As marketers, we’re not just interested in nice stories and pretty pictures. We exist to generate revenue. We invest time, money and energy in campaign after campaign to generate leads that sales teams can convert into customers.
To accelerate our clients’ ability to accomplish that goal, we’ve created a unique approach that entails building a highly customized program to target a single company, and often one key decision maker within that organization. It’s called Named Account Marketing. This is the first article in our series about how Named Account Marketing works, how it’s different from traditional marketing campaigns and what it can do for you that other programs cannot.
For many companies, the greatest growth opportunities lie within a handful of high-level prospects. Prospects that need your product or service, will be large contributors to revenue and match your company’s vision. Connecting with these “big fish” often means unseating competitors, overcoming an entrenched status quo, or even navigating internal politics that involve key decision makers.
Instead of driving a high volume of leads and slowly culling it down to the best opportunities over time, Named Account Marketing starts by aligning sales and marketing to focus on top prospects your organization has already identified as a great fit. Often, they are the coveted companies that many sales teams hunt but struggle to win over.
Here are the key steps in developing Named Account campaigns that effectively open and close top prospects.
1) Key Prospect Prioritization
That list of “coveted companies” can often be fairly long, and trying to create a custom approach for each, all at once, is too much work. Prioritize. Which companies have product goals that align entirely with your organization? Where do you see opportunities to demonstrate that your product or service is better than the current solution? Who is going to bring in the most revenue? Who has changed leadership recently? These are all factors that can help identify your top Named Account.
2) Decision Maker Identification & Influencer Mapping
Once an account is named, we research the company to identify the key decision maker and the circle of influencers around that person.
3) Purchase Decision Modeling
What does that one person care about – not just work/product wise, but personally? Where is that person spending time? The answers to these questions help determine the approach strategy.
4) Campaign Concept & Flow
Once we know what the decision maker and influencers care about, we use that information to create custom ways to reach them where they are spending their time.
5) Develop & Launch
We develop whatever materials will be the means of connection, whether that’s a personalized video about how a client solution can solve his or her problem, a handwritten invitation to a special event or some other creative form of messaging tailored to that individual.
6) Monitoring & Optimization
Given the one-to-one nature of Named Account Marketing, it’s imperative to monitor results immediately post-launch, and to be ready to optimize the program within the hour. For instance, what happens if a certain communication isn’t delivered? We could do an additional contact through LinkedIn or perhaps make a call. Thinking through contingency plans, and being nimble to brainstorm quickly, helps to ensure success.
The bottom line: Named Account campaigns unite marketing and sales to penetrate “big fish” opportunities and drive revenue. These tailored, laser-focused programs complement more traditional lead generation efforts to help organizations take control of sales and business development.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting new installments of this series to explore the Named Account Marketing process, from research and discovery to launch and optimization. A summary of our methodology was recently featured in Ad Age.
If, at any time, you have a question about this new marketing approach, contact us.
We’ve created a unique approach that entails building a highly customized program to target a single company, and often one key decision maker within that organization.
About the Author
Kelly creates ambitious and unique strategies to hit business goals. She’s passionate about understanding what makes people tick and connecting clients to their top prospects.
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