Content Marketing ABM's Secret Superpower

Is Strategic Content Marketing ABM’s Secret Superpower?

Sean is probably one of the best Salespeople I know. He could sell the proverbial ice to a community in northern Alaska. Sean’s biggest challenge, today, is getting in front of the right people at the right time to make the sale.

A powerful new SaaS product for a very specific niche

Sean has a powerful new SaaS product for a very specific niche in the B2B financial industry. It is better, cheaper, and has more functionality than any of the competition. The very precise nature of the niche means that the market is small, but very lucrative. Sean has relationships with many of the players in this niche, but not enough relationships to generate the critical mass of customers he needs to ensure the successful launch of his product. My role as his digital marketing coach is to work with Sean and his marketing team to reduce his leads to sales timeline.

The default launch strategy is an account based marketing approach. Sean has done his research and he has complied a database of all the players in his market. He knows the companies and the roles he needs to target, and he has put names and emails to each of these roles.

Email open rates are exceptionally low for unsolicited emails

So the standard digital marketing approach to grow market share is to load this data into a CRM tool like Salesforce, create a sequence of emails, build a couple of custom workflows around specific interactions, and then hit the send button. But we all know email open rates are exceptionally low for unsolicited emails.

But we can increase open rates by warming up our demographic before we even send the first email. That’s where our strategic content marketing campaign comes into play. We know the industry and the principle job titles we want to target. We also have a database with names and emails. Now we can use the targeting functionality of LinkedIn ads to present carefully curated content to the members of our demographic before they even receive their first email from us. Similar targeted campaigns on other platforms like Twitter and Youtube allow us to build out a multitouch campaign which increases both brand awareness and trust.

Content Marketing ABM's Secret Superpower

But here is the real secret of our superpower. Remember, we are not trying to generate leads. We have our leads in our database. Our objective is generate familiarity with our brand and message, so that when our email hits the inbox, it looks familiar and trustworthy. We don’t need interactions, although interactions are always welcome. We need eyeballs on our brand and our content, and eyeballs are much cheaper and easier to obtain than interactions and leads.

A concentrated pool of highly accessible contacts

We can thus focus our efforts purely on creating amazing content that resonates with Sean’s target demographic. Sure, we should be using interactions (views and likes) and direct actions (shares and follows) to measure the effectiveness of different types of content and copy, but our principle KPI is cumulative eyeballs.

If we can compare content marketing to drag-netting and account based marketing to spearfishing, then, by combining both, Sean, our intrepid spear fisherman, should not have to swim so far to hit the critical mass he needs. If we are able to implement this combined strategy effectively we should be able to create a concentrated pool of highly accessible contacts with whom Sean can interact effectively because each contact has already learned to trust his message.


  • Alastair Thompson

    I’ve led teams on 5 continents and worked with large companies and individual entrepreneurs to launch their products, their businesses, and their dreams. I have twenty years of deep, practical experience in data-based digital marketing. I have an undergraduate degree in process engineering, a master's degree in education, and a project management certification from HarvardX. I am a mentor to other leaders and an advisor for technology startups. I have founded two successful businesses. I coach groups and individuals.

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