The REACT model: taking your key accounts all the way on the customer journey

by Morten Kornerup
Blue Business A/S

The best companies are enabled by a new approach and by enabling new technology. Marketers and sales face many challenges: GDPR is definitely a game changer, and so is the increasing complexity in the buying center, and the concentration of buying power. Recent research (Celsius, 2017) indicates that for capital goods investment it is not unusual to have more than 30 persons involved in the buying process if the company employees more than 1,000.

But what do you do when you have limited awareness, limited account visibility, and you know that your customer wants to go 60-80% of the way before he or she even wants to talk to a sales person?

At Blue Business we believe that ABM (Account Based Marketing) represent a true paradigm shift for B2B companies. The drivers are:

• Bad quality leads
• Insufficient pipeline
• Insufficient number of key account contacts
• No or limited data on key account traffic on the corporate website
• Increasing financial dependence on key accounts

The REACT model is an ABM approach guiding you on how you engage efficiently with key account customers as well as prospective key accounts.

A typical initial step in an ABA program is to gain awareness. An efficient way is Account Based Advertising (ABA).  The first step in an ABA (Account Based Advertising) program is to identify the IP range that your key accounts are using. We will identify their IP address, ISP organization name and IP host names. The next step is to identify your target audience working inside the large accounts. Using advanced data from a DMP (Data Management Platform) we are able to draw up a digital DNA with 23 main categories, divided into approx. 300 sub-categories and 50 technical categories.


Every cookie has its own behavioral string

We are using cutting edge technology such as the two DSP’s (Demand-Side Platforms) AppNexus and AdForm to serve ads and start the Reached phase. (A DSP is a system that allows buyers of digital advertising inventory to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through one interface)

In the Reached phase it is now all about impressions, what is the optimal number of impressions per account?

It is our experience that not all key account will react to your ads. Certainly not at once, and at the same time. In the Enabled phase we are constantly tracking your corporate web sites, your campaign landing pages and the banners to identify which accounts are starting to engage with you. We use highly sophisticated cookie scripts that we together with your corporate web team will  place on the relevant sites

During a recent meeting one of my colleges said that “Engagement is the biggest challenge for B2B companies”. I am sure you have many other challenges, but my colleague has a point. So how do you achieve engagement:

OK, so we have used advanced IP research and advanced cookie pools to solve “Reach”. To me relevance is about serving the right content, in the right way, and at a time when the audience wants this content. Not when you want to serve that content. So, this is where creative and communications strategy plays it part. The KPI’s in the Attracted phase are number of visits to landing pages, time on page and of course CTR (Click through rate).

In the perfect ABM campaign, you will now have reached most of your key accounts and you will start seeing engagement. These first phases normally take one – two months to build up and you have now successfully covered a major part of the customer journey.

And for sure (provided you do it right) you will have provided a lot of marketing coverage to your sales people and given them very valuable insights into the engagement pattern of your key accounts.

Let’s face it. It is difficult to convert corporate buyers and influencers. It is difficult to get them to fill out a form or download gated content. In our experience ABSA (Account Based Social Advertising) where you combine the powers of LinkedIn with Facebook and Facebook Audience Network is very powerful when you want to provide leads to your sales force. Social media is developing really fast and constantly offers new ways of lead generation. Using social media, you will generally experience higher CTR’s in this phase. A really powerful way of getting conversions is LinkedIn Content Sharing where the share is placed in the persons Notifications section of LinkedIn. Because LinkedIn Content Sharing is personal the recipient gets the notification 3 times: in the email inbox, in the Notification section of the browser-based LinkedIn, and in your app on your mobile devise. This helps ensure very high CTR’s – often as high as 6 – 10%, sometimes even higher.

Once you have secured consent to digital communications you are perfectly positioned to engage in 1:1 Account Based Marketing initiatives to nurture your target accounts and drive deeper more meaningful relationships and demand across you accounts. This is where Account Based Marketing Automation – we call it ABMA – comes into play. To enable ABMA and bring the necessary intelligence to your sales and marketing teams, make sure you deploy a marketing automation platform that can give you account wide insight. Imagine being able to show account level lead scoring, combine decision maker insights and serve highly targeted campaigns for microsegments inside the decision-making unit of your accounts?

One final note: ABM is not about campaigns only. ABM is a strategy, and it is about growing your company bottom line by aligning sales and marketing efforts. ABM is not a “tick here, done that” activity. We advise you to have a continuous presence so that you can catch the big fish when they are ready to be caught. Start off small with an ABM pilot and have an agile attitude to how you manage the program.