By Tom O’Regan, Madison Logic
During times of economic uncertainty, marketers need to understand the evolving purchase decision-maker patterns and reevaluate their strategies accordingly. Defined as a period of a significant decline in economic activity, a recession directly impacts marketing. As companies tighten their budgets, B2B sales funnels have become longer, more complex and involve more decision-makers. Marketers still recovering from the one-two punch the global pandemic threw that forever changed how buyers and sellers interact must pivot once again and adopt new approaches to capture buyers’ attention (and dollars).
While companies will be tempted to scale back during tough economic times, marketers realize they must drive demand using smarter approaches that rely on data to focus their investment on a full-funnel, always-on strategy that delivers the right message to the right audience at the right time.
With a data-driven, full-funnel ABM strategy, marketers gain a clearer understanding of shifting buyer behaviors and priorities. And armed with actionable insights, marketers are better equipped to deliver content that resonates with buyers’ needs.
A Rapidly Changing Procurement Landscape
According to Gartner, the typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves six to 10 decision-makers. Each decision-maker approaches the buying decision from a unique perspective and brings a different set of priorities, preferences, experience and background knowledge to the table.
As a result, reaching a consensus on a purchasing decision is challenging and often elongated. At the same time, the set of options and possible solutions buying groups can consider is expanding by the day as new technologies, products, suppliers and services emerge.
These slow-moving funnels are frustrating for marketers at any time but are especially challenging now as companies seek to be more fiscally responsible in the face of an uncertain economic outlook. Marketers need to move prospects through the sales pipeline quickly or risk watching opportunities evaporate overnight.
To speed up the process and close deals more quickly, marketers should arm themselves with high-quality insights that identify who the buyers are and help them deliver personalized, cross-channel content throughout the buying journey to inspire action.
3 Ways Data Can Boost ABM’s Efficiency
Now is the time to lean on data from customer relationship management systems, marketing automation platforms and content channels. With the insights gleaned from this data, your marketing team can activate customized ABM campaigns and refine them over time.
Specifically, there are three ways more actionable insights can strengthen your ABM strategy:
1. Identify the accounts most likely to buy
Data is key to not only understanding the accounts actively in-market but also who within these trending accounts are researching and engaging with relevant content and messaging. B2B research and historical engagement are a treasure trove of information, revealing the most important topics that your accounts are researching and talking about.
For example, our “State of the Buyer” report leveraged data to explore purchase decisions surrounding technology solutions for today’s workforce and found an increased interest in AI technology among those in manufacturing. Although the manufacturing sector is typically known for more physical, manual-labor-intensive working environments, our data suggests it’s an audience to target as AI-driven technologies revolutionize the industry by making factories smarter and more autonomous.
2. Personalize the buyer experience
With up to 90% of the buyer’s journey complete before a prospect reaches out to a salesperson, the most effective marketers are engaging with their prospects throughout the entire funnel — from problem identification to the selection of a vendor. But without data that informs content strategy, you must guess at the most relevant content and messaging to engage your target audience.
By leveraging data stored across multiple solutions, you can create more personalized content that speaks to each decision-maker’s challenges and needs at every stage of the buying journey. This allows you to deliver more personalized messaging and content to maximize account engagement and drive higher account engagement through a persistent presence in the market.
3. Uncover pipeline and revenue impact
Your teams can better understand account development by analyzing engagement and pipeline-impact data. Instead of looking at vanity metrics like impressions, open rates, site visits and downloads, prioritize data points such as changes in pipeline volume, velocity and measurable account value. These insights allow you to take a data-driven approach to campaign optimization that generates more revenue from target accounts, improves the ROI of your marketing efforts and increases win rates through more relevant and personalized marketing content for your target accounts.
A full-funnel ABM strategy powered by data enables your marketing teams to work smarter — not harder — during difficult economic periods. With data-driven insights in your corner, you can more effectively adjust your strategies and tactics in response to buyers’ shifting priorities, setting your organization up for success in a challenging market.
Tom O’Regan is the CEO of Madison Logic, an account-based marketing platform.