness stage and battlecars
  • Marketing ops roundup (integration)

20 days before:

  • Content creation starts
  • Ad image and setting up campaigns
  • Ad and email copy creation
  • Integration roundup and testing
  • landing page and crm integration

10 days before:

  • Revisiting the content creation stage
  • Finalizing ad and email copies
  • landing page and crm integration done

3 days before:

  • Finalizing content assets - awareness
  • Finalizing ad banners for different tools
  • Final checkup for all tools and crm integration
  • Audiences added in each ad tools

Day 0:

  • Campaign live
  • Creating content for MoFu stage

Day 20:

  • Checking lead score for awareness campaign
  • Selecting accounts to stay in awareness stage based on score - Selecting accounts which will move to 1:few campaigns - Finalizing content for Mofu stage
  • Audience setup based on funnel change

Day 22:

  • 1:few campaigns start
  • SDR to run email campaign in parallel

Day 40:

  • Checking lead score for 1:few campaigns
  • Selecting accounts to stay ahead or remain in this stage Day 42:
  • Content creation based on accounts selected
  • Running demo ads for selected accounts
  • showcase battelcards
  • SDR to run email campaign in parallel

Day 50:

  • Run campaign based on accounts + personalized content + personalized landing page
  • SDR to run email campaign in parallel
  • Sending gifts to book meeting

Day 60:

  • Campaign performance checkup
  • Check how many accounts moved up in the funnel
  • Check how many meetings booked and meetings completed - Check how many accounts are in SQL stage
  • Check how many accounts are still in awareness stage (either remove or do A/B testing with the awareness campaign to move accounts up stage) - Check which accounts visited company website/landing page less than 10 times - run demand gen campaign for them

Experimental Campaign:

  • Run meme ads campaigns to targeted accounts and contacts - check out few examples
  • Try video email + linkedin outreach campaigns using Vidyard or Drift - Get competitor's customer list + check G2 reviews - run ads based on negative reviews to competitors customers