I invited Jon to Marketing Smarts to talk about account-based marketing ("ABM") and how it can help you to achieve better results by targeting your marketing communication and outreach to the right accounts.
Here are some highlights from my conversation with Jon:
Account-based marketing is more in line with how your sales team works (09:15): "Salespeople have always talked about their business in terms of accounts. When they close a deal, they write the company name on the whiteboard, not a person's name. The problem is, Marketing has historically operated in terms of leads and people. I think one thing that's so exciting about [account-based marketing] is it bridges that gap, where instead of Sales talking about accounts and Marketing talking about leads, now you actually have both sides sharing a common language around accounts, and I think that helps a lot."
Fish with a spear, not a net (09:56): "Traditional demand generation, especially demand generation using the more inbound marketing model... I describe that as 'fishing with a net.' The idea is you have as wide a net as you can at the top of the funnel, and you use things like your content and your webinars as bait to catch fish. And then you run all those fish that you catch through your marketing funnel and hopefully get the right customers out the bottom.
"I think what we showed at Marketo is that that can be an incredibly and efficient and effective model when you only care about how many fish you catch, and not which specific fish you catch, i.e. it's just about making the number. The other reason that [account-based marketing] is so hot today is because there's a whole set of marketers who are realizing that they care which fish they catch. They want to go after specific people at specific companies. They've gotten tired of waiting around for those targets to swim into their net, and they're looking around for a better way to do this.
"The inbound model doesn't work for me when I'm selling to the enterprise, or when I'm selling to my customer base. So they're starting to use outbound tactics, which I think is more analogous to fishing with a spear. You're identifying the fish you want to go after and then you're literally going after them with the right content and the right messaging."
You can choose which accounts to target using sophisticated data analysis, or you could just ask Sales (13:20) "There's a lot of different methodologies out there. At the most basic, you just go to the sales team and ask them to tell you which accounts that they want to go after. What's really good about that is the sales team will be bought into the list, but they don't always necessarily use the optimal framework for thinking about where the best business opportunities are going to be. You can make that process more intelligent with data, looking at technographics—what technologies that company uses—at engagement, so you know which accounts you have some relationship with already.
"You can even look at intent data to see what topics companies care about and try to identify your target accounts that way. Or you can go with one of the predictive lead scoring companies, and some of them will actually make models to tell you where they think your next best accounts are going to be. Just like Netflix [suggests] what movie you should watch next based upon your past movies, these companies tell you which accounts you should go after."
Jon and I talked about much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
This episode brought to you by Experian Marketing Services:
Re-think the traditional customer journey. Build a scalable framework that, like a "choose your adventure" novel, responds to each customer's decisions to deliver a unique path of experiences. Download our free guide to see how you can create intelligent interactions with your customers, every time.
Music credit: Noam Weinstein.