Remember Groupon? Remember how getting $40 worth of sushi for $20 was the greatest thing ever? Now, you don’t even bat an eye when they try to offer you a $1M home for $100 bucks. Why? Because marketers ruin everything.
I love that bit by Gary Vaynerchuck. And it’s true.
Though you probably don’t sell sushi or homes, you may still be experiencing something similar – diminishing returns from demand gen.
I sat down with Jon Miller, CEO of Engagio and asked him his thoughts about why this is happening, and why more organizations are turning to ABM.
Why Are We Seen Diminishing Returns from Demand Gen? | Jon Miller of Engagio - YouTube
Brandon: Hey demand gen leaders out there, Brandon Redlinger here with Jon Miller We’ve been talking to you a lot more recently and something that we’ve been noticing is diminishing returns on some of your demand gen efforts, so Jon why do you think that is and how can demand gen leaders move forward?
Jon Yeah I think here we’re talking about kind of what I would call traditional demand gen tactics your classic your running campaign, whether its a webinar content syndication or ebook or something you get leads and then you run them through the system.
Brandon: This is what a marketer demand markers have been doing for the last…
Jon: Yeah exactly that’s why we kind of built Marketo.
But there’s a couple reasons why We’re kind of hitting the limits of what you can do The first is in some cases people are looking for ways to grow faster and do more. And the problem with traditional demand gen is it doesn’t scale linearly right if you if double the number of webinars you do you don’t necessarily double the number of leads you generate, and so you get this declining marginal return from the incremental spend.
Which is true of almost every marketing tactic right and you double spend doesn’t get double the results. And so that’s part of reason people are looking to other other channel tactics like ABM because they want to grow faster you can’t just do more of the same you need to do new things so that’s one reason just it just doesn’t scale linearly. I think another factor that’s going on is its related to content shock, right but its just gosh there’s just so much demand gen going on you can only attend so many webinars or you’re only going to read so many ebooks.
And I think, we probably hit peak content and I think people are realizing is just damn trying to cram more down that same.
Doesn’t work. I think three, a lot of companies are really trying to move up market and sell more to the enterprise sell bigger deals. And the reality is when you’re when you’re doing traditional demand gen you’re doing what I call fishing with a net. You’re just throwing it out there and you’re kind of seeing what you catch.
And its really hard to focus on, that kind of net on just catching the big fish. And so if that’s part of what your business needs to do is move up market you’re going to have declining returns from traditional tactics. And then last but not least, related to the net is you’re always going to have bycatch.
You’re going to get stuff in the net that you don’t want right and we see this in demand gen all the time. Of yeah we got 200 responders, but only 30 of them are in our ICP, or something like that. And that’s just inherently less efficient.
You know whereas if you have a more spearfishing approach one that you’re you’re putting your focusing marketing dollars on the accounts that you know what you want. Almost by definition is zero waste,
Right, you’re going to to have a better ROI and a better return because all your wood is going against all your energy is going to the accounts that you care about.
So really four reasons, right I think we’re seeing this, number one it doesn’t scale linearly. You can’t just double see double results Number two, there’s just too much of it out there some people are over whelmed. Number three you can’t focus it on the enterprise. And then number four, you get all the, you know bycatch and waste.
Brandon: The inefficiencies…
Jon: And that’s why I people are turning to ABM.
Brandon: Got it so, with this kind of a lot more demand gen people coming in looking at ABM. Do you think maybe demand gen starts to own ABM or how do you see that working?
Jon: Yeah, I think at the end of the day whatever we’re talking about B2B marketing right we’re just talking about trying to create pipeline to support the sales team. And, there’s just different kinds of tactics you use and different tactics are appropriate at different price points.
You know, so yeah, I don’t I don’t see it as kind of this like, two different camps thing I think there’s absolutely a blurring and blending that can and should be happening.
Brandon: Great so we’re happy to talk to some more demand gen people
Engagio teamed up with Salesforce Pardot to engage 500 business leaders in an in-depth, original research study. The resulting report distills the stats you need to know to understand the current state of ABM, and where your peers are succeeding (and falling short.) We’ve identified the top challenges related to ABM, what companies are investing, and where those budget dollars are going.
Below are some of the most notable findings this year.
