The Different Types of Data to Execute ABM Successfully

Are you obsessed with data yet? With the influx of readily available data begging you to implement it into your marketing and sales efforts, you may be feeling a little bewildered about how to get started.

If you’ve already kicked off your account-based marketing program or you’re getting close to launching, now is the time to embrace data in a full bear hug.

Why? Because data – and more importantly, knowing how to use it – is critical to the success of your ABM efforts. From knowing the nitty gritty about your ideal customer to curating a “chef’s kiss”-worthy target account list and developing sensational content that draws target accounts like a magnet, data does it all.

Of course, data doesn’t do this work by itself. Marketing and sales teams must not only understand the different types of data, but how to use them to execute smarter.

The better you understand both your existing data and your newly acquired data, the easier it will be to apply different types of data in thoughtful ways that lead to a higher ROI.

Trembling at the thought of sifting through data types? We completely understand.

That’s why we’ve boiled it down to how to use data to understand your ideal customer profile, create a list of target accounts, develop content, execute campaigns and, finally, measure your ABM success.

Understanding your ideal customer profile (ICP)

All successful ABM efforts start with understanding your ideal customer profile – and we mean really knowing it. Take a look at your current accounts as well as your biggest successes (and biggest bombs, too) to iron out exactly what your ideal client profile looks like. How do you do that? With data, of course.  

Different Types of Data for Identifying Your Ideal Customer Profile

  • Current customer data: Consolidate existing customer data from all channels, including CRM, billing systems and databases. Then, use this data to analyze your current top customers and what they have in common. This is the foundation of your ideal customer profile.
  • Firmographic data: Firmographic data provides deeper insights about the operational details of your ideal customers. With this data, you can find out the number of branches a company has opened or closed in the last year, its estimated revenue and even details about its employees.
  • Technographic data: Technographic data allows you to go deeper into the wires of your ideal customer. Curious about what CRM software a company is using? Would it benefit you to know how much money it’s already investing in marketing automation? Technographic data can give you those answers so you can position your solution in a way that resonates with your target’s current pain point.
  • Contextual data: Beyond the basics of knowing which technology a company is using, contextual data allows you to know how it’s using these tools and, more importantly, how much it’s currently spending on its technology stack. This allows you to find hidden gems like “if a company is spending on CDN networks, it’s likely to need an OVP platform.”

Creating Your Target Account List

The more you know about your accounts, the easier it will be to curate your target account list. This should go without saying, but make sure the data you’re using is current and accurate before applying it to your target account list efforts.

Go deeper with your data by looking at different dimensions of your target accounts, like solutions purchased and annual revenue. To ensure you’re finding a healthy number of target accounts as well as their contact information, implement these three types of data:

  • Contact data: This is the most basic type of data available, but don’t overlook it. Ideally, you want to acquire direct phone numbers and email addresses to improve your chances of reaching the stakeholders and decision-makers.
  • Business structure data: This type of data allows you to view the hierarchy of a company, meaning it gives you a glimpse of who is making the decisions. Use business structure data to create hierarchy reference maps. This will help you remember where your stakeholders reside within the hierarchy and what obstacles you may encounter when trying to reach them.
  • Intent data: Intent data allows you to glean insights about a user’s observed behavior so you can see which accounts are searching for information regarding your solution. Intent data is best used in conjunction with technographic, contextual and behavioral data.

Developing content and playbooks

Using the right data can help you customize your content and playbooks so you have an easier time reaching and resonating with your target accounts.

When reviewing data, look for information related to your targets’ specific pain points, behaviors, interests and business priorities as well as which stage they’re at in the buyer’s journey.

Make sure you dig deeper than basic demographic data. Look to technographic data, intent data and contextual data to get a clearer picture of the unique issues your accounts are facing. Then work with the marketing department to craft engaging content that reaches them at the right time.

Executing campaigns

You have your ICP, and your target account list is stellar. Now what? It’s time to execute. But wait – before you execute your ABM campaign, take the crucial first steps to make sure your sales and marketing teams are aligned and working with the same data. Otherwise, executing a campaign will be a waste of everyone’s time.

Marketing should be able to clearly communicate the data justifying their selection of certain accounts, while Sales should have real-world insights about experiences with current accounts to ensure your target account list is accurate and usable.

The information gathered from both teams can then be used to execute campaigns.

  • First, review data trends to define the objective of your campaign.
  • Then, decide which channels and media platforms to use. There are plenty of channels to choose from in ABM, but not all of them will make sense in any given campaign. Review your target accounts and the channels they engage with the most frequently.

Measuring ABM success

The data you use to create target accounts lists and execute campaigns is only a fraction of the data you should care about. The final type of data you should be collecting is post-campaign data – to measure your ABM success.

Tracking your success by assessing certain metrics will help your team learn from any mistakes and take note of successes along the way. This data will also inform the planning process for your next campaign.

  • Compare your ABM campaign to past non-ABM campaigns. This data will help you see the new baseline for success compared to previous strategies. Pay attention to full-funnel metrics so you can clearly see successes and hiccups throughout the entire process.
  • Define your KPIs. Before you execute a campaign, you need to know what success looks like. Track your chosen KPIs throughout the campaign process.
  • Focus on metrics that directly impact business. While marketers are known for obsessing over vanity metrics, ABM is more concerned with successes that directly impact the success of the business. Track metrics like average deal size and funnel velocity, as opposed to awareness and impressions.

That wasn’t so scary, was it? While incorporating data into an ABM launch can seem intimidating at first, understanding the types of data and how to use them will help you tackle each stage of the launch process with confidence. Do you have the different types of data you need to succeed with account-based marketing?


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