Account-based marketing (ABM) is an increasingly effective strategy for B2B law firms. In fact, research shows that 76% of marketers achieved higher ROI with ABM than with any other marketing strategy. ABM involves targeting a specified and pre-defined list of companies or individuals. Instead of targeting the entire world of people who could be in the market for your services, you refine your targeting to a list of companies that you know will convert well based on factors like company size, company revenue, industry, etc.
The reality is that there are a lot of law firms that would benefit from implementing a target account strategy, but they don’t have the resources required to run ABM successfully. As a law firm marketer, you should be considering ABM – but there are several items you need to consider and prepare for before you get started. Follow our checklist as a guide to creating a comprehensive ABM program.
Account-Based Marketing Strategy: A Checklist for Law Firms
✔ Well-Defined Goals and Objectives
A crucial first step is understanding what specific results you’d like to see. In order to achieve success, you need to identify specific, measurable goals for your ABM program. What are the KPIs you’ll use to measure those goals? Rather than just leads, you’ll need to look at things like target account awareness, engagement, and pipeline from target accounts.
✔ Internal Resources
Who will lead your ABM efforts? You need a dedicated person to coordinate strategy and execution. They should put together a framework for identifying priority accounts and other individuals who should be involved. If you’re strapped for time, you may want to consider working with a partner to ensure your ABM program has dedicated resources.
✔ Selected Target Accounts
Your business development team likely has a “wish list” of clients they want to engage with. That list alone is not enough for an impactful ABM strategy. Target accounts need to be carefully selected based on the greatest revenue potential as well as the highest likelihood of becoming a loyal client. What criteria are you using to develop your target list? And to what extent do you already have complete contact information for those targets?
✔ Internal Buy-In
The most successful ABM efforts involve collaboration between marketing and business development teams. When both departments are committed to the strategy, they are more likely to be active participants in both the planning and execution. Before getting started, ensure that your executive team supports the ABM initiative. Are there any other concerns that need to be taken into account? Only when the firm as a whole is engaged in the ABM program can you achieve results.
✔ An Audience Profile
Understanding your audience is always important when it comes to marketing – but it’s absolutely essential for ABM. In order to drive engagement, all of your messaging, tactics, and content need to be tailored to your audience. That means it needs to be highly personalized and relevant. Define each of the roles that you’ll be targeting: their key pain points, challenges, interests, etc. Develop ideal client profiles (ICP) for influencers, stakeholders, and decision-makers. An ICP defines the firmographic and behavioral attributes of the accounts that are expected to become a law firm’s most valuable clients.
✔ Impactful Use Cases
ABM can be applied to multiple marketing and business development objectives. Start by defining and then prioritizing each of these use cases. Where else is ABM a fit and what are the tactics involved? Describe each scenario where ABM will be helpful, even if they are not currently a priority. Look at areas like client conversion or competitive replacement and talk to each department of your firm to see which use cases might apply.
✔ Personalized Content
Relevant content is a key ingredient for any ABM program. Begin by taking an inventory of all of your current content. What whitepapers, webinars, eBooks, videos, or other content might be usable in your ABM efforts? Map that content to personas, verticals, or other account differentiators. Then you can see which content needs to be repurposed and where new content is required. Create a plan for developing any content that’s missing according to your mapping exercise, along with a timeline for updating versions of current content.
You’ll need a lot of content around common industry pain points, competitive matrices, etc. What would convince you, as a decision maker, to choose your firm over the competition? That’s what you should be highlighting on the landing pages you’re sending your target accounts to.
✔ Optimal Channels
Now that you have defined your target accounts, it is important to use the correct channels to effectively reach them. Focusing on the channels they use allows you to connect with your target accounts and key stakeholders on their terms, increasing the likelihood of success in your ABM initiatives. It is important to note, too, that this can vary depending on the account, so you may need to adjust and refine your channels as you adapt your strategy.
✔ Required technologies
Can ABM be executed without a strong technology stack? Yes, but it’s not easy. The right technology will make ABM easier to implement and scale over time, and it will make all of your tactics faster and more streamlined. Do you have the technology that you need in place? Things like marketing automation, predictive analytics, account-based analytics, and lead nurturing can all enhance your ABM campaigns significantly. Spend time understanding your technology’s functionality and where there are gaps. Do you need to invest in any new technology?
✔ Measurement protocols
Do you have the tools and resources in place to track the performance of your ABM campaigns? Number one on our checklist is defined goals – but how will you know if you’re reaching them? Know ahead of time which tools you’ll use to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and analyze progress over time.
Without proper planning, your law firm’s account-based marketing initiatives will be short-lived and lackluster. There’s no harm in making plans for a robust ABM campaign before you’ve checked off each of these items – but you should have them in place if you expect powerful results. For more insights on ABM, check out our on demand webinar, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) for Law Firms.
If you are curious how other law firms have already started running account-based marketing campaigns or if you’d like help getting started with your own campaigns, contact us today for help.