New This Year: What Drives Strong ABM ROI?
This research uncovered the habits of those organizations who report seeing a positive return on their investment in ABM initiatives:
72% have good alignment between Sales and Marketing.
62% are sophisticated in their use of content, web personalization, and ads.
50% have become more sophisticated with their measurement of ABM.
58% are sophisticated with ABM plays.
ABM Budgets Are Increasing in 2019
Overall, the average percentage of marketing budget dedicated to ABM is set to increase this year (from 21% to 29%).
Where is all that budget going? Our survey respondents indicated that content is still king, as half of B2B marketers surveyed plan to invest more in content for ABM in 2019, followed closely by an increased investment in Sales and Marketing Alignment (47%) and Target Account Selection (46%).
ABM Adoption is Early but Steady in 2019
Though organizations are varied in their state of adoption, 93% of those surveyed are either using ABM today, or planning to soon. The majority of organizations surveyed are either doing a pilot program with ABM (26%), or have fully rolled out an ABM program in the last 6 months (26%).
Marketing Team Involvement in ABM
On average, organizations surveyed report 40% of their marketing team to be involved in the company’s ABM initiative.
Note: ABM doesn’t require a wholesale change to your marketing team. The truth is, you can get started with ABM right away and increase your team’s involvement over time. For more details on the roles and responsibilities of a high-performance ABM team, download this eBook.
According to our findings, 28% of respondents indicated the Chief Marketing Officer or Vice President of Marketing currently owns the ABM initiative at their organization.
Frequently (at 24% of companies,) the Head of Demand Generation is tasked with ownership of ABM. This makes sense, as the ultimate goal of this initiative is to drive revenue and demand within key accounts. We also found that more organizations are starting to have a full time, dedicated person focused on ABM.
A quick LinkedIn search finds over 2,000 open job positions across the US related to ABM.
Measurement and Data Remain a Challenge
The full report reveals which key ABM challenges must be overcome, including measurement.
When asked to report the ROI of their ABM efforts, the majority of respondents (53%) reveal they haven’t started to measure it. Only 5% say they are “awesome” regarding their measurement of ABM. Our eBook, “How to Measure ABM, from Start to Success” may be a helpful resource if this sounds like a struggle you’re facing.
The most common challenge in 2019, however, is poor data quality: 19% of respondents reported this to be their #1 challenge for executing ABM.
Some good news: While last year the #1 risk of failure for ABM was “lack of ability to execute” (25% of respondents), this year that risk was reported by only 12% of respondents as their top barrier to success. As skills training and industry education improves, execution should be a reasonable hurdle to overcome.
Marketing is changing faster than ever before. I remember like it was yesterday when Jon Miller left Marketo, the company he founded to lead the marketing automation revolution. He left to start Engagio, and built the company on a vision in which revenue teams were accounts-based. This vision was called Account Based Marketing.
Now, over the last 4+ years since the founding of Engagio, ABM is becoming business as usual – you’d be hard-pressed to find B2B companies NOT taking an account-based approach.
Among all of this change, there’s one thing that I know for sure – the roles and responsibilities of marketers are also quickly changing. Many companies know what ABM is, but few know the tactical details of how to execute ABM.
Today, I want to take it one step further and dive into a day in the life of an ABM marketer. I sat down with Sandra Freeman, Head of Strategic Marketing at Engagio, to document what she does every day. So, we pulled up her calendar, and she walked me through the previous day.
Sandra is hands-down the most creative person I know and one of the hardest workers in the industry. Jon chose her to lead field marketing at Marketo and now has chosen her to lead ABM at Engagio. In her 3 years at Engagio, she has lead our ABM efforts and influenced the way we (and hundreds of our customers) do ABM.
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8:00am – 8:30am: Commute to work
Sandra usually commutes in with a co-worker and catches up with what happened over the weekend. Bearing any unusually wild story, the conversation inevitably turns to brainstorming on an upcoming event or campaign.
This is one of my favorite things about Sandra – her creativity never stops. Her daughter did something fun for her drama class… here’s how we can adapt that for ABM. She saw a fun street performer while in Austin over the weekend… here’s how we can adapt that for ABM. She got a fun giveaway at the Giant’s game… you get the point.
