April 8, 2021
April 8, 2021
This blog takes you through the impact COVID-19 has had on the B2B world and our behaviors, detailing six proven tactics to help your business provide the ultimate customer experience while growing revenue and content outreach.
As you know, account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach to apply to focused, targeted campaigns for specific accounts. Part of the strategy is to identify ideal accounts, reach out, and engage them in the right way at the right time, wherever they may be in the funnel. Combine your sales and marketing efforts to close the deal.
Successfully-applied ABM strategies routinely see pipeline growth, improved alignment between sales and marketing, and increased customer satisfaction and experience. 91% of companies that apply an ABM strategy indicate a larger deal size with increased engagement, and generation of 200% more revenue.
There is a trend for B2B companies embracing an Account-Based Experience (ABX) approach; quality over quantity. This approach gives you the power to increase efficiency and use fewer resources as you focus more thoroughly on existing clients. Fundamentally, an ABX strategy builds a strong, life-long relationship with customers by providing an optimal experience.
At some stage in your career, your aim may have been to get as many leads and prospects in the pipeline as quickly as possible. Because of COVID this trend has been changing, as we try to get the most value out of what we have and to do more with less. A recent study conducted by Blue Corona suggests that 80% of B2B buying decisions are determined by the customer experience, with only 20% determined by cost.
Consider AirBnB: the actual product is renting accommodation at someone’s private home; however, most people associate AirBnB with the positive experience of being on vacation. The vacation experience is what their marketing and sales teams have carefully structured their strategies around—and it’s also why people book through them.
Directly address customer needs by having an in-depth understanding of their pain and friction points. Focused ABM and ABX strategies give you client insights that competitors don’t have, giving you the edge in providing the ultimate customer experience.
The pandemic is likely to affect us well into the future. COVID has shifted our behaviors and priorities, and we find ourselves working differently, engaging differently, and buying differently. In business, we see nearly 50% of B2B buyers are delaying purchases due to the virus.
As bleak as it is, the pandemic has overturned many rocks. For B2B organizations there’s an opportunity to refine the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
In these uncertain times when resources are scarce, considering your ICP and target market in every decision is a no brainer. This strategy is just one piece of a larger ABM tactical smorgasbord that businesses should be considering; 42% of organizations have indicated a change of their business tactics due to the pandemic.
Alignment with the customer has never been so important. The customer experience should be a main focus of every successful ABM strategy.
Convert prospective buyers into product advocates
Ultimately, it’s about rethinking the relationship you have with your customers and vice versa.
Account-Based Experience focuses on any contact point that an end user has with a brand or product. A successful ABX strategy requires thorough sales-marketing collaboration to deliver personalized experiences that meet modern customer expectations. Any design or service should always have the end-user in mind.
As our lives and priorities have changed, so too has the product experience. Businesses can adapt and apply an ABX strategy, utilizing existing data and tools to consolidate brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
"The customer always opt for the better experience and service over a product"
There is evidence to support the shift in focus of ABX within ABM, with potential growth predicted for 2021 in the global growth market. Digital advertising is growing at a faster rate than traditional advertising. The ad agency Magna predicts a global ad spending increase of 7.6% in 2021, and 10.4% growth in digital media. Focused and targeted advertising is one of the main components of ABX, as it shows personalization for the user which can create a deeper relationship and understanding.
Businesses are going to have to change the way they sell and market in order to build and maintain engagement. Building connections and strategies that encompass the user experience should be at the forefront of your plan.
Here is a list of 6 top tactics you should focus on to ensure you provide the ultimate experience for customers and succeed in a post-COVID world.
As always, understanding who your customers are allows you to better market and sell to them. Due to COVID, consumer behaviors have shifted. Incorporate real-time intent data into your systems to address market deviation. Leverage this data to recognize current trends and discover accounts in the buying phase.
Encourage your sales and marketing teams to develop strategies to hone in on prospect accounts while minimizing resources and enhancing impact. This will help you source your best prospect leads and better understand your customers’ behaviors and circumstances, giving you the power to create deeper connections and empathy.
