How do you approach account-based marketing?
My approach to account-based marketing is really a surround-sound approach. We have 4 pillars, Know Alyce, Learn from Alyce, Feel Alyce, and Meet Alyce. Within each of those 4 pillars, there are specific channels and tactics that we use within our target account list. I think people get confused sometimes what ABM really is. It’s just targeted marketing to specific accounts or in-market accounts that you deem are the accounts that you want to go after. It’s not inbound marketing or anything else. It’s just outbound marketing. Do you hope that those accounts end up coming inbound and raising their hand to talk to you? Absolutely. For us specifically, we have a tiered approach system, Tier 1 is our main subset of accounts that we deemed are the ones we really want to break into. We have tier 2, which is still a solid ICP fit for us and are named accounts that we do run some 1:many plays for. Our Tier 3’s are basically our “rest of the world” where we are just running evergreen ads in the background, nurture streams, and just hoping that they end up raising their hands.
What’s your stance on reporting and measuring the marketing impact at the account level?
It’s incredibly important. I think using an intent tool really helps with that too so that you have the right message at the right time within the buyer’s journey. There are a few things that I specifically look at to say is ABM as a whole successful or not though?
* Grow marketable database – tied to named accounts/relevant personas
* # of MQAs generated – Named
* # of MQAs generated – Non-Named
* Marketing-sourced pipeline – target “x”
* Marketing-sourced revenue – target “x”
* Retention %
* Expansion win %
How can marketers take the guesswork out of ABM?
Being more strategic about it. ABM isn’t just doing display ads or inviting people to events. It needs to be a company-wide approach and strategy that everyone can rally behind. I think you need to have a really good understanding of your ICP and honestly, I would say 50% of a solid ABM strategy is spending time on that initial list (that you do have to refresh too over time).
What do you think is the best way to align sales and marketing on key accounts?
We do these things called Blueprints for each of our accounts. Myself, the AE, and the BDR spend time, and we deep dive into each of these accounts. What do we know, who do we know, what are all the digital breadcrumbs that are out there? You need to find every single piece of relevant information and we put it in salesforce at the account level so if that rep leaves or there are changes to accounts, it’s a single source of truth for picking up without scrambling and starting over. However, you can’t be in silos doing this and I think that’s another place where people fall down. Marketing says this is what we should be doing, sales says this is what we should be doing, but they aren’t really talking to each other and then they wonder why their conversion rates are terrible.
Should brands have a different strategy for the top-tier accounts?
Yeah, I think for your Tier 1 or Gold accounts whatever you want to call them you should really be looking at doing a 1:1 strategy for a small account list. I think 25-50 accounts is probably a good place unless you have a massive marketing support system then you can go up. But you need a specific strategic plan for EACH of those accounts. That’s important. You can’t just copy and paste and think that company A is going to have the same issue as Company B.