8:30am – 9:30am: Check the “Optimize” and “Progress” Reports and Take Action!
Sandra leverages some of Engagio’s out-of-the-box reports to answer the questions “How did we do last week?” and “What needs to be followed up on right now?” and “What can I do better?” She looks at how accounts are moving through the funnel, how many meetings, opportunities and pipeline was generated in our target account segments.
[Optimize] Prospect Engagement No Recent Sales Touches
[Optimize] Opportunities Stuck
9:30am – 10:30am: ABM Standups
Sandra will fit two ABM Standups in, with two separate teams during this one-hour chunk. We have a 1:1 ADR to AE ratio, so it’s usually just those 3 people. Occasionally, she’ll ask another member of the revenue team to join in to bring his or her expertise to the table, whether it’s our VP of Customer Experience, our Director of Product Consulting, or myself. Usually, you’ll find everyone standing huddled around the kitchen table or on a walk to Peet’s.
To keep this tactical and practical, let’s dive into a recent ABM standup example. Sandra was meeting with our North Eastern territory team, and she noticed that one specific account had high engagement but no exec engagement. They did some research and found that the decision-maker was into cross-fit, so they ran an “executive connection” play with a cross-fit theme, complete with some custom cross-fit swag.
10:30am – 11:30am: Flex time
Often times, there’s bound to be unforeseen things that come up that need attention. Sandra leaves time for this. It could be anything from helping onboard a new rep to assisting a co-marketing partner or pulling reports for the board or providing feedback on a Marketing Operations process question.
11:30am – 12:00pm: Sharing success
A key to getting everyone onboard and excited about ABM is sharing success. This is also a great way to give newer reps ideas for how marketing can help them. Not to mention, you’ll stop getting the question “What does marketing do all day?”
Sandra tells stories of how personalized research led to a creative play that got a meeting at a Tier 2 account. Or she breaks down a campaign we did at a recent event and report on its performance. She even shares ways in which she’s using new features of our Engagio product to execute her ABM.
One pro tip she’s learned: you have to share it multiple times via different channels. She uses Slack, email, team meetings, posters and whiteboards, etc. – anything that can help her share a success.
12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch
Sandra usually goes out to lunch with different members of the team. One of the great perks working for Engagio is if you go out with someone from a different department, you can expense the meal! This is positive for cross-department collaboration and overall great for the culture of your organization. This is especially helpful for Sandra because the ABM marketer needs to be one of the most tuned in people on the team.
1:00pm – 2:00pm: Territory jumpstart or ABM focus session
During this time block, Sandra sits with new ADRs and reps in new territories to help jump-start engagement in their territories. We will spend a little extra time, energy and resources to get accounts in the new territory engaged. Some of the typical activities we do are increase our direct mail sends for 30 days, organize an executive breakfast or workshop, host a webinar, or sponsor a conference. This is all done with the lens of that territory. For example, if the territory is Texas, we may build a direct mail package around a country singer.
If Sandra isn’t busy jumpstarting a new territory, she’ll take this time to drive engagement at target accounts for a different outcome. Maybe there’s a territory that is seeing low engagement – we’ll take a similar approach to the territory jumpstart. Maybe we’re getting ready for an industry conference – in this case, we’ll take this time to drive meetings at the show.
Other days, you’ll often find us on sales calls giving a prospect our perspective. After all, the marketing team members are the power users of Engagio – prospects love hearing from us, and we love talking with prospects. These calls are also very important to us, because at the end of the day we’re ultimately here to support sales.
3:00pm – 3:30pm: Break and email session
It’s about this time in the afternoon that we’re all ready for a quick break, whether it’s a cup of coffee or a bag of pop chips. Sometimes the break you need is just going over and chatting with a colleague. Then, Sandra heads back to her desk to triage emails that have piled up throughout the day before getting ready for her next meeting.
3:30pm – 4:00pm: Product feedback
Our product team is great at sitting down with the marketing team and giving feedback on how they’re building the product. Whether that’s going over product specs, showing us low-fidelity mockups or having us test new features before they go into beta, the product team is always collecting qualitative and quantitative data to improve the product.
