SiriusDecisions Summit 2019: Account-Based Marketing Infiltrates Austin

May 17, 2019 Ali Biggs

After traveling to and from Austin, Texas, we’ve rounded up a TL;DR of the 2019 SiriusDecisions Summit for those who didn’t get a chance to attend, or for those that weren’t able to clone themselves and attend every single session. Tracks covered top trends and best practices for B2B marketing and sales teams, and account-based marketing was on the tip of even more peoples’ tongues this year. Overall, the resounding takeaway from this year’s SiriusDecisions Summit reinforced something that we’ve been saying for a while: ABM is just good B2B marketing. 

Taming ABM’s Three-Headed Monster: Intent, Advertising, Personalization

According to a session hosted by SiriusDecisions’ Matt Senatore and Jon Tam, not all monsters have to be scary. When it comes to account-based marketing (ABM), they introduced the concept of a three-headed monster that needs to be tamed and put to work. 

For successful targeted account-based marketing, organizations need to optimize their use of intent, digital advertising, and personalization to identify buying signals and interest, engage more relevantly, and ultimately convert their targeted accounts into pipeline and closed revenue.

Here are the top takeaways from Matt and Jon's session:

ABM Tech Investment Can Help Solve Challenges (obviously)

According to the 2019 SiriusDecisions State of ABM Study, account-based teams plan to increase spend on the following technologies in the next 12 months:

  • 36% intent monitoring
  • 59% account-based advertising and retargeting
  • 39% web personalization

But, what’s the catch? They must be harmonized these technologies to tame the monster. 

Meet The Buyer Treatment Framework

This intuitive framework provides a three-step process that identifies who to engage, how to respond, and what actions sellers need to take to make sure they’re using their tech in the right ways:

Signals—Tell us who and why to engage
Response—Buyer context informs when and how to respond
Action—End results determine next actions

Companies That Have Tamed the Beast

Now, for my favorite part of the presentation--real-life examples of how customers leveraged intent (and other data points) to drive stronger, and more personalized, account-based programs. Rather than take you through the details of each, let’s do a deep-dive on the one I found most insightful--Masergy

Signal: The team uses various types of data (intent, firmographic, technographic, and an overall fit model) to determine which accounts are in-market and that have high potential for their business. They use a combination of four vendors to triangulate this information.  

Response: They then run targeted display ads with multiple vendors (including RollWorks) to drive traffic from their target accounts to highly personalized landing pages. Intent topics inform the messaging of both the ads and landing page content, making for a personalized, yet scalable, experience.

Action: Once the desired response occurs (in this case, downloading an ebook), the contact is scored and routed to the relevant sales rep for follow-up. 

One, two, three--Masergy has built a straightforward, yet highly sophisticated, process.

Next Steps: Tips for Moving Forward With a Harmonized Approach

In order to harmonize intent, advertising, and personalization, you need to establish a committee between account-based marketers, sales, marketing operations, and demand centers to create alignment and communication. Beyond that, you’ll need to have a clear grasp on the buyer’s journey, auditing content and creating an internal and external execution plan. Finally, be sure you identify your business requirements for ABM and audit your current tech stack for improvements. Time to get to work.

RollWorks & Salesforce: Build an ABM strategy like Salesforce (no matter your readiness)

To kick off the week, I had the chance to present alongside Michael Globits of Salesforce and share an opinion that account-based teams need to hear: you can build a highly successful program, no matter where you are in your ABM journey. For many marketers, this means how long you’ve been running ABM, the level of dedicated resources allocated, how closely sales/marketing are partnered, and what metrics you’re reporting to show success.  We’ve met companies of all sizes, at all stages of their ABM journey, and one of those companies is our customer, Salesforce. 

Salesforce had been running ABM for several years, but in silos. In the past year, there has been a concerted effort to consolidate and operationalize their ABM programs. They’ve revamped their org structure, dedicated additional resources, and implemented new channels and tactics in their quest for success. 

Michael and I tackled a few common burning questions regarding account-based programs during our session, and here are our key takeaways and suggestions:

Why ABM? 

Account-based marketing is just good B2B marketing. There, I said it. Of course we want to target the right people at the right companies at the right time with the right message. Sure, we want reach, but more importantly, we need accuracy. Lead-based demand gen isn’t cutting it anymore; marketers are now responsible for hitting pipeline and revenue targets alongside our sales teams. Thankfully, the tech is finally here to enable us to do this. 

