An Account-based Marketing Journey (Case Study)
We work with many healthcare account-based companies and we believe passionately that health tech and healthcare services firms should adopt ABM. In this case study, we hope to show you why and how to do that.
The company in this account-based marketing case study is a large technology and services firm that sells exclusively to healthcare organizations. They sell various services and solutions and have relationships with hundreds of healthcare organizations. Given the strategic importance of ABM to this company and that they are still in the early part of their ABM journey, we have kept the company’s name anonymous and changed some details about the nature of their business.
Why We Are So Passionate About Account-based Marketing
There is little difference in how you execute healthcare account-based marketing and account-based marketing in any other industry. The key difference is that selling to healthcare organizations is even tougher. In our view, ABM is even more important in selling to healthcare.
Sales cycles are typically longer than in any other industry, buyer collectives are bigger with more diverse roles involved, the problems are highly complex, and decisions are often harder to make for buyers. On the positive side, the market is highly addressable as there are good sources of account and individual data.
Moreover, the adoption of ABM at scale is low in healthcare, so mastering this strategy can be a competitive advantage. It’s hard to imagine a market where ABM could make a greater impact.
Think Crawl Walk Run
Over the last few years, this company has hired new executives in sales and marketing who are modernizing their growth strategy. Many had prior experience with the successful use of ABM at other companies.
These executives have a vision of how ABM could transform their firm. This included adopting a leading ABM platform. Before being able to implement this platform, there were significant CRM and data issues that would need to be resolved. This delayed the implementation of their selected platform. They used the intervening time to pilot ABM without this tool and hired healthlaunchpad to help with this.
We use an approach called ABM Acceleration with a process called Think Crawl Walk Run, as depicted below.
We were engaged in helping this company’s RPM business unit pilot ABM. This started with developing an ABM Playbook for a 120-day pilot. The goal of this pilot was to cross-sell RPM to the company’s current customers. For the purposes of the pilot, a target account list of 600 current customers was created.
Think – ABM Pilot Playbook
We collaborated with the RPM unit’s sales, SDR, and marketing team to design a healthcare account-based marketing pilot using our ABM Playbook methodology. This involved:
- Setting specific, measurable, attainable, and timebound goals
- Determining a tightly defined target account list
- Developing detailed personas and mapping out their buyer journeys
- Creating a content strategy using existing and a few content pieces
- Assessing third-party intent data
- Designing a paid media campaign via LinkedIn
- Building a simple measurement dashboard
The output was a 50-page blueprint for the pilot, including a detailed plan.
Crawl – The Pilot
The first thing was to switch on third-party intent data. The company had a Zoominfo ABM subscription, and we identified the relevant intent topics we could use for the pilot.
The first step in the pilot was to make these intent topics available to the SDRs. Their RevOps team integrated the Zoominfo data into their Salesforce instance and created an ABM dashboard for the SDRs. This dashboard showed which accounts appeared to be in-market for RPM.
In the first week of the pilot, an SDR saw that one of the company’s largest customers was showing high intent for RPM. The SDR reached out to the account executive who managed this account, and they reached out to the person in charge. This telehealth executive told them they were about to initiate a search for a new solution and would be included in this.
This early win galvanized the SDR team. Since then, the SDR team started their day by looking at this intent dashboard.
Linkedin Marketing Test
We then launched paid marketing test with LinkedIn ads. We ran ads across the 600 target accounts to titles that matched our personas. The ads were designed to address issues determined during the buyer journey analysis. These ads performed 150% higher than LinkedIn engagement benchmarks.
In the initial weeks of the campaign, we presented a weekly dashboard showing which accounts were engaging with the ads. This was shared with the SDR team each week so that they could focus their outreach effort on these accounts.
In the second half of the campaign, we used the intent data to narrow the target account list to accounts that appeared to be in-market. This boosted ad performance by an additional 50%.
This A/B test showed two things:
- Taking an ABM approach, even without intent data, increased the effectiveness of their marketing
- Using intent data boosted this performance
After 120 days of the campaign, the results were very encouraging:
- The SDRs booked 31 meetings and generated 17 qualified opportunities thanks largely to the use of intent data
- The Ads further helped identify 27 in-market accounts, including a deal that closed later
Over the following six months:
- The SDRs identified 300+ leads through intent data
- The sales teams closed $2.7 million that was attributable to the 120-day pilot
One of the “softer’ benefits of this approach is that it fostered collaboration between marketing, inside sales, sales, and account management.
Walk – Expansion
In year 2, they are taking the next step in their healthcare account-based marketing journey by creating a long-term ABM program for the division. This included:
- A market expansion strategy with well-defined target segments, Ideal Customer Profiles, target account lists for each, and a sequence of how they will expand their footprint.
- Creating more detailed buyer journeys based on customer interviews and refreshed messaging that addresses the ICP’s needs
- A long-term content plan and a year-long media strategy including multiple tests of different channels
- An improved marketing dashboard
In addition, the company engaged healthlaunchpad to use ABM principles to assist with account retention and growth. We conducted in-depth interviews with customers to determine what improvements were needed. We surfaced that they wanted more insights and ideas. This account insight underpins the development of a new thought leadership content program that will be supported by a personalized marketing and messaging strategy to solidify and grow these relationships.
Run – Future Plans
Long-term, this company plans to implement an already selected ABM platform to scale its healthcare account-based marketing model across the whole organization.
Like many companies, this firm embraces ABM with a deliberate, long-term strategy by starting small and taking incremental steps, learning as they go. By doing this company is changing the way they market to a higher performing and more efficient model without creating massive disruption.
Can We Help You?
- Check out more posts like this in the Total Customer Growth Resource Center. It is chock-full of articles, use cases, how-to’s, and ideas to get you started on your ABM journey.
- Follow me or connect with me on LinkedIn. I publish videos and articles on ABM, ABX and Total Customer Growth.
- Work with me directly. Let’s book a growth session and we can explore ways you can improve your marketing using the latest techniques in account-based marketing.
Originally posted on healthlaunchpad.com