4:00pm – 5:00pm: Weekly team meeting or 1:1
Holding regular meetings keeps the flow of information going and focuses the team and its people to the main objectives. Weekly meetings open up opportunities to come together, reflect on progress and help each other.
At Engagio, we put a lot of emphasis on creating a Fearless Organization where people feel safe to take risks, where everyone feels heard and respected, and where everyone is empowered to do their best work. Regular weekly team meetings and 1:1s are a great way to reinforce and show these principles.
5:00pm – 5:30pm: Direct mail check in
Sandra manages interns to help with our hyper-personalized aspects of direct mail operation, so she needs to check in with them daily to make sure they’re on track. Do they have any questions or roadblocks? Are they following the proper processes and procedures? Do they have the correct lists? How is our inventory?
In addition, Engagio leverages Sendoso and PFL for high scale direct mail.
5:30pm: Wrap up
This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 60 minutes. Sandra uses this time to tie up any loose ends, send any last emails and then prepares to do it all again the next day.
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Of course, not every single day looks like this. I probably caught her on one of her busier days, but this is a very good representation of what a typical day in the life of an ABM marketer looks like. Also, there’s a ton of nuance depending on what you sell, who your customers are, your industry, your business model, etc., so take this info, learn from it and adapt to make it your own.
According to research, 75% of business buyers expect personalized offers from sellers. And 65% of business buyers will not hesitate to look for other vendors if a company didn’t make an effort to personalize communications with their organization.
Indeed, whether you are in the B2B or B2C space, customer experience is key to success in the modern world. And, while B2C companies have been quick to update their Customer Experience (CX) for good, B2B organizations have lagged behind – losing out on a great opportunity that can give them the competitive edge.
But, a change is coming.
In a recent report, Accenture states that “90% of B2B executives cite CX as a very important factor in achieving their organizations’ strategic priorities. That’s up from 86% who felt that way two years ago.”
But, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Marketing B2B is different from marketing B2C. Though you are selling a product to a person in both cases, the difference between the two markets is significant.
For example, when marketing to a customer, you often appeal to their emotions. But, you cannot win business buyers only by appealing to their feelings. Most businesses work hard to streamline the buying process to save time and money and thus, their purchase decisions are based on logic.
In short, you need to focus on:
Usage of the product
Features of the product that can save time and money for the business
Engagement with your company and brand
Proving the ROI of the purchase to the business
Adding an emotional appeal to a logical proposition will further refine your customer experience, as buyers tend to favor companies whose values align with their own.
But do you know your customers well enough to imbibe those values in your pitch?
Thus, in addition to lower costs, better value proposition, and ROI, you need to step back and understand what each target account is trying to get done and how your product would help them achieve it.
Sounds tough? It isn’t if you follow these proven strategies to create an engaging experience for your customers.
1 – Focus on Personalized Support
In B2B, 68% of customers are lost because of indifference or perceived apathy, not because of mistakes. Another survey reveals that 70% of customers feel customer support reflects how much an organization values them, which means keeping your users on hold for long is a reflection of your indifference towards them.
Live chat as a support tool reduces the response time significantly while enabling you to connect to your users in real time. This allows you to speak with users at the precise moment they need help or guidance in their purchase journey. No wonder that a study by the American Marketing Association found that customers are 3X more likely to convert when they’ve used live chat. Furthermore, the average ROI when you use live chat can be as high as 305%.
Live chat tool can also be integrated with co-browsing software, which can empower your business for seamless customer experience.
With co-browsing technology, your agents can see your customers’ browsers, ensuring they are both on the same page at the same time, leading to prompt query resolution. Such real-engagement between support staff and clients can improve your first call resolution by 18% and reduce your call handling time by 14%.
2 – Predict Your Users’ Behavior and Gather Feedback
According to Aberdeen Group, businesses that use predictive analytics generate 2X customer lifetime value, as they have all the necessary information to satisfy customer expectations. Such data can reveal the history of your buyers, and their needs and expectations, which can help you craft your conversations better.
On top of analyzing the passive behavior of your visitors, you can also make use of automated tools on your website to actively gather feedback, which you can use to improve your B2B customer experience.
