Intent Data... What Are You Waiting For? - Punch!

Intent Data… What Are You Waiting For?

Intent Data is providing many businesses with the insight needed to target companies that are in a buying window. If you’re reading this blog, you’ll likely know what intent data is by now, so I’ll spare you the definition again – if you need a refresher, check out our blog What is Intent Data? But for some companies, adopting intent data is a daunting notion. There are several common barriers that Cyance come across when implementing intent, outlined in their eGuide, ‘Behaviour Based Marketing’.

You may have seen the exciting announcement that Punch! partner with Cyance! So now seems like the perfect time to expand on these barriers, and give some first-hand insights about how the Nexus tool has been instrumental in the execution of our ABM campaigns. Below are the barriers highlighted in the Cyance eGuide, with counters for how you can overcome them!

1. Fear of the unknown

“For many, change implies risk, and with risk comes fear! Fear of unknown, uncharted territory can prevent many organisations from making essential changes, or at the very least, it can slow down decision making.”

Fear of the unknown is a common and scary thought, but I’d argue that it’s in fact the exact opposite when it comes to intent data. The whole point of intent data is to be more informed and knowledgeable around your future customers, so if you don’t implement intent data, you are voyaging into the unknown! This is because you have no idea if the data is valid, if they have interest, or if they’re in a buying window. However, with intent data, you know specifically how much they have been looking into your sector. So intent data actually helps to overcome fear of the unknown!

2. Risk-averse leaders

“A move away from volume-based mass-marketing to behaviour-driven, qualitative marketing means better qualified, but fewer leads. You’ll need to manage the expectations of a leadership team who still expect the same volume and pipeline as before.”

Sales will be understandably concerned with any change in tactics that may result to less leads, but as Cyance rightly mentioned, these accounts will be better qualified and more likely to convert. This is why it’s so important to get company-wide buy in with regards to intent data and account-based marketing. You’ve probably heard of ‘smarketing’, but sales and marketing alignment is vital to successful ABM. So if marketing educates sales on the merits of both ABM and intent, there should be no worries regarding the difference in lead volume.

3. Drowning by Data

“More data has been created in the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race – and by the year 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet. Marketers are increasingly challenged to identify the data that’s relevant, make sense of it and turn into meaningful actions.”

This is an understandable query, these are some intimidating stats. However, every piece of intent data that you gather is valuable. This is because the contact has expressed some form of buying intent, whether that be website browsing, content consumption, etc, you know that the data has worth to your company and that the contact will be interested in your product or offering.

This will still be a lot of data to wrap your head around; however, the Nexus platform makes this data easy to digest. Nexus tiers your intent data into nine categories on an A-C and 1-3 basis, this means you can clearly see how much intent the contact is showing (A-C) and how well they fit your ideal customer profile (1-3). So you know that your A1s need your utmost care and attention.

4. Ever more complex buyer journeys

“Most buying journeys at least start online and can switch across many different channels over time. A typical B2B buying journey includes an average of 9 marketing interactions and 6 calls or conversations. But outside of those, prospects both known and unknown, could be researching your brand or service without you ever being aware. All of this makes it difficult to target, personalise and attribute what works and what doesn’t.

The DemandGen 2018 B2B buyers research report claims that majority of online research, which forms part of a buying journey takes place within the first 3-months. This suggests it is vital that your business can not only spot relevant buying journeys, but also find the customers within the early buying research stages. Otherwise, you run the risk of not being part of their journey or end up purely being benchmarked on price.”

There are more decision makers involved in the purchasing decision now than ever, so I get that people will want to use traditional methods of marketing to reach as many contacts as possible. Of all the barriers to adoption, this is the one with the most validity. The problem with this, is that while you may be reaching more contacts, most of them won’t be the relevant contact, won’t be interested, or won’t be looking to buy. However, implementing ABM and intent data ensures that this isn’t an issue. ABM deploys a variety of tactics to reach contacts including personalised video messages, direct mail, guerrilla marketing and many more, ensuring that the buying journey is spread across different channels. By targeting contacts across the board with a multichannel approach, the likeliness of engagement increases thus improving conversion rates.

5. Ever more complex technology

“You know what you need to do, but your technology and operations aren’t up to the job. Add to that the sheer number and variety of new technologies designed to help you, and it can feel like you’re in a minefield of bewilderment. How do you build the right stack, manage it, scale it? How do you knit it all together and still extract the data you need?”

