Scratch Game-changing Marketing for Game-changing Companies 2017-04-20T14:35:24Z https://scratchmm.com/feed/atom/ https://scratchmm.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cropped-fav-1-150x150.png Eric Seymour <![CDATA[Client Coverage Spotlight: Frustum Inc. 3Dprint.com]]> https://scratchmm.com/?p=1336 2017-04-14T15:56:43Z 2017-04-18T10:30:04Z Do you ever get to work on Monday and can’t get your mind of cool tech toys like quadcopters? That’s ok if you work with us – in fact, we WANT you to! Our Denver-based client Frustum, Inc., just wrapped up a quadcopter design and print competition with GrabCAD and the challenge was focused on […]

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Do you ever get to work on Monday and can’t get your mind of cool tech toys like quadcopters? That’s ok if you work with us – in fact, we WANT you to! Our Denver-based client Frustum, Inc., just wrapped up a quadcopter design and print competition with GrabCAD and the challenge was focused on quadcopters. Check out what 3Dprint.com had to say about it.

 

Frustum, Inc., a pioneer in functional generative design and topology optimization software, is taking on the CAD industry with truly disruptive technology. Check out some of the interesting things they’ve done recently: TCTMagazine, Engineering.com, 3ders.org

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Lora Kratchounova <![CDATA[Announcing the 2017 State of ABM Industry Report from Scratch Marketing + Media and demandDrive]]> https://scratchmm.com/?p=1317 2017-04-11T15:03:34Z 2017-04-11T10:00:41Z By Lora Kratchounova, Principal, Scratch Marketing + Media, and Lindsay Frey, President, demandDrive When you bring together the complementary perspectives of two great companies steeped in account-based (AB) methodology — one working in external sales development and demand generation and the other focused on integrated, multi-channel, digital marketing — you get a very practical understanding of […]

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By Lora Kratchounova, Principal, Scratch Marketing + Media, and Lindsay Frey, President, demandDrive

When you bring together the complementary perspectives of two great companies steeped in account-based (AB) methodology — one working in external sales development and demand generation and the other focused on integrated, multi-channel, digital marketing — you get a very practical understanding of full funnel management. When you blend in the experiences of scores of B2B professionals in sales and marketing (and a few other roles), you get a comprehensive picture of how the account-based approach to sales and marketing is, and is NOT, working across today’s B2B landscape, and how, when executed properly, it can most favorably influence the buyer’s journey.

At Scratch Marketing + Media and demandDrive, that’s just what we’ve done! We’re pleased to announce the availability of our joint new 2017 State of Account-Based Marketing Industry Report and Roadmap to Account-Based Funnel Management Success, a complete look at the account-based methodology in both theory and practice within B2B organizations today.

This report combines an independent industry survey we undertook in January and February of 2017 with our firsthand experiences supporting the sales and marketing efforts of numerous clients looking to maximize their penetration within the accounts that matter most to their businesses.

The resulting insights illuminate current trends in account-based methodology. The report reveals where organizations are struggling with their account-based strategy and execution, and it identifies opportunities for growth in 2017.  At the end, we offer a practical roadmap for launching an AB initiative of your own through a new lens – Account-Based Funnel Management (ABFM)  – which is the right lens for you to focus on growing your business.

The survey findings confirm much of what we’ve known to be true – the account-based approach is game-on in 2017, with close to 75 percent of organizations either engaged in or planning for account-based initiatives. And, among companies that are planning to invest in AB this year, nearly two-thirds plan to increase their investment over their 2016 contributions. Taken at face value, these are encouraging signs for those banking on the proliferation of AB methodology. And yet, looking a bit more closely at the data, we find some additional information that tells a more nuanced story.

Our survey reveals that account-based expertise is hard to come by; only about one in five respondents describes himself or herself as an “ABM pro”, and even fewer describe their organizations as having solid AB expertise. Further, the survey indicates that the perceived challenges to launching an AB initiative are widespread and touch all aspects of AB methodology, from account selection to getting ongoing intelligence on key accounts, to determining the optimal content and channel mix for reaching out to top prospects, to delivering personalized experiences to targets.

The survey reveals that respondents are looking to a range of outlets to provide AB intelligence — peers and media/ publications chief among them. And they are looking to bring in external expertise to help execute on their AB activities. Given the results of their self-evaluations regarding in-house AB expertise, it comes as little surprise that the range of activities for which respondents will be looking for external assistance is as broad as the set of challenges they have identified. Again, we see that nearly all of the aspects of AB execution make the list of activities likely to be outsourced, with planning and delivering personalized content, getting ongoing intelligence on key accounts, and determining the best AB toolset landing in the top three spots, respectively.

This data set speaks for itself. Moreover, our own insights and experiences tell us the art of the AB start remains elusive for many B2B organizations. But we know how rewarding a carefully crafted and expertly executed AB initiative can be, even in light of the above challenges. Organizations just need a bit of guidance on how to launch an AB initiative of their own and a little time to demonstrate that the AB approach can be effective.

