#ABM leaders + VC’s = #B2BMarketing innovation at scale

Earlier this month, Costanoa hosted a marketing event, “ABM: Decoding the Roadmap to Account Engagement,” with Salesforce Ventures, ZenIQ and many portfolio company leaders. Below Mark Ogne discusses the five key takeaways from the event.


Guest Post by: Mark Ogne, ZenIQ

ZenIQ launched into public awareness through an amazing event last week. Hosted by two premier VC firms, Costanoa Venture Capital and Salesforce Ventures, more than 100 marketing leaders showed up to hear from top Account-Based Marketing thought leaders and to join in on the conversation.

Through dozens of questions and hundreds of social shares we’ve compiled a list of the top five takeaways.

#1 — Category Creation meets ABM

Anthony Kennada, VP Marketing at Gainsight, shared an incredible case study of the application of ABM to assist in category creation. Either story would have been compelling but to experience the decision process and intersection of these two concepts was truly compelling.

Key takeaway — While category creation can be an extremely expensive proposition, ABM can be an effective and efficient means to make that happen. Anthony Kennada shared his POV that these two ideas are a great fit for category marketers because…

  • They’ve already embraced content marketing
  • Building a new category is expensive, ABM is a better way to scale marketing spend
  • You need tight cross-functional alignment when building a category, ABM is a forcing function for collaboration
  • You’re developing two brands, one for your industry and one for your company.

As a marketing objective, they focused on creating a new role and a community they can call home. In this home they facilitate the exchange of industry best practices, create networking opportunities for participants, and celebrate the idea of being a pioneer in the new category.

#2 — B2B marketers require new metrics

Peter Isaacson, CMO Demandbase, contributed a great point to our “All-Star” panel — “If you’re a B2B marketer reporting on standard campaign metrics you’re about 27 steps away from revenue”. With an account based approach you’re able to tightly link programs and what’s going on at the account level to everything working through the system from ads to website to CRM. Rather than impressions, clicks and registrations marketers need to focus on target accounts, and within those target accounts focus on the right outcomes.

At ZenIQ, we have developed a new paradigm to describe the objective of pipeline measurement, “The 3 V’s of ABM: Volume, Velocity and Value”. Let’s break this down:

  • Volume — determined by how efficiently you can you pull target account contacts into your pipeline. The indicators are many of the campaign metrics, conversion focused.
  • Velocity — this is unique to ABM, a means to constantly adjust and deliver the next best action to your target account messaging. A fundamental objective for ABM, marketers need to plan at the target account level so they can produce engaging content that evolves with engagement touch points and serves to draws accounts through stages of engagement.
  • Value — better engagement should lead to less friction in selling larger deals and ABM should also provide focus on existing account cross-sell and upsell. Build ASP.

#3 — The ABM marketing stack is experiencing a lot of churn

Joelle Kaufman, CMO Bloomreach, made an incredible point that she’s experiencing about 50% year over year churn on her marketing stack. While she and her team will invest into compelling ideas, many simply don’t pan out. Applying the concept of failing quickly, her team is agile and responsive to the fit and capabilities of each solution.

At ZenIQ.io, we strive to build that platform for the B2B marketers that allow marketers to retain the knowledge and learning history through the churns of the technical stack and the dynamism of ABM Programs.

#4 — Even a brilliantly designed ABM program can fail

Several speakers noted the importance of account selection, data, targeting, and experience across touch points.

  • While ABM programs are about quality over quantity, properly orchestrated ABM programs can set the stage for “Volume” right out the gate. Instill a proper data mindset: Cleanse, expand, and penetrate. This is extremely critical and often not well understood or taken seriously. In these cases, marketers sense the need for more target account contacts. While this is true, and the right outcome, the means to get there is to first find those contacts and interactions that already exist in adjacent marketing systems.
  • Properly coordinated programs to “pull” target accounts through stages of engagement will deliver the pipeline “Velocity” marketers are looking for. For many, low hanging fruits can be found in “stuck opportunities” and “dark leads”, yielding immediate benefits.
  • Ability to track and manage multiple ABM programs in a coordinated manner will build a consistent customer experience and make it easier for target accounts to engage with your programs. A solid platform like ZenIQ.io gives marketers the necessary freedom to experiment and adopt the right tool for right channel for the best “Value” without having to worry about re-wiring the program over and over again.

#5 — ZenIQ is the “Brains” of ABM

Nick Ezzo, VP Marketing Host Analytics, tweeted this point during the event.

The slide, partially visible in this image, shows how ZenIQ is uniquely fit as a partner with all parties of the ABM ecosystem. The nature of this slide is to show how ZenIQ reduces friction in marketing processes and capabilities, and provides a better point of actioning next best action and results for ABM programs.

Key to this point:

  • Traditional lead-based systems (i.e. CRM and Marketing Automation) have incredible insights, but while they have an appetite to shift their technology into both a message delivery and account-centric data position, they struggle to find that fit as their underlying data are organized on the wrong dimension (leads).
  • ABM practitioners and their systems struggle to ingest insights that can better inform their marketing. Whether data as a service, data platforms or insight welling up from other marketing platforms, there are limited options to aggregate those data on the account dimension and fuse the target account related insight to ABM programs.
  • ZenIQ automates this process of data aggregation and thereby enables marketers to determine and enhance target account coverage, and determine the next best action on behalf of each target, across channels, platforms and time.
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