New ABM Advertising options cut through ad waste so you know you're engaging with the people most likely to become leads, and improving marketing ROI. The ones we've highlighted here can be implemented and evaluated in as little as 90 days, for quick ROI impact.
In B2B especially, a common marketing strategy is to trade content for emails. For the majority of us, this has led to massively bloated contact databases full of highly disengaged people. In a study earlier this year, Demandbase in conjunction with Wakefield Research found that 96% of respondents said their digital advertising engages people outside their intended target. Look at your own nurturing list. What % of the leads you acquired 6 months ago didn’t see any lead score increase at all in the last 90 days? More than 50% is a safe bet. Meanwhile, we’re staffing up to support our growing marketing automation programs and maintain our CRM platforms, even though the majority of the people enrolled in these programs will never become or influence a customer.
Another problem with our traditional content marketing programs is that it takes time – months usually - for a lead to mature through the nurture cycle. What’s a marketer to do when leadership inevitably comes to your team and says, “Look, we’re looking a little light on SQLs this quarter. Can you step it up? But we can’t give you any more budget …”
Sometimes we wonder if all this is even making a difference.
While the first half of this decade focused on going bigger and broader, I predict that going forward successful companies will divert a significant chunk of their top-of-funnel lead generation budget to engaging fewer, more qualified prospective buyers.
Instead of casting a wide net to catch as many leads as possible, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) focuses on attracting attention from your ideal audience through highly personalized content that speaks to the specific business challenges of your most valuable accounts. Through ABM Advertising, you only pay to deliver the right message to the right accounts, resulting in a higher rate of qualified leads, more engaged buyers, tighter sales cycles, and overall reduced cost.
You might be well on your way, or you may still be waiting to dip your toes. Either way, the ABM advertising sources below are fast and easy enough to implement that you’ll have enough data to begin evaluating their marketing ROI against your top of funnel paid sources in 90 days. This is also a quick way to POC ABM for your business, giving you solid data to make a case for taking on ABM more thoughtfully with a bigger investment next quarter. Because face it, if you haven’t started with ABM already, you’re behind. Are you going to let your competitors get there first?
These first three sources deliver clicks on content to your website to convert into leads:
LinkedIn Account Targeting allows you to upload a list of the companies you want to do business with (up to 30,000.) Your content will only be shown on LinkedIn to current employees of the companies on your list, and who match your segmentation criteria.
DemandBase Account Based Advertising – Target key accounts and job roles, or a generic list (i.e. ‘Fortune 500’). DemandBase ensures that your ads will only be delivered to those specific companies. No more nurture list bloat! DemandBase sources its inventory through advertising exchanges such as Google and RightMedia or through direct relationships with premium publishers, so users will experience your content more broadly across the web than with LinkedIn.
Terminus allows you to target your key accounts across all digital channels including mobile, social, display, and video. Terminus integrates with more than 50 ad exchanges and has a lower cost barrier to entry than many of the other names on this list.
These next three sources deliver leads direct to your CRM. Targeted prospects interact with your content and complete a lead form on the network’s properties:
NetLine’s Lead Generation Service connects B2B marketers with future customers through dynamic targeting and content recommendations. Across their network of 15,000 web, social and email properties they reach 125 million business professionals per month, covering 300+ distinct industry sectors. You send NetLine a list of your target accounts, and forward NetLine your assets for hosting on their properties. It is very fast, and their team does an excellent job of helping you package your content for the best results.
Madison Logic might have the largest reach across this segment of services, monitoring 400M decision makers in 2M companies, and tracking over 4 billion intent signals. The services work very similarly to NetLine, in that you work with Madison Logic to define your target accounts and provide them with your assets for hosting on their network.
Tech Target analyzes the online activity of 100,000+ businesses across its network of 140+ websites. They monitor engagement in 5,000 distinct enterprise technology topics and compile their data for advanced behavioral insights on these buyers. Tech Target’s Instant ABM product gives ABM marketers the ability to connect their content with buyers from known accounts, and their data integrates with Salesforce. Because the audience is highly technical, this solution typically performs better for businesses whose buyers and influencers have technical roles.
One key feature of leads delivered by these last three providers is that these leads represent people who filled out a lead form after engaging with YOUR content, and in addition to matching your targeting criteria, they are actively researching a topic related to your services. Compare the lead quality of this level of engagement to a list of contacts for purchase from a company like Hoovers or OneSource, in which case the individuals on the list may have never heard of your company, or may not even be thinking about the solutions you provide.
The first step with any of these sources is to develop a solid target account list for your test. Once you’ve aligned with your sales team on the exact list of accounts to target, identify the content or messaging you want to match to those accounts. You may personalize your content to align to a company’s industry, size and maturity, or by user role, just to give a few examples.
Finally, many of these companies guarantee unique leads, meaning that if you’re running consecutive or concurrent initiatives, they guarantee there will not be any duplicate leads across campaigns. That can have a huge impact on net new leads. Make sure you take this into consideration as you’re evaluating sources.
That’s it. Six sources of ABM Advertising that can be quickly implemented to evaluate marketing ROI impact in as little as 90 days.
Now it’s your turn.
Do you already use ABM Advertising as part of your overall marketing strategy? What sources recommended above have you not explored yet? Which ones do you find easiest / most frustrating to implement? What have you thought of the results?
Please share your recommendations, frustrations, strategies and wisdom with all of us via comments below.
This article is second in a series of “5 Strategies to Improve Marketing ROI in 90 days.” Also in this series:
Can Longer Lead Forms Actually Deliver MORE Revenue?
Drastically Improve Your SEO Instantly (Really)
How to Do Trump-Style One-to-One Marketing on a Budget
Trisha Merriam is VP of Demand Generation at SWOPtimize, focused on helping companies optimize their digital marketing strategy for higher volume and better quality leads. We are Your Partner in Awesome.