No question, Clean Tech is helping to change the world. It’s tackling environmental damage, reducing waste, and providing innovations from renewable energy technologies to carbon capture to sustainable farming and Earth-friendly manufacturing. Every day, Clean Tech leaders prove you don’t have to be a superhero to make the world a better place. But you do have to have a super marketing strategy: Account-based Marketing.
The Clean Tech boom has been ramping up since the start of the new millennium, and as it grows it’s constantly changing. By nature, Clean Tech’s market is one of relentless disruption, with the list of competitive players constantly in flux. As old technologies are replaced by new, suddenly a company’s keystone product may be facing the threat of obsolescence. New firms quickly gain traction. New research, environmental concerns, regulations, and incentives further alter the landscape. That also means there are tremendous opportunities right now. A startup can compete with a legacy organization. A small firm can compete with a multinational. The key is reaching the right buyers at the right time — with the right message — and being able to flex and pivot fast. There isn’t the space or the time to rely on blanket-marketing in Clean Tech. That’s where Account-Based Marketing (ABM) comes in.
ABM — Connecting Clean Tech to Modern Buyers
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a proactive client acquisition strategy that’s gaining a lot of traction because it works. Gartner research found a 70% increase in opportunities created via ABM, making it invaluable for B2B organizations. For Clean Tech companies it offers a way to stand out in an ultra-competitive field that will continue to grow in the coming decades — and vie for attention, engagement, and most of all, business.
ABM’s whole approach is about making less noise and producing zero waste. It micro-targets, identifies, and segments your highest-value accounts, then engages them in impactful and authentic ways across a range of channels. Each channel can be completely customized to reach an account with the most appropriate medium and at the most appropriate time. Personalized, efficient, dynamic, and data-driven, it offers precision and responsiveness that fits Clean Tech’s need to target the right accounts and get in front of them quickly and effectively.
From content generation to sales promotion, remarketing, and lead generation, ABM keeps your marketing activities connected to an account’s buying behavior. It focuses on the sales pipeline. Instead of simply distributing the same marketing message en masse and treating all prospects equally, it looks carefully at accounts’ needs, pain points, and buying behavior. Outreach and content are designed and calibrated accordingly. The result is a seamless experience as target accounts move through the sales funnel.
Outperforming Conventional Marketing Strategies
When marketing takes a one-size-fits-all approach, throwing time, energy, and content at prospects without knowing anything about them, the results are low-quality leads, wasted expenditures, and low sales. That’s a nightmare for any organization, but for Clean Tech it can badly strain lean and mean budgets and mar a promising brand. Research shows that ABM is a massive boost in terms of ROI:
- 87% of B2B marketers in an ITSMA survey said they outperform other marketing activities.
- 91% of companies using the ABM approach to reach key customers have increased their average deal size, according to a study by SiriusDecisions, with 25% reporting an increase of 50% or more.
- 86% of marketers report improved win rates with ABM, according to research by TOPO.
Turning Marketing Data into B2B Sales in Clean Tech
A key reason ABM is so well-suited for Clean Tech is its own position as a modern, innovative strategy — here, cutting edge meets cutting edge. And its built-in responsiveness means Clean Tech firms can easily maneuver and adjust, gaining on the competition by getting to high-value leads faster. In a sector moving at such a fast pace and often presenting new approaches and processes that require willing attention spans, ABM also enables firms to engage clients and keep them engaged. Its use of targeted content, interactions and data to keep optimizing the effort is fundamental for identifying the right clients, drawing them in and then building strong and lasting relationships.
The strategy also creates a vital bridge between marketing and sales that has often been overlooked. At New Perspective, we’ve found that when the two are operating as separate siloes, there are countless missed opportunities. Sales teams are not able to target the right accounts. Marketing teams aren’t always sure what the sales team needs — and the sales team doesn’t necessarily have the time to track down the right information. But ABM’s toolbox: data, analytics and automation connect the dots to create highly personalized, engaging, successful campaigns.
A data-driven campaign is focused on clear goals and desired outcomes, with a built-in system of real-time feedback and measurements to gauge, tweak and optimize.
To make sure the majority of businesses you’re targeting are interested in your company’s product or service, B2B marketing and sales reps gather information from a whole range of sources — including social listening, search intent, a company’s press releases, Google Alerts, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator and InMail, and build buyer profiles. Software tracks and manages by contact; automation continues to collect and add information to create precise profiles and build target audiences based on that profile. There’s a clear picture of what prospects do to obtain a certain product or service, what they expect from the experience, how they feel, what their preferences are, and what stage they are in the buying cycle. That means you not only understand your target customers, you can provide tailored customer experiences based on that understanding — presenting clearly thought out value propositions, providing the right information, and providing personalized messaging that meets their experiences and needs.
