To build an effective marketing tech stack, the first step is to map out a clear strategy for zeroing in on target accounts.
Perhaps the biggest strategy of the moment, account-based marketing offers marketing technologists a unique opportunity. Whereas most strategies of the last ten years have focused on leveraging customer data to scale marketing efforts, account-based marketing takes the reverse approach. Instead of scaling efforts, account-based marketing consolidates the approaches of both marketing and sales to focus on a small number of accounts with the biggest potential to yield a significant return on investment.
As a result, a tech stack built for account-based marketing benefits from some of the latest and greatest innovations in the martech space, while also maximizing the value of the foundational tools in your stack.
While recent posts on the SmartForms blog have shared account-based marketing techniques and metrics, this post is the first to explore the various tools and solutions that make up the ideal account-based marketing tech stack.
To begin, let’s take a look at three core tenets of account-based marketing, and then break down the tools in your marketing tech stack that will enable your team to meet your goals around those principles.
Tenet #1: Personalization
You likely know that personalization is a developing trend in the marketing world. As marketing technology grows smarter and more robust customer data becomes available, the ability for marketers to tailor campaigns toward the individual - not just a demographic - has increased.
As a result, customer demand for more personalization and real-time interaction has increased, too. In fact, sixty-nine percent of B2B buyers cite personalized content as the most important factor for them in visiting a vendor’s website.
Account-based marketing takes personalization to the highest level, which is why your team’s account-based marketing tech stack needs to include the following tools:
While there are numerous ways predictive analytics can have a positive impact on your campaigns, account-based marketers know that these tools are an absolute must-have for success.
This is particularly true when it comes to identifying the right target accounts your teams should focus on in account-based marketing. Predictive analytics can help you identify potential accounts by analyzing the most successful accounts in your book of business and then making intelligent recommendations of other companies with the same potential opportunity for growth.
The result is often a list of businesses your team may not have even thought of considering without the powerful insights provided by predictive analytics tools.
The ability to personalize content on your website has increased dramatically since the introduction of big data marketing. Today, it is not just about personalized offers or specialized landing pages; marketers can create content that specifically mentions the name of your target account, or even the visitor himself.
With account-based marketing, that personalization will likely extend outside your website, too.
Traditionally, targeted advertising has not had the ability to extend beyond demographic data. Today, targeted ads can get particularly granular and follow specific individuals to other sites on the web. That means building constant awareness about your business and offering continuous opportunities for real-time engagement with your sales team.
Tenet #2: Collaboration
When your business decides to take an account-based marketing approach, you are committing to a joint effort between the marketing and sales teams. While most marketing and sales teams have the same goal of increasing revenue, the strategies around that goal are often misaligned.
Account-based marketing brings sales and marketing together on the same strategic path. By limiting efforts to a small number of targeted accounts, the two teams can align their plans to create a singular route toward the goal of increasing revenue.
Here are the tools that help make it happen:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRMs have long been viewed as a tool for salespeople. However, as demand generation marketing has become the default approach for most businesses, marketing technologists have come to understand that the CRM should be a shared tool between sales and marketing.
Insights from existing customers (as entered by sales), can help feed critical insights to the marketing team. Those insights enable marketers to reach target accounts in unique, interesting ways that may have gone unnoticed without data from the CRM.
Data Management Platform
Of course, if you are going to rely on data to make strategic decisions, you must be sure you are working with clean, quality data.
That is where a good data management platform comes into play. Tools like ReachForce’s Continuous DataManager bring all of your data streams together into a single-source system that scrubs your data clean and ensures the insights you glean from other tools in your marketing tech stack are actually valuable.
Tenet #3: Customer Experience
At the core of account-based marketing is this one, simple principle: provide the ultimate customer experience and you will yield the best possible results.
So, any marketing technologist building an account-based marketing stack should always keep customer experience as the central focus. Any new tool that comes into your stack should pass the simple test of “Does this improve the overall quality of my target account’s experience with our business?”
While there are plenty of tools that help optimize account-based marketing, here is one at the forefront of new marketing trends: artificial intelligence (AI).
AI helps elevate your ability to have real-time, meaningful interactions with target accounts. Even with sales and marketing focused on a small number of potential customers in account-based marketing, tools like chatbots can improve the efficiency of your customer interactions and glean new insights from site visitors.
Check out our recent post on artificial intelligence to see exactly how AI is playing a role in marketing strategies today.