The Role Buyer Personas Play In Account Based Marketing

Olin Hyde
February 14, 2017

Account based marketing (ABM) is a marketing strategy that is mainly defined by targeting a very narrow selection of key accounts within your company’s audience. ABM stands in stark contrast to the usual wide net that B2B marketers tend to prefer, but it’s proven again and again to be highly effective.

A major aspect of successful ABM is an in-depth understanding of a company’s core markets, so that its efforts can be directed at those most likely to convert.

This approach means that an increasing number of brands are boosting their efforts to find out who their ideal prospects are. But the most successful brands do even more – they revitalize their buyer personas to reflect new data, and continue to build them out, instead of discarding them—an effort that works well.

Below we tell you why this approach works so well.

For most industries, B2B purchases are a team sport. You’re likely to find gathering information around the direct decision maker fairly easily. But it’s a bit harder to find out who else influences his or her decisions.

The usual suspects are their executive management and coworkers, but they may also ask for advice from a variety of department heads, and even friends who may be more knowledgeable.

For some industries, such as some marketing and advertising strategy vendors, they may even ask interns to vet the effectiveness of the offering – this is especially true of social media SaaS vendors.

All these individuals may be someone hidden from view, but if you’re aware of them, they should be included in your buyer personas—even if you don’t have enough data to include them in your AI or analytics.

So how exactly do you evolve your buyer personas to help with your account based marketing? Take a look at these three major factors that you’ll learn more about through your ABM efforts:

  • Demographics

As you’ll be studying your target accounts in detail, you’ll know quite a bit about their demographics and psychographics. Collect that information, and note any trends on accounts that are more or less likely to convert. 

Also, collect any accounts that have different preferences in style and marketing strategy. Include this new information as you build out your buyer personas to create a much more informed marketing department.

  • Action Prompts

It’s important that you note not just what kind of people are your most successful – and least successful – customers, but also what moves them to action over the course of your relationship.

Do they ever decide to purchase at a surprising time? Is there a particular sales technique, language, or even landing page that seems to work best with these accounts? Why is that, and what can you do to make the rest of your attempts more successful?

  • Incorrect Information

ABM will do more than uncover new information. It will also highlight inaccuracies in your buyer personas. So make sure to note when you find contradictory evidence of buyer attributes as you study your most successful customers.

Also note that this does not necessarily mean that the data has always been wrong – it may indicate a change in the industry. As it’s rare for changes to take place one at a time, make sure to study the rest of your information to ensure you aren’t missing any opportunities, or inaccurate in other aspects of your B2B targeting.

Last Word — Never Lose Focus

As you continue your ABM efforts, you’ll continue to learn more about your most lucrative and loyal clients. Make sure to collect that information over time so that your marketing efforts never lose focus.

Additionally, if you share that information with us, our AI will continuously re-calibrate to bring you the most qualified leads!

Further Reading

Lainey Mebust
July 10, 2020
Lainey Mebust
June 24, 2020
Lainey Mebust
November 22, 2019