As high-impact as the new digital marketing sales funnel is, some marketing industry experts are talking about a whole new approach to digital marketing. Instead of the funnel as we know it—wide on top and narrow on the bottom—they are advocating we “flip the funnel” to accommodate a new approach to marketing called Account-Based Marketing (ABM).
The ABM strategy begins with identifying and targeting best-fit accounts. Marketers then serve personalized messaging to all of the decision-makers at the accounts. The idea is based on the notion that individuals rarely make purchasing decisions on their own anymore. Instead, a team of often seven to 20 people are involved in the decision-making process. This means marketers have to reach all the decision makers within a particular company. To support this approach, marketers have identified five stages in the ABM model:
- Identify. Marketing and sales teams must collaborate on a list of target accounts or companies that are the best fit for the solution. To do this, it’s crucial they agree on their ideal customer profile and individual buyer personas.
- Expand. Next, take the list of target accounts and expand the company profiles with the contact information of key stakeholders and decision makers.
- Engage. Now, execute an omni-channel marketing plan and begin to engage contacts in the target accounts by employing a variety of sales and marketing tactics—including content marketing, personalized emails, events and phone calls.
- Advocate. After your sales team successfully closes a deal, the marketing team needs to work to transform satisfied customers into brand advocates.
- Measure. Measure the success of the ABM campaigns by focusing on account-level KPIs that reflect the marketing team’s contribution to pipeline and revenue (ROI).
Clearly, when it comes to digital marketing funnels, one size does not fit all. It’s up to marketing teams to understand their industry, products and target audiences — and then create the digital marketing strategy and funnel that best meets their needs in reaching their potential new customers.
Thanks to Kuno Creative
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