Account based advertising can allow companies to win business from the companies they want to work with – faster – by increasing relevance and awareness.

You’ll reach them on the likes of the LinkedIn newsfeed, The Guardian, Marketing Week, The Engineer or any other website that supports advertising.

Simply creating content then using social media and search to drive buyers to your site is no longer sufficient. Account based advertising can give you the edge you need – and there are four factors powering an increase in adoption of this strategy.

1. The swamp

The world is awash with content marketing as more and more marketers understand its importance to a B2B marketing plan. This increasing rush to produce content has driven quality downwards with awareness and link bait the drivers of increasing attention.

Increasing brand exposure within a market has long been a solution to increasing awareness but until recently this has been prohibitively expensive for all but the largest companies selling to other businesses. 

For most companies, the budget required to increase brand exposure using channels like programmatic advertising was an expensive route, available only to those with the largest budgets… and an acceptance that there would be a large amount of wastage to get to the desired companies.

Account based advertising allows you to drive an outsized impact within an account, for significantly less investment than a typical programmatic advertising campaign.

2. Gateway drugs

Unless you’ve already established a strong reputation, when a buyer searches for a solution like yours, you’ll have to rely on headlines, tweets and subject lines to attract further engagement. 

You do not have to go far to find articles about the best ways to create “great” titles. The formulas are depressingly similar. Personally, I wish the world of “3 steps to...” or “5 reasons to…” ceased to exist! Sadly, time and again it proves to outperform in terms of attention.

This all means that it is even harder than ever to stand out by title alone. A quick search on your topic of choice will result in many companies following the same formula. 

clickbait

3. Driving attention

Buyers also rarely look beyond a chosen few companies to listen to and it is easy for your high value pieces of content to get lost in the noise.

Worse, increasingly competitors are producing content on similar topics and so marketers are falling back on different methods of persuasion to attract attention. At a recent Business Marketing Club event, LinkedIn’s use of Simon Cowell in its content marketing was highlighted for missing the mark. Similarly, whenever a global event occurs, you never have to look far to find content connecting the event to your key content themes.

Unfortunately, the hook often becomes the focal point and the writer forgets to offer any real value in the article itself.

Gimmicks like these only serve to maintain attention and rarely serve to get attention.

When buyers do start to search for a solution, they are looking for the shortest path to the answer to their problem. Increasingly generic messages in advertising are failing to connect with prospects. The account-based advertising approach allows you to tailor messaging right down to the department at your target company.

Customising content to each account can still be an expensive proposition. Selecting groups of companies is therefore a critical step. They can be selected based on industries, pain points or other commonalities. Careful selection will allow you to build broader brand awareness with your ideal customers quickly and integrate into a broader outbound or inbound marketing strategy.

4. Breaking down invisible barriers

Research from Harvard Business Review suggests that the average number of stakeholders involved in a sales process has grown to on average 6.8. Many of these stakeholders are not accessible to the sales team. It is rare for a sales team to interact with all the necessary stakeholders. This puts the deal at risk – either of slippage or of failing altogether.

With account based advertising and targeted messaging, a company’s key strengths relevant to the target account are communicated and the pipeline accelerated. Keeping your message front of mind with your prospects throughout the deal cycle is priceless.

Conclusion

Account based advertising is clearly on the rise. And it’s no surprise: marketing and sales leaders alike are embracing it for its ability to drive highly focused commercial messages to each of your target prospects and suspects, based on where they are in their consideration cycle.

When the target company is in ‘research mode’, you’ll drive awareness and help create sales accepted leads – lifting you out of the swamp. 

As the deal phase moves to ‘consideration’ or ‘selection’ modes, your messaging will evolve to keep your momentum going – both with the direct contacts your sales team are working with and, crucially, with the invisible stakeholders you otherwise struggle to engage.

Throughout, your programme, you will start the right conversations, keep them moving forward throughout the deal and ultimately, help you close more deals, bigger deals, more quickly.

Further reading:

Riaz Kanani

Published 4 July, 2018 by Riaz Kanani

Riaz Kanani is founder and joint-MD at Radiate B2B. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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