Adapt or be left behind; it’s that simple. You have to keep up with the current technologies or you won’t succeed. You best believe your competition is going to be learning and implementing the latest Martech to help their customers… so you should be doing the same! Education is the key, schedule time out of your week for R&D, look at the latest trends in the industry, research marketing tools, read blogs. If you stay stagnant and don’t educate yourself, you won’t evolve as a business.

The key to selling in 2019 is knowing thy customer. Make a dedicated move to a customer centric approach. Implement intent data as a first step, and grab 2019 by the horns!


If you have any questions surrounding Intent Data get in touch, hello@punchabm.com. For further ABM reading check out our blog!

THREE TYPES OF ABM.
WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

One-to-one, one-to-few, one-to-many, programmatic, lite…it’s understandable why account-based marketing can seem daunting at first! But regardless of the ABM terminology being used, the basic principles are the same. Putting more resources into fewer target accounts who are more likely to convert, and provide a greater ROI. Which kind of ABM approach you should adopt depends on a number of factors. In this blog you’ll find out what the 3 types of ABM are, and which is right for your business.

the three types of ABM

So you’ve decided that adopting an ABM strategy is right for your business and that’s definitely a wise choice.

 

It’s understandable that you might have some concerns, running an ABM programme requires a shift of mind-set. It takes sizeable marketing ‘balls’ to shift resources from more typical marketing strategies to account-based marketing.

 

But that’s exactly what organisations are doing – the number of companies with an advanced ABM programme doubled from 2017 to 2018. And why?

 

Simple – because in a recent study, 97% of marketers reported a higher ROI from ABM than other marketing campaigns. Any successful ABM campaign is one that balances these three measures –

 

  • The likelihood of a given target account buying
  • The resources required to acquire them as a customer
  • The potential ROI to your business if they convert

The differences between the 3 types of ABM are driven by a need to align these factors, so let’s look at exactly what each approach involves and what factors should inform your ABM strategy.

One-to-one ABM

The original and probably best known of the 3 types of ABM, and the approach you’re most likely already familiar with.

One-to-one ABM is a strategic approach that treats your most valuable target accounts as their own individual markets. This means engaging with each of them in a specific and bespoke way.

 

A typical one-to-one campaign would involve targeting 5-10 key target accounts, the ones whose business would make your year or even change the direction of your company.

The resources required to engage with each account in a one-to-one ABM campaign are significant. With that in mind, it’s vital that you have deep insight into how likely the target account is to buy. Intent data is a great way to choose your target accounts based on whether they’re starting a buying journey.

 

By focusing on 10 accounts that you know are likely to buy, you can allocate more resources to engaging with each, knowing that they are more likely to convert and provide you with a great ROI.

You should consider one-to-one ABM as your strategy of choice if –

 

  • You can research the accounts in detail and gather detailed insights on how likely they are to buy
  • Your products and solutions are high-value and high-consideration
  • You’re selling into a mature or even saturated market
  • Your opportunity to close rate is high
  • You have clear and genuine points of differentiation from your competitors
  • Each account has a large number of key stakeholders from whom you need buy-in
  • You have the resources available to create content bespoke to each account
  • You have the available people resources to engage and nurture each target account

One-to-few ABM

One-to-few ABM, or ABM Lite as it’s also known, is a way of using the one-to-one ABM principles and applying them at scale to a greater number of target accounts.

For example, you might be dedicating 40 days per month to your top 5 accounts in a one-to-one strategy.

 

If you then wanted to reach out to your top 30 accounts, you most likely wouldn’t be able to scale up the same approach unless you have 240 days worth of resources available to do this. So what’s the answer?

 

Your best strategy would be to focus on small groups of target accounts, rather than individual accounts. These groups can then be treated as their own individual markets, in the same way as individual accounts were with one-to-one ABM.

 

The most common way to organise accounts into groups of 5-10 is by sub-sector. If you’re targeting the retail sector, your sub-sectors might be fashion, groceries, DIY and homeware.

You can then build specific content that will resonate with that sub-sector, identifying trends and solving their challenges.

Consider one-to-few ABM as your strategy of choice if –

 

  • You have a small addressable market of target accounts
  • You’re selling high-value, high consideration solutions or products
  • You have to get buy-in from 3-4 key stakeholders at each account
  • You’re able to gather insights into the challenges facing each target sector
  • You have the resources available to create sector specific content
  • You have the available people resources to engage and nurture each target account
  • Your product or solution has clear points of differentiation from its competition

One-to-many ABM

One-to-many ABM takes the ABM approach and scales it so the principles can be applied to a larger number of target accounts.