The good news is that organizations don’t need to jump into AB with both feet right from the start. It is perfectly appropriate, and, more often than not, incredibly shrewd to start out with a small and targeted AB initiative running side-by-side with the company’s familiar sales and marketing operational model. Running both in parallel can give everyone an up-close opportunity to see how the new approach can unfold within the context of their own companies and lead to higher booking rates and shorter sales cycles before committing to a wholesale realignment. In fact, we see 2017 as shaping to be the Year of the Account-Based Pilot, and we know just what B2B organizations need to do to bear that out.

So, we’ve supplemented our 2017 State of Account-Based Marketing Industry Report with a practical guide to launching a full-funnel AB pilot initiative. Our Roadmap to Account-Based Funnel Management Success discusses the requisite changes sales reps and marketers working within the pilot program must embrace, including shifting both the priorities assigned to various sales and marketing activities and the perspective on measuring the effectiveness of the activities comprising the ABFM approach.

We invite you to download Scratch Marketing + Media’s and demandDrives’ 2017 State of Account-Based Marketing Industry Report and Roadmap to Account-Based Funnel Management Success to learn what your organization can do to get started with ABFM and achieve success right out of the gate!

We look forward to your feedback and comments. For those interested in learning more about how to start your ABM pilot, join us for our related webinar in May: Details here!

Lora + Lindsay

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Lauren Johnson <![CDATA[Client Coverage Spotlight: Masabi]]> https://scratchmm.com/?p=1155 2017-04-03T21:20:01Z 2017-04-04T08:00:59Z Smart cities: The future of urban living, where governments and companies work together to implement technology and policies that make the lives of city dwellers and visitors easier. A place where your smartphone is your wallet, autonomous cars roam the streets and smart-sensor streetlights work in harmony to illuminate your walk home. This vision may […]

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Smart cities: The future of urban living, where governments and companies work together to implement technology and policies that make the lives of city dwellers and visitors easier. A place where your smartphone is your wallet, autonomous cars roam the streets and smart-sensor streetlights work in harmony to illuminate your walk home.

This vision may seem futuristic, but there are many companies working to make it a reality today. One of the companies at the forefront is our client Masabi. If you’ve ever purchased a public transit ticket on your smartphone in Athens, Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, London, Las Vegas, New Orleans or Santa Clara, then you’ve used the company’s service.

Scratch has been working with UK-based Masabi for the past year, increasing its media visibility and establishing the company as a leader in the smart city industry.

Media highlights so far include:

Want to hear more about how Scratch Marketing and Media helps game-changing technology companies increase their media visibility? Get in touch with us.

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John Saxe <![CDATA[Last Week in Account-Based Marketing: If You’re Focused on Individual Leads, You’re Not Doing Account-Based!]]> https://scratchmm.com/?p=1211 2017-04-03T21:23:55Z 2017-04-03T20:15:42Z A Roundup of News, Tools, Events and Thought Leadership from the World of Account-Based Funnel Management By John Saxe, Scratch Marketing + Media  You want to stay abreast of the latest developments in account-based, but you don’t have time to read everything. That’s where we come in. Each week Scratch Marketing recaps the most recent […]

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A Roundup of News, Tools, Events and Thought Leadership from the World of Account-Based Funnel Management

By John Saxe, Scratch Marketing + Media 

You want to stay abreast of the latest developments in account-based, but you don’t have time to read everything. That’s where we come in. Each week Scratch Marketing recaps the most recent doings in the account-based world and tie them up with a bow for you to peruse. Enjoy the week’s news!

 

ABM News, Reports, Stats and Stories

How Marketers Can Change Customer Behavior By Understanding and Changing Theirs First

March 21, 2017

Giles House, MarTech

In this article, Giles House highlights that two-thirds of companies that have implemented ABM strategies in their marketing plans have seen success that can be directly attributed to this methodology. However, the author contends, there are few companies in this category. Giles argues that marketers — even (and especially) successful ones — have a difficult time changing their behaviors and, therefore, continue using outdated processes that compromise their efficiency.

The Scratch lens: While the author makes a lot of sense with his assertion that marketers need to get comfortable with always adapting their approach based on the current context in which they’re operating, he’s not advocating for the fundamental change that will make a real difference for an account-based methodology — realigning sales and marketing around an integrated, rather than sequential, approach to reach and envelope top prospect accounts. As long as sales and marketing operate independently to generate individual leads and nurture them until they achieve sales-qualified status, they’re not taking an account-based approach, regardless of what they want to call it.

 

How ABM Can Drive Your Content Marketing Strategy

March 23, 2017

Shari Johnston, MarTech

Shari Johnston, SVP of Marketing at Radius, shares her insight on ABM by explaining the marketing process at Radius. This brief article offers a high-level look at the intersection of account selection and content marketing, specifically how identifying your ideal customer (by industry, for example, or other attributes like the specific MarTech solutions they employ) can make the job of prioritizing content development within an editorial calendar easier. She summarizes the steps required for a successful strategy and emphasizes the importance of creating a cohesive relationship between a sales and marketing department.

