At Terminus, our demand generation program is based entirely on account-based marketing principles. We utilize the Terminus Framework for Account-Based Marketing to guide our demand generation campaigns, which we break down into three categories:
SDR-Led ABM Campaigns
These campaigns are run by marketing in coordination with sales, but we call them SDR-led campaigns because our sales development reps are the ones in the trenches. Around 60% of our pipeline is driven by SDR-led campaigns.
Inbound ABM Campaigns
There’s a common misconception that inbound and account-based marketing don’t mix. At Terminus, approximately 20% of our pipeline is sourced from inbound marketing. But instead of indiscriminately sending those inbound leads to sales, we take an account-based approach to selling to them.
ABM for Events
Events have always been huge revenue drivers for Terminus, which is why we approach them with an account-based marketing mindset. Our ABM event campaigns drive about 20% of our pipeline.
Terminus on Terminus: Demand Generation Campaigns Overview
To properly execute any account-based marketing campaign, you need the right tools and a solid foundation in place. This means building a solid ABM stack and ensuring everyone on your team understand our ideal customer profile (ICP). At Terminus, our core martech tools for demand generation are Salesforce, Pardot, WP Engine, and Terminus.
The first steps we take in planning a demand gen campaign are to select our target accounts, define our overall goal, and set key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure our success. To ensure marketing and sales alignment, the two teams work together to identify target accounts.
Next, we launch highly targeted Terminus ads to automate our ABM efforts and extend our reach to the right decision-makers across the web. This pretargeting ensures our target accounts are familiar with our solution before our sales development team reaches out to them.
After our Terminus ads have been running for long enough to make an impact, our SDRs engage those target accounts through personal touches orchestrated with help from Stephanie Kelly, our Director of Account-Based Marketing. Their cadences include calls, emails, and social outreach geared toward multiple stakeholders at each account. We continue to run Terminus ads in addition to limited retargeting ads throughout this engagement period.
How Terminus Runs SDR-Led Account-Based Marketing Campaigns
Our approach to an SDR-led ABM campaign is comprised of the following steps. The most important thing is to first set goals for success.Sales and marketing have to define the goal of the campaign and targeted audience. Is the goal to move qualified accounts to the next stage, or to close late-stage opportunities? Depending on that goal, different tactics and strategies will be used.
Next, we follow the #FlipMyFunnel model for account-based marketing.
Identify – Sales and marketing work together to determine which target accounts fit our ICP and fall within our target audience.
Expand – Marketing expands our reach within those accounts by serving Terminus ads to those target accounts as SDRs then build out contact data for each account.
Engage – We use SDR outreach (calls, emails, and social touches), Terminus ads (personalized by persona), and limited retargeting to reach key decision-makers.
Advocate – SDRs seek referrals and build advocacy at target accounts.
Measure – We measure the results of our campaigns in terms of qualified demos scheduled/completed, opportunities created, pipeline created, and the number of accounts that progressed to the next stage of the sales cycle.
The Key to Success for SDR-Led Campaigns
A key to success for SDR-led demand gen campaigns has been to continually optimize the creative used in our Terminus ads. We went from a generic approach (using the same ads for all individuals at each of our target accounts) to using persona-based and personalized ads that speak directly to the end goals of our audience.
How Terminus Runs Inbound Account-Based Marketing Campaigns
The second type of demand gen campaigns we run is inbound ABM campaigns. When a prospect fills out a Pardot form on our website, our Inbound SDR scrubs the account for an ICP match. If the account is a good fit for our platform, it’s his job to create the account in Salesforce and build out the account profile.
Next, the SDR works with marketing to set up Terminus ads in order to reach the entire account and not just the initial lead. To supplement the digital ads, he also creates a custom Uberflip stream and launches a cadence of emails and calls in SalesLoft personalized to the specific content the initial prospect downloaded. The SDR will continue to engage with the account and track the conversion to opportunity after the download.
Example of a Sales Stream for Inbound Prospects
Here’s an example of a customized Sales Stream our Inbound SDR creates in Uberflip and sends to inbound prospects that fit our ICP. Sales Streams lend themselves to account-based engagement because they can be personalized for each account based on the interaction they’ve had with our content and our company.
How Terminus Runs Account-Based Event Campaigns
We also run demand generation campaigns before events we’re sponsoring to make sure we’re driving the right accounts to attend.
We start by identifying which companies have attended the event in the past and the companies located in the geographic area of the event that fit our ICP. We then build out the accounts within those companies and develop our key messaging that we will use across channels like social media, Terminus ads, SDR cadences, and so on. Our marketing team works with our SDRs to create the content around the messaging.
Let’s take the #FlipMyFunnel conference in Boston, for example. The campaign looked like this:
- Touch #1: Marketing team launches Terminus ads and retargeting ads to 375 named target accounts in the Boston area.
- Touch #2: SDRs begin a cadence of invitation emails containing personalized messaging and Vidyard videos.
- Touch #3: SDRs call contacts at target accounts to follow up on invites.
- Touch #4: Sales reps and marketers connect with attendees at the event.
- Touch #5: SDRs begin their follow-up cadences of emails and phone calls after the event with the goal to schedule a demo.
Results of an Event Campaign Using Account-Based Marketing
The results of our event campaign can be broken into quantitative and qualitative.
- Accounts targeted: 375
- Accounts registered: 41 (11% of target accounts)
- Ad spend: $855
- Pipeline created: $498K (36% of total pipeline from the event)
- We received lots of positive feedback from accounts we targeted with our ads and personalized videos — even those that didn’t register for the event.
- Our sales development team reported that it was much easier to engage prospects on the phone after they’d seen the ads and video.
- On one “cold” call, a prospect told an SDR, “I loved your video. We passed it around the office because it was so great!”
Lessons Learned: Ads, Content, Tools, and Process
One of the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve built out our demand generation program with account-based marketing is that we need to spend more time identifying the right accounts before the campaign begins. This can be a challenge because we want to take the time to make sure that all accounts fit our ICP and that sales and marketing are fully aligned on who we should target from the get-go.
We’ve also found that we’re more successful when we take an agile approach to ABM and consistently improve our ads and messaging. Making sure that your content is effective can be difficult, but it has a big impact on results.
Apply These Lessons to Your Own Demand Gen Campaigns
The most important takeaway from our demand generation ABM campaigns? Verify that you have alignment between sales and marketing throughout each phase of the campaign, and check in often so that alignment remains strong.
Having an arsenal of technology tools is great, but using each efficiently and correctly is even better. The sales and marketing teams should be well versed in each tool and have an understanding of how they drive results.
Setting clear KPIs that indicate the campaign’s contribution to revenue is imperative to success. As always, data is king. But if the data indicates that your campaign isn’t working, all hope is not lost. Use your marketing technology to A/B test, make adjustments, and optimize your campaigns. Keep these lessons in mind as you develop your own account-based marketing campaigns for demand gen.