 

How many? That’s up to you, as there are no hard and fast rules as to where one-to-few ends and where one-to-many begins.

 

Similarly, you might be wondering where to draw the line between one-to-many ABM and just ‘marketing’? Well you’re not alone, there’s not a clear agreement even among leading practitioners of ABM.

 

It depends on the lifetime value of those accounts to your business, the greater the value, the fewer you should go for.

 

The average number of accounts for a one-to many campaign according to the ITSMA sits at around 100. However you may choose to go for more than this and dedicate fewer resources to each, or use an approach closer to the one-to-few model, and dedicate more resources to engaging with each account.

You should consider one-to-many ABM as a strategy if –

 

  • You want to increase brand awareness whilst also creating engagement at key accounts
  • Your solution is new to market, or the market need educating on its potential
  • There is one or a couple of key stakeholders at each target account
  • You have the available people resources to engage and nurture each target account
  • Your pipeline to close rate is low and could be improved
  • You don’t have access to information on which accounts are starting a buying journey
  • You need some accounts to convert more quickly in order to see ROI sooner

FIVE TIPS FOR ACCOUNT SELECTION

In these times of uncertainty, making the most out of your marketing budget is more important than ever. In Account-Based Marketing you reduce the number of accounts you target significantly and then increase the amount of resources you spend on them. This makes the actual account selection process very important because you can’t afford for an account that receives significant resource to just fall by the wayside. So with that in mind, here a five tips for best practice account selection.

Have you thought about targeting different industries?

People are getting scared and more cautious about taking meetings and calls. So, who is engaging?

 

Some industries are booming at the moment such as:

 

  • Video conferencing technology
  • Project management tools
  • E-learning
  • Ecommerce
  • Gaming

With an influx in demand, they might just be looking for your solution. But for industries heavily effected, you need to rethink your GTM strategy to be as humane as possible; if your solution is something that would be deemed essential to these businesses – keep helping. If it’s more of a luxury, consider targeting different industries where an influx of demand means they might be on the lookout for your solution.

Sales and Marketing, Name a Better Duo

We always talk about the importance of sales and marketing alignment, but it comes into play with regards to account selection as well. A common mistake is allowing one department to select all of the target accounts for a campaign.

 

If the sales team are solely responsible then you run the risk of them giving you all of the ‘problem’ accounts that they have yet to achieve any traction with. As Jamie Hardin, Senior Marketing Manager of ON24 explains “ABM should be viewed as augmenting the current strategy, not a ‘Hail Mary’ initiative on an inactive account.” Similarly, it would be foolish for marketing to be solely responsible without using the information that sales already have on the accounts that they’ve been engaging with.

This could be information on which accounts are reaching a contract renewal date, previous positive conversations with the clients, or even contacts that could have used your services in a previous role at another company.

By combining the information marketing has alongside insights from sales, your account selection can lay the foundation for a successful campaign.

Are you intent on this?

Utilising intent data is the best way to select accounts. This helps you understand which companies are in a buying window based on the websites they’re visiting and the content they’re consuming. However, platforms such as Bombora and Nexus aren’t at everyone’s disposal, which is why a combination of the above tactics gives the next best chance of selecting accounts that are most likely to convert.

 

Account selection is perhaps the biggest factor in the success of an Account-Based Marketing campaign. Good accounts, that fit your ICP and are showing intent are bound to be successful, whereas accounts that aren’t selected on insight and reasoning are likely to fail. There’s never a sure fire way to pick accounts that are destined to convert, but by following these tips you’ll have a solid foundation for your ABM programme.

Do it early!

One of the most consistent mistakes we come across with account selection is doing it too late in the ABM journey. After first defining your ideal customer profile or ICP (link to other blog) and selecting your sector, you should be looking to choose your accounts. Prioritising selection early on in the process will give you ample time to gather insight into them, allowing you to really personalise your message that will resonate with the target DMU.

Make Sure They Fit Your ICP

Using an ICP to frame your account selection ensures that your target accounts are most likely to be a good fit for your business. It also ensures that you don’t fall for those ‘dream’ accounts that you may have put on the list because you want the logo on your website, or you’ve always dreamed of working with. If they aren’t right for the programme, you shouldn’t be targeting them. It’s not about if you want them, as much as it’s about if they want you.

So, you’re thinking about adopting Account-Based Marketing…

Fantastic! But there are three different types of ABM; one-to-many, one-to-few, and one-to-one. So, which one is right for you? Luckily, we have a handy little calculator that will tell you exactly that.