The Scratch lens: This ~600-word article is interesting but a bit too short to provide any level of detail on how Radius executes on its ABM strategy. I would have liked to have seen examples of the “rich, personalized content” that the author says their segmentation efforts led them to develop. While the article does not offer much to those looking for the HOW of account selection, segmentation, and content prioritization, it does make the case for taking such an approach. And that’s a start.

 

Tools and Tips: The Martech Angle on ABM

Full Circle Insights Launches ABM Solution

March 23, 2017

Alexander Neely, DMNews

Full Circle Insights, a maker of sales and marketing solutions programs, announced the launch of its new lead-to-account matching solution, MatchMaker. The solution, built on the Salesforce platform, will enable users to generate and convert leads with account-based marketing analytics. Matchmaker is a 100% native Salesforce App Cloud product that enables automated Lead-to-Account matching, Lead-to-Contact conversion, and Lead-to-Salesperson assignment.

“Today’s marketers, with all the technology and information, do not have time to clean up lead data – it’s impossible,” said [Senior Product Marketing Manager] Peng Fong. “Matchmaker bridges this gap for marketers and delivers them a single-source of truth.”

Want to receive our weekly digest on account-based marketing and account-based funnel management via email? Contact us at abm@scratchmm.com to subscribe!

If you are interested in learning how to use Account-Based Marketing to grow your business, contact Scratch Marketing + Media and we’ll be glad to help you.

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Carissa Ryan <![CDATA[Client Coverage Spotlight: TUV Rheinland on ABC]]> https://scratchmm.com/?p=1104 2017-03-29T21:28:49Z 2017-03-29T18:45:18Z What brings together cell phone radiation, connected cars, and isolation chambers? TUV Rheinland! One of our newer clients, TUV Rheinland is aiming to take the US by storm. If you aren’t familiar with this innovative company, they are a global leader in independent testing, inspection and certification services. They have a hand in some of […]

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What brings together cell phone radiation, connected cars, and isolation chambers? TUV Rheinland!

One of our newer clients, TUV Rheinland is aiming to take the US by storm. If you aren’t familiar with this innovative company, they are a global leader in independent testing, inspection and certification services. They have a hand in some of the most cutting-edge technology markets – connected cars, robotics, solar energy and even beer.

Earlier this month they opened one of the first wireless testing facilities on the west coast. We invited Jonathan Bloom at ABC to tour their state-of-the-art testing facility – watch his clip here.  
Want to learn more about what TUV has been up to? Check out their recent coverage in: IoT Evolution, SmartCities World, Network World, and Huffington Post.  

Want to hear more about how Scratch Marketing and Media helps game-changing technology companies increase their media visibility? Get in touch with us.

 

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John Saxe <![CDATA[Last Week in Account-Based Marketing: Know Your Audience]]> https://scratchmm.com/?p=1019 2017-03-16T17:35:22Z 2017-03-16T16:17:23Z A Roundup of News, Tools, Events and Thought Leadership from the World of Account-Based Funnel Management By John Saxe, Scratch Marketing + Media  You want to stay abreast of the latest developments in account-based, but you don’t have time to read everything. That’s where we come in. Each week Scratch Marketing recaps the most recent […]

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A Roundup of News, Tools, Events and Thought Leadership from the World of Account-Based Funnel Management

By John Saxe, Scratch Marketing + Media 

You want to stay abreast of the latest developments in account-based, but you don’t have time to read everything. That’s where we come in. Each week Scratch Marketing recaps the most recent doings in the account-based world and ties them up with a bow for you to peruse. Enjoy the week’s news!

 

ABM News, Reports, Stats and Stories

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Stats & Quotes That Show the Benefits

March, 2017

Fes Askari, Strategic-IC

This is a fantastic blog post by Fes Askari, the head of inbound sales for Strategic-IC, that aggregates a ton of high-quality statistics showing the clear benefits brought by ABM. Read through to see why it’s time to make a move.

 

Influencer / ABM Leader Commentary

 

6 Ways Infusing Customers Into Our Account-Based Marketing Campaigns Drove $300K in Sales

March 9, 2017

Truman Tang, Customer Think

In this article, Truman Tang, the senior marketing manager for Influitive, explores how companies need to look beyond traditional tactics when looking to engage their ideal prospects through ABM. According to Tang, despite a rapid increase in companies investing in ABM tech, many are still using retargeting and email nurturing when they need to be building authentic relationships. Throughout the article, he makes the case (with visual examples) for the importance of customer advocacy and peer recommendation.

 

Account Based Marketing – Everything You Need to Know (And What You Don’t)

March 9, 2017

Justin McGill, Business2Community

This article provides a thorough rundown of the ABM basics. For our purposes, we really like how McGill combined the concepts of ABM with the traditional marketing/sales funnel to create a new approach. As we discussed last week and in recent blog posts, we feel strongly in the concept of “account-based funnel management.”

 

The Next Debate: The Convergence of Mar Tech and Sales Tech

March 9, 2017

Brian Andersen, Ad Exchanger

In this article we get a slightly different look at ABM as Brian Andersen, a partner at LUMA Partners approaches it from the perspective of an advertiser and investment banker. In the article, he explores the core concept that ABM is predicated around finding the common goal between sales and marketing.

