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How To Incorporate Account-Based Marketing Into Your Event Strategy

Let's discuss account-based marketing (ABM) and why it can help improve your sales and revenue from events.

 ABM is a focused strategy where marketing and sales align to target and sell to your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Despite its growing popularity in sales and marketing over the past 20 years, 83% of marketers still need help deploying ABM activities today. 

So What Does ABM Have To Do With Events? 

You have a tremendous opportunity to grow your event strategy and further drive sales success by adding a few touches of ABM to your plan.

Events can drive NEW leads and awareness of your brand, but it's about something other than expanding and increasing awareness of identified or even engaged prospects. And the worst part is sales and marketing are rarely in sync with their efforts to knock lead generation out of the park.

By adding ABM to your event strategy, you can increase the communication between sales and marketing and ensure that marketing supports higher engagement with target accounts and leads the sales team is already working on. A few simple tricks can help you get that event ABM engine running. 

Consider this example: an NYC-based sales team has been working on their target accounts for the tri-state area (NJ, NYC, CT) for several months. The company is exhibiting at an upcoming event in NJ, so the marketing team could align with the sales reps to include those target accounts in the paid advertising promoting the event sponsorship. It's one example, but that alignment could help save time in the sales process and ensure the marketing strategy supports existing sales efforts.

Try These Three Simple Ideas For Your Next Event:

 1) Bring Sales And Marketing Into The Same Room 

You'll need to understand the current target accounts and ABM activities. This is the most important (and honestly the only) step if you want to put your energy toward ABM. Once you've learned about the current process for identifying and targeting accounts, determine which would be best to include in your upcoming events' promotion and demand generation campaigns.

  2) Drive Meetings With Target Accounts

Once you have the target list, you'll want to help the sales team drive meetings with those accounts at your planned event. Earlier, we spoke about a use case for inviting local accounts to events in the area, but you can also target accounts for significant industry events. If you know this event is huge for your target industry, it's a safe bet that most of your target accounts will already be going. So, build landing pages for the reps to invite their accounts to a dinner during the event or even a less committed meet-up like coffee. The goal would be to get facetime for your sales reps with their known targets during the event. Offering a special promotion for those accounts at the event is another excellent way to make the campaign feel more specialized and personal. 

 3) Include Your ABM Accounts In Your Paid Strategy

If you're using ads to target audiences for awareness around the event, then you'll need to include your sales target accounts that are most appropriate. Getting your company name in front of them for the months leading up to the show could be the main reason a rep gets that introductory meeting. Marketing can play a very instrumental role in introducing the brand and product well before the sales team has made contact. 

A MarketingProfs study found that companies that have aligned account-based marketing strategies have seen 208% growth in their marketing revenue.

ABM requires a lot of change management

It’s a new way of thinking and collaborating for sales and marketing, but it’s not impossible to do. And using your event strategy as a way to start implementing new account marketing tactics is a low-risk scenario and could even strike up some brainstorming sessions with the sales team. 

 There are a lot of helpful guides on ABM and how to get started (like this HubSpot one). Ultimately, it should be a program designed between your marketing and sales teams, and events are the perfect place to start elevating that partnership and lead interaction.

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