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The missing link in your B2B channel strategy

Impact your customer’s customers directly – and precisely

If you are in a manufacturing industry it is becoming increasingly difficult to reach, connect with, and ultimately convince the end-buyers. It is actually getting worse than you may realize. Much worse.

Commoditized products and services

We all know that buyers have changed more in the last five years than ever in history. They are more digital, they buy in ever-growing committees, and they conduct online product research anonymously, months before reaching out to you – all of which makes the buying process so much more complex.

New Forrester report highlights dramatic changes

Channels are changing too. According to a recent Forrester report, fully 75 percent of the world’s trade now flows via indirect channels, and not necessarily the ones that first come to mind. In fact, traditional channels are increasingly being replaced by new types of “shadow channels”, ranging from ecosystem consultants to industry-based professional services, independent software vendors and a new breed of “born-in-the cloud” firms.

For manufacturers, who often deal with particularly complex offerings and business environments, this added level of expertise could further alienate the manufacturer from end-users, gradually turning highly valued and trusted experts and partners into mere commodity suppliers.

Manufacturers often ask us how their large-account sales teams can use account-based marketing (ABM) strategies to adapt to these new buying patterns. And, even trickier, what the strategy should be when working with channel partners.

Never let the end-user out of sight

When marketing through one or several distributors, it’s easy to  lose sight of the real decision-makers. You may not even know who they are and what they do, much less what they want and how they respond to your and your distributors’ offerings and messages.

Don’t despair. Even though they are visiting your (and your partners’) websites anonymously, you can now (with the right tools) monitor their every move and thus tap into a veritable gold mine of valuable data. This rich, sometimes business-critical information can be analyzed, shared and exploited together with your channel partners. What’s more, it can be done in  a personal – not just “personalized” – way, even before you know who they are.

This behavioral insight can also be useful in helping you attribute marketing funds to the right accounts or products. Whether it’s by you directly, or via your channel partners.

ABM can make all the difference

Account-based marketing can be used for more than just influencing your direct target accounts. It is also a powerful way to educate and inspire, in an automated way, end-users buying through a distributor. And, of course, assist and direct the distributors themselves.

As useful as it is for your direct sales team, an account-based marketing solution can bring value to you and your channel by allowing you to:

  • Ensure everybody understands everything worth knowing about the end customer
  • Use ABM to educate and inspire the channel and the end user to your view of the world
  • Support your channel partners with targeted messaging, sequenced to the right accounts
  • Provide account engagement intelligence to help your channel prioritize activities with target accounts

Would you like to get in touch with other marketing and sales executives who share your interest in account-based marketing in the manufacturing industry? Simply join here.