 

Video for Account-Based Marketing

March 8, 2017

Bruce McKenzie, Business2Community

The name really says it all. In this article, Bruce McKenzie, the founder of Business Information Graphics, discusses how video can be a key tool in fueling the personalization that ABM needs to succeed.

 

To Make Account-Based Marketing Work, We Need Artificial Intelligence

March 7, 2017

Falon Fatemi, Forbes

In this article, serial ABM influencer, Falon Fatemi explains how artificial intelligence is the final piece of the puzzle that marketers and salespeople need to finally achieve one-to-one sales and marketing. Rather than throwing money at more marketing tools, lead lists and data sources, Fatemi believes that AI will be the key to finding the right targets and using the right tactics to get their attention. Enter, ABI: account-based intelligence.

 

Tools and Tips: The Martech Angle on ABM

 

Terminus Releases Account-Based Marketing Orchestration Platform for B2B Marketers

March 7, 2017

Shabana Arora, MarTech Advisor

Terminus, an account-based marketing platform, announced the launch of new orchestration and measurement tools for B2B marketers. The new features are said to empower B2B marketing and sales teams with better ways to target, execute, measure and optimize ABM campaigns at scale.

 

Latest from the Scratch Blog: Our own Stories

 

Account-Based Marketing Changes the Meaning of “Customer Connection”

March 9, 2017

Rob Skinner, Scratch Marketing + Media 

We explore how to make genuine customer interactions within an ABM framework. The key is in “situation analysis.” Well-timed observations can be the difference between real engagement and a mere open-and-close interaction.

 

Want to receive our weekly digest on account-based marketing and account-based funnel management via email? Contact us at abm@scratchmm.com to subscribe! 

If you are interested in learning how to use Account-Based Marketing to grow your business, contact Scratch Marketing + Media and we’ll be glad to help you.

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Rob Skinner <![CDATA[Welcome to Content 2.0: 5 Ways Account-Based Marketing Changes the Meaning of “Customer Connection”]]> https://scratchmm.com/?p=993 2017-03-16T16:19:00Z 2017-03-09T15:58:20Z   by Rob Skinner, Scratch Marketing +  Media  Often, the perceived influence of a given individual can grow from little more than a well-timed observation, and the case is on no greater display than within the dynamics of Account-Based Marketing (ABM). To illustrate, let me reflect my experience of viewing the latest Star Wars installment, […]

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by Rob Skinner, Scratch Marketing +  Media 

Often, the perceived influence of a given individual can grow from little more than a well-timed observation, and the case is on no greater display than within the dynamics of Account-Based Marketing (ABM). To illustrate, let me reflect my experience of viewing the latest Star Wars installment, Rogue One. My instant reaction to the film was that it was the best yet, rife with emotion and a genuine plot, and I accepted this impression at face value for about 24 hours until I came across a friend’s reaction: “Amazing, but three major inconsistencies bothered me. Probably my third favorite of the series.” And I became curious. Where did the episode waver in its attempt to “synch up” with all that came before, and why did the movie slide down in his ranking system?

In short, my friend’s comment challenged me to go beyond my own set of conclusions, drove me to want to learn more about what fed his perception, and had me question what I was missing.

As creators of content for Account-Based Marketing, it is our job to elicit a similar, trusted call to question. In fact, as we at Scratch continue to answer questions about this surging approach to marketing, one of the most common points of confusion for companies that want to hone their ABM approach is about content. How do we use content to forge and extend relationships across a given account, they ask, and how does it differ from content whose sole purpose is to generate leads? Is there a level of customization that will make or break the program?

 

ABM gets personal, with a twist

It is true. ABM does require a new level of personalization beyond what you typically see in top-of-funnel content marketing. The concept implies a company should know its prospects better, and the tone of the content must better reflect a shared passion between marketing teams and those to whom they are marketing. The assumptions are different going in, the conversation can go into dramatically more detail, and the opportunity to learn from one another can — and must — go deeper.

To set the stage for ABM engagement up and down a prospective organization, keep these 5 content rules in mind.

Rule 1. Personalization is King, but in ABM, situation analysis is Chief Advisor

First and foremost, the ABM journey is about interacting with an entire buying committee. It is important to hit upon the pain points experienced by each individual, but you must also be aware where the committee as a whole stands within the sales funnel. Are they at the end of their ropes with their current situation, or are they generally happy? Is one person more inclined to be a champion for your products or services? Does he or she have influence and, if so, why? Content in ABM has to account for connectedness among the many people it touches.

That being said, ABM is ultimately about reaching the right senior executives, and one cannot maintain a conversation at that level with generic messages – or with slick content that nonetheless comes across as “generic.”

Instead, your program will include a mix of reports, observations, and advice that calls upon everything you know about the company to prove you understand their most pressing challenges. See a relevant news article? Pop it into the mail with a post-it note pointing out why you bothered to send it along. Want to expand an account? Send over a case study showing how another division or group within the prospect’s company is using your solution. And, “cold referrals” do work. Open by stating your connection to an associate of the prospect: As an example, “Jim Thornton mentioned you in a conversation I was having with him yesterday about his DevOps challenges.”

