As a technology marketing agency we’ve always been mindful of aligning our sales and marketing stakeholders, as we know how important it is for the two teams to understand and complement each other. Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has brought this philosophy to the forefront, as Vendors recognise its effectiveness at achieving their larger business goals. We attended the B2B Marketing ABM Conference on 5th November. Here are our key takeaways from the event.
Marketing job titles have always painted a picture of the industry. In the past we have seen the rise of the Chief Revenue Officer and the Head of Demand Generation, but the emerging ABM Marketer role is completely unique as it’s the first time we’ve seen the C-Suite employ a dedicated individual or team focused on aligning sales and marketing to deliver growth.
For us this is particularly exciting to see, as sales within the tech sector has historically relied on field marketing for pipeline support, driving MQL’s through activities such as events, lead generation, and content syndication. The new ABM marketer facilitates a closer alignment and access between the sales and marketing functions.
It was great to hear HPE’s success from Angus Reid, Global Channel Marketing Strategist, on how an integrated approach – using everything from out of home advertising to direct mail – helped the prospect along the buying journey. We also loved Patricia Collins from IBM’s message to never buy people off, stressing the importance of not sending gimmicky or cliché gifts as a part of ABM.
In practice, the implementation of ABM functions is not easy. However it was great to see success stories stemming from the marriage of sales and marketing during the conference, including hearing from Kate Owen at Capita and Ross O’Neill at Cloudera. It was refreshing to see, through practice, that with successful alignment and the right strategies, vendors were able to prove ROI through their programmes.
Edyta Malesza-Malatrat, Head of Industry Marketing at SAP, stressed that account selection is a vital step in ABM, iterating that marketing does not need to be subservient. It’s okay to push back and when there is a partnership between sales and marketing teams; often this is when the real magic happens.
The event made clear that the measurements of success need to be re-evaluated across all sectors; the MQL is no longer a reliable source of tracking marketing ROI. Introducing a progress measure with new and personalised milestones is key for tracking effectiveness. During the event Gemma Davies, Director of Global ABM Strategy at ServiceNow, explained: “operational excellence was what kept everyone on their toes”. UK-based ABM programmes saw ROI within 12 to 13 months of running programmes, with US-based programmes able to prove ROI in half the amount of time.
At FMXA, we understand the challenges in both sales and marketing and are committed to bringing teams together to meet your revenue goals. For more information on how FMXA can support your ABM needs, contact our team: firstname.lastname@example.org.