Some years back, a new executive came and led the move from a classic sales organization to an ABM go-to-market strategy. It was an interesting transition as I was leading the company’s digital marketing consulting arm, and unknowingly, we were following some of the ABM core techniques.

One of the most significant battles I had to fight and lost was that even if an organization follows an ABM model, it needs a solid inbound strategy, and SEO is a core component.

Let’s use the ABM definition from Hubspot:

“Account-based Marketing (ABM) is a focused growth strategy in which Marketing and Sales collaborate to create personalized buying experiences for a mutually-identified set of high-value accounts.”

Now that we know what ABM is, let’s say that sales and marketing define the strategies, the channel, and the pieces of content to engage with a specific account that fits the ICP or Ideal Customer Profile. Once the time comes to put everything in motion, there’s a significant probability of infuriating key decision-makers on the account as it could feel like a brute force attack to get a sale. It could bring the possibility of an additional set of costly and time-consuming problems to fix.

Let’s also consider that you’re able to get some traction on the account, you nailed the problems, and you’re the hero with the solution. One of the first things a buyer will do is research. They may ask their networks, and they will go to their favorite search engine and find more information. Do you see what happened there? Now your inbound strategy needs to support your ABM play.

To better understand this, let’s rely on Hubspot’s definition of Inbound marketing:

“Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t always want, inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have.

Estimate that a company could spend over $1,000 to get an appointment with a decision-maker. Once they know they pass the awareness stage about their problem and possible solution, quickly move to an intentional phase to decide whether they want to buy. If your content and SEO strategies aren’t considering the topics per stage, chances are you’re sending leads to your competitor.

What can an organization do to prevent sending leads to the competition?

  1. Use the data-driven ABM approach to determine the ICP (Ideal Customer Profile).
  2. Find out the stakeholders’ unique characteristics and start thinking about the educational journey and the pieces of content needed to educate your buyer. Check the Blas’ Journey if you need it as a starting point for your content strategy foundation.
  3. Identify the pieces of content and the scenarios to personalize and customize. Make sure that those pieces are valuable even by removing the personalization component. Use them to build your core for your inbound content strategy.
  4. Make sure your website allows for easy navigation throughout the different stages of the education journey and what should be the next your buyer should take.
  5. Design every page of your website to be a homepage, long gone are the days where people started their navigation at the homepage.

By following these five steps and using the technology, analytics, and channels that align with your go-to-market approach, you should be all set for an all-bound marketing strategy.