ABM 1:Many/1:Many ABM, or programmatic ABM, is perhaps the most accessible version of account-based marketing. Which means you absolutely should try it.
It uses technology to drive broad programmes with light personalisation and customisation. While all styles of ABM maximise wins with the use of technology, the 1:Many style benefits most by using it to drive scale and optimise measurement. We’ll dive into some specifics shortly.
Under the 1:Many account-based marketing style, the most common tactics are virtual and in-person events, account advertising (including social media), one-on-one meetings, and content syndication.
You can target up to 1000 accounts; this approach is right for you if you’re looking to target a large number of accounts with a more limited budget and resources than 1:1 or 1:Few requires.
Similarly to the 1:Few approach, you’re going to want to group your accounts into broad categories, whether industry, geography, etc. These clusters will form the basis of your content strategy and marketing tactics.
Let’s talk technology
1:Many ABM is heavily reliant on tech and automation, so if you haven’t considered a third-party platform or delved into how your CRM can also support your ABM efforts, now would be the time to research and invest.
RollWorks provides intent data of buying committee members that you cannot get in your first-party data (e.g. your CRM, SalesLoft) and allows you to send highly personalised ads to committee members and decision-makers who have been targeted and added to their database of 182 million verified contacts from 37 million companies around the world.
You can target these audiences on common platforms like LinkedIn and then on other networks those buyers are known to frequent. By adding this tech to your current tech stack (e.g. Salesforce, HubSpot, ZoomInfo, etc.), you have a fully rounded toolkit that enables you to build a data-driven marketing and sales process. You use that data to identify which accounts are in the market, which shows the highest conversion signals and have campaigns/playbooks designed to close those accounts in the shortest possible time.
Demandbase is a true all-in-one ABM platform that can give your team great results and is perfect for a team that has no GTM tech. Imagine you’re a new B2B SaaS or a maturing one. You may have been running on Pipedrive or something similar, and now the time has come to get deeper into your GTM technology. You could go on HubSpot if you have a broad market product and a smaller upmarket offering, but if it's comprehensive and you are pre-HubSpot, then DemandBase could be a more expensive but more suitable solution.
6Sense offer an AI-driven intent engine that dives deep into buyer habits, letting you target in-play buyers based on your selected keywords.
In addition to the intent and keyword tools and predictive analytics, 6Sense offers you a comprehensive product range built around RevOps aligning marketing and sales. Alike DemandBase it’s a comprehensive product and suitable for use without a CRM stack like HubSpot or Salesforce.
The choice is yours
When choosing the right programmatic platform, consider which CRM you use for marketing (and hopefully your entire organisation). For instance, HubSpot and RollWorks work seamlessly together. A business using RollWorks or Demandbase might also use 6Sense as there are always functionality gaps.
The technology piece can feel daunting. I certainly felt this when I was reviewing options. It’s likely that this will be the piece your leadership really gets stuck on, given the investment, so take the time to understand the best you can. Rest assured, whoever you choose has a great onboarding team who breaks down the process and holds your hand every step of the way. BIAS can also support you in advising and building your ABM tech stack, particularly as it relates to HubSpot.
How does HubSpot support?
I’m only going to talk about HubSpot because, let’s face it, we’re a HubSpot agency.
For those on HubSpot or considering HubSpot, you can set it up to run ABM. It doesn’t have the intent piece you’re looking for, but you can use lead scoring to understand decision-makers at your target accounts once you have them in your channels.
You only need Sales Pro to kick off your ABM program, but it will pay higher dividends if you have Marketing Pro and CMS Pro to enable your tech stack.
However, even for us as an agency running ABM, we needed more.
Intent data is key to the alignment of your marketing and sales teams and your ABM program, as it allows you to target key accounts whilst also establishing who is now in play from beyond your target account list.
Now Bombora offers intent data and is considered the leading provider but at around $30k to start, opting for a platform like RollWorks, which has the Bombora integration, can help as it offers more than the insight you need.
Choosing your accounts: If you haven’t already created your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and built your ICP list, this is a must before you move forward. Not only will it focus your ABM (and wider marketing and sales) efforts, but it will ensure you get the most out of your programmatic platform.
Personas: I almost feel it goes without saying but understanding your personas is vital here. Yes, you are targeting accounts (ICPs), but given the broader brush stroke of 1:Many, personas have a role to play.
If you’ve come this far in your marketing journey without personas, please, before you do anything else - do the work and create them. We have an ABM 101 guide that can help with that too!
Content: Unlike 1:1 and 1:Few, don’t feel the need to build all of your content from scratch. The likelihood is you have fantastic case studies from some or all of your target industries and you will have already been creating content to appeal to your personas within those sectors. We love a bit of recycling - reuse and upcycle what you have, if possible, to lighten the creative load.
Be prepared to create a lot of ads. A lot. If you don’t have a graphic designer in-house or on speed dial, I suggest you get one. They are key to your campaigns - and your success.
Step by Step
Now that you have your accounts chosen, your programmatic technology at the ready, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty.
Map it out
Agree on objectives and priorities for each cluster
- Review your existing client and prospect data in your CRM; if you’re not using intent data, you should
- Build out contact details for your accounts based on target stakeholders
- What does success look like?
Kick-off with an alignment session between involved teams and team members. Assign tasks and deadlines - this should be done in week one.
Weeks 2-4 involve:
- Providing data analysis and insights on short-listed accounts
- Finalising clusters and segmenting accordingly
- Any necessary data cleansing
- Agreeing on the final, final target list of accounts
Strategy, account messaging and GTM
Weeks 5 and 6:
Your team will need to determine the optimal approach, decide and communicate how the technology will be working as a part of the strategy.
Then develop a specific value proposition for each cluster, along with messaging structure and content plan. Focus on their challenges, their pain points, and their opportunities - how can you help them be the hero?
- Develop detailed GTM plans - how are you planning on catching their attention across channels in a variety of ways?
- Create key content assets, customised content, landing pages, marketing automation etc.
From around week seven onward, you’ll be building and rolling out your campaigns. I’d recommend rolling out one or two clusters first and seeing how your messaging and collateral lands. There may be learnings for other clusters and campaigns before you hit go on them.
You’ll need to:
Do a content audit and curate existing assets that can be used
- Develop new content assets as needed
- Go live with your tech platforms
- Measuring and ROI
By twelve weeks in, you should have your campaigns in play - which means that you should be tracking the success of the various elements in your campaigns.
Make sure you:
- Review every activity and how it landed - is there something you can tweak? What are your learnings?
Monitor engagement. Focus your ad budget and other efforts where you can see accounts interacting with you. If you are going with a multi-strategy approach and also utilising 1:1 or 1:Few, this is your opportunity to roll certain accounts over into these approaches based on their behaviour.
Implement a quarterly account review of your plan across your RevOps team. At this stage, you’ll be able to measure real-time ROI, so you will be able to share wins, collaborate on changes and drive momentum across the business.
This wraps up our overview of the three approaches to ABM. If you missed my coverage of 1:1 ABM and 1:Few ABM, be sure to check them out so you can compare strategies and determine what’s best for your company.
We dive even deeper into ABM as a whole and why it’s the hottest (and most effective) marketing strategy out there in our latest ABM 101 ebook. If you have any questions, give us a shout here at BIAS.