Pardot Account-Based Marketing Strategies: a Guide for Sales & Marketing Managers

Jun 12, 2024

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Today’s B2B marketer has to win in a more competitive environment but with fewer resources. How to achieve this is actually quite simple: with more focus and better targeting. Pardot account-based marketing strategies are perfect for B2B companies targeting high-value, long-term customer accounts and with personalised campaigns. As a B2B marketing automation platform, Pardot offers a robust set of tools to help you design, implement and optimise all your ABM strategies effectively.

Let me go over the practical aspects of using Pardot for ABM, offering you detailed tips and real-world suggestions to help both your sales and marketing managers drive success.

Understanding ABM and Its Benefits

Account-Based Marketing is the strategic approach that focuses on identifying and targeting key accounts with customised marketing efforts.

Unlike traditional marketing strategies that cast a wide net, ABM zeroes in on high-value targets, tailoring campaigns to address their specific needs and pain points. This targeted approach not only improves engagement but also enhances the alignment between sales and marketing teams, ultimately driving higher ROI.

According to Salesforce research, B2B companies with ABM programs report a 38% higher sales win rate and 91% larger deal sizes, leading to 24% faster revenue growth. So, moving towards an ABM approach seems a sound business decision, right?!

Why Pardot for ABM?

As a platform, Pardot is uniquely positioned to support ABM initiatives due to its seamless integration with Salesforce, advanced automation capabilities, and comprehensive analytics. With Pardot, you can streamline your ABM efforts, ensuring that your marketing and sales teams are working in harmony to nurture and convert high-value accounts. This is key!

Setting Up Your ABM Framework in Pardot

To effectively apply Pardot account-based marketing strategies, it’s essential to apply a solid framework to your work. Here’s our step-by-step guide to get you started:

step 1. Identify Target Accounts

Begin by collaborating with your sales team to identify high-value accounts. Use criteria such as company size, industry, revenue potential, and engagement history to create a list of target accounts. In Salesforce, you can use the Account object to organize and manage these accounts.

Tip: Use Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics to gain deeper insights into potential accounts, identifying those most likely to convert based on historical data and predictive analytics.

[Learn more: How many account-based marketing companies to target?]

step 2. Build Account Personas

Develop detailed personas for each target account, outlining their specific challenges, goals, and decision-making processes. This will help you tailor your messaging and content to resonate with each account.

Tip: Use Pardot’s custom fields and segmentation rules to categorize and manage these personas, ensuring that your content and messaging are highly relevant.

step 3. Create Personalized Content

Tailor your content to address the unique needs and pain points of each target account. This includes personalized emails, landing pages, case studies, and webinars.

Tip: Leverage Pardot’s dynamic content feature to deliver personalized experiences on your website and emails. For example, show different case studies or testimonials based on the visitor’s industry or job title.

[Learn more about personalisation: Email personalisation is the new conversion rate optimisation]

Executing ABM Campaigns in Pardot

Once your framework is in place, it’s time to execute your ABM campaigns. Here are the next steps and some practical tips to ensure your campaigns are effective:

step 4. Engage with Multi-Channel Campaigns

Utilize a mix of email marketing, social media, and targeted ads to engage your target accounts. Pardot’s Engagement Studio allows you to create sophisticated, multi-channel campaigns that nurture leads through personalized journeys.

Tip: Use Pardot’s Engagement Studio to set up automated workflows that guide prospects through a customized journey based on their interactions and behaviors. For example, if a prospect downloads a whitepaper, automatically follow up with a personalized email inviting them to a webinar on a related topic. Engagement Studio is a most-ideal canvas to design and execute Pardot acount-based marketing strategies.

bonus step. Align Sales and Marketing Efforts

Ensure that your sales and marketing teams are aligned and working towards common goals. Regularly share insights and updates about target accounts to maintain a cohesive strategy.

Tip: Use Pardot’s Salesforce Engage to give your sales team access to real-time prospect activity and insights, enabling them to engage in more informed and meaningful conversations.

[Learn more about: 4 Easy Steps to Align the Sales and Marketing teams]

step 5. Measure and Optimize

Continuously monitor the performance of your ABM campaigns and make data-driven adjustments. Use Pardot’s comprehensive analytics to track key metrics such as engagement, conversion rates, and revenue generated from target accounts.

