Today, we’re continuing our series on enterprise ABM, where we’re digging deep into what account-based marketing looks like in some really large, complex, distributed organizations.
Over the course of the series, we’ve had some fantastic conversations with some really interesting sales and marketing leaders in these large organizations. And we’re excited to continue those conversations on the latest episode of the #FlipMyFunnel podcast with our guest, Nick Panayi from DXC Technology.
Here’s what we’re unpacking today:
- Why you can’t solve ABM with a tool
- Why marketers need to be embedded with sales…just like journalists are embedded with troops in a war zone
- Why every marketing tactic can be tailored for ABM
- And why you might want to consider ungating your content
You can’t solve ABM with a tool…
Nick: We set out to create an account-based marketing practice. The only problem was that we didn’t have enough headcount to do true ABM for 600 accounts. So, we started to solve the problem in what turned out to be a very wrong way, which was thinking of ABM as a platform.
Looking back, that was a pretty ridiculous way to think about things. Because you can’t solve account-based marketing with a tool. ABM is a way of doing marketing, it’s not a platform.
You can have account-based marketing platforms to help you, but it’s all about human beings. It’s all about high touch, smart marketers working very closely with sales, aided by technology. Not technology to begin with, but technology as an aid.
Why marketers need to be like journalists…
Nick: Think about journalists who cover war zones. They’re embedded with the troops. That journalist wears a helmet, sometimes even holds a weapon, works with a team, and feels the same pain as the troops if they get hit with a bullet.
It’s the same thing for marketers. We need to be embedded marketers, in lockstep with the sales team from the very beginning. That way, we truly get to know the account and we know exactly how to help sales.
See, working with the sales team is all about trust. And the only way you’re going to gain trust is if you’re there from the very beginning.
Everything can be used for ABM…
Nick: There isn’t a tactic that we do in the marketing world that we can’t somehow tailor make for one account or pursuit.
We often think that ABM means that you send an email to key individuals, or you take them out to dinner, or something like that. But if you combine the technology available now and a little creativity, there’s nothing stopping you from taking any tactic and using it in ABM.
Even a vehicle that most people think is the mass marketing tactic of all vehicles, outdoor advertising, could work. Why can’t you out a billboard outside your target’s headquarters for three weeks? It’s highly cost effective. And, as far as they’re concerned, they’re coming in the morning and going out at night, seeing your brand in front of their face on a daily basis. To them it looks like you’re everywhere, when really, you’re just targeting that particular account.
Every single marketing tactic out there can be fine tuned and tailored for pursuit marketing and for ABM
To gate or ungate…
Nick: We turn off every single registration wall on our website. Here’s why.
First, everything we do should be analyzed. We should be asking, “I know we did it that way before, but why are we doing it now? Is it still the most effective way?”
Second, everybody is just sick and tired of emails filling up their inbox.
Third, somehow we became comfortable with those 1% click-through rates. We go around feeling good about ourselves when we get a 2% click-through rate. But that basically means 98% of the people you’re emailing couldn’t care less about what you have to say. In what other area of our lives is 99% failure a good thing?
Finally, there’s GDPR. Even though the law is relatively gray in this area, you’re not really supposed to strong-arm people into giving you their information. The way I see it, requiring people to register to get content is basically like strong-arming somebody. And that’s just not worth the risk.
Everybody wants to get more people to follow them or read their content. We want it just as much as everybody else. But I don’t want it at the expense of people’s privacy and I don’t want people to be giving me their information in the wrong state of mind. I want the people who give me their information to truly want to hear from me instead of just wanting to read my white paper.
I’d much rather deal with a smaller database that’s filled with people who really want to hear from me.