Account-based marketing targeting: strategies and solutions

Account Based Marketing
Marketing team creating a account-based marketing strategy

According to a recent study, 88% of marketers believe that targeted display ads can help improve customer experiences. In a marketing strategy that relies so heavily on honing in on specific accounts, figuring out which account-based marketing targeting strategies work for you is more important than ever.

Your target accounts are truly the foundation of your ABM strategy, but understanding targeting and how to do it in the best way for your business can be tough. This guide will walk you through some targeting basics before diving into our top four strategies to help you get started.

What we’ll cover in this guide

Understanding account-based marketing targeting

Account-based marketing is all about tailoring your marketing efforts to target specific accounts, rather than large, broad groups. Essentially, you look at your clientele and instead of digging into demographics, you select specific companies—or even individuals.

Your strategies for finding those targets are going to be pretty different than marketers operating within the traditional sales funnel. To understand the differences, let’s dig into some specifics.

What is a target in marketing strategy?

Let’s start with some context to better understand ABM targeting. In general, a target market refers to the group of people identified as most likely to become customers. With ABM, your “markets” can be as small as a single person or company.

Either way, targeting refers to the act of narrowing your audience to include only those you believe have reason to buy. For traditional marketing, this might mean analyzing demographic and geographic data to find the right population. For ABM, this involves many more levels of research until you find the right handful of companies worth your time.

The importance of targeting in the ABM approach

ABM targeting can be a much lengthier and more involved process because of how narrow its focus is. That’s because ABM is an inversion of the typical sales funnel, which means it starts with a very narrow focus before expanding. To get that specific, marketers need to do much more research to target effectively, collecting all kinds of data: psychographic, behavioral, geographic, and demographic.

Ideally, you’ll want to use your targeting skills to drill down to the companies most likely to convert where you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck. You want customers you can nurture a relationship with on a more personal and customized level—ABM is all about the long game.

What does account-based targeting involve?

Account-based targeting involves a lot of intelligent, in-depth research. You’ll want to start by creating an ideal customer profile (ICP). Remember: focusing too much attention and energy on parts of the market you don’t need to pay attention to can waste a lot of time!

Once you know what your ideal target looks like, you can start doing preliminary research to determine which potential accounts fit that image. You’ll further narrow your scope from there by doing even more research on those chosen targets, weeding out any that don’t actually fit, and focusing more on the ones that seem most likely to convert.

You’ll eventually have a handful of extremely targeted avenues, which is when you can start with content personalization and multi-channel engagement.

ABM targeting strategies that’ll help you hit the bullseye

Now that you have a better handle on targets, targeting, and how they specifically apply to account-based marketing, let’s take a look at four of our favorite account-targeting strategies.

1. Narrow down your focus to those who fit your ICP

With a thorough and detailed ICP at your side, you’re ready to start narrowing down your prospects. Use your ICP almost like a rubric to see which potential targets best fit what you think your ideal customer looks like. This doesn’t mean every potential target needs to fulfill every single piece of criteria on your ICP. It does, however, mean that your goal should be to get as close as possible.

You can also use your ICP in order to see which parts of your current targeting strategy are off-base so that you can start scaling them back—or eliminating them entirely. Basically, it’s okay to adjust your ICP if what you’re seeing in practice doesn’t match what you initially thought.

2. Prioritize high-value accounts over low-value ones

Now, take the list of target accounts you’ve created with the help of your ICP and begin sorting them. You should also collect any data you currently have about traffic patterns on your site and social media profiles. You’ll want to track who seems the most engaged out of the people already visiting your content and sort them, too!

Some factors to consider when ranking your prospects include:

Knowing the answers to all of these can help you sort your prospects and prioritize who to reach out to first. Remember: high-value doesn’t always mean who’s going to buy the most right now! ABM marketers need to consider the lifetime of the customer’s relationship with you and the value that can be extracted over that timeline.

3. Use LinkedIn for account-based marketing research

LinkedIn is a fantastic social media platform for account-based targeting, but how?

You can start by going to your own business page and looking at who’s visiting it. Then, you can start searching mentions of your business to see how you’re being talked about. Evaluating this can help tell you if your ICP is aligned with reality.

If you’ve identified target accounts, you can dig through their LinkedIn pages and the pages of key decision-makers in their organization (if they’re active there). This will reveal a lot of information and give you opportunities to relate and personalize.

You can also use LinkedIn to see what your competitors are up to. How are they reaching out to consumers and what’s the response to those efforts like? This can help inform how you differentiate yourself from them.

But don’t stop there! Try using LinkedIn to poll your audience and pick their brains a little more directly. This is fairly unscientific and should not be held up to the same trust as a case study, but you still might learn something valuable!

4. Improve your account targeting strategy with the right software

There are tons of software options out there that help make many parts of your targeting journey easier! When you wield the right tech stack, your teams become more efficient and their efforts are more meaningful.

Here are a few specific ways software can help:

Want to learn more about ABM software? Check out our guide to the best account-based marketing software you can use in 2024!

Improve your ABM targeting process with Zoomforth

As a leader in microsite creation, Zoomforth is a fantastic account-based marketing targeting tool to have at your disposal. By creating custom content experiences for your targets, you can reach them on a more personal level. And thanks to Zoomforth’s simple drag-and-drop tools, it’s easy to get started (even if you’re not a designer).

You can also track the success of your ABM microsites with our easy-to-use platform’s real-time analytics. See your progress instantly and make intentional changes to pivot, increasing your chances for success.

Don’t wait—request a demo today!

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