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What is Account Based Engagement? Strategy, Tracking & More

It’s a concept taking the B2B marketing world by storm.

Account based engagement (ABE) is an integral part of account based marketing. Unlike traditional forms of SaaS marketing, where the net is cast wide in the hopes of catching large volumes of customers, ABM is all about getting hyper-focused and granular.

It’s the new gold standard for lead generation in marketing.

This article explores ABM engagement and how marketing teams can leverage it for jackpot revenue.

Let’s go 👇

What is account based engagement? 

Account based engagement (ABE) is a strategic marketing approach focusing on personalised experiences, tailored messaging, and targeted outreach for specific accounts. The goal is to build strong relationships between companies and customers by delivering relevant, value-driven content and experiences.

ABE is becoming increasingly popular with B2B businesses as a way to create more meaningful connections with key accounts. It allows businesses to be more intentional with their targeting and outreach efforts, providing each account with a bespoke experience.

There are two types of ABM channel engagement:

1. Digital engagement

This includes any online interactions with your B2B prospects. For example:

  • Opening an email.
  • Visiting your website.
  • Downloading a piece of content.
  • Reading a piece of content.
  • Filling out a survey or form.
  • Signing up for a newsletter or mailing list.

2. Physical engagement

This includes all real-world interactions with your B2B prospects. For example:

  • Onsite visits or event attendance.
  • Phone calls.
  • Direct mail.
  • SMS.
  • Demo attendance.

What’s the difference between ABM and ABE?

Account based marketing (ABM) and account based engagement (ABE) are two distinct approaches to customer outreach.

Both strategies focus on building customer relationships, but ABM is more holistic. It involves developing an overarching strategy for engaging with accounts by creating personalised content based on the interests of specific accounts. ABM campaigns also target these B2B customers via multiple channels. 

An account based engagement approach is more tactical and focuses on creating personalised experiences for each customer. It involves creating content specifically designed to engage customers in meaningful conversations, such as webinars or email campaigns.

While there are differences between both marketing strategies combining ABM and ABE is a good idea as B2B businesses can create comprehensive experiences for their customers that result in increased engagement and loyalty.

How to build an effective account based engagement strategy

Creating an effective ABM engagement strategy starts with understanding your target accounts. You must have a good grasp on who you’re trying to reach and their needs to tailor your approach accordingly.

Start by creating an ideal customer profile and calculating your TAM. (Cognism has a free TAM calculator you can use to get started)

Then get researching!

Look at:

  • Company background.
  • Industry trends.
  • Customer pain points.
  • Where your target leads are spending their time.

Once you have identified your target accounts and done your research, it's time to create an account based engagement plan. 

Your plan should include specific ABM tactics for reaching out and engaging with each account.

For example:

If you're using an intent data provider, you'll be able to find potential leads searching for a product like yours. Marketers can then create a personalised plan based on that account's specific pain point and reach out across channels where they spend most of their time.  

For each account, decide which channels you'll use to reach out, what type of content you'll create, and how often you'll contact them. 

Lastly, every strategic B2B marketing plan needs to be measured. Create account based engagement reports to analyse the success of your campaigns and identify areas that need improvement. Be sure to measure the following metrics:

  • Impressions.
  • Clicks.
  • Opens.
  • Visits.
  • Leads converted.
  • Revenue generated.

By tracking these ABM metrics regularly, you can gain valuable insights into how your digital account engagement strategy is performing and make any necessary changes or improvements.

💡Check out these account based marketing examples to inspire your next campaign!

How to track ABM engagement

At Cognism, we regularly help our customers to run targeted account based selling campaigns. We encourage them to track the engagement they have with their prospects by using the following template:

Tracking ABM Engagement Infographic

We’ve found this ABM template to be a helpful way of tracking ABM engagement over time. Not only does it list each engagement on a day-by-day basis, but it also shows how each interaction feeds into the success of the entire campaign.

Our advice is to keep your eye on the engagement score. Before you start your campaign, define your goals and set engagement scores against each goal.

For example:

A prospect answering an email could be a score of five, while booking a demo could be a score of eight. Add up all the engagement scores to see how well each campaign is doing in relation to others.

A quick trick here is to track your account based engagement scores in Excel or Google Sheets. There’s no need to shell out on expensive reporting solutions when you’re just starting with ABM.

Tracking account based engagement via an ABM tool is a vital first step in measuring the success of ABM. It’s easy to understand and track and can give you valuable insights early on. 

Simplify your ABM engagement even further. Give Cognism a try with 25 free leads 👇

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The insights you’ll gain from measuring engagement can be invaluable to the continued success of your ABM efforts. Here are some ABM data questions to get you thinking:

Are certain days of the week more popular for engagement than others? 

Do you find that you get more engagement on certain days than others? 

Are certain engagement types more popular on specific days?

The answers to these questions will tell you when are the best times for launching your ABM activities. They’ll inform your ABM campaign schedule and help you maximise your prospects' engagement.

How do individual prospects engage with your company?

Account based engagement works when it’s highly personalised and relevant to each prospect.

Look out for patterns in their behaviour.

  • Do they engage with specific channels but not others?
  • Do they usually respond at certain times of the day?
  • Are there particular messages or engagement types that they respond best to?

Use the information to get even more personalised. Double down on what works and build a campaign that’s laser-focused on the prospect and their needs. If you do this, you’ll find prospects moving down the ABM funnel in no time. 

How well are each account based engagement types performing?

ABM is a multi-channel undertaking. You have to interact regularly with your potential buyers across a number of different channels and media. It’s the only way to keep that meaningful relationship going.

That doesn’t mean you should throw your messages out there and hope for the best! 

Instead, find out which engagement types work best for each prospect. Then, you’ll know which engagement types you need to concentrate on. Use the template above to keep track of this.

The secret to successful ABM engagement

ABM engagement is about time.

It’s the same with any purchasing decision you make in any walk of life - the more time you spend in a shop, the more likely you are to buy something.

So it is with B2B buyers. The more time they spend interacting with your company, the more interest they show in buying from you.

With the right account based engagement approach, you can create strong relationships with your customers and maximise every opportunity for success.

However, you'll also need quality B2B data to achieve the best results. 

Book a demo with Cognism, and take your ABM to the next level 👇


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