30-second summary:

  • Coursedog implemented an ABM strategy with the goal to eliminate sales and marketing silos, maximize marketing talents and gather account journey information.
  • After evaluating several platforms, Coursedog chose Demandbase because of their ABM capabilities and integrated advertising platform.
  • Demandbase has helped Coursedog align sales and marketing and provide better, more insightful data to sales. It also improved the experience for customers.
  • For Coursedog, the pandemic only further solidified why an ABM approach is important, and helped them have continued success through uncertainty.
  • While implementing an ABM strategy can be overwhelming at first, it’s a worthwhile investment in your company and customers in the long run.

I have a passion for driving demand generation for start-up companies: buyer’s journey planning, content ideation, account-based marketing (ABM) program execution, and more.

Currently, I’m focused on B2B ABM campaigns mixed with sales and marketing orchestration geared to drive pipeline and revenue. Not those vanity metrics. This is my ABM story.

Originally, my challenges included eliminating our sales and marketing silos, maximizing marketing team talent, and bringing together business intelligence into one view from which both groups could work jointly.

I was also interested in gathering account journey information about anonymous and known individuals to better understand campaign impact and segment accounts. ABM platform, anyone?

Speak the same language. Use the same data

Traditional lead generation will always have a place in marketing, but ABM is becoming even more critical inside demand generation. It was the strategy we needed.

As a sales enablement solution, it would help sales do jobs better. And because the sales team is a customer of marketing, I wanted to make sure whatever platform we adopted could be used by both departments. Along with enabling sales, I could orchestrate different plays, prioritize sales outreach, and automate MQLs (marketing-qualified leads).

After evaluating a number of platforms, I felt that Demandbase best fit our needs with its ABM capabilities, proprietary advertising platform, and easy-to-use UI.

As a proof-of-concept for Demandbase, I developed an experience where we pursued 100 accounts with a personalized experience campaign. While our goal was for 2 of the 100 target accounts to become customers, we actually converted 20 with a $1 million in revenue and a $5,000 spend. After clearly demonstrating value, our leadership agreed that we should implement the platform.

Benefits: Making the buying experience better

With Demandbase, we could define and execute a new marketing strategy that was different from traditional demand generation.

With the platform we can do things like automatically kick off an MQL to an outreach sequence for the SDR team, identify anonymous and known accounts, engage with personalization campaigns, and automatically move accounts to the correct personalized ads based on their stage in the journey with us.

Our continuing success facilitated the adoption rate by the marketing and sales teams.

Now, our teams are more aligned than ever before, and ABM has also helped us give sales more to work within their daily roles. We send them daily alerts for account engagement and hold a standup meeting every two weeks with account executives from each of our territories and go over their plans for different tiers of prospects.

We talk about what they’ve done since we last spoke, what they plan to do next, and what obstacles are in their way, which marketing can help them overcome. Thanks to the insights we have through Demandbase, we can bring data to sales to prioritize their time and shape their territory plan.

While the pandemic has caused uncertainty and frozen budgets, we’ve still been able to decrease our time-to-close on marketing deals and improve personalization in outbound marketing.

Rather than sending a broad email, we look for accounts showing intent or website activity and have Outreach sequences build that looks at institution type, what pages are being visited, etc. So, we know what each target cares about and can speak to it.

ABM has helped us make the buying experience better by looking at what the most common pages or content prospects view and bringing it to them via website personalization or nurture campaigns. We want them to be in control of the buying experience, removing barriers to the content that helps inform buyers. That’s my main goal when it comes to the experience.

Two become one ABM platform

The acquisition makes sense because both Demandbase and Engagio focused on ABM and had more than 30 shared customers.

With the unification of the two platforms, we get Demandbase’s strength in helping marketers take advantage of third-party data and proprietary advertising coupled with Engagio’s focus on helping them use their own first-party data and visualizing the data to make it more consumable for sales and marketing.

COVID-19 hasn’t eliminated the need for an ABM solution.

In fact, I suggest that it should be a priority because we still have to generate revenue, and traditional tactics don’t work. With a solution like Demandbase, you are going to be able to identify the accounts that are actually in the market looking for a solution by seeing the engagement across your channels.

Once you see this engagement you can run a play rather than blasting people, which shows a major lack of empathy during this time. I’m looking forward to experiencing the unified platform’s next iteration (coming soon).

Interested in ABM? Here’s my advice

How would I advise those marketers looking for an ABM solution? One thing is not to stress too much about your Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) at the beginning. It works best to approach everything in ABM from a Minimally Viable Product (MVP) kind of lens.

Then, plan to look at your closed opportunities’ firmographics and adjust your ICP scoring model monthly or take a look at the campaigns and see what kind of lift you had for in target accounts. If you get an MVP going, you’ll have the foundation you need to move forward.

To other B2B marketers out there, I highly recommend considering ABM for getting into those more significant accounts. You can create personalized experiences, drive action with the data you’ll have, and simplify and automate your ability to push prospects from marketing automation to sales to orchestrate plays.

While ABM can be overwhelming at first, a unified platform like Demandbase allows you to do these things automatically and at scale. I encourage you to push your creativity and think about what will interrupt the pattern your prospects are used to seeing. Break the mold, and dial in more closely.

Our future with ABM looks bright. May the (ABM) force be with you.

Jimmy Montchal is the VP of demand generation at Coursedog.

The post How Coursedog is navigating an ABM journey appeared first on ClickZ.

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