How Salesforce defines ABM vs. Demand Gen

This is a common question for many marketing teams looking to adopt a more account-based approach. ABM should ultimately be a greater focus on a smaller pool of target accounts. Salesforce takes a 1:1, 1:Few, 1:Many approach to ABM. 

How Salesforce scales ABM

After getting their ABM programs off the ground, they’ve scaled in the following ways:

  • Segmentation
  • Dynamic, sequential messaging
  • Dynamic personalization

Where are you on the account-based readiness spectrum

When it comes to building a strong account-based strategy, there are four areas you need to evaluate in order to understand where you are today, and what you can do to elevate your program:

Target Accounts—From building an ICP to tiering and rotating target accounts
Resources—How you allocate budget and headcount to meet the requirements of ABM
Execution—The teams and channels you use to build out robust programs
Measurement—How you report on movement within your target accounts, ultimately moving toward target account engagement scores

What you can do next

It can seem intimidating with the constant influx of content around creating an account-based program, but there are a few things you can do immediately to create an impact. If you want to get started Monday, here are a few things to check off of your to-do list:

 

SiriusDecisions Unveils the 5 As of B2B’s Future & Alignment’s Periodic Table

This year there was a heavy focus on the importance of cross-organizational alignment. This is especially relevant for teams looking to excel at ABM, where marketing and sales alignment can often make or break the success of your program. Let’s take a look at a few of the biggest takeaways from the SiriusDecisions-led sessions.

Klaudia Tirico of Demand Gen Report provided a comprehensive recap of “The 5 As of B2B’s Future” presentation. The key focus? Customers. Sirius Decisions’ VP of Research Megan Heuer dug into how we’ll be doing things in the future, and the attitude we need to embrace to do them well. Here’s what she covered:

How We’ll Do Things in the Future

The first three As are all about how we’ll need to do things differently in the future:

Artificial Intelligence

By freeing up work for many marketers, AI is showing a direct impact on revenue by automating the day-to-day tasks marketers need to check off their list. While this gives marketers more time to focus on creativity and disruption, there needs to be a proactive approach to make sure AI is used appropriately.

Accountability

Companies will need to become more accountable for reporting on the ROI of their tech stacks and the way they treat their customers. This requires using customer data for the customer’s good, not just the organization’s. 

Atomization

As we become more customer-focused, our approaches must evolve with us. That means reaching them in whatever form they want, at the time they want, and the channel they want. 

How to Embrace the Right Attitude

The last two As speak directly to the approach companies will have to adopt in order to move toward a more customer-centric, aligned revenue model: 

Authenticity

There will be a larger focus on ethical business practices. Ultimately, customers want to work with B2B companies that are honest and align with their vision. The goal is to do well in B2B while also doing good.

Adaptability

B2B companies need to have a learning mindset and a willingness to adapt to change, including changing demands of their customers. There will be a greater focus on agility and the ability to listen to customers and respond quickly. 

Alignment’s Periodic Table

Marketing, sales, and product teams need chemistry to create an atmosphere of alignment. With that in mind, SiriusDecisions has released its own take on the periodic table. The goal is to isolate the elements of high-performance teams with color-coding. For example, if everything on the chart is green, your customers are happy. 

While teams may never realistically reach a point where everything is green, this visual gives attention to the importance of each team’s role in a well-oiled revenue engine. This table calls out the teams required to create alignment: company, marketing, product, sales, and customer. 

Here are a few of the important elements for each team, with marketing coming in with the most real estate at 12 elements:

Company: Growth & Shareholder Value
Marketing: Marketing ROI & Brand Perception 
Product: Product Launch Success & Product Satisfaction
Sales: Forecast Accuracy & Average Win Rate
Customer: Customer Experience & Lifetime Value Ratio

Take a look at all of the elements below:

(source: https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/industry-insights/siriusdecisions-summit-2019-alignment-relevance-respect-key-to-well-oiled-revenue-engine)

With so much information to absorb at SiriusDecisions Summit this year, we’re already buckling up and getting ready to see what they have in store next year. We hope to see you in 2020!

If you’d like to get started or take your ABM to the next level, get in touch with RollWorks today. 

 

 

About the Author

Ali Biggs

Ali Biggs is the Senior Director of Marketing at RollWorks, a division of the AdRoll Group. Ali built her career on connecting people to brands via meaningful interactions. She enjoys taking a B2C marketing approach and conjuring up unique and informative ways to be at the forefront of a B2B buyer's mind. She is a savvy marketer with an array of experience, from campaign management to account-based marketing, and has a history of aligning sales and marketing teams through data-driven strategy. In her spare time she pets all the dogs on her way to and from CrossFit.

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