Although the concept of direct, targeted account marketing is not new, a disciplined and coordinated focus on account-based marketing (ABM) across the B2B marketing industry has come on like gangbusters over the past 12 months. Numerous service and software providers have joined the movement and are providing much-needed tools to enable more precise, focused and multi-channel engagement with specific Named Account targets.
Along with Terminus, we’ve been highlighting several B2B marketers at the forefront of account-based marketing in 2016. So far we have featured Julia Stead, director of demand generation at Invoca, Christopher Engman, founder of Vendemore, and Adam New-Waterson, CMO of LeanData. .
This week we’re excited to feature Tyler Lessard CMO for Vidyard. Tyler will be a featured speaker at the #FlipMyFunnel event in San Francisco.
1. How and when should an organization begin leveraging ABM practices?
From my experience, account-based marketing actually starts with an effective account-based selling strategy. The two need to go hand-in-hand, and you’re only going to see strong returns from ABM if your sales team is in a position to support the strategy while guiding marketing on account prioritization.
The second critical condition for ABM success is good data and a strong foundation in marketing operations. ABM programs don’t just run themselves and they feed off of marketing data and real-time automation. So we’ve seen success kicking off ABM programs once we’re confident in our ability to source good data and to automate the collection of ‘intent’ and ‘propensity to buy’ data, and when the sales team is on board and aligned to help make it work.
2. What are your best practices for integrating ABM efforts with your sales team’s enterprise sales strategy?
Adapt your ABM strategy to how your sales team actually sells! Don’t force your sales team to perform unnatural acts. For example, our enterprise sales team is comprised of Business Development Reps (BDRs) who do outbound prospecting and Account Executives (AEs) who focus on working qualified leads and very specific opportunities.
To align to that, our ABM program consists of turnkey outbound campaigns for the enterprise BDRs that enable them to quickly go wide in target accounts, while we also offer programs that help the AEs go deep and target very specific prospects in each account. ABM is never a one-size-fits-all, understand how your your sales team works and how deals really get managed, and complement that strategy.
3. How have you or your customer integrated ABM with other marketing efforts – including inbound marketing? Or has ABM replaced other, less effective marketing efforts?
ABM has been 100% complementary to other programs that we run as a marketing team. We use ABM to help us target specific accounts that we’re going after, but also to help us identify new accounts, verticals or segments that we should be focusing on within our other programs.
For example, through our ABM efforts we identified multiple companies in the Insurance vertical that were responding well and showing greater-than-average intent to buy. Based on that, we increased our investment in ABM targeting this space, but we also increased our investment in new outbound and inbound programs to target leads in this vertical with better thought leadership and more targeted offers. This helps to emphasize the point that ABM should never be a silo unto itself, and frankly, I see it as a discipline more than a function or a program.
4. What does your ABM tech stack consist of currently?
Our ABM tech stack consists of:
- Terminus (digital advertising)
- Big Willow (account identification, digital advertising, and contact source)
- Wanted Analytics (account identification via hiring of video-related jobs)
- KiteDesk (contact source)
- Social123 (contact source)
- Vidyard (customized and personalized videos)
- Pardot (email campaigns such as Top 200)
5. What are your primary metrics for ABM progress and success?
We’re data-driven marketers at heart and we track, well, everything we can! With respect to ABM, we look at a range of metrics related to opportunity development, progression velocity and conversion rates within targeted accounts that are part of our ABM program. We currently focus on how are results in these areas compare to historical averages and benchmarks. When we see trends moving in the right direction, we know we’re doing something right. When we don’t, we learn and we course correct.
6. What is one thing you want to share that people should expect to learn at the #flipmyfunnel conference?
Very practical ideas and tips that you can start using the very next day. This is key. The strategy discussions are great, but what’s more important is seeing real marketers sharing real examples of what they’ve done, and how you can do it as well.
During my talk, I’m going to share very specific examples of ads we’ve run, tactics we’ve used, videos we’ve created, and emails we’ve sent – some of which worked, and some of which didn’t. And I really look forward to hearing other marketer’s stories so I can start trying new things on February 26th!
Don’t miss Tyler and hundreds of ABM professionals at the #FlipMyFunnel event.