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3 steps: Applying account-based marketing principles to content experience | B2B Marketing

In light of her upcoming session at Ignite, Julie Wisdom dives deep into ABX: applying account based marketing principles to the content experience…

The Venn diagram of



account-based marketing (ABM)

and

content marketing (CM)

practically draws itself.

Although the specific tactics differ, ABM and CM share a common philosophy that the best marketing puts customers at the centre and communicates in a way that addresses their needs and interests at every stage of the buying journey. 


At the


centre


of this Venn diagram is ABX – the account-based experience

.

ABX provides a framework for bringing sales and marketing together around a central, shared content strategy that is based on the principles of account-based marketing.

Like ABM, an account-based content strategy narrows in on the challenges and opportunities of specific companies and uses targeted, personalised content to engage with decision-makers and influencers. 

Focusing on your most valuable prospects and customers with differentiated, data-informed content enables you to maximise your overall content budget, easily and appropriately map content to ABM efforts, and create the most effective content and communications.

How to align around an account-based content strategy

Without bespoke content, ABM is simply an expensive way of delivering your existing marketing materials.

That is why the ABX framework calls for content that’s rooted in actual customer and competitive data and insights. 

Step 1 – Insight: Understanding challenges and opportunities 

ABX begins with insight about your target accounts and the people within those companies that you need to engage with.

Try and understand:

  • What is their industry?
  • What is their organisational structure and culture?
  • What is their role in the organisation and in buying decisions?
  • What are their challenges and opportunities?
  • How are evolving technology, trends and competitors influencing or even disrupting – their business?

Taking a deep-dive into the internal business structure is important because not every individual in that business has the same challenges or perspective.

Your content shouldn’t just be specific to that business but should be specific to different divisions and job titles, sometimes even down to the level of individuals. 

Step 2 – Perspective: Creating a new vision of the future 

Once you understand your audience in the context of their own experience, paint a picture of how that experience could be better.

Gather internal stakeholders from sales, marketing, product development and your innovation team (if you have one) for a design thinking workshop.

With the collective wisdom of your subject matter experts, think about how your products and services could improve your customers’ business, career or daily life.

Step 3 – Conversations: Tying value propositions to real customer value

Based on the insights and perspective, the next step is to create a conversation map that frames your story around the customer’s worldview, including topics, themes and narratives.

The buyer journey is still alive and well, and conversation maps give B2B marketers a methodology for going after every account at various points in time.

It gives an ABM strategy longevity as the accounts within it progress, evolve or change.

Creating a content-driven experience that earns confidence and drives revenue

When you apply the principles of account-based marketing to your content strategy, all content has a purpose and is connected to other content.

It’s based on relevant data and insights and tied to your value propositions through the customer perspective. 

ABX leads not only to higher quality content but also to a higher ROI on content and content marketing.

More importantly, it eliminates the mixed messages between marketing, sales and account management and delivers a more consistent customer experience, from first engagement to closed sale – and beyond. 

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