One option to consider is investing in intelligent routing and lead-to-account matching, which allow companies to quickly follow up on leads in accordance with their ABM strategies and drive more informed conversations, more resonant messaging, and more timely interactions.
Using intelligent routing software:
With face-to-face meetings on the backburner for many, content creation is a great way to build essential customer connections and keep your brand relevant. Use content to draw customers in with a whole new experience.
Use quality data to obtain a better understanding of your audience and create meaningful and targeted content (Blogs, Social media engagement, Videos uploads, Infographics, Podcasts, Online interviews, Case studies)
Blue Corona found that around 62% of buying decisions are influenced by digital content.
Use content generated by the customer community, too. Word of mouth is still very powerful—via any channel.
Speak their language.
64% of marketers have used account-specific language to build connections with customers during COVID. Specific use of targeted language enhances your SEO and increases engagement.
Whatever the content, it’s about telling a story. Make the story data-driven and relevant to the reader, not necessarily just about your products. Focus on customers’ needs, digging into their experiences, their business, and the problems you can solve.
Listen to Kyle Lacy, CMO at Lessonly, talk about differentiating Lessonly’s business by developing experience and amazing brand play to drive inbound revenue.
The pandemic has limited go-to interaction opportunities. You now need to focus on building engagement and experiences differently. Hosting webinars and online events is a great way to lock target audience engagement and create a personal sense of experience.
Hosting account-specific, educational webinars that bring all client touchpoints online is a great switch out for in-person events and an effective way to build new prospects. Leverage existing targeted enterprise-level accounts via virtual events to boost approval and introduce new features and functions.
Invest in training your staff to acclimatize to working remotely during COVID. Hosting webinars and online events from home can be tricky when there’s a large adjustment curve. Shorten this curve through training and establishing a framework of expectations. Our lives have changed for the foreseeable future, and businesses that strive for high-performing remote engagement options will benefit.
Are there advantages to this new norm? Absolutely. It can save time and money. Sales reps no longer need to pay for travel costs, nor spend time travelling. Just fire up a laptop and open Zoom or GoogleHangouts— but do it well and with the intent of creating an experience. The current landscape also allows for more inclusivity and a broadening of geographical reach never; numbers don’t necessarily need to be limited, allowing for a broader engagement span.
Think creatively. Keep your online meetings and events as unique as possible. Create memorable experiences.
Engaging customers almost entirely through the digital pipeline has proven to be a successful B2B marketing method for many during the pandemic. Everything is happening online. We have been left with little choice but to try to create unique customer experiences over the internet.
Making your customers feel like their experience is unique is powerful. Targeted advertising or personal video intros have the effect of making people feel like you’ve personalized a message just for them.
An advertisement should show relevant, specific content targeted at both potential and existing customers. Once basic engagement has started, your sales reps can follow up with specific insights for each account.
You can leverage the data generated from personalized advertising to further your understanding and ability to target customers.
Expand your content’s reach and generate more leads by using targeted, personalized, and simultaneous marketing campaigns across different media and channels. Using different contact points increases engagement and improves the user experience by creating a stronger relationship with your customer.
Engaging your audience across a range of channels helps you reach a larger customer base through content exposure. A consistent message is part of the customer experience, with productivity and efficiency being positive byproducts.
According to one study conducted by Ascend2, email and website material proved to be the most successful when it comes to lead generation tactics.
Success lies in consistency. When your customers are consistently engaged across multiple channels with the same message, that message is received more effectively and has a better chance of sticking.
Investing in data orchestration software is beneficial when you’re looking at introducing an experience focus to your ABM.
Data orchestration technologies tend to align marketing and sales and facilitate their working effectively together—even to the point of formalization into RevOps. Drawing prospects in and guiding them through the buying process can be greatly aided by technology.
Data orchestration can help you:
Having a fuller picture of your data allows you to acquire more accurate insights to build stronger connections with your customers. With these insights you can provide a better customer experience, and more quickly.
With the world moving indoors, so much has changed and new experiences are few. Applying these effective and efficient tactics ensures you are in a position to better connect with your customers. Your product alone isn’t enough. It’s all about the experience.