July 19, 2019
Take Your ABM Program from a Pretty Acronym to a Revenue Center
The first time we really see master salesman Michael Scott from The Office in action is in the second season. Over the course of an episode, Michael works the prospect, who works for Lackawanna County, from unlikely purchaser to Dunder Mifflin client. Michael meets his prospect with a high value experience (an Awesome Blossom at Chili’s), doesn’t push the sale at first to let the prospect bring up the topic himself, and personalizes the spiel (Michael grew up in Lackawanna County and is particularly dedicated to companies and organizations there). This approach is not dissimilar to how you should approach developing content and assets to close customers in digital marketing.
You hear a lot of advertisers espousing the importance of an “audience-first” or “people-based marketing” approach. However, not nearly enough of them live up to those mantras when it comes to planning out the customer journey or developing assets for their most important audiences.
The primary cause is that content and product marketing teams are too often siloed from performance marketing teams. Advertisers tend to work backwards — here’s a new set of banners we’d like to deploy, or a new eBook we want to promote. At this point, that team has already put a lot of time and effort into creative and assets that may, in a vacuum, be of very high quality. More productive ideation, however, would begin with the question, Who is your audience?, and content and assets would be developed as an answer to, What is the best way to appeal to that audience?
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re a task management software company, and you’re running a LinkedIn ad campaign to C-Suite decision makers at medium-to-large companies. What is going to appeal to that audience? You may have a fantastic trial that perfectly emulates full product usage. Is a CEO of a 500-person company going to sign up and participate in a trial off of a prospecting ad? It seems like a better bet that an eBook on the benefits of integrated task management software (with a study or quote from McKinsey or Bain thrown in for good measure!) would resonate.
Similarly, you may have a parallel campaign running toward technical-side folks (Director of IT, etc.) who would be influential in giving the thumbs up for the new software, as they’re responsible for integrating it with existing file management, messaging, and security platforms. They’re not the ones weighing in on the value of the product itself, so the trial isn’t going to resonate with them either. Similarly, they’re not going to spend time reading through that eBook on the holistic benefits. On the other hand, a white paper on technical specs and linked case studies on the ease of integration will likely expedite their understanding and approval of the product.
So what should you be thinking about when strategizing on landing page content and assets for performance marketing efforts?
Hopefully this is something you already have a good understanding of. That said, there are a ton of ways to deploy your own data to understand your audience in more detail. For instance, you can check audience insights in your ad platforms, especially Facebook and LinkedIn. These audience insights are readouts of first-party data on who is seeing your ads, clicking on them, and converting.
Maybe you think your product is a fintech app for millennials, but as it turns out, about 45% of your traffic comes from consumers 45 years old or older. This should have an impact on how you think about the images you use in ads and landing pages, as well as the assumptions you make about technology usage and adoption.
LinkedIn allows you to see what percentage of your impressions and clicks are going to various industries, job titles, etc. In the example below, let’s say you’re surprised to discover that “Computer Software” has so much volume for your lead scoring software. Based on this report, you’ll want to make sure you have coverage on that industry.
Site intelligence and reverse IP lookup providers also give insights on the B2B side. We’ve used a provider called KickFire for years. Let’s say that to your surprise, you see a disproportionate number of biotech companies spending time on your site. You realize you don’t have any site content or assets that remotely touch on your software’s benefits for the biotech industry. Understanding that will help you adapt accordingly.
That same Director of IT should see different content if she’s in the prospecting stage and has never been to the site before compared to if you’re retargeting to her for her fourth visit. There is a difference between the preliminary hurdle of getting someone to the site and interested in your company versus the hurdle of getting them to convert or buy.
Tentrr is a cool new-ish company that offers people an option to camp on exclusive privately-owned properties, but it’s contingent on drumming up enough supply (people okay putting up a tent on their property to rent to strangers) to create and satisfy demand. As with many new and innovative products, there are a number of hurdles to clear before most people will actually offer their property up. Tentrr can do a fantastic job addressing potential issues around liability, insurance, and security. Those are all great value propositions.
But none of these value propositions matter if you haven’t answered the question, Why would I offer up my land in the first place? The answer there, simply put, is money. You can make money from land that otherwise isn’t being used. That is the hurdle that Tentrr needs to clear with prospecting audiences on first site visits. In order to address this, they’ll want to make sure the money-making benefits are front and center on prospecting landing pages. Only on return visits will they want to begin emphasizing the logistics, insurance, and security benefits of becoming a Tentrr property.
The topic of personalization aligns with the ongoing discussion on customer journey. Do you offer a different journey for men versus women? A decision maker versus an evaluator? Someone in the financial services industry versus the tech industry? This is where your insights from my first point above come in very handy. What do we know about our audience, and how can we take advantage?
Pulling from some of the audience examples referenced above:
For every subset of audiences, stop and ask yourself whether the creative, landing page content, and assets are putting you in the best position to succeed. If not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. There is such a thing as “the best ad” or “the best landing page” — they’re the ones that best fit your audience where they are in the funnel. Derive your content and asset development using that mentality, and you’ll be selling a lot more. Our team is also happy to help.