Building the Right Decision Making Tree: An Approach to Target Account Profiling
Who is the decision maker that will ultimately decide on whether to purchase your solution or product? Are they the big cheese or do they sit in a little cubicle office like most of us? Better still, how do these decision makers actually make the final decision? I imagine a team of experts surrounding the decision maker and they are all jockeying for the purchase of their preferred solution which is likely being pushed on them by their employees (people I like to call the “power users”).
So how do you go about building the decision making tree? In a previous blog I wrote, I talked about the difference between a list build and a list buy. In an instance where you are focused on ABM, understanding how a key target company makes decisions to purchase products or solutions is critical to your marketing strategy.
I look at it like a big oak tree with tons of branches and as you climb the tree it becomes more challenging and intricate, much like a decision making model. The higher and broader the oak tree the more challenging it is to climb and maneuver, not unlike account engagement. The bigger the company the more complex it is to engage and manage the messaging around the organization. This is why building an account profile that identifies all the participants in the decision making process is critical. Building advocacy internally with influencers and power users can help cut through the noise when making an impact at the decision making level, which is not easily executed without a full account perspective.
In other words, gaining a full viewpoint of the account will help with other aspects of your marketing strategy. Having a complete understanding of the decision making tree and what resources are leveraged at each stage in the decision making process can ultimately help you formulate other marketing elements within your strategy. Marketing elements such as:
- Content blueprint
- Engagement plan
- Campaign messaging
Take for example the content blueprint, without understanding the decision making journey, it’s difficult to know what type of content you need to produce and when and where to promote it. Gaining the insight into an account hierarchy can help you formulate a content strategy to cover all aspects of the buying journey. You may want to start by heavily influencing your decision makers with your brand messaging and some key thought leadership pieces while providing the power users with content that will enable success in their day to day jobs. Content is there to support and compliment the overall journey, which is ultimately defined by the target account profile established.
Another perspective to appreciate from account profiling is the insight into the corporate agenda. While building your decision making tree, you can piece together key channels of communication, social communities and profiles, and perhaps uncover some key pain points that your prospect may be experiencing. These are invaluable to the sales process because it empowers marketers to become extremely prescribed and personal in their approach.
In fact, you may want to consider building a framework highlighting key components within your target account profile that will assist with your campaign success. For example, aligning key targets with their favorite content channels will help you define a content strategy and propel your marketing efforts to the next level. It may even shorten the sales cycle! Your framework may look something like this:
I can take the above chart and begin to map content pieces to each target profile within the target account I am after. I now know where to place the content promotion to yield the highest return and I know who to engage at what stage in the decision making funnel.
In an account based marketing world, we as marketers need to prescribe to a targeted and personalized approach to marketing in order to stay important and relevant to our customers and prospects. This is not something new being said here but, it is a reminder that personalization is meant to be an enhancement of the overall experience and not simply your first name put in the email being sent!
If you’d like to discuss account profiling, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Data Reef below or fill out the form on the right to book an appointment!