Potential Touchpoints for ABM? They’re Ineffective without Actionable Personas
B2B Marketing Zone recently posted an article on 22 Potential Touchpoints for Your Next ABM Sales Play. The laundry list of possible touchpoints is thorough, including:
- Emails from various people (both in your company or respected analysts, for instance)
- Engaging prospects on various channels such as LinkedIn or blogs by commenting on their posts
- Sending direct snail mail or gifts
- And our favorite, targeting prospects with custom ads on channels such as LinkedIn, Google and Facebook
While this is a great article for those looking to reach out to prospects, the questions they suggest for planning your program are less than ideal. The three points they present for consideration before deciding on your touchpoints are: what’s your primary objective, the level of prior engagement, and the general nature of the program?
Yes, these matter. But they forgot the most crucial question of all, and one we would like to emphasize: who is your target audience?
There’s no way to reach the right prospects with custom ads if you don’t know who you’re customizing them for (well, no cost and time efficient way). And without AI and automation, finding this audience is a painstaking process.
Whole lotta touchpoints goin’ on…
The fact that B2B Marketing Zone was able to cobble together a list of 22 different touchpoints clues us in on one very good reason to precisely identify the Buying Group or other target audience you’re after, first and foremost: 22 effing touchpoints?
Figuring out which ones are effective with your target is trouble enough. If you don’t have a good bead on who you’re trying to reach, and an understanding of what touchpoints are really going to touch them, you might as well go back to spray-and-pray email blasting.
Ugh. Sorry to have mentioned it.
That’s why it’s critical to work out accurate, updated buyer personas that take into account every scrap of data you can cull about their needs, and their role within a targeted account. And, just as importantly, where and when you can reach them – and with what kind of content or message. In other words, making the most of the most applicable touchpoints.
It’s all about precision personas
In the past, personas based on interviews and survey results weren’t too accurate or actionable. Mostly title-based, with a few other details such as demography and psychography thrown in, they don’t go deep enough to deliver the multi-dimensional understanding we truly want and need. Worse yet, these personas were static, but updating them manually took a lot of time and money. Essentially, they hardly seemed worth the effort.
Worse yet, these personas were static, but updating them manually took a lot of time and money. On a cost-benefits basis, they hardly seemed worth the effort for ABM.
Enter artificial intelligence and automation.
A Deep Learning AI platform collects and connects data from a wide range of sources, including third-party sources and social media networks. This volume of data is typically giganormous. Or, since we’re talking about sifting through terabytes’ work of data, maybe “teranormous” is a better word?
Regardless, only an AI is capable of processing it all to uncover the insights needed to build three-dimensional personas. They’re more detailed, since they incorporate a wide array of data, get constantly updated in real time, and can even identify the best social networks of choice for engaging targets.
So get your actionable personas in order, customize your social media ads (don’t forget Google Adwords) accordingly, and watch the leads roll in. Now’s a good time to order those Starbucks cards, because you’re gonna be pretty busy as targeting works its magic.
Want more details on building actionable personas? Check out our ebook!