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Account-Based Marketing Playbook - One-to-few, One-to-one - ABM in the House Episode 6

Written by Declan Mulkeen

Jul 17 2020

ABM in the House: a series of conversations between Alex Olley, Co-founder of Reachdesk and Declan Mulkeen, CMO of Strategic IC, as they explore how to build an effective Account-based Marketing (ABM) programme.
Previous episodes have explored How to Redefine Your ICP, How to Build a Target Account List, Building Out the Decision Making Unit (DMU), Focusing in on your Strategy and Goals, and Building your Account-based Marketing Playbook at a One-to-many level. Here, Episode 6 expands, to explore Building your Account-based Marketing Playbook at a One-to-few and One-to-one level. 

ABM in the House - Building your Account-based Marketing Playbook at One-to-few and One-to-one

Episode 6 - Transcript

Alex Olley, Co-founder Reachdesk - Look, can't believe we're at Episode 6 already of "ABM in the House," Dec. Not sure about you, but I think we've got a lot more to share before we finish this series. I think we should even talk about taking this thing on tour. Okay, well, look, here we go again. Another week, another episode of "ABM in the House." First things first, looks like you're in some kind of convent or something. What's that background?

Declan Mulkeen, CMO Strategic IC- Hey, Alex, how are you doing? Well, I'm just staying at a hotel at the moment so there's a beautiful sound of birds in the background and hopefully the view's quite special.

Alex - Yeah, it looks awesome, man. Well, look, let's crack on with Episode 6. So to recap, last week we talked about building your account-based marketing playbook, lots of ideas to share around channel tactics you can deploy with a specific focus on One-to-few ABM programmes. Today, we're going to continue with part two of that campaign playbook. What do you want to talk about more specifically today, Dec?

Declan - Well, as you said, Alex, we shared a lot of ideas last week about Top of the Funnel and tactics that you can deploy in a One-to-many programme. You know, from programmatic to remarketing to social selling, to direct mail, to gifting, et cetera, et cetera. And I think it's important to remember that the channel tactics you deploy at a One-to-many level have little to light personalisation as you are targeting hundreds, or even thousands of accounts, based on your ICP, based on the target account list criteria that we've talked about in a previous episode. But when it comes to upping the level of personalisation, we are now entering the realms of One-to-few and One-to-one ABM. And I think it's important to remember that One-to-few campaigns are particularly suited, when you're looking at clusters of 15 to 20 accounts where they have something in common, be it they belong to the same industry, the same sector, they share a common challenge, a similar business drive, et cetera. And obviously with the One-to-one this is reserved for a hand-picked group of accounts, no more than, typically, 1 to 5 accounts. So these are accounts that warrant an increase in resources in both people, time and, obviously, financial resources. And why? It's because they're going to deliver a significant return on that investment you're going to make. Now, is that how you see it also at Reachdesk?

Alex - Yeah, it really is. The thing I'd like to add is these accounts could also be your existing clients and customers that you're looking to build further relationships with, prospects you're looking to win, or indeed both maybe as well. So, doesn't just have to be the net-new, it can be the existing customers as well. But also it could be both. But I suppose as you're dealing with a smaller subset of accounts now, compared to the One-to-many which might be hundreds, you can start to dive deep into these accounts, the challenges they face, and spend time building out that, the DMU, the Decision Making Unit we spoke about the other week, in each account. So let's talk channel tactics for the One-to-one and One-to-few ABM programmes. I think several of the channel tactics that we've used for the One-to-many programmes are still valid for this Top of Funnel awareness for these One-to-few and One-to-ones, such as paid campaigns, so sponsored content, conversational ads, social selling, remarketing, so Facebook, YouTube, et cetera. What else would you add to that?

