Account Process with Intent Data, Conversational Marketing and ABM

Mar 15, 2019 | Author Ed Marsh

ABM Isn't Just Another Block in Your Martech Stack

Really effective account-based marketing (ABM) is built on lots of creativity and experimentation, some best practices and tight integration between marketing and sales.

Too often it's viewed as yet another relatively simple tactic to be added in addition to PPC and email. That approach fails.

ABM success, in contrast, requires complex, nuanced, multichannel approaches.

I recently joined Drift's Gar Smyth and ITSMA's Rob Leavitt to talk about opportunities at the intersection of ABM, Intent Data and Conversational Marketing. Please take a bit of time to view the webinar recording on demand here. For a quick preview of what we'll cover, I've included a recap of some highlights below.

Breaking Down the Expert ABM Insights

Ed Marsh on Intent Data, Account-Based Marketing and Conversational Marketing with Drift

Rob Leavitt

Rob is SVP and ABM lead at ITSMA. Select insights Rob shared during the webinar include:

  • ABM simultaneously helps to build the brand and generate demand
  • Successful ABM requires understanding “What are the accounts that are going to help drive your business?” 
  • Too often hard won leads aren’t followed up because of poor marketing and sales alignment or because they’re not from accounts that sales really cares about. ABM can help foster alignment because marketing is delivering what sales really values
  • Prospects quickly ascertain whether you understand their industry, their business, them, their competition, their current high priority challenges.
  • We recognize that a small number of accounts are responsible for a disproportionate share of revenue – so just as sales instinctively focuses there, in ABM so does marketing. The most successful programs focus on developing highly customized efforts for the top tier
  • Good demand generation demands integrated multichannel approaches. There is no “best tactic.” Increasingly a blend of meetings, events, ads, web personalization, even postal mail are required
  • Ideally intent data is flagged to alert reps on activity by high priority targets in real-time
  • GDPR is actually a great thing for marketers – and intent data is a huge tool to overcome the limitations under which we have to work
  • “The balance of online and offline, inbound and outbound” is the essence of effective demand gen

Gar Smyth

Gar runs enterprise demand generation at Drift. Gar's daily, practical experience building ABM around conversational marketing generated insights including:

  • Weaving intent data, conversational marketing and ABM together is about doing more with your demand gen dollars – and getting more meetings with target prospects without annoying them
  • Intent data gives you a leg up on your competition because you know who’s actively in the market and can focus your BDRs
  • Only about 1%-2% of traffic converts on B2B websites – a terrible return on investment
  • If you wait five minutes to follow up on an internet lead you see a drop of 10 times in your connection rate (ability to reach them later to follow up) 
  • Lead scoring is designed for sellers, not for buyers
  • The biggest key to improving demand gen is replacing forms. That’s different than replacing marketing automation. Rather it’s about connecting interested buyers and sellers NOW
  • Layer in chatbots to do it 24X7, and layer in firmographic intelligence and individual insights for optimized results

Ed Marsh

The Intent Data angle included among other points:

  • Important to understand three types of intent data – first-, second- and third-party.
  • Third-party intent data is where the most progress has occurred. It used to be you would only know the accounts (and a guess at the person) – but now, with the right data, you know who the person is.
  • Even knowing that someone is actively researching might not be enough to speak directly to “their current high priority challenges.” But strong third-party intent data can identify where they are in the buying journey and what specific challenge they have.
  • Too many demand generation and ABM efforts are built around expensive, static databases rather than third-party intent data that identifies who the active individual is (not just the company - you don't sell to companies! You sell to individuals.).
  • Where’s the creepy line? How can companies balance insights and improve effectiveness without weirding out prospects – that takes some thought and a clear philosophy – not to mention great sales training and copywriting.

This was a really stimulating conversation.  Are you ready for the full discussion? Jump into the recording here for the full experience.

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