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A tenured copywriter, Marlana Beste specializes in verbal strategy and brand voice development at 90octane in Denver, Colorado. Out of the office, she regularly pens vignettes inspired by magical realism. An Oracle preferred marketing partner, 90octane is a creative agency-consultancy who specializes in untangling the complex sale with a uniquely undivided approach. Reveal the “hidden” sides of marketing on their blog.
When an architect maps out a new building, every detail, right down to the doorknobs, is sketched out on a blueprint. Not only is it convenient to see a design in its entirety, but a complete view also allows hidden obstacles and opportunities to be seen at a glance.
I know, I know, the blueprint metaphor is tired. But the idea of unification that underpins it is anything but—especially when applied to account-based marketing (ABM). With the disjointedness found in modern enterprise, marketers should take extra measures to prioritize campaign quality over what’s easiest to execute. And that begins with getting everything (and everyone) on the same page.
To prevent the “path of least corporate resistance” from having its way on your campaigns, get unified. How? Plan and execute your ABM activities with:
The same set of stakeholders
A wide-angle view
Timelines that favor collaboration, not arbitrary dates on the calendar.
STAKEHOLDERS THAT SHARE A VISION
A dedicated set of in-house and agency talent working across all phases of development (from creative concepting to touchpoint mapping to sales enablement) is the lifeblood of any groundbreaking campaign. With a shared vision for how a big idea can come to life at different activation points, your team will be able to solve problems in unexpected ways.
For example, let’s say you come up with a campaign concept built on the idea of ice-skating cows. In a scenario where teams are siloed and uncollaborative, a media team might take the creative and run it in traditional display and radio. In this case, the targeting and channel selection may end up reaching an audience, but not necessarily the most relevant audience. With a cross-functional mindset, however, teams can tailor their plans to influence—and be influenced by—other disciplines for outcomes more likely to change behavior. Can you imagine the stopping power of a billboard of ice-skating cows near a pond, skating rink, or sporting goods store?
A PANORAMIC VIEW
When attempting to create something novel, adopting a perspective cannot be overstated. And by looking at things from a broad point of view, it’s easier to spot unique extension opportunities for a campaign. Explore industry trends, competitive pressures, and, importantly, the opinion of sales when creating your programs and you’ll end up with something that holistically connects your brand’s story with the collective culture at large. (Believe it or not, those ice-skating cows can act as a value-delivery vehicle to address account-specific issues, fill holes in the sales process, and even overcome obstacles identified by subject matter experts.)
Last, let’s talk project management. Or more specifically, timelines. Although it is exceedingly important your ABM addresses blackout periods and prospect position in the buying cycle, cohesiveness should be your North Star. Giving teams, from social to sales to operations, the time they need to hear and respond to each other’s ideas helps close the gap between what a prospect expects and the reality of how a brand delivers what they’ve promised. The closer those two things are, the bigger the results will be.
Something else to think about when gluing together timelines? How and when to bring in peripheral groups, including corporate brand and legal teams and third-party agencies. (If your timelines don’t allow for collaboration, those ice-skating cows may never see the light of day.) It takes the communication and commitment of every team involved to launch an ABM campaign that balances quality and timeliness. After all, a delayed campaign can still be successful. A bad one is forever.
For ABM campaigns capable of creating behavior change, quick and easy won’t cut it. Everything—from the big idea to the execution—must be unified. A connected approach will not only improve the distinctiveness of your campaign, but will work to galvanize corporate stakeholders and ultimately your brand’s reputation. Don’t build an ABM house of cards. Get unified.
Find out what else it takes to win with the “Account-Based Marketing Handbook.”