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Understanding Your Buyers and Building Your Target Account List

May 18, 2022

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An Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategy only works when your messaging and content resonate deeply with your target audience. But B2B marketers often struggle to deeply understand their buyers and then craft content that doesn't meet the needs of the list of target accounts. 

To find success with your ABM Campaigns, you'll need to have a deep understanding of your ideal buyers. So here's how you can get to deeply understand your target audience.

 

Get to Know Your Audience 

Asking questions and accumulating perspectives is a key component when trying to understand where you best fit inside your market and what your true potential audience looks like.

These are some recent questions presented and explained in one of our ABM-A-THON On-Demand sessions.

  • What is your TAM / SAM / SOM?
    • Who is your market, what is your share, and how many can you service/obtain realistically
  • Do you have a defined ICP framework (Ideal Client Profile)? 

TAM (Total Addressable Market) 

This refers to the overall demand for our products and services. So it's really, what is the comprehensive revenue opportunity available to our product if we were able to reach 100% market share?

 If you control the entire market, what are the overall prospects you could be in demand for? Answering this will help start to frame your audience and potential.

 

SAM (Serviceable Addressable Market)

This aspect tackles whos within your geographical reach, and once that's established, you can start to piece together details for your ICP with a filtered and more direct list of potential prospects.

 

SOM (Service Obtainable Market)

Create this number based on your budget, your sales team's current bandwidth, and your marketing scope.

Who could we really be able to help today?

Building out an ICP (Ideal Client Profile) can help dramatically improve who your sales and marketing teams are targeting. If you need more information on building your ICP, we have you covered.

 

Establish Buyer Personas 

Some of us may be asking the difference between an ICP and a buyer persona. An ICP looks at your customers from the organizational level and addresses the types of companies that you want to try to sell and target. Whereas the Buyer Persona defines the different buying patterns of companies within our target ICP, segmenting them down to specific roles and personalities.

  • Finalize ICP Framework 
  • Next, Generate & Define Buyer Personas
    • Role / Department
    • Personality & Behavioral Traits
    • Challenges & Pain Points
    • Goals & Motivations
    • Buying Patterns

Once we've determined our TAM | SAM | SOM, the ICP framework starts to become a little clear, and defining those remaining pieces will in turn help build your Buyer Personas.

When diving into creating a buyer persona, it's important to dig a little deeper and ask more specific questions framed toward the decision-makers or buyers your sales team is going to target. 

This allows you to narrow in on the messaging and content you should provide them and will enable you to segment your marketing campaigns effectively regarding the weight and how you get this data.

 

Content Development

Identifying the characteristics of the accounts you're targeting, and the problem you're solving is a library of content. The primary leading indicator of success in ABM is target account engagement. Your content should drive engagement, not lead captures.

Put the most relevant message in front of your most relevant audience at the most relevant time.

This will enable your sales team to have the resources to build their presence and engagement. It will drive the brand's engagement as well. So making sure that you have content that directly addresses the problems for those target account lists is vital.

  • Do you have content to directly address the problems for the target accounts? 
  • Repurposing old or evergreen content 
  • In house vs. outsourcing content creation 
  • Content creation timeline
    • Ads
    • Case Studies
    • Landing Pages
    • Ect

Content development is the engagement portion, and you want to make sure that you have that ready and that foundational piece is there. If you do this in-house or outsource, that content creation is dependent on your company's resources and bandwidth.

Whether it's persona-specific content that speaks to how your buyer is experiencing a problem or an issue, how you solve the issues within your industry, or its content that adds value to the industry, just make sure you have the content built out at the ready.

 

Define The Buyer Journey

Each of your Buyer Personas should have a well-defined Buyer Journey Framework with stages. This is NOT the same as the sales/marketing funnel (or the user flow). What this provides is a better understanding of the pain points faced by a particular persona, as well as their decision-making process. 

Applying this framework is foundational to establishing the proper messaging for each persona across each decision-making stage (right person, right message, right time). We all want higher conversions, right?

You want to make sure that your framework fits each of your personas and ICP segments so that you can have a deeper understanding of what drives that particular persona to make a purchasing decision.

You may have anywhere from three to six stages, but it's really up to working with your marketing team and your sales team to find those prospects stages. It will help you provide the core messaging topics for each of our personas and ICP segments and make the next topic much easier to manage.

 

 

The Ultimate ABM Guide

 

Audit and Map your Content to the Buyer Journey

Content Audit and Message Mapping is a critical exercise that helps identify all existing content assets (blog, webinar, ebook, etc.) that speak to a particular persona within a specific buyer stage. Not only can this reinforces a specific value statement that is aligned to that particular stage, but it also helps to identify content gaps & assign development priorities and sync up the messaging.

Another benefit of the content audit and mapping exercise is that you get an inside look if the content you are producing supports each of those stages and the personas you are marketing to.

Sometimes we're pumping out so many pieces of the content that they get lost in the shuffle, and they're not organized cohesively. So taking time to identify if things are out of date, if they have proper messaging, or can be repurposed for different stages of the buying cycle that might be a better fit, should become standard practice.

 

Target the Right People, Using the Right Data

Once you've started identifying some of the metrics that play into your newly crafted content map and successful conversions in your pipeline, you'll begin to see this all come together.

Knowing your audience takes a few moving pieces when it's all said and done, but if you can figure it out, you'll set your company, teams, and clients up for long-term success. 

Leveraging the data from your recent efforts is a great way to ensure continued positive momentum. You find more prospects when we look at and refine things like:

  • Key firmographic & technographic data 
  • Research new companies that fit your target criteria 
  • Number of contacts within existing 'ICP-Fit' companies 
  • Website visitor data

Whether through your preferred CRM, website, or manual collection, the data is essential and will help you continue building on your ICP, Buyer Personas, content map, and overall strategy. We have to know what is and isn't working to constantly deliver the best for our audiences and buyers.

 

Get Started Today

If you are trying to build your target account list for an ABM campaign, start today by simply identifying your Total Addressable Market. Identify everyone you could possibly sell to, and start narrowing down to your SAM, and SOM. Once you have understood the total accounts you could start pursuing, continue to define, refine, and target.

If you want to take a deeper dive into the topic, check out the on-demand session from ABM-A-THON and download the framework.

 

The Ultimate ABM Guide

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