Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has been a hot topic in B2B marketing strategy lately. Marketers are going crazy for the ability to collect information on their targeted accounts and use it to reach them more effectively. There are many different ABM approaches that marketers can take to do this (email campaigns, digital advertising, trade shows, etc.), but one of the more common tactics is to use reverse IP lookup to identify when an employee from a particular company lands on your homepage. Typically, marketers are looking to ensure that visitors see content specific to their industries on the homepage.

The problem with this is that reverse IP lookup technologies, including our own B2B Detect product, have limited coverage. Only companies with their own dedicated IP address ranges match to an account or industry with these technologies, and even in those companies, the coverage is declining as more people work from home or do research on their phones and tablets while on the go.

As a result, this approach creates very narrow segments, meaning that only a limited number of visitors to your site will see a personalized experience. If you are investing in a solution to provide this experience, you aren’t maximizing your ROI.  

By incorporating a visitor’s intent and real-time behaviors into the mix, we can create more accurate segments. For example, if a visitor lands deep-linked on a blog post that pertains to a specific industry or solution, we can leverage his interest in this topic to make the rest of his experience more relevant.

In this post, I’ll show you how to do this to make your account-based marketing more effective.

Intent-Based Marketing

Intent-based marketing leverages a visitor’s behavior to identify what information the person is looking for (in other words, what that person’s intent is). It can complement reverse IP lookup tactics to enhance an ABM strategy by creating more accurate segments of visitors on your site. You’ll get huge returns by leveraging all your visitors’ browsing data to make informed decisions on what to show them.

Here’s how. If a visitor spends time on your blog, the specific articles he reads are a big clue to what he is interested in and who he is. Intent-based marketing will look at the quality attributes associated with the article—like titles, categories or tags—and will enable you to personalize visitors’ site experience based on these factors too. This means that even if a reverse IP lookup is not able to identify a visitor’s company or industry, intent-based marketing can infer it for you and ensure that the visitor is offered the most relevant content, designed to help him advance through the buyer’s journey.

And this information can be used to personalize across the site — not just the homepage. For example, it can suggest other relevant blog posts to him while he is on the blog or promote the most relevant case studies, eBooks or webinars.

An Intent-Driven Case Study

Evergage.com, for example, uses intent-based marketing as part of its ABM strategy to pick up signals and augment targeting from IP lookup. Like most B2B companies, Evergage has different target profiles. The first thing we want to know about a visitor is whether they belong to one of our target industries. That way, we can welcome them with the most relevant solution messaging and client examples. We consider it a waste of real estate to show a B2B case study on demand generation to a B2C retailer.

First, we set rules based on the user’s industry or company using reverse IP lookup, like most solutions that help marketers with ABM. Below, we create a rule for visitors who are affiliated with the retail industry.

Image 1: Creating a Personalization Rule based on the Account’s Industry

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With this rule, we change the content of our default home page (Image 2) when we detect that a visitor comes from a retail company by adjusting the image and messaging and modifying the list of logos to show only companies in the retail industry (Image 3).

Image 2: Default, Non-personalized Home Page

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Image 3: Retail-specific Home Page Experience

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While this is a good start, it still results in very narrow segments. So we also include parameters to ensure that those who aren’t identified with reverse IP lookup are still provided with a personalized experience. Here we target based on visitors’ browsing patterns — how much time they have spent on industry-specific pages and on blog articles by category, and how many articles of each category they have viewed.

Here’s an example of how a more expansive rule would be set up (Image 4).

Image 4: Creating a Personalization Rule based on the Account plus Favorite Article Category

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Use a Multi-Layered Approach

The basic truth about marketing is that information rules. The more you know about the people visiting your site (and the more you can take action on what you know), the more likely you are to convert them into qualified sales leads.

Leveraging account-based marketing and personalization on your website is a great way to create personalized experiences for your visitors. But when you rely only on reverse IP lookup to identify the industries of your visitors, you are sure to miss many (if not most) of your opportunities due to lack of coverage. A robust personalization strategy will leverage intent data to maximize coverage and deliver relevant experiences.