Here are some ways in which you can collect feedback on your site:
Contact forms or online comment boxes
Live chat feature
Exit polls when someone leaves your web store
Thank you surveys or feedback forms
3 – Look at Engagement Data and Automate Actions
Once a company signs a deal with you doesn’t mean you should stop tracking their engagement with you. There are many reasons an account or specific people at the account may be downloading certain pieces of content.
For example, your customer could have hired someone new, who will become the owner of your technology. If you don’t make sure your team delivers a great experience, you could be looking at losing the renewal come time for them to sign a new contract. Another example would be a different team could be looking at using your solution, giving you a great opportunity for account expansion.
That’s why you must look at how customers are engaging with your company and brand. This means everything from emails to content to webinars, and everything in between.
But it’s not enough to just look at the data – you must be able to understand the reasons behind the behavior. That’s where having a unified view of everything going on at that account comes into play. This means visibility into interactions across people and channels over time.
Historically, having this information pulled together in a visual, scalable format has been nearly possible. ABM platforms provide all revenue teams with shared visibility of account activity. You can see who is interacting with programs and what initiatives are working. You can also see the outreach that Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success are doing in one view.
4 – Include the Appropriate CTA in Your Landing Pages
Did you know that almost 70% of startups and small businesses lack appropriate CTAs on their websites?
If you are making the same mistake, your buyers probably don’t know what to do with the information you are providing them, reducing your efforts to meaningless rubble!
On the other hand, a well-crafted CTA can compel your users to perform specific actions on your site, such as requesting more information, scheduling a free trial, or downloading a free report, leading to more engagement and better CX.
Of course, simply adding a ‘Call us’ button is not going to do much for your business. B2B buyers would rather try your solution first.
Instead, strive to offer value and results in advance by including a ‘Free Trial’ button, before trying to close a sale and boost your chances of conversion significantly.
5 – Build Loyalty Programs
Loyalty is rewarded, isn’t it?
Nurturing customer loyalty is crucial for B2B companies as it enables them to develop long-term relationships in addition to gaining access to a host of potential business opportunities.
Yes, a loyal customer is your champion who can do much for your growth through glowing reviews, promising referrals, and spreading your brand’s message far and wide.
However, all customers are not driven by the same reward system. Therefore, it is pertinent to analyze the buying habits of your most profitable accounts, as well as their business model, to create value-driven loyalty programs.
Some popular loyalty programs offer special rebates to returning or long-term customers. An example could be to have tiered incentives to prompt clients to buy more, right from the start. Another option is to run a referral program that offers your buyers more incentive for inviting more customers. Newly referred customers also enjoy a bonus, making it a profitable situation for everyone. You can also drive engagement by treating your loyal users to an exclusive preview or early access to new software features, adding more value to their experience while also gaining feedback on the newly implemented features in the process.
Think about it, if you are faced with two good products, which one would you choose?
With everything remaining equal, chances are you’d prefer to deal with a company that is more approachable and aligns with your core values. As a bonus, a study indicates that 66% of consumers are willing to spend more money on top-notch customer service.
Thus, more than price and product or service quality, customer experience would soon be the biggest differentiator for businesses, even in the B2B space.
Are you up for the challenge?
We are certain that the strategies mentioned above would help you improve your CX considerably. Besides, if you have any other ideas that helped you create a stellar CX for your buyers, we’d love to hear you out in the comment section below.
I was recently in Paris, the food capital of the world, and my wife and I ate at a Michelin Star restaurant. This was quite possibly one of the best meals of my life, as I’m sure you can imagine. Everything from the atmosphere to the presentation to the food itself was something I’ve never experienced before. My wife is a phenomenal chef and baker, but she commented that she wouldn’t even begin to know how to prepare most of the food we ate. Though she is the best chef I know, this was a totally different game.
Enterprise deals are also a totally different game than SMB or mid-market deals. You have long sales cycles, multiple people involved (both on your team and theirs), nearly countless interactions, and a lot to juggle. There’s more complexity than most typical sales reps can imagine.
That’s why I asked Steli Efti, founder of Close, to explain what he thinks makes a great enterprise sales rep. Steli is a wealth of knowledge, so you’re definitely going to want to hear what he has to say.
What Does It Take To Be A Great Enterprise Sales Rep? - YouTube
What does it take to be a great enterprise sales rep? Hey there. Brandon Redlinger here, director of growth at Engagio, and today’s question goes out to Steli Efti.
