Today we kick off our “Terminators” Customer of the Month Series with our very first customer EVER at Terminus: Gretchen Weaver from Avere Systems. For those readers who aren’t familiar, “Terminators” are modern B2B marketers who are killin’ it using the Terminus product. I must say, I’m VERY excited to share this Terminator’s account-based marketing case study surrounding the importance of implementing an ABM program.
Let me set the stage for you: our co-founder and CMO, Sangram Vajre, interviewed Gretchen via Google Hangout. It was during this very interview when Gretchen realized she is our first customer. Yes, we caught her reaction and it’s awesome!
Gretchen is ready and willing to talk about her experience with Terminus thus far. She’s a total rockstar customer and marketing maven. It’s been a pleasure to work with her team at Avere Systems. Together, we’ve witnessed her success with various ABM strategies through Terminus. Gretchen has provided indispensable feedback and, in turn, helped Terminus grow and mature in many ways.
To provide some background, Gretchen serves as Digital Marketing Manager at Avere Systems — a technology company helping enterprises gain flexibility in their IT infrastructures with file systems software and hardware that integrates cloud resources and boosts storage performance.
Gretchen is in-tune with the tech world and the struggles which marketers face within this space. She understands the value of ABM, its intricacies, and how it can be solved using the Terminus platform. A well-rounded marketer, Gretchen implements a variety of strategies through multiple channels to heighten brand awareness, drive accounts through the sales cycle, and increase revenue.
From lead generation to account-based marketing, advertising through more traditional channels — such as publications, webinars, and trade shows — to using a relatively new product like Terminus, Gretchen manages many digital marketing programs.
Before we dive further into the world of ABM, let’s get to know Gretchen a bit better.
Favorite books or movies? “Pride and Prejudice” (The BBC version), and “The Princess Bride”
Favorite people to follow? Ann Handley at MarketingProfs, Gary Vee, Jill Konrath (more on the sales side, great ways to hone in and speak one-to-one)
If you were not a marketer, what would you be? Architect
Now let’s learn more about why Gretchen chose to embrace account-based marketing, and specifically to implement a tool like Terminus.
The Importance of Account-Based Marketing
Like all of us marketers, Gretchen understands the importance in the ability to target your ideal customer. Account-based marketing provides the Avere Systems team with a way for to determine its best-fit customers or “personas”.
“Coming from a long career in marketing, one of the things where I saw the most waste was inability to target.”
After establishing personas, the team creates messaging which resonates with this audience. Instead of just spraying and casting a wide net, ABM allows B2B marketers to start with the right kind of customer and focus on if they’re a good fit for your business.
This line of thought aligns closely with the Terminus “flip my funnel” philosophy. We flipped the traditional lead-based funnel on its head to first target all of our ideal customers. We’re no longer looking at nurturing leads, but looking at an entire account. When we place all of our focus on these best-fit accounts, we can then use ABM to expand our target audience accordingly to reach all of the relevant decision-makers at these companies.
[Tweet “Account-based #marketing allows you to engage with different individuals for #B2B #sales”]
Lead Generation vs. Account-Based Marketing
As we all know, much of the marketing world has focused on lead generation, which Gretchen has mentioned is one of her responsibilities. Sangram draws attention to the contradictory yet complementary relationship between lead generation and ABM.
“It’s not one or the other. I do believe in both,” Gretchen said. The Avere Systems team is not 100% ABM-focused, but rather they continue to do the more “traditional” types of marketing focusing on bringing in leads, but also focus on pursuing those “best-fit” accounts.
[Tweet “Using account-based #marketing doesn’t mean stopping all lead generation #B2B #FlipMyFunnel”]
The important takeaway here is that by moving forward with various ABM strategies, your team doesn’t have to completely do away with lead generation, and other marketing strategies already in place within your organization. ABM works to fill a gap, a need, and to further supplement marketing efforts, not to replace what’s already being done.
Gretchen continues to emphasize the importance of ABM for her particular company’s needs.
“We don’t have a vast amount of resources, it makes us have to be smarter about what we do…It makes something like ABM more tangible and we’ve actually been able to see some results from those efforts relatively quickly.”
How Terminus Helps with Account-Based Marketing
“It’s just so easy to use. I can launch a campaign in literally minutes,” Gretchen explained. “I can go back and quickly see how many impressions I’ve gotten from specific companies – and also the number of clicks on the ads.”
“Whenever I have a high number of clicks on a specific ad from a specific company – you know our sales team LOVES those Terminus reports.”
The Future of Account-Based Marketing
Gretchen said that more and more, her team wants to treat potential opportunities as individuals, and not so much as a company or an account. “I started my career in more of an inside sales role so I understand the value of treating people as an individual,” she explained.
“I am fascinated how technology is expanding this beyond the 1-1 to allowing us to get closer to the customers than we ever could before in many ways. A lot of people think technology pushes us apart, but I find it to be the exact opposite. That technology is actually drawing us together.”
To further continue, Gretchen emphasized the opportunity for modern B2B marketers to provide more targeted information and less clutter.
“We’ve gone through this kind of peak in clutter information overload and now we’re finding ways to help bring that back down and speak to individuals,” she said.
“The future for even more targeted account-based marketing is certainly on the horizon and will continue to grow.”
Keep reading for Part 2 of our account-based marketing case study with Avere Systems. Be sure to follow Gretchen and Avere Systems on Twitter, and while you’re at it, follow Terminus too.