“It’s like you guys are everywhere.” Hearing this sentence from a customer is every marketer’s dream. We strive to be at the forefront of marketers’ minds. That’s exactly what Stephanie Cox, VP of Sales and Marketing at Lumavate, hears all the time. When she spoke on How the Fxck’s podcast, she spilled her secrets to hearing these six words with her account-based marketing (ABM) strategy.
ABM Is Just Good Marketing
Stephanie is an overachiever – we know this. She’s got 15+ years of marketing experience and the war wounds to prove it. So when she says she’s been doing ABM for most of her career, she means it. But as Stephanie would tell you, she doesn’t use the term ABM. In fact, she kind of hates it. If you have been doing good marketing for most of your career, then you’ve been doing ABM. Only since it’s been given a name (We know how much marketers love their acronyms) has ABM been quite the buzzword in the marketing community.
Now that we have that settled, we can get into the nitty-gritty of how Lumavate appears like we’re everywhere through ABM. As the name suggests, the first step in Stephanie’s masterminded plan is to select your accounts. If you’re a newbie at ABM, don’t try to boil the ocean at once. Use Stephanie’s first attempt at personalized video to be your guide; start with about 20 accounts. And maybe choose mid-sized companies to start; save the Disney and Starbucks-sized organizations for your second or third attempt, when you’ve ironed out the kinks. Once you’ve decided on your targeted accounts, start choosing the individuals you want to reach out to within these organizations. Think of it like dodgeball in elementary school. You’re a captain and you’re selecting your team.
Cool or Creepy?: A Memoir About Marketing
No one will ever say that marketers don’t care about their audience (some may say we want to get to know you a little too well). But hey, we’re just trying to do our job. We want to know everything about you so we can better serve you. So the next step in Stephanie’s ABM playbook is to do your research (but in a non-creepy way).
Here are some things you’ll want to know about the person you’re trying to talk to:
- Their favorite hobbies (Do they have a favorite sports team? What music do they like?)
- The college they attended
- Their favorite fast-food
- What speaking engagements have they participated in recently
Your goal with contact research is to get a reaction that resembles, “Wow, that’s so cool they know that about me!” If you think your research may make that person want to enroll in the Witness Protection Program, you’ve gone too far. You want the person you’re emailing to feel special like they could be working at any company and you would still want to talk to them. Put in the work, do your homework, and you’ll see results. Trust us.
Before You Hit Send…
When you cook pasta, you don’t just throw the noodles in cold water. You let the water warm up before you go all in. OK, that was a bad analogy but you see where I’m headed. With ABM, the waters need to be warmed before you start your email campaign. Stephanie recommends running LinkedIn ads a few weeks before you plan to reach out. That way, the contacts in your campaign will recognize your brand before you’re in their inbox.
Next, think about what your email will contain. It will obviously have a video (more on this later), but what are you providing? Hopefully, you plan on including more than just a “Hope this email finds you well.” Give the person a reason to open the email. Take the few weeks you’re waiting to warm the waters to create relevant content. For instance, if you’re targeting accounts in the beverage industry, write an eBook about what’s trending in their industry. Be more than just someone trying to sell something. Be a helpful resource.
Things Might Get Uncomfortable
We’ve arrived at the part where some folks might get uncomfortable. Yes, we’re talking about video and you need to be doing it. What you’re going to do is use the contact research you conducted earlier and turn it into a 60-second video. Purchase a whiteboard, write the person’s name on the sign, and use it as your thumbnail. Then, just have fun with it! Put up a funny Zoom background that’s relevant for them. Juggle soccer balls during the video if you’re targeting accounts in the sports industry. Whatever you choose, don’t be boring (unless your goal is to have zero views). And don’t sweat the ‘umms’ or other unwanted occurrences during your video (Stephanie had ‘murder hornets’ attack her house during a podcast). We are all human. Authenticity > Perfection.
You’ve Got Mail
Who doesn’t get a little thrill when you’re expecting an Amazon package? On some level, gifts are all of our love-languages. This is why you’ll want to include some form of direct mail in your ABM efforts. But we’re not talking about things you would find at a tradeshow (We’re looking at you, pens and notebooks). Send something unexpected (Again I’d like to reiterate cool, not creepy), like a money tree.
This year, our direct mail has looked a little different. Instead of sending direct mail to people’s houses (this is creepy), we have started using Cameo, which is a platform where you can pay a celebrity to record a video that’s highly personalized. It’s fun. It’s creative. And more importantly, it’s different.
So there you go – your brief guide to appearing like you’re everywhere. Lumavate is a scale-up. We don’t have the resources of an enterprise organization. We’re not everywhere, we’re just strategic about our marketing efforts to make it seem like we are. Follow Stephanie’s account-based marketing strategy and sure enough, your audience will start saying the same magic six words about your brand too.