How Small Teams Crack the ABM Code: All About Attracting the Right Attention

March 2, 2021

We’ve all heard this strategy before: build a great site, create targeted content, and wait for prospects to roll in by the boatload. It’s the marketers’ equivalent of “if you build it, they will come.” 

We’re not saying inbound doesn’t work—because it can—but we know the results can be slow-moving at best and ineffective at worst.             

Any marketer who’s done the work of growing organic traffic knows the deal. Most of those “engaged prospects” are just passing through. Often, this translates to heaps of work with an uneven payoff.

Here’s the good news: By adding ABM to the mix, you can make sure your target audience gets to know what you have to offer faster and more clearly.

The key is reaching them first instead of waiting for them to reach you.

But first: Are you clear on your target audience?

With inbound alone, the process of attracting prospects is like fishing with a single piece of bait, one line at a time. Even when it’s targeted, it might be slow-going.

Before you can reel in the best fish with multiple lures, you’ll need to lay the groundwork:

  • Determine your ideal customer profile (ICP)
  • Build your target account list (TAL)
  • Decide how you’ll earn the attention of the entire buying committee (Hint: not every contact cares about the same things)

After completing this exercise, you may realize that you don’t have many buyers in your CRM that align with your ICP. That’s where the play comes in.

The play: Reach your audience first with targeted display ads

At this point, you should have a clear idea of your ICP and a list of high-fit target accounts. What you don’t have is a list of contacts who are aware of your solution.

The goal is to turn these unaware accounts into aware accounts by attracting and engaging with as many account contacts as possible.

Achieving this with ABM will mean crafting and launching targeted display ads to serve the entire buying committee. Once a contact visits your website three or more times, they qualify as aware.

Here’s a breakdown of the play:

  • Problem: You have a clear idea of our ICP and TAL, but you don’t have a list of contacts already aware of your solution.
  • Goal: Turn unaware accounts into aware accounts.
  • Audience: Unaware TAL (or tiered if you’re allocating budget towards specific accounts)
  • Tactic: Launch display advertising campaigns for the entire buying committee
  • KPIs: 3+ website visits

“Since we’ve implemented account-based display ads, we’ve seen higher open and click-through rates on emails, more form fills on our website, and higher quality interactions during webinars.

And it’s not just because we’re targeting decision-makers. We target the entire buying committee within an account to build account awareness, a play that makes all our marketing efforts more effective. That’s priceless for a small team.” — Nick Ezzo, VP Marketing, Auditoria

The finish: Triple-check and fine-tune your work

While the process is fairly easy, some things can still slip through the cracks. Foolproof your display ad play with the following checkpoints:

  • Did you use your own CRM data and deanonymized web traffic to make sure your ICP is on point? 
  • Did you size up your TAL with your sales team and let them know what action they should take on newly aware accounts?
  • Did you examine your funnel and make sure your awareness ads have the right messaging?

Lastly, don’t sweat the creative. We know your team may not have major creative resources, so take a cue from our friends at Auditoria and use Canva to produce awareness-building campaigns overnight.

Want more secrets on how small teams are winning with ABM?

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