Everything is in place. You’ve selected your key account. The stakeholders within the account have been identified and even mapped onto an influence-impact chart. But what about the message itself? What content should these people be receiving? Who should be creating it and who should be sending it to these stakeholders?
If the message is to be truly valuable and relevant to the recipient, it must be penned by the subject-matter experts. They have the knowledge that the stakeholders need, therefore they are best positioned to add value at this stage.
As for the content itself, I've found the most fruitful ABM efforts are typically targeted towards markets of one, and they encourage discussion. Experts, senior people (on the recipient side) are often very willing to give their two cents on a subject (particularly when they're engaging with other experts who started the discussion), and if you can provide that opportunity - in a way that shows you’ve done your homework and care about their problem - then it’s a very good start.
As for the best method of delivery, that will largely vary according to the structure of your organisation and crucially, whoever holds the high-value relationships with your clients. It is these people that are usually seen as a trusted source, and are therefore best positioned to be delivering the insight. What's more, these people are also able to add context to their colleagues' expert insights and package them in a way that relates to the recipients' pain points. What's nice about this method, is that when those account-specific interactions do occur, the relationship holder can then bring the subject matter expert back into the fold and thus introduce a new, valuable point of contact into the equation; strengthening your perception as trusted partners and ultimately driving things forward.
If you are interested in the topic of thought leadership and ABM, Edge Media is holding a very relevant breakfast event this month on how business leaders can leverage expertise to enable sales and marketing functions, with roundtable speakers from Stephen Waddington (Chief Engagement Office @ Ketchum PR) and Tony Tarquini (Director of Insurance EMEA @ Pega Systems). You can sign up to the event here.