My first two months working with account-based marketing (ABM) here at Terminus have been like the first couple of weeks in a college class. I’ve been soaking up as much information as I can by watching and doing a variety of tasks. It’s the same way that you take notes and begin to learn the material that the class has to offer. In the beginning, there is a lot of learning but no real test of your knowledge; that comes in Week 4 when you have your first exam, or in my case when I attended my first conference ever.
The Salesforce World Tour made its stop in Atlanta on Wednesday, Dec. 9, and I couldn’t miss it for anything. Even though I had to leave the conference at 3:40 p.m. to take my Marketing Metrics final at 4:15 p.m., it was more than worth it. I was really looking forward to my first real world experience with Salesforce. My history with Salesforce is similar to the usual ambitious college student’s; I heard about this new miracle platform and spent a summer taking the Trailhead courses online to learn the basics. I learned a lot, but I learned so much more during this conference.
— Joshua Fowler (@JRFowler3) December 9, 2015
The first session I attended was the Sales Cloud 101. In this session, we learned about the lightning dashboard and how it helps sales teams with all of their daily tasks. I couldn’t help but think, “How does this relate to ABM?”. Marketing and sales alignment was the first thing that came to mind after the speaker said the trigger words “key accounts”. The Sales Cloud dashboard is customizable to see everything from your revenue goals to the decision-makers within the account. This is the holy grail for the Engage stage of ABM, as you have all of the necessary information to choose the most effective channel to reach your prospect.
The next session was the Keynote by Fergus Griffin, SVP of Product Marketing at Salesforce. While the first session made me think of my buyer behavior class this session gave me flashbacks to my Intro to Computer Information Systems course. Griffin went in-depth on the lightening dashboard. This helped for me to connect the dots on just how useful that this platform could be to anyone in any industry.
The next thing that blew me away was the future of the Internet of Things (IoT). The Internet of Things gives all marketers access to loads of data that consumers give not even realizing it. Using this data, you can learn your customers and their behavioral patterns to help with the Identify stage of ABM. With connected things, you can easily pick up on patterns of your potential accounts. If their coffee maker automatically turns on at 6:30 every morning then you probably want to send that email at 6:45. If they use their car’s audio system for music every day on the way to work, then you probably want to wait until they reach the office to call them. These are just a few examples on how connected things can help with identifying key accounts and making sure you engage them on the right terms.
After lunch, it was time for Pardot‘s 3 Big Trends in B2B Social Media Marketing. I’m a marketing intern that mainly works with social media marketing so this was my favorite session of the day. The three big trends are:
- Evolving the social team
- Connecting social to the broader business
- Ensuring brand relevance
The 3 Big Trends all resulted in bringing marketing and sales teams together to reach towards achieving a common goal. This is the premise of account-based marketing. With ABM, marketers work with sales to identify and reach the most profitable accounts as well as nurture these accounts by keeping your brand relevant in the customers mind.
The final session of the day before I headed to my final was the #FlipMyFunnel account-based marketing session. This session broke down the framework that account-based marketing uses to turn the buyer’s journey into a customer’s journey. I could type all day about this, but it looks like somebody already beat me to it. Learn more about The First-Ever Account-Based Marketing Framework.
Overall, the Salesforce World Tour in Atlanta was an amazing experience that opened my eyes to the potential impact of ABM. Throughout the entire day, I couldn’t find a single presentation that didn’t relate at least indirectly to account-based marketing. Through the many vendors and attendees, I learned a lot about B2B marketing and sales. I can’t wait to see you all at Dreamforce 2016!