Thriving at the Intersection of MarTech & Account-Based Marketing


It’s all about collaboration when it comes to marketing technology.

MarTech has made it the greatest time ever to be in the B2B marketing and sales industry. Account-based marketing is creating opportunities for companies to come together at the intersection of innovative technology and highly-targeted content. Here at Terminus, we’re privileged to partner with companies to do account-based marketing at scale, such as Engagio, LeadData and Vendemore. While these are all account-based marketing companies, each of us addresses the challenges of ABM a bit differently, and in some cases we are quite complimentary

I was privileged to have Christopher Engman, CEO of Vendemore, join me on a Google Hangout to share his knowledge with our audience. He offered some stellar insights about how to innovate your company’s selling process using account-based marketing.

Before we dive into how ABM is creating innovation in the MarTech industry, let’s get to know Chris a bit better.

Favorite business books?

I have one super favorite, “Inside the Tornado” by Geoffrey A. Moore. People probably know Moore’s book “Crossing the Chasm” but “Inside the Tornado” in my view is more complete.

Who do you follow on Twitter?

Well I follow you, Sangram! (Man – that’s a big honor!) I do follow Geoffrey A. Moore, again I think he is fantastic. I follow a lot of people because I’ve never had an idol in any area.

If you weren’t a marketer, what would you do?

If cloning was possible, my second person would be a politician. My third person would be a soccer coach.

Check out the full interview here:

Innovation with Account-Based Marketing

Vendemore is a global account based marketing company based in Stockholm, Sweden, and operating in regions around the world. As Chris says, his company’s goal is to be the SAP of the account based marketing world targeting Fortune 500 companies.

“Our primary customer segment is the IT industry,” Chris explains. “We work with nine of the ten biggest technology companies in the world.” Working with large, enterprise organizations, Chris saw firsthand the politics associated in the B2B selling and buying process.

“For most of our clients, the sales process is all over the place and it starts and stops,” Chris says. “It changes with stakeholders. I saw the same from my side as a buyer: I couldn’t make decisions on my own. There are a lot of people involved.”

[Tweet “The politics of the #B2B #sales process become the deal-killers. Read more w/ @chrisengman”]

Based on that insight, Chris created Vendemore.

“In the beginning, we tried to solve the political layer. We started off as an account based marketing agency. We tried to solve the politics based on very smart, tailored, emails and letters. We combined that with an IP measurement tool which we placed on the customer’s website. We were selling insights from a mixture of channels, and that went fantastically well. It solved a vital function of the whole account based domain.”

His team at Vendemore started using IP numbers to do targeted advertising. “The problem we always had when we used emails and letters was that no matter what we did we always influenced too few people,” Chris explains. “Most of our clients today, they have 50 or more stakeholders in every deal they do. Sometimes it’s several hundred. To influence those sizes of buyer communities, we have to find another way.”

[Tweet “Looking for a way to influence #B2B buyers? It’s time to try account-based marketing #ABM”]

Thriving with Marketing Technology

Vendemore truly became a pioneer in account-based marketing. “This was seven years ago so quite early on we started to play around with this, and it was super easy to settle on a customer,” Chris says. “The reaction we got was, ‘Wow! You mean my company can be as visible as Walmart?'”

Seven years ago, the B2B marketing industry didn’t know the term ” account-based marketing.” Chris and his team called it “pipeline marketing”, as it used targeted advertising to influence the sales cycle. Now, the MarTech industry recognizes the capabilities of account-based marketing to eliminate the process of collecting tons of leads and align marketing spend with a revenue opportunity.

“It’s a bit funny. We have a few clients where sales directors even try to take over the account-based marketing initiative from the marketing department,” Chris explains. “Actually combining the two helps salespeople do a better job and also giving the marketing department the right tools.”

[Tweet “Account-based marketing #ABM helps #B2B #sales & #marketing do a better job @chrisengman”]

Making Account-Based Marketing Impactful

Account-based marketing starts with good knowledge about your existing top accounts and your most wanted new accounts. “There very few companies that ask ‘How can we influence maximumly our top account?’” Chris says. “That starts with proactive marketing.”

Another essential component is measuring your metrics. For that, Vendemore utilizes predictive analytics with targeted advertising. “To give you a generic description, we’re using a predictive analytics model that’s saying these companies in this market are most likely right now to buy this kind of products, with a 90% likelihood or higher, and those companies get targeted with account-based marketing. We can then see which companies are responding the best.”

Karate vs. Football

One problem the B2B marketing and sales industry has faced for years is not having the tools or capabilities to do account-based marketing at scale. As Chris says, previously one part of the marketing team focused on nurturing leads through the long sales cycle while the sales team was only focusing on the top accounts.

“To me, it’s like comparing karate and football,” Chris analogizes. “These are two different sports with totally different measurements. For example, looking at cost per lead for key accounts is a rubbish measurement.”

“We’ve totally forgotten about the companies who are bringing us lunch…If 20% of the customer base that is buying represents 80% or more of the revenue. We’re not paying enough attention to those customers and it’s an unbalanced approach where you spend a lot of the sales money.”

Chris is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to MarTech and account-based marketing. What are some successes or challenges you’ve faced with launching account-based marketing at scale? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.