• Chris DeMartine

Updated: 5 days ago

Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are beginning to leverage traditional Account-Based Marketing (ABM) tactics to land 'whales', one massive account at a time. The events of the recent year have made it even easier for this to happen. Why?

For several reasons, mostly related to a pandemic-leveling of the playing field. Many SMB's found themselves competing in the same arena as large consultancies, agencies, and big tech companies. Advancements in technology have lead to user-friendly solutions, enabling individuals and companies of any size to tackle ABM and lead generation programs in-house at a fraction of the agency cost.

For example, ZoomInfo and Adapt enable users to access firmagraphic and contact information with email and phones for targeted B2B marketing.

Creative development has never been easier and it keeps getting better. Adobe is not the only game in town. Affordable platforms like Creatopy and PROMO have emerged from Romania and Israel to empower all of us to build brands, engage buyers and make an impact. These companies are hungry to help and growing their respective user bases rapidly, so upgrades and new capabilities are the norm.

User-friendly Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) like The Trade Desk and Choozle enable users to run targeted B2B campaigns for custom audiences with site lists for contextual targeting in a non-PII way. And, if you are concerned about the onboarding process, then stop worrying. Do you know how to copy and paste into MS Excel? If you've answered "yes", then you are qualified. The aforementioned DSPs are handling the data partnerships for you on the backend, with an easy set of guidelines for you to load your customer files.

Platforms like Lead Forensics and Leadfeeder enable B2B marketers to identify site traffic by company name and more. This is great for tying back ABM efforts back to the source and for monitoring interest level based on web pages visited and time spent on those pages.

We've vetted dozens of platforms and rely on G2 crowd-sourcing to weigh in on our value-based decision process.

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  • Chris DeMartine

Having a domain name, in addition to company name, is important when sourcing new prospects for ABM lead generation. Although it may be easy to match domains to companies, the data quality of most business files is simply not that great. For that reason, we will often parse the domain directly from the verified email addreess of a client or prospect.

Since most small to mid-sized businesses use Microsoft Office for their administrative task and client data management, it makes sense to have a few time-saving data enhancement formulas in your toolbox. Here's one of our favorites:

The objective: to append our client database with domain names in order to limit prospect email campaigns to 'one per company', improve deliverability and leverage that field for new prospect data acquisition.

The problem: the house file has over 75,000 records representing over 2,000 companies and the account names are inconsistent. Data providers are not matching the domains consistently and accurately and the data append costs money.

The solution: the solution is a formula... while not that impressive, if you have email addresses on your file, then it gets the job done for free.

The formula: all you need is the cell reference for the email address and a new column for the domain. Here's a formula for extracting the domain from the email address, where the email address is in column A, row number 2:

= R I G H T ( A 2 , L E N ( A 2 ) - F I N D ( " @ " , A 2 ) )

Do it once and then just copy and paste for the rest of your file. With this little formula, you can add a domain field to your house file or prospect database in less than a minute. Excel may be a bit old-school, but it's still a fantastic app for small businesses!

What's most important, however, it that you have quality email records to begin with. One spam trap can change a lifetime... well not really, but it's important to run verification on your email addresses regularly to ensure that strong delivery and a good IP reputation.

Programmatic B2B has done extensive research on email verification providers. It's important to note that there are significant differences in process and the accuracy of the results. This applies to consumer emails as well.

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  • Chris DeMartine

Updated: Dec 24, 2020

For many businesses, the sales cycle and customer journey can feel like a double-marathon. After all, you're not selling a six-pack of ice cold beer on a hot summer day. More likely, you need to educate the market, align your solutions to the client's needs and address real obstacles that can stall or kill a deal at any stage in the sales process. For this reason, it makes sense to leverage technology and do everything possible to streamline your account-based marketing process.

In our last post, we described the three building blocks for a B2B digital marketing campaign. This checklist will help you get organized and make sure you have the ingredients and recipe for a winning B2B digital marketing campaign.

  1. Secure a quality B2B data source. Don't pay for what you don't need, but be sure to validate the accuracy of the information. Some databases contain less than 50 percent verified contact emails, so you'll definitely want a guarantee on the delivery of those records.

  2. Leverage search retargeting for intent. Many corporate sites have their own search engines for business buyers looking for specific solutions. Data like this can now be aggregated for search retargeting campaigns. Other intent data of web site activity is also available to further refine online targeting of in-market audiences in a non-PII way.

  3. Consider account-based marketing (ABM). If you want to target specific companies, then make sure your ABM strategy is activated on multiple channels. Create a list of companies and URLs to be onboarded for your display campaigns and mirror that same list for LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms. ABM may not be your best option though, especially where an industry has hundreds or thousands of small to mid-sized businesses.

  4. Capture your remarketing audience. Make sure you have a privacy policy and banner notification in place for that. Your site traffic can be one of your greatest assets, especially if you apply #5.

  5. Identify the companies that visit your site. Make sure you know and validate which companies are spending time on your site. This is an important part of measurement, especially when reports from email service providers do not always tell you that corporate spam filters are the reason for you high click-through rate.

  6. Build your prospect database and update it frequently. Every company site visit, email open, opt-out, lead conversion and engagement counts when your buyer is responsible for a six-figure sale. Focus on quality over quantity, and don't allow bad data to survive -- eliminate it right away.

  7. Optimize programmatic bids for quality and relevance. Most DSPs have made this easy, so take advantage of the opportunity to pay a premium for where you want to be. An ad impression served on Forbes to the Chief Marketing Officer for a major brand is worth far more than that same impression served to a guy like me.

  8. Personalize your email and deliver value. This is where your prospect database comes in. Clean up those contact and company names, add functional terms and personalize your templates so they don't look like promotional emails. We send both types here for our clients, but the results are clear. Open rates are 2 - 3 times higher when the effort is made to personalize the outreach.

  9. Leverage video for solution sales. Video is a great way to promote problems and identify prospects who may be in need of your company's solutions. Start video with rhetorical questions that uncover problems, but don't jump to solutions. The objective is for viewers to identify your brand with potential solutions, eager to learn more. Don't steal your sales executive's thunder.

  10. Go outbound with mobile. Forget the call centers, pick up the smartphone and talk to your top prospects. Build relationships, be quick to listen, slow to speak and don't assume you have the right solution... uncover as many problems or concerns as you can, take notes and then allow some time to think through how you can best respond to help them.

Would you believe all of this can be done with a single test program? That's the winning combination of man plus machine. Whether you work with us or not, please consider speaking to a senior member of our team before you invest.

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