Declan - Well, I think one key difference between One-to-many and any kind of One-to-few, One-to-one ABM programme is the level of research that you're going to carry out. Remember, One-to-many is little to no personalisation whereas you need to, obviously, dig deep and carry out research at the industry level, at the account level that you're looking to target. Now, obviously, you can use publicly available information, you know, financial reports that are available, investor reports, as well as custom reports that we typically use at the Agency where we carry out deep dives into accounts. And I think what's also important for us at Strategic IC is research into the actual DMU, the Decision Making Unit, and what we call kind of Executive level reports. And this is looking at Decision Makers, influencers, et cetera that are involved in that unit that will be responsible for making that decision. And ultimately these reports, this research, will help with your targeting, your messaging, your content, et cetera. And what we tend to find is that these reports, these insights that we create, they are obviously awareness tactics as you look to establish trust within your Target Accounts. And they're also insights into the actual account and the unique nature of the sector, of the individual, of the account itself, as you're looking to influence that account.

So as you build awareness and engagement with those accounts you can now up the level of personalisation with several Middle of the Funnel tactics. Now, Alex, we're both seeing great results with our ABM programmes when we're deploying direct mail and gifting. Can you share some stories and some ideas with us?

Alex - Yeah, sure, look we're talking specifically about the One-to-one and One-to-few here, and what we're looking to do here is to kind of go a bit deeper, right? Up the level of personalisation. When it comes to designing those direct mail campaigns you need to start thinking about industry-specific messaging. The gifts, like if you want to be sending content, what's going to resonate with those personas. There's a real difference between sending something to a CTO in Retail versus a CMO at a Bank, right. So you've got to start thinking about the segments and how you get more personalised. But at the same time it's not just about what you're sending, it's the message. Right, you need to be sending customised messaging. You can even put things like QR codes that are specific to that individual account that drives them to other pages, for example. But think about the messaging, think about the level of personalisation and really up it. Don't just put first name and account name, that first line might be specific to that individual.

Declan - Yeah. And then-

Alex - And so.

Declan - What would-

Alex - So I was going to just add one thing. Obviously, that links to, sort of, the digital side of things, and you guys use a lot of like, hub pages. Can you tell me a bit more about those 'cause that's quite a refreshing idea.

Declan - Yeah, so we take an awful lot of that information that we've collated at the Account level, and the Executive level, and the Industry level and we build what we call customised hub pages which are unique to each Target Account. And this is something that we find works really well, where you kind of take the content, you distil it, you focus it, and you make it relevant for each individual account. And so what we typically find is, and we can obviously share some examples when we post this video, but we can share hub pages that include insight reports, video interviews, whitepapers, case studies, deep content dives into particular issues that are relevant for that Target Account.

Other things such as thought leadership roundtables, relevant industry pain challenges that people are finding. And we kind of basically bring it all together and create one repository, one landing page, that the account can go to and find all the information that they need to address the challenge that they're facing.

Alex - Okay, nice, nice. And so with that, obviously, the key is to drive engagement within the DMU, right, look for those sales signals, ensure your Sales Teams are primed to have the right conversations using the full suite of content resources they have. And I think it's important to remember with that level of personalisation, particularly on the One-to-one level, it's significantly increased. Like, many of the tactics we've mentioned would be unique, could be unique for that account, right? You could literally do something so unique for that account, be it custom direct mail, bespoke digital physical content, account specific events. So that One-to-one is where you kind of put a load in, and you may not even replicate it for any other accounts.

Okay, cool. Well, look, hopefully that's given everyone watching some ideas on how to build the One-to-few and One-to-one campaign playbooks. Remember, be guided by the data and use your imagination to engage those Target Accounts. I think that brings that one to a close. What do you want to talk about next week?

Declan - Well, we've had a lot of questions about ABM team structure. And I think, we know, what are the right roles? Who are the key players? How do you pivot your team towards ABM? So I think it'd be really interesting if we spent next week talking about team structure  see what we can come up with.

Alex - Great, that sounds awesome, Dec. All right, well, look, enjoy your stay in that wonderful hotel, it looks like there's a little pitch and putt in the background, and all my best to the family, and we'll catch you next week.

Declan - Thanks, Alex, see you next week.

Alex - Cheers, Dec, bye.

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