Digital Hunting & Account Based Marketing

Digital Hunting Account Based Marketing

A few weeks ago we had a family trip to a wedding in Lincoln. Unfortunately for me, the wedding clashed with the second Lions Vs New Zealand test (for those of you who do not watch Rugby this is a massive game that happens once every 12 years). I set the alarm, woke up early, put on my Lions shirt and was all set to watch this crucial game, kicking-off at 8.15 am. At this point my world broke in two, the accommodation did not have Sky Sports and worse still no WiFi.

So with 10 minutes to go before the start, I grabbed hold of my five year old son’s hand and took him on his first hunting trip. As we trekked across a farm yard I could not help but think how the world has changed. In times gone by father and son would set off armed with spear to find food for the family and here we were father and son armed with an iPhone hunting for WiFi.

As amusing as this story is to me, it does have a tenuous link to marketing as the way marketers hunt is also changing significantly.

Traditionally we have relied on eMarketing to broadcast our message and trap our prey into clicking on content. As we started to get diminishing returns from this activity, we turned to inbound marketing and paid Google a small fortune to tempt our prey to landing pages, but again the level of conversions, especially in terms of enterprise opportunities are few and far between.

So where are the best hunting grounds for Marketers to get new business leads?

I believe the answer is Account Based Marketing (ABM). This is not new, sales people have adopted this approach for years, you may have heard it described as Target Account Selling. In essence, it is identifying a target company, industry or cluster of companies and then getting laser focused in how you market to them.

However, to get this right we can’t just put a new label on what we have always done, we need to do something fundamentally different and this starts with marketing.

To me ABM is about telling your story in the words of your buyer. It is about getting under the skin of that company or sector, understanding their language, their issues and the strategies they are following. It is then about relating how ‘what you do’ can help them succeed with their strategy.

There is a subtle change here. We talk about understanding our target market, but we often only scratch the surface. ABM is more than just identifying personas, it is about finding the killer points that will grab attention and drive engagement.

Does it work, bet my life it does. I have just run two campaigns for a client, one a traditional generic campaign and the second an ABM campaign. The difference in results was night and day. The ABM focused campaign had a 16x increase in engagement and by engagement I was measuring only multiple downloads across a multi-stage automated programme.

As a marketer, I love the concept of ABM but often worry about the scalability. The results speak for themselves, in this example, I actually generated significantly more MQL’s despite a much smaller target based than I did from my mass marketing campaign.

Back to the Rugby, did Harrison and I find WiFi, yes we did. Our hunting trip found a table outside a café that was closed, yet their Free WiFi was still on, despite being cold, I managed to watch an amazing game of Rugby and a Lions historic victory over the All Blacks.

So I would love to get your views on how our world of Marketing is changing, your thoughts on ABM or just where you watched the Lions game.