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Justin Gray

What is an ABM Playbook?

Justin Gray / January 18, 2017 / 0 Comments

Mapping out who needs to be involved, where, and when, can be a helpful resource for everyone.

If you played, watch or are in any way tangentially familiar with sports in general, you’re probably familiar with the concept of a playbook in that realm. Every player gets one, and it’s basically the team’s bible of role definitions, formations, and play sets. When new players come on, they get one as well to get them up to speed on the team’s way of doing things.

Kinda sounds like something that could be helpful in marketing and sales, don’t you think?

You might think, “Well, we have a brand book. That’s the same thing, right?” Nope—that’s the rules of the road for your brand. A marketing playbook is going to be your go-to resource for slam-dunk marketing executions. Rather than pulling something out of your butt at the last minute when you need to get something out there, you can go to your trusty playbook for standard, proven processes and the best ways to execute them.

Playbook content can vary depending on your needs, but we like treating it as a one-stop-read for your marketing efforts. Stuff it full of all kinds of helpful information to reference at any time and make it easier to get new peeps up-to-speed on your marketing approach and efforts.

Here are a few things to start with:

Target Accounts & Buyer Personas

Coaches would say to know your opponent. In your case, you just want to know your audience. I’m assuming you have audience data and (hopefully) personas, because you’re a good little marketer and I expect a lot from you. It’s a good place to start, so you’re always being reminded of whom you’re speaking to and what message (and type of message) gets through to them. Great playbooks assume we’re talking to buyers who make sense for us, as the time investment to personalize great “plays” is significant.

Types, Channels & Segments

The Content Marketing Institute suggests building out a full list of different content types you can utilize in your marketing efforts. For each, you can include things like best practices, a list of the resources needed to execute (copywriter, designer, developer, SME, etc.), and examples of each. Once you have a repeatable acquisition channel strategy you can segment your buyers to the channels that perform best for them—another playbook dependancy.

Engagement

It’s not enough to know what type of content you can create. You also need to know how that content is resonating with your buyers. Based on the type of interaction and the time buyers spend interacting we can begin to make intelligent decisions about where to invest our time and money.

Take a look at your existing content data and visually map out the most successful delivery paths for different content types. For example, executive alignment may work best via a social channel such as LinkedIn versus a sales coordination via email. Ultimately trial and error is necessary here, but should be limited. We need to get to the heart of what works and equip the rest of the team with these results-driven plays.

Processes, Roles & Responsibilities

So, who does what around here? Especially with larger teams or teams with convoluted approval trees, mapping out who needs to be involved in which types of projects can be a helpful resource for everyone. For one, it establishes a documented process that you can always point back to if someone goes rogue. And again, for new people, it can eliminate accidental toe-steppage and missed opportunities.

Basically, with a playbook, you’re creating a threaded, strategic process full of consistent, repeatable tactics based on a solid base of data and information. A single document for everyone involved to learn, refer to, pull from, engage with and repeat.

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