Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Transforming Digital through Account Based Marketing and Predictive Analytics

By Kevan Savage
Global Marketing Leader
Life Sciences Solutions Group

ThermoFisher Scientific

Marketing leaders continue to feel pressure to grow revenue through customer experiences across multichannel touchpoints, including digital commerce, social media, mobile, internal and field sales teams along with emerging channels such as IoT (Internet of Things).

With significant advancements in digital platforms, vast internal and external data, increasing competition and customer expectations abounding, what is today’s marketer to do? 

No longer are the days of prospect information sitting in piles of paper notes or business cards, it’s all digitized across CRM, marketing automation and many other technologies. The best part? It’s all available for marketers who focus on increasing the precision and scale of their digital initiatives.

One emerging yet validated strategy forcing both B2C and B2B digital transformation is the convergence of account based marketing and predictive analytics. The power of predictive analytics combined with the rigor of an account-based marketing approach can be a potent combination as detailed here:

How Predictive Analytics Empowers Your Account Based Marketing

It accelerates in-depth customer understanding
  • Identification of new accounts and pre-buying signals – including company size, industry and other factors for determining the best fit for your business
  • Watch listing prospects, high value accounts, and competitors – like most companies, your CRM is full of companies, predictive models allows you to do this
  • Modeling for new commercial opportunities and intelligent engagement

It extends account coverage with your selling teams
  • Engaging key accounts digitally at scale with customized content
  • Delivering “always on” pre and post-sale, cross sell, up sell, and retention campaigns
  • Finding in market buyers—dropping people in your lap who are ready to talk

It ultimately leads to: 
  • Customers – Better predict what keeps them coming back or turns them away
  • Websites and apps – Understand where and how to optimize and customize content for better conversion
  • Clear Visibility to ROI - Predict the most effective allocation of marketing dollars
  • Immediacy of insights to selling teams
  • A steady flow of revenue protection campaigns
  • A steady reliable flow of more mature, qualified opportunities
  • Aligning sales and marketing around the accounts that matter most

Adopting Predictive Account Based Marketing At Your Organization

Prepare and Assess
  • Assess your data management maturity – do you know what data sources are available to you? How are they structured? Can your digital platforms and teams easily access the data?
  • Assess your martech foundation – do you have marketing automation, testing, content and targeting platforms in place? Are you able to track and measure on and offline results from your marketing activities?

Get Organizational Buy-In
  • Identify a cross-functional team and establish goals - don’t underestimate the need for collaboration and alignment on the strategy. A strong alignment of sales and marketing is necessary for a team to grasp the full potential of predictive and account based marketing
  • Empower your team members to identify high-impact marketing initiatives, set metrics to track business impact, secure any needed investments and include any stakeholders from product, legal or regulatory teams

Identify your Target Accounts and/or contacts 
  • Don’t shoot in the dark. When setting up an effective account marketing and predictive analytics strategy, the first step is to identify who you are targeting 
  • Using all of the data and technology available to you, this will help prioritize high-value accounts based on revenue potential, which are in market, or as well as other key factors including market influence and purchase potential

Understand your Targets
  • Once you've identified your primary targets, you will need to find out more about them and what makes them tick. This can be achieved by investigating their internal structures, taking a closer look at elements including key decision makers and main influencers 
  • Once you're familiar with the core information relating to your target accounts, you will be able to segment them in the way you would a persona-based marketing strategy that allows you to reach multiple stakeholders
  • If existing assets are available, consider creating custom experiences to reach a broad audience without struggling to keep pace with content production

  • Define and personalize your content - deploy your sales and marketing plays - A truly successful predictive account based campaign employs valuable content that places focus on crucial business challenges your target faces on a regular basis 
       •   Use dynamic content in emails
       •   Use web personalization to increase campaign engagement
       •   Leverage paid media to extend account targeting across the web
  • Consider this, some organizations develop work streams for joint account planning, deal identification and management, opportunity mapping, experience delivery and stakeholder management through social-mobile channels

Measure and Optimize
  • Create an operational scorecard - Monitor progress in real-time, evaluate program performance, enable marketing and sales performance management, along with campaign ROI
  • Don’t underestimate development of use cases and successes, communication is key to continue fostering alignment and fueling investment!
  • Maintain agility – consider developing an active optimization cadence, isolating variables and making strategic adjustments across sales and marketing teams
  • Product, Sales and Marketing achieve efficiency, greater visibility into the nature of their customers, and are rewarded as an integrated team on customer satisfaction and growth 
  • Customers and prospects respond favorably to predictive account based marketing because they are served with information that is more personalized, timely, and relevant to their needs, and are therefore more likely to respond. Consider tying these initiatives into your NPS or CAS customer experience scorecards over time

As marketers gain more experience with the methodology, and both predictive and account based technologies become even more advanced, additional opportunities will emerge for both B2C and B2B marketers. There is no silver bullet. Enjoy the journey and most importantly, have fun!

Kevan Savage is the  Global Marketing Leader, Life Sciences Solutions Group, at ThermoFisher Scientific. In this role he is  responsible for brand, creative services, digital marketing, marketing insights and planning.