Steli is the CEO and founder of Close, and he’s just a wealth of knowledge. He’s seen a lot in his line of work, and I know being an enterprise rep is such a different job than if you were a corporate or mid-market rep, right? It’s a lot different of a motion. You have long sales cycles, you have multiple people that are involved on both their side and your side. There’s so much to juggle when it comes to being a real enterprise rep.
So, Steli, I want to get your thoughts on this.
Brandon, thank you for the great question. So, what makes somebody a great enterprise account executive, sales rep? Well, there are two main parts. One is that you need to be an incredible relationship builder. what makes enterprise sales so complicated at the end of the day is not that selling to IBM is that much different from selling to Mary around the corner as an end consumer.
At the end of the day, IBM doesn’t purchase anything. It’s not a single unit entity.
It’s a collection of humans. It’s going to be Mary, Bob, John, James, and it’s just going to be a bigger group of humans that are going to make a decision to purchase something or not.
So you still have to focus on the individual. What makes enterprise sales so complicated, also challenging, is that because you’re selling to a large group of humans you’re going to have to truly understand the complexity of each and every one of the stakeholders needs, desires and goals, and a lot of them will be conflicting. They’re not going to have perfect alignment. They’re not one unit.
There’s going to be the individual in front of you that you have to sell on their needs, their fears, their hesitations. There’s going to be teams and departments that you’re going to have to sell on your service or product.
And then, there’s the overall, entire company as a unit, and you need to be able to sell and adjust your pitch depending on which department, what stakeholder, what individual you’re interacting with Understanding that entire enterprise as an organism, understanding the relationship between people and between departments, and the dynamics of decision-making, and navigating those waters and building close relationships with all these people, that’s what takes so much time, and that’s why enterprise sales is usually a much longer sales cycle, a much more expensive sales cycle.
So, I think people to be great at enterprise sales, you have to be an incredible relationship builder. You have to be somebody that’s incredibly curious and can deal with many layers of complexity, deal with different group dynamics, and managing different group dynamics and understanding them, and that’s not for everybody. The other side of things is, I think, patience and persistence, right? You’re going to have to take some U-turns.
Sometimes you try to take shortcuts, sometimes you’re going to have to go around certain areas. It’s very hard to go from point A to point B in a straight line in the enterprise sales cycle, because there’s so many factors, so many departments, so many outside and inside events that might influence, derail, or delay the deal, and so, having real kind of long-term viewpoint and acting, strategizing, using long-term strategies, long-term tactics and having the persistence and the long-term view to invest in things that might take one, two or sometimes even three years before they come to fruition, that’s something that just not everybody has, and that’s a crucial part that you need if you want to succeed in enterprise sales.
As marketers, many of you reading this understand our jobs have many challenges. There is the continual multitasking like moving between product discussions to working on a user conference, wrestling with technology, when you just need ‘x’ – but getting ‘x’ takes you a week and 2 data scientists. Or the best one, where you meet with the new sales person that believes the website is terrible and if it gets a ‘quick refresh’ all will be better with the world.
For years at Marketo I had challenges, but I was fortunate enough to work with the best marketing team in the business and leverage outstanding technology. Yet, even with Marketo, I had a hard time answering certain questions for my Enterprise sales team or executing account-based campaigns at scale. Some people do not know this, but Marketo originally was heavy SMB and over time moved to focus on the Enterprise. We did a lot of Enterprise marketing. When I left there, we had very successful SMB and Enterprise teams. Yet, much of the work I needed to do on the account level was done manually – usually while I was watching Breaking Bad late at night.
Jon Miller, one of the founders of Marketo, saw these same challenges. Yet, Jon being Jon saw this pain as an incredible opportunity. It was clear that the future of B2B marketing would be different. It would provide the complete view of the customer – from acquisition to loyal advocate. Marketers would be able to transverse between accounts or people, depending on the question they were addressing. Jon went on to found Engagio and build the next generation of marketing technology that was account based. I knew where I wanted to be…
Engagio from day one was special. A start-up with a big vision, powerful ideas, and a team that understood what marketers needed to be successful at their jobs. Engagio took that challenge head on and has created an account-based automation platform that really reflects what happens in B2B – marketing to multiple individuals, sending critical insights to sales to help them know when to act, and importantly a clear visualization of what is working at the account level or not.
