You’ve put together your list of goals for the new year. Now you have to figure out how to allocate resources and time to reach them. Here are some checklists you can use in your planning efforts.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
ABM will utilize the talents of your full team: content and digital ad creators, site design and development, sales alignment, and account coordination. Buckle up, it’s going to be a busy year!
ABM Pilot Resource Checklist
Sales alignment. At a minimum, you’ll need an account coordinator and content creator to align with the sales team. The account coordinator should meet with sales to—
- Create an account list and individual account plans, as necessary
- Categorize accounts into strategic, lite, and programmatic levels
- Set KPIs, reasonable expectations, and the ABM timeline
- Schedule interviews with sales reps
- Request initial input from sales
- Manage milestones, ongoing review, and modification
The coordinator and content creator will then interview sales reps to gain a complete understanding of account needs and aspirations.
Content creation. Based on input from the sales team and independent research, your content creation team will need to create personalized content, according to your account plans. This content might include—
- Site content (e.g., personalized pages, banners, landing pages)
- Digital ad copy
- Nurture campaign messages
- Individual account personas, as necessary
- Graphic design and copy for banners, ads, and customized pages
Technical and web development. Web developers will need to—
- Design and implement personalized page layouts and banners
- Deploy digital ads
- Deploy nurture campaigns
- Implement whichever ABM technology you use to resolve visitor IP addresses
- Measure against KPIs
- Notify the account coordinator of any technical issues (e.g., email bounces)
Learn more about how to launch an ABM pilot in our client case study.
The new year is a good time to evaluate your website. If it’s just been several years since your site creation or the last refresh, it’s probably time. Here are some points to consider.
- Does your site center on customer needs? Ideally, you’ve developed personas that clearly outline the needs and business motivations of your target customers. If your website doesn’t clearly align with those points, a redesign is in order.
- Does your site support your brand? Consider checking in with a customer survey to make sure your site is providing a positive brand image and delivering value.
- Is it mobile ready? Fast delivery on mobile affects your site’s Google rankings as well as its ability to reach customers.
- How’s your SEO? With Google regularly changing its ranking methods, SEO review must occur more frequently as well. Updating your SEO approach can have a real impact on your site: One Refactored client recently saw a 17% increase in traffic in just one month after completing an SEO-improvement plan. Plus, those visitors were staying on the site longer and increasingly visiting other site pages—and making more demo requests. Want some tips? Download our free white paper 3 SEO Tune-Ups for Your Website.
- Have you optimized landing pages? If you aren’t getting the results you want from nurture or other campaigns, take a hard look at landing page designs and content.
- Are you providing personalization? If your web platform offers personalization functionality, are you directing visitors to the content that will engage them?
Learn more about the difference a website refresh can make in this customer success story.
Your content marketing plan underpins all other marketing efforts, building value over time. Take some time to evaluate how your plan is progressing, whether you’re achieving expected results, and so on.
- Document or update your content plan. Recent research from MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute (CMI) indicates that only about a third of responding B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. If you haven’t recorded the focus of your content marketing—who your content is for, what you intend to deliver, and how it will benefit your audience—start there. Make sure that you have a content brief template and are providing briefs for each project. Make and maintain an editorial calendar. And include KPIs in your plan, to help you make sure that your plan is achieving the desired results and to prove value over time.
- Update (or develop) personas. Accurate personas help content creators pinpoint the messages that are most likely to engage customers. Speaking with customers—and to prospects who’ve chosen not to work with your organization—can reveal valuable insights for your team. If you’re worried about participants’ willingness to speak openly, consider using a third party to conduct interviews.
- Consider the sales funnel. An important part of creating marketing content that enables sales is providing content that covers the full span of the buyer’s journey and provides content in a variety of forms (e.g., video, graphics, blog posts, podcasts, social media) to optimize audience response.
- Help content users find resources. As your content plan progresses and you build a library of resources, you want users—your sales team and anyone else who will need to use or reuse content to connect with prospects and customers—to be able to find exactly what they need. Consider a tool to help users navigate assets.
- Measure, test, optimize. We mentioned including KPIs in your plan. Be sure that you’re measuring against those metrics and making improvements as needed. Include time for measurements and revisions in your plan!
To evaluate content gaps and guide content planning, use our handy guide in the ebook Building Content for the Buyer’s Journey.
Alignment with sales should be a part of every aspect of your marketing endeavors. But if collaboration between teams isn’t where you want (or need) it to be, follow these best practices.
- Ramp up cross-team communication. Sales alignment depends on your marketing team understanding how your sales team sells services or products and what content the team needs to meet sales goals. That understanding depends on regular communication, whether via calls, in-person meetings, or mentor/shadowing arrangements.
- Document service level agreements (SLAs). HubSpot notes that organizations that implement specific marketing/sales SLAs are 34% more likely to achieve greater year-over-year marketing ROI. Document marketing’s service parameters and sales’ follow-up actions.
- Agree on your targets. Whether creating general personas or ABM target account plans, make sure that sales is your primary source for details about your ideal customers’ needs, pains, and aspirations.
- Make content easier to use. Content portals, resource-search tools, and email/social media templates can all make it easier for sales to access the right assets for any need and present unified messages that align with your documented marketing approach.
Our free sales enablement white paper provides more recommendations around these best practices.
Digital Advertising Program
Many of the tasks we recommend for website and content optimization also meet important digital marketing objectives.
- AMP up your site speed. Check out our free ebook for tips on using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) to improve search engine results.
- Provide consistent messaging and experiences across channels.
- Optimize your landing pages. A well-designed landing page can have a dramatic effect on conversions.
- Watch your graphics. Don’t neglect the task of resizing graphics for each channel and use. A poorly sized or cropped graphic can leave a poor impression on customers.
See how a strategic focus on integrated digital programs helped one client reduce cost per conversion by 56%.
Know When You Need Help
Whatever your aims for 2019, resource organization is key. If you simply don’t have the people to cover all the bases—or if certain skills gaps stand in your way—an agency partnership can help you reach your marketing goals. Our award-winning experts can help. Contact us to discuss your needs.