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Terminus Blog

October 12, 2021

Launching ABM for SMB: Questions & Answers

Category: FlipMyFunnel Post

In this special Q & A episode, we are talking all about ABM and how to launch it for SMB. 

We speak with Jessica Fernandez – Manager, Growth Marketing at Rapid7, Muhammad Yasin – EVP, Marketing PERQ, and Ashley DuBois– B2B Marketing Manager at United Airlines about their experience with ABM. After introductions and overview, we dive into the Q & A with the audience. 

Introducing the guests

As an icebreaker into the conversation, the three guests share what marketing tactic they’re tired of; then, a deep dive into their go-to-market strategy to see how much they differ from position to position:

Muhammad Yasin

Muhammad’s most tired of the faux-personalized gifts — specifically all of the Yeti mugs with his name misspelled on it. Much like an email that feels auto-generated except for your name at the top; it’s time to put in a little more effort. 

“I believe I got four or five [Yeti mugs] last year, and no one has gotten my name right yet. Please try something else,” Muhammad comments.

Starting with the scale-up sized company, Muhammad’s go-to-market is spread among a couple teams:

  • Marketing: Responsible for launch, demand generation, and brand.
  • Sales: Responsible for new local acquisition and customer service.
  • Client success: Responsible for upsells. 
  • Revenue Operations: Responsible for helping out with Salesforce.

A differentiator for Muhammad is that his company does not use traditional marketing tools like Marketo for the purpose of staying nimble rather than deal with a large tech stack.

Ashley DuBois

Ashley’s biggest marketing fail happened during the COVID-19 pandemic — webinars. It seemed like every company put out a generic webinar to bolster community engagement. It fell flat.

“‘Hi, this is this company. Here’s everything about our product.’ And I just didn’t get anything out of them,” Ashley states.

For Ashley’s go-to-market team, she deals within the B2C marketing group at United Airlines. She describes the team as 6 very scrappy, creative people that work closely with their business development reps and inside sales team.

Because of their small size, they rely heavily on their software so that they can scale what they’re doing. 

Jessica Fernandez

To go along with the topic of the session, Jessica doesn’t love that the term ABM is being thrown around freely all the time. Her concern is that people will start to believe that anything a company does has an ABM component to it when that’s simply not true.

“I think ABM has a time and place,” Jessica explains.

Jessica describes her company as a mid-sized or growth company with a sales team of over 200 globally. In addition, they have a BDR team that sits just under their marketing team. 

They just recently had a reorganization that aligned different sales teams — eliminating the messiness caused by different teams selling different parts of their portfolio to the same account. 

Audience questions & answers

In the following, we share three questions from the audience and the response from our guests:

What was your favorite ABM campaign?

Muhammad: His team is really big on connecting with people from a more emotional human perspective — this is because most competitors seem to go directly for the metrics instead. One of their campaigns, centered around leasing assistance, was about helping their customers through the week such as a Friday promotion that said, “You’ve had a rough week, let us take it from here.” From there, the AI worked leads for them during the weekend. 

”From my perspective, I’m really proud of the humanization of those things, and that we try to go a little bit of a different route than most other folks that are in the marketplace.” — Muhammad Yasin

How do you integrate all your channels into your ABM campaign? 

Ashley: Something that’s really important to her and her team is making sure that they’re always reminding the sales team and sales support team that everything needs to live in the same space. 

The United Airlines team tends to get tools and not integrate with anything else. As such, Ashley continues to advocate for more integration.

”It’s been my biggest soapbox for the past two years; we must make sure it goes into Salesforce, because if it’s not in there, I can’t use it.” — Ashley DuBois

What had to pivot in marketing due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Jessica: She didn’t find that the channels and campaigns had changed or stopped working due to the  pandemic — it just made everything go quicker. Because everyone was challenged to step up their marketing tactics, it flooded the channels that Jessica and her team had been using. 

“It sped up diminishing returns through channels; people had to get more creative.” — Jessica Fernandez

This post is based on an episode of the #FlipMyFunnel podcast. Check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or here.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Flip My Funnel in your favorite podcast player.

Written by Sangram Vajre

Sangram Vajre is the co-founder and chief evangelist of Terminus, the leader of the account-based marketing (ABM) movement transforming B2B marketing. Before co-founding Terminus, Sangram led the marketing team at Pardot through its acquisition by ExactTarget and then to Salesforce. Sangram is the author of Account-Based Marketing for Dummies and is the mastermind behind #FlipMyFunnel. Follow Sangram on Twitter at @sangramvajre.

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