We had the pleasure of talking with the talented Moira van den Akker, formerly the Senior Manager of Demand Generation at Trimble. Formerly, because since this recording Moira has changed jobs and is now Senior Manager, Demand Generation at Demandbase. In this episode, we talk about ABM—Account Based Marketing—something that’s all the rage these days. Take a listen to learn what real ABM orchestration looks like. In Moira’s case, her ABM pilot drove 3 new pipeline opportunities (out of 15 named accounts) in the first 30 days.  

What you’ll learn in this episode: 

  • There is a difference between account-based campaigns and account-based marketing, where you have real alignment with sales, going after shared targets.

  • How to pitch an ABM effort to senior leadership, and who the stakeholders should be.

  • How to measure account-based efforts.

  • How to curate and personalize content for each account.

  • Perfect is the enemy of the good – how to launch quickly and iterate as you go.

  • You need the right market intelligence and messaging to make the tech and targeting work well.

Here’s what Moira’s campaign execution looked like:

  1. 20 total accounts were identified for the pilot.

  2. They used Uberflip to spin up custom curated landing pages for each account.

  3. They sent personalized emails to account contacts.

  4. They leveraged LinkedIn ads.

  5. They leverage programmatic display ads via 6Sense, along with 6Sense intent data.

Things to keep in mind for your next ABM campaign:

  1. Get real insights from your sales teams about each account. This will help when the time comes to create and curate content personalized for these people.

  2. Make sure you really partner with sales, and understand their pain – where in the funnel are you trying to make an impact.

  3. Don’t overcomplicate it. Don’t worry about having the perfect content or the perfect tech stack at launch. Focus on launching and quickly tweaking as assets are in-market.

You’ll need to listen to the full episode if you want to hear the Lightning Round, but here are a few highlights:

  • Moira is a revenue marketer at heart, so marketing sourced revenue is her north star.

  • Moira has a top notch B2B marketing blog, which you should definitely check out!

Proofpoint’s POV: 

ABM is a buzzword these days and can be very overwhelming to figure out due to how much martech vendors have really pushed it over the past few years. As Moira so aptly stated, there is a difference between ABM campaigns and real account based marketing. There are three main components to it:

  1. The targetingchoosing which accounts to go after and then targeting them via a variety of platforms and tools.

  2. The content curation and personalizationyou have to do this otherwise, there is no point in spending the extra time and money for targeting.

  3. The orchestration with your sales team – you can’t just have this be a marketing effort.

The problem these days though is that the various martech vendors out there have really made it seem like you aren’t doing real ABM unless you are using an ABM platform – they have built a category and done great marketing. That simply isn’t true though.  If the accounts you are targeting are large enough, with many stakeholders, then you can target them directly in LinkedIn for example, without a tool. If you are focused on only a few particular contacts, then you are much better to use “hand-to-hand combat “methods to get in front of them. Again, no need for a tool. And if you do use a tool, especially if you leverage any type of “intent driven programmatic display” we recommend that you have a control group where you don’t use this channel because while view-through and engagement metrics are great, neither of those really shows causality. There are two main issues that we generally see marketing teams make when doing ABM:

  1. They believe that ABM is the only way to do things and treat it as their saving grace when their inbound efforts aren’t working. The problem is that in many cases the inbound efforts aren’t working, not because of the targeting or the absence of curated account-based content, but because they are still following the gated content lead generation playbook.

    Before jumping into ABM you need to ensure that you have your messaging, demand generation and brand down pat.

  2. They measure the wrong things when executing campaigns. You even heard a bit of that in this episode where Moira discussed the view-through and engagement metrics. The good thing is that she and her team still stayed with their north star and focused on marketing sourced pipeline as the main metric.

A bit more about Moira:

Moira has over 10 years of marketing experience and specializes in B2B demand orchestration and revenue marketing. She is a Forbes Communication Council member and contributor, and is passionate about helping women in B2B marketing find their sense of creativity and purpose, foster an innovative approach and to maximize their potential – in and out of the workplace.  

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