I have never worked at a company where I have believed in and loved the vision so completely. I was able to come in early and help develop the path (with many great folks!) for a product that would help me and other marketers…significantly. I could see the impact daily using our product whether it was with our own marketing and sales stand-ups or even how fast I could understand what initiatives were effective at the account level.
Yet, as we know, nothing is forever. After a wonderful run, I have decided to leave the company to pursue leadership roles at larger companies. It was a hard and nontrivial decision to make. I am sad because I will miss the amazing team, but I feel happy to try new things and grow my career in different directions.
I will forever be grateful to Jon Miller who I worked with closely at Marketo and at Engagio for giving me the opportunity of a life time. I have learned so much from my colleagues and feel nothing but gratitude.
Engagio is a company that lives and breathes marketing and no doubt will be an immense success. While I may be moving on, I am pleased to join as an advisor and participate in the new Marketing Leadership Advisory Council. I look forward to watching the company continue to rapidly grow and make strides – that are very meaningful for all marketers. Lastly, I am excited to see the new faces and fresh ideas that will make up the next chapter.
Jon Miller adds: I wanted to finish this post with a personal thank you to Heidi for her leadership and support of Engagio. Heidi and I worked together at Marketo, where I was always impressed by her creativity, energy, and positivity – as well as her accomplishments as a speaker and thought leader. She was instrumental in creating the demand that fueled Marketo’s growth, and I knew I wanted her to join Engagio as CMO even before I founded the company.
Heidi brings energy, excitement, passion, and execution to the job every day. She’s been an amazing spokesperson for the brand and worked tirelessly to propel the company forward. During her time at Engagio, Heidi has:
Defined our company vision and mission to create meaningful marketing by building the next great marketing platform
Served as the voice of the customer and helped us refine our story and focus on the marketing buyer
Created thought leadership and led multiple product launches including Dash Account-Based Attribution; Multi-Channel Orchestration; ABM Automation; Sales Activation Tools; and Configurable Account Journeys
Upgraded our analyst relations (including delivering a “Cool Vendor” from Gartner and “Strong Performer” in Forrester’s ABM Platform wave)
Helped us grow our ARR by more than 3X
And so much more….
A change like this is sad, both personally and professionally, but the reality is that Heidi is experienced and capable of leading a much bigger team and larger budget than she currently does. I’m excited for Heidi’s next adventure as I know she will do amazing things, and I look forward to continuing to work with her, both as a customer and as an advisor to the company.
With Heidi’s departure, I will step in temporarily to provide marketing leadership, and we will hire a VP Marketing when the right person comes along. In the meantime, Engagio continues to thrive, delivering great B2B marketing thought leadership; working with amazing customers like Vonage, New Relic, Pendo and Snowflake; and delivering exciting new account-based functionality that redefines what companies can do with their marketing platforms. We’re building a lasting company with a great team and culture, and we’re hiring aggressively. (Know anyone that would be a fit? Let me know!)
Heidi, thank you again for everything you’ve done for Engagio. You will be missed by so many across the organization, and most especially, I’ll miss working with you every day.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Last night on the TV show Chopped, there was a lady who came to America with $70 and a suitcase. She now owns 3 food trucks and won the show, claiming she’s living the “American Dream.”
The “American Dream” is an ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to anyone, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved.
But let’s take a step back. For thousands of years, workers farmed by daylight and were forced to stop at night. There were natural boundaries between what we call “work” and “life,” and never the twain shall meet.
However, the Industrial Revolution gave birth to electricity, and with it, a dimming and blurring of the lines. Now, with the technological revolution and the Information Age, we are always on, always connected, always hustling. And if you work hard, you too can live the American Dream.
But what’s the price we pay?
Is this really the American Dream?
We’ve all seen it happen, from founders and executives to interns and newly-minted, first-year workers — the relentless pursuit of success leaves destruction in its wake. The price we pay isn’t always tangible, like money, but rather intangibles, like relationships.
In his new book The UnAmerican Dream, Carlos Hidalgo