There are lots of people talking right now about "Account Based Marketing" (The article below gives a nice description for those who have not heard the term before). Others call this "Social Selling".
Although a lot of people are talking about it, there is not much out there that tells people how to do it effectively.
We have been working with some of our clients over the last couple of months on building account based marketing strategies for them. It turns out that, like anything, with the right tools it is not as hard as some people would lead you to believe. Here is the first page of a 4 page strategy we have built with our clients: (the following 3 pages go into the details of doing "1", "2" and "3".)
For most B2B clients, the targeting of their audience 1-2-1 is not that difficult, because when they build their audience, there might actually be only 20 companies they really want to sell to. Within each of those organisations, there might only be 2-3 job titles they are keen to speak to. This means that very quickly you have reduced your target from 7 Billion people to between 40-60 people.
When you have done that, then you can be really focused on how you communicate with those people and you can do it in a very targeted and personalised way. When you share an insight or blog post or maybe a piece of market commentary, if you can make sure it is relevant and useful to the reader (maybe it even name-checks them or someone in their organisation) and in some ways demonstrates your knowledge and expertise, then you are on the first step to building a potential new lead.
We have spent the last 6 months looking at how our clients can do this, building tools to help them do it effectively and most importantly measuring the impact and effectiveness.
You can also do something similar with existing clients, to strengthen and nurture those relationships.
The future of Account Based Marketing and Social Selling looks bright with more and more tools being built to help do it really effectively. Like anything, those that get going first will reap the biggest rewards.