Performance data on the campaign is tracked, measured, and used in a continuous cycle. During the campaign, data might reveal optimal moments and messaging. Afterwards, reports will show how it worked. And the more data you collect, the better your approach can be.
Account-based Marketing Proving Its Worth
For B2B what we’ve seen is that ABM is a game-changer. It changes a company’s mindset to understand, profile, target, and personalize. Statistics show its effectiveness across engagement, revenue, and deals:
- Companies that have used ABM to promote their products have experienced a 208% increase in revenue.
- 83% of marketers surveyed by Demandbase say ABM increases engagement with target accounts.
- 82% of B2B marketers agree that using ABM in their marketing strategy considerably improves sales and marketing alignment.
- With ABM, companies are 67% better at closing deals and their sales and marketing teams are always synced.
Clean Tech will see these benefits and more — including the ability to better identify the most valuable target accounts in their particular space, and the means to actually reach them. An audience carefully targeted with personalized messaging is far more likely to respond. And you can leverage ABM to more quickly move prospects through the funnel, activating their attention by showing you understand their pain points, considerations and decision process. Using ABM’s tracking and measuring components, you can gauge the impact of your marketing dollars in real-time — assessing performance, adjusting and optimizing to make sure the investment pays off.
ABM and Clean Tech: Sharing Our Winning Strategy
What we’ve found when working with CleanTech is that innovation is built right into your DNA — and so is the understanding that we’re better off leaving conventional methods behind. You envision new technologies because they’re solutions — and it’s the same with new marketing strategies.
Six Questions to Ask Yourself Now
Get started on the road to ABM by asking yourself six critical questions. But one word of caution. Don’t just make this a quick exercise. Instead, commit to accurate answers and uncovering the pain. You can’t strengthen weaknesses if you don’t know where — or what — they are. Deal with the truth. You need to know how your company identifies prospects now, how they engage with them, and what’s working — on not. Then you can build towards a better outcome with an effective process to get there.
- Do we know our buyer personas, and can we segment our highest value accounts within them?
- Do we really understand the purchasing cycle?
- What are the strategic advantages our company brings to target accounts?
- What pain points can our company solve?
- What are our SMART — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely — sales goals and objectives?
- And finally, what’s our plan for engaging with our target accounts, and on what channels?
Our Winning Method: Six Steps
Once you’ve answered those questions, it’s time to look at that effective process. Here’s a rundown of the Six-Step Strategy we use for ABM with great results.
1. Find the Real Targets
Create a profile of the ideal account — based on revenue potential, influence on the market, and long-term perspective.If a sales team uses a generic approach to prospecting and doesn’t focusing on the right accounts, they’re wasting time on low-quality leads that will never close — and they’re not learning who to target next. An Account-Based Marketing approach enables sales to identify and prioritize their ideal targets.
2. Know the Buyer’s Journey
Get to know your target audience by mapping out the buyer’s journey, from motivations to decision-making. Then focus on a curated batch of accounts you really understand, creating a unique and personalized experience for each account.
3. Speak the Right Language
The best way to get an account’s attention is to deliver an engaging and personalized message that addresses their biggest challenges. Harness ABM to create and deliver content and messages that resonate with prospects based on their industry, role, needs, and pain points.
4. Choose the Right Channels
Choose the right medium that fits your target audience and your business. Yes: there are many — and all have their own strengths and weaknesses. But certain ones will be a far better way to reach your audience.
5. Make the Connection Between Marketing and Sales
Make sure the entire team is working together — collecting leads, nurturing prospects, closing deals, and staying connected. ABM requires sales and marketing to collaborate and share their intel — and that’s where the best results are. Make sure sales and marketing both have a full picture of who’s doing what for whom and how the customer journey is unfolding. New Perspective’s partnership with Hubspot means we can leverage the platform to deliver ABM campaigns seamlessly across teams and channels.
6. Test, Measure, and Optimize
The ABM process is an iterative one: you’ll need to test, measure, and optimize your efforts along the way. Keep track of individual campaigns, account-level analytics, and overall return on investment. Get a birds-eye view of the entire process.
Making the Leap to ABM: Lean on Us
Clean Tech is the wave of the future. But that future’s already getting crowded with contenders. Clean Tech companies need to get themselves heard – and in terms of how you market, knowledge is power.
With ABM, you gain that knowledge, using a step-by-step system to learn about your target market, pinpoint your desired results, and understand not only how to acquire, but grow relationships with high-value clients. There’s no doubt that information ABM reveals on target accounts helps you sharpen the focus of your marketing efforts and improves your chances of success.
Harnessing ABM means you get ahead of the curve and stay there, using all the tools at hand to research, discover and refine until you have clear and accountable results. New Perspective can get you there faster. We have deep expertise and have seen a lot of success in Clean Tech marketing as well as ABM, and we’re a great partner to get you started. Contact us to learn how we shorten the process and create optimal results. Schedule a meeting today.