Rule 2. Know who you’re talking to

In a well-designed ABM program, “know your audience” takes on a much more literal meaning. You are communicating more often with prospects, about much more nuanced topics. Interactions need to cater to a variety of professional interests and address problems that can not only make jobs easier but also make people more successful in their careers.

To that end, you cannot rely on job titles alone to inform the tone of your content and communication. Rather, you must know the precise role that each ABM prospect plays within their teams and divisions, the deliverables they are held accountable for, to whom they report, and how they contribute to their company’s success. Also, take the time to learn the extent to which each prospect participates in professional development programs, and where.

Rule 3. It is all about the experience

The Account-Based Marketing experience as a whole is what matters, much more that any single item of content. It may seem counterintuitive to the professional marketer, but offers and calls-to-action must be de-emphasized, as a rule. Courtesy of Marketo, we’ve included a flowchart in Figure 1 that lays out how to shift focus to the account and not the offer.

Figure 1: ABM Planning (Marketo)

The idea is to move away from being a company that is just trying to sell something, to one that is an active participant in your prospect’s success. If you can sell that kind of experience, ABM success is more likely to follow.

Rule 4. Choose the right channel

Like generic lead gen marketing, ABM does not impose a limit on content distribution channels, but it does affect the calculus for prioritization. If your prospect is active on social channels, consider the implications of reaching them there. Are they attuned to LinkedIn messages, or Twitter DMs, or @mentions, or Gchat? Perhaps communication through these channels gets perceived as less disruptive, and more value-add. Consider the delivery formats that are at your disposal:

  • Email
  • Video
  • eBooks, white papers
  • Landing pages
  • Content curation platforms
  • Postcards and signage

For each of these, “branded” housing in ABM is a must-have, not a nice-to-have. Be prepared to design several sets of customized templates that carry the look and feel of your targets’ brands. Moreover, there are tools that can 1) help you deliver highly personalized email message flows that adapt as the audience interacts; 2) insert a person and company name into videos; 3) personalize hard-copy marketing assets at scale or 4) customize documents like eBooks from a database of profile data.

How does one choose the right channel mix? This is an educated, trial-and-error process, which can only come from learning how each prospect in an account prefers to receive and consume communication. Act accordingly.

Rule 5. Keep engaging

Account-Based Marketing is, above all, a means to envelop the buyer journey. From the initial focus on qualifying that an account’s buyer committee is truly interested in your wares (as opposed to having a *gut feeling* about it), to keeping them engaged post-sale for eventual upsell and cross-selling initiatives, the hallmark of ABM is that it requires you to keep engaging. Content is leveraged across the entire revenue engine: 1) marketing 2) sales and 3) customer success.

One strategy is to choose logical trigger points from within your company that will inspire the account, such as new product updates or your CEO being recognized in the industry. Post-sale, the role of ABM communication is to continually reinforce the association between your company and its domain expertise, and set the standard in your accounts’ minds that you are a driver for what’s possible. In this regard, ABM starts to resemble employee engagement. Your job is to inform and inspire!

Do you have any thoughts on the subject? Or you need help launching your own ABM program?  Feel free to contact Scratch Marketing + Media here. 

Don’t miss any of our insights about account-based marketing. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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John Saxe <![CDATA[Last Week in ABM: Let’s Call It What It Really Is – Account-Based Funnel Management]]> https://scratchmm.com/?p=938 2017-03-16T17:36:26Z 2017-03-07T18:41:23Z A Roundup of News, Tools, Events and Thought Leadership from the World of Account-Based Funnel Management   By John Saxe You want to stay abreast of the latest developments in account-based, but you don’t have time to read everything. That’s where we come in. Each week Scratch Marketing recaps the most recent doings in the […]

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A Roundup of News, Tools, Events and Thought Leadership from the World of Account-Based Funnel Management

 

By John Saxe

You want to stay abreast of the latest developments in account-based, but you don’t have time to read everything. That’s where we come in. Each week Scratch Marketing recaps the most recent doings in the account-based world and ties them up with a bow for you to peruse. Enjoy the week’s news!

 

ABM News, Reports and Stories

LeadGenius Adds a Dash of Artificial Intelligence to Account Based Marketing

February 24, 2017

David Raab, MarTech Advisor

In this article, David Raab, an expert in marketing technology and founder of Raab Associates, describes how LeadGenius is starting to sprinkle artificial intelligence into its ABM process. The article uses LeadGenius as an example to point a spotlight at Raab’s own “Guide to ABM Vendors” and the “four step structure” that it outlines.

 

Account-Based Marketing: Top Tactics, Challenges, and Goals

February 23, 2017

Ayaz Nanji, Marketing Profs

Research from Ascend2 says that personalizing content is the most effective tactic for account-based marketing. This is a familiar refrain in today’s ABM overture, but respondents to Scratch Marketing + Media’s  2017 State of Account-Based Marketing survey (conducted in partnership with our friends at demandDrive) are striking something of a different chord. Stay tuned — results will be available later this month.  

 

Influencer / ABM Leader Commentary

How Do You Choose the Right Target Accounts for Your ABM?