Tip: Create custom reports in Salesforce to visualize the impact of your ABM efforts. Track metrics like account engagement scores, deal velocity, and pipeline contribution to measure success and identify areas for improvement.

[Handy tool for organisation: Pardot Naming Convention Widget]

Tips for ABM Success with Pardot

tip 1. Leverage Advanced Segmentation

Pardot’s segmentation capabilities allow you to create highly targeted lists based on account-specific criteria. Use dynamic lists to automatically update your segments as new data comes in, ensuring that your campaigns remain relevant and timely.

tip 2. Implement Lead Scoring and Grading

Use Pardot’s lead scoring and grading features to prioritize accounts based on their engagement and fit. Customize your scoring model to reflect the specific criteria that indicate a high-value prospect, such as job title, company size, and interaction frequency.

[Learn more: Mastering Pardot Lead Qualification: a Guide to Boosting Conversions ]

tip 3. Use Account-Based Analytics

Take advantage of Pardot’s analytics to gain insights into the performance of your ABM campaigns. Track metrics such as email open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates at the account level to understand what’s working and where improvements are needed.

Pardot Account-Based Marketing Strategies – Framework wrap-up

Account-Based Marketing is a powerful strategy that can significantly enhance your B2B marketing efforts, especially when executed using a robust platform like Pardot. By following the steps outlined in this guide and leveraging Pardot’s advanced features, you can create highly personalized campaigns that resonate with your target accounts and drive meaningful business results. The key to ABM success lies in continuous collaboration between sales and marketing, and the strategic use of data to inform and optimise your efforts.

By implementing these practical tips and leveraging the full potential of Pardot, you’ll be well on your way to implementing a successful ABM plan and achieving your business goals.

Troubleshooting your Pardot account-based marketing strategies

Many companies get fantastic ROI from ABM. A Forbes’ survey found that 77% of respondents were achieving a 10% or greater ROI from ABM compared to other forms of marketing. And close to half (45%) of respondents were “achieving more than double the ROI from ABM.”  Those are phenomenal benefits.

So, if your ABM strategy is missing the mark, why would that be? There are 5 possible reasons:

Reason 1: Your ABM is not aligned with buyer needs.

ABM is not just working with a small lists of account. You actually must build your ABM strategies around your key accounts’ wants and needs. Once you know what your buyers are searching for, then you’ll find that when your email and other marketing content is centred around that, you’ll won’t miss your mark. 

Reason 2: Your ABM is not aligned with your buyers’ timing.

Being in sync with the timing of 1 buyer is one thing, but getting in sync with the timing of a buying committee is another. By getting to know your target client business, it buying cycles and sense of urgency and priorities, it will be easier to align your communication with where they are at in the buying cycle.

Reason 3: Your Sales and Marketing is not aligned.

Schedule time each across your Sales and marketing teams to work through joint-approaches for key accounts and you’ll find you’re onto the path to greater success.

Reason 4: You’re not talking to (all of ) the buying committee.

I love this chart by Gartner that shows how the Buying group actually operates. It only talks to YOU (and all your competitors) for a total of 17% of its time. Two things come to mind: be sure to be ‘talking’ to them via your online and offline resources. And 2: be sure to include video into your marketing mix, so they get to know you better.

Salesforce Pardot account-based marketing strategies - Gartner buyer attention for your sales team

Reason 5: You’re not focused on the buyers’ needs in their journey enough to win their trust.

We get it, it’s tricky. For this to work, you need to consider where they are in their decision-making process. Them, what their emotional triggers are – prior to engagement.  To manage this, get in as early as possible in the buying process. And once you understand their needs, prescribe a solution that would satisfy these, without bias. Be rational, but leverage your buyers emotions and ‘intuitive’ biases too.

[Learn more in general about How to craft a Successful B2B Marketing Automation Strategy – all these principles also apply to Pardot Account-based Marketing Strategies.]

Making Pardot Account-based Marketing Strategies work for you

We hope you enjoyed our article on ABM with Pardot. At CloudAnalysts, we’re experienced and certified in Pardot and ABM consultants. [CloudAnalysts: officially Salesforce ABM Accredited] Talk to us about your marketing goals and sales objectives. ABM with Pardot might just be right for you.

Interested to learn more?

We would be very happy to help you.