March 2, 2017

Tukan Das, Business2Community

In this article, Tukan Das, the co-founder of LeadSift, a social intelligence platform, discusses how it is critical to target the right accounts. Das contends that building the proper personas is key to proper targeting, but that many businesses “rely on relatively static metrics to build their personas,” which leads to subpar results. Das suggests that businesses begin to incorporate more dynamic metrics like technographics and buying signals to create a more three-dimensional picture of their accounts.

 

Traditional Marketing Playbooks for Account Based Marketing

March 1, 2017

Matt Ellis, Business2Community

In this article, Matt Ellis, the content marketing manager for Seismic Software, explores how the term “account-based marketing” lacks a specific meaning and is used inconsistently – a claim backed up by 73% of the 120 marketers who participated in a recent Forrester survey. To remedy this problem, Ellis sets out to create a unified definition of ABM once and for all.

 

ABM Helps Engage B2B Buyers

March 1, 2017

Beth Viveiros, Chief Marketer

This article delves into the takeaways from Scratch Marketing + Media’s very own Lora Kratchounova’s recent AMA Boston event. Kratchounova contends that offering ABM is a critical way for B2B marketers to stand out in a crowded and noisy market. The article also references the early results from the upcoming Scratch Marketing + Media and demandDrive joint survey (in partnership with demandDrive), including that 74 percent of respondents plan to invest in ABM starting this year.

 

Align Your Sales And Marketing Teams With Account-Based Marketing

February 26, 2017

John Hall, Forbes

In this article, John Hall, the co-founder and CEO of Influence & Co., provides a really solid top-down explanation of ABM basics while imploring companies that are already practicing some form of content marketing to begin experimenting with ABM as well. The article outlines the various well-tread benefits of ABM including better customer service, more untied teams, and reduced sales cycles. The remainder of the article provides a step by step guide to getting started with ABM.

 

Account-Based Marketing Is Hot — But Is It Right For Your Startup?

February 23, 2017

Falon Fatemi, Forbes

In this article, two ABM influencer heavyweights, Falon Fatemi, the CEO and founder of Node, an account-based marketing intelligence platform and Craig Rosenberg, co-founder and chief analyst of TOPO discuss the considerations startups must make to decide whether ABM is right for their company. A key point is that industry type is not the most important factor in an ABM decision – target market is. (On a related note, our own Lora Kratchounova published a blog post back in January exploring whether company size should be a factor in determining whether ABM is a viable strategy. Hint: It shouldn’t. Read our post here.)

 

Tools and Tips: The Martech Angle on ABM

CMO’s Top 8 MarTech Stories for the Week – 3 March 2017

March 3, 2017

Nadia Cameron, CMO.com

Besides being a great roundup article that delves into what the big MarTech players are up to, this particular piece explores Marketo’s massive Project Orion, a codename for their new big data architecture. This project is the largest tech investment by Marketo in its 10-year history and is part of their efforts to extend its marketing automation platform into a customer lifecycle management hub. For our purposes, it is interesting to note that Project Orion includes 12 marketing apps in its platform, including an account-based marketing solution.

 

Latest from the Scratch Blog: Our own Stories

Sales and Marketing Alignment: It Might Be Closer Than You Think

March 2, 2017

John Saxe (that’s me)

Sales and Marketing alignment is integral to any successful account-based strategy. In listening to the views expressed by sales executives featured at a recent panel discussion at Tufts University, it’s clear that there’s great similarity between the skills, approaches, and mindsets needed to succeed in sales and in marketing, which bodes well for closer alignment as the account-based philosophy takes root.  

 

Multichannel Campaigns: Modern Marketing Architecture

February 24, 2017

Lora Kratchounova

Today’s marketing environment seamlessly integrates paid, owned and earned approaches across multitudes of channels, generally called converged media. When armed with a deep understand of your customer, combining paid, owned and earned strategies across multiple channels provides marketers with an end-to-end customer journey model.

 

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If you are interested in learning how to use Account-Based Marketing to grow your business, contact Scratch Marketing + Media and we’ll be glad to help you.

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John Saxe <![CDATA[Sales and Marketing Alignment: It Might Be Closer Than You Think]]> https://scratchmm.com/?p=912 2017-03-16T16:19:54Z 2017-03-02T21:50:11Z Last night I had the good fortune to have been invited to attend a panel discussion and networking event at Tufts University focused on the value and importance of careers in sales. It was hosted by Tufts Career Services and geared towards giving current undergraduate students in the School of Engineering ...

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By John Saxe, Scratch Marketing + Media

Last night I had the good fortune to have been invited to attend a panel discussion and networking event at Tufts University focused on the value and importance of careers in sales. It was hosted by Tufts Career Services and geared towards giving current undergraduate students in the School of Engineering a sense of the opportunities that sales provides and coaching them on the skills they’ll need to be successful in these roles.

Personally and professionally, coming from a B2B marketing perspective, I found the event incredibly interesting because of the increasing alignment that is required between sales and marketing in successful B2B organizations. As account-based marketing (ABM) gains traction, thanks in large part to the proliferation of technology tools developed to help sales and marketing professionals identify, target and personalize content for the members of increasingly complex buying committees in their key accounts, what was once known as the named accounts strategy has been granted a second life as account-based marketing. And the underpinning of any successful ABM initiative is a fundamental shift towards closer alignment of the sales and marketing functions.

What used to be a sequential process of generating and scoring leads, designating each first as a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) and then elevating it to sales-qualified lead (SQL) status based on the behaviors and attributes of the individual lead (which by definition involves a handoff from marketing to sales rather than a cooperative approach), is being subsumed by a more holistic strategy of keying in on ideal accounts, identifying the members of the buying committee within each account, monitoring the behaviors of the committee as a whole, and developing and delivering content appropriate for each persona within that committee that will help lead the account to embrace the solution your company is offering.

Such an approach requires sales and marketing to closely choreograph their movements and activities. And last night helped me realize that while the sales role and the marketing role are fundamentally different, the qualities that the occupants of these roles must possess overlap significantly. And yet, in B2B organizations, such tight integration and collaboration between sales and marketing is uncommon, to say the least.

Now, for sure, account-based marketing, or sales and marketing alignment, was not the focus of the panelists at last night’s event. That said, it struck me that while these sales leaders (most of whom have also gone on to become executive leaders within their current and/or previous organizations) were talking about the mindset needed to be successful in sales, it is this same mindset needed within all employees of a B2B company for ABM to take root.

One executive from an enterprise data-as-a-service company spoke of how today’s buyers get themselves far along the buying journey before ever reaching out to a brand they are considering purchasing, intimating the need for the sales executive to be consultative with the prospective customer and able to provide the right information at the right moment to address the prospective customer’s specific needs.

Another, a founder (and therefore chief sales executive) of a healthcare IT company developing a solution to boost patient engagement and improve patient outcomes, spoke of passion as a driver for success. While that’s certainly true in sales, I’m having a hard time thinking of a role where bringing passion isn’t important. It’s certainly vital in marketing, and when sales and marketing teams apply passion in equal measure in a collaborative fashion, their chances of figuring out how to orchestrate their efforts to close deals quickly increases dramatically.

And, speaking of figuring things out, another panelist, who leads the sales organization at a SaaS company that accelerates website performance, spoke of the crucial skills of thinking on one’s feet, diagnosing poor performance, handling objections from prospective customers, and applying systems thinking to the sales process. All of these are embodied in the successful execution of account-based marketing. With any strategy, no matter how carefully conceived, not everything is going to go as expected right out of the gate. Targeting key customers with personalized content and reaching out across the right mix of channels is going to require testing, measuring and optimizing. Success comes from a blend of patience and persistence.

The more I reflect on this evening of listening to sales rock stars talking about what they look for in a candidate for a sales role, the more I realize we look for the same things on the marketing side. Whether you’re developing customer-facing materials designed to deliver the right messaging to address the business needs or technology requirements of a given customer persona at a specific stage of the sales funnel, or you’re directly in the customer-facing role providing the needed consultation and information to your customer, you need to have a natural inquisitiveness about your customer and his or her needs and you have to be well-versed in the pains they are facing in their jobs and how your company’s solutions can ease those pains. And when it comes to close collaboration within and across teams (regardless of your role), it sure helps to possess a strong sense of self-awareness, keen listening skills, an ability to think quickly, and a drive to deliver excellence to everyone with whom you interact.

We all need to be good storytellers in our professional lives, whether we are helping a customer say “Yes!,” whether we are developing the perfect content for each stage of the buying journey, or whether we are interviewing for our first jobs out of college convincing a hiring manager that her candidate search has just successfully concluded. The art of telling starts with the art of listening, and what I heard at last night’s panel discussion on the value and importance of careers in sales truly energized me to dig deeper into sales and marketing alignment.

Want to hear more about sales and marketing alignment as the foundation for account-based marketing? Get in touch with us. We’d love to hear your story.

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Lora Kratchounova <![CDATA[Multichannel Campaigns: Modern Marketing Architecture]]> https://scratchmm.com/?p=876 2017-03-16T16:21:55Z 2017-02-24T19:41:17Z By Lora Kratchounova, Scratch Marketing + Media In marketing, there is always one ideal channel for your message. And the tooth fairy is real, too. In truth, it’s been almost 40 years since a single-channel approach has made sense. Sure, back in the 1970s and even the ‘80s, advertisers could rely on TV and radio […]

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By Lora Kratchounova, Scratch Marketing + Media

In marketing, there is always one ideal channel for your message.

And the tooth fairy is real, too.

In truth, it’s been almost 40 years since a single-channel approach has made sense. Sure, back in the 1970s and even the ‘80s, advertisers could rely on TV and radio to reach their target demographics. That ended with the ascendance of the internet in the 1990s, and the marketers who denied its importance after the first few years are no longer in business. Just try suggesting a go-to-market campaign relying only on broadcast today – you’ll be laughed out of the room.

Web, email, text, mobile, social… consumers today exist in a multichannel world and are able to pick exactly how – not to mention if – they want to communicate with a given brand. What’s a marketer to do? First things first: They need to understand the principles of modern multichannel marketing, how to manage a multichannel campaign and how to use the available tools to get the job done.

Making Plans in a Multichannel World

Traditional marketing methods are no longer sufficient to reach, engage and convert today’s social- and media-savvy consumers.

Marketers used to work with a defined set of channels that everybody accessed. Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s consumer brands could build empires by advertising on the right TV channel during prime time, and B2B buyers waited patiently for salespeople to reach out and offer a demo. In today’s world, those strategies simply do not work.

Today’s marketing environment seamlessly integrates paid, owned and earned approaches across multitudes of channels, generally called converged media. When armed with a deep understand of your customer – for example, knowing what steps they take, when they buy things, when they use them, etc .– combining paid, owned and earned strategies across multiple channels provides marketers with an end-to-end customer journey model.

 

Like all great marketing, multichannel programs start with the right plan in place. Below is an overview of the stages buyers go through and the typical channels that map to that journey in a B2B setting:

You can use this same model to create multi-channel go-to-market (GTM) plans for both consumer and B2B brands.

Multichannel Campaign Management (MCCM)

Overall, marketers are looking to create compelling and contextualized content experiences for their customers across all channels. They are also aiming to build and maintain long-term relationships with valuable customers by creating personalized experiences across all channels and touchpoints by anticipating customer needs and providing tailored offers.

Marketers use multichannel campaign management tools to create contextual interactions with their customers, which leads to higher interest in a product or service, deeper interactions with the brand, and a faster journey through the sales funnel, creating a loyal customer base.

Starbucks, for example, does a great job at engaging its target audience across all of its channels. It uses online ads (such as those you’ve probably seen on Facebook and Twitter); it takes out print ads, too, and pushes out promotions to the company’s user base via its app and email. It also engages in physical campaigns that engage its community (remember the green cup last November?)

However, before companies can embrace a multichannel program, marketers need to invest in a set of very specific tools to support top-line revenue growth, enhance customers’ and prospects’ experiences, and support integrated campaigns.

A Modern Multichannel Marketing Toolset

Picking a toolset that accomplishes all of a marketer’s goals should be easy, right? Well, maybe not: There are currently thousands of different tools you can use and new ones are popping up every day. Scott Brinker tracks new marketing technology and tools at MarTech Today. In the last six years, his marketing landscape (pictured below) has grown to include around 4,000, a huge leap from the 150 items on the list back in 2011.

No marketer can possibly wrap his or her head around that many options. This is why leading analyst firms such as Forrester and Gartner have been reviewing the best-in-class tools for multichannel campaign management since 2014. While some may posit that all a marketer needs is one end-to-end platform, there are many niche technologies that can be used and combined to help manage a customized, end-to-end customer journey. Ultimately, marketers need to choose the right tool(s) for the job.

Modernize Your Marketing

While the core tenets of marketing have not changed – deep customer understanding, having a solid plan, etc. – the ways modern marketers plan for, design, execute and optimize their marketing campaigns today are very different. In fact, they have yet to reach their final form.

On the other hand, one thing that will not change anytime soon for marketers is the need to put their customers first. By creating the plan around how and where their customers’ shop, they will then be able to select the best tools for their multi-channel toolset.

If multichannel marketing sounds like juggling blindfolded to you, Scratch Marketing + Media would be happy to help you keep all those balls in the air. You can contact us here.

 

Scratch Digital Marketing Glossary

To our readers: At the end of each post in our Digital Authority and Multi-Channel Marketing series, we’re including this glossary of terms explored in previous entries both for your reference and to paint a fuller picture of the Scratch vision for how to succeed in this era of Marketing the Future. Please let us know whether there are any other terms you’d like to see us add.

Digital Brand Authority: Digital Brand Authority incorporates the principles of Marketing the Future to create clear and actionable roadmaps for brands across all industries and sectors to win the hearts and wallets of their customers.  The concept was developed by Scratch Marketing + Media and was first covered here.

Multichannel Campaigns: Using direct and indirect ways to communicate with your target audience. For example, using Twitter, print ads, and email marketing as a part of a promotion.

Three Stages of Marketing: Marketing can be divided into three distinct eras. Read about them here.

  • Marketing the Past: The pre-1980 era, when messaging relied heavily on advertising and was rooted in nostalgia. The promise of these brands was that if you liked what you saw, tasted, or experienced in the past, the product would consistently deliver the same for you in the future.
  • Marketing the Present: The 1980s and 1990s, when the byword for marketing was “more” – more stuff, more deals, more functions. This led to information overload that actually made decisions more difficult, not easier.
  • Marketing the Future: The modern era, since 2000. Consumer Centricity (The customer controls the buying journey), Continuous Delivery (Brands are Never Finished), and Ecosystem Support (Brands Never Stand Alone) are its primary characteristics; as a result, buyers will not make decisions in a vacuum.

Zero Moment of Truth: The ability for consumers to make decisions when and where they will. This often happens outside of a company’s owned channels via peer networks and independent review sites. The term was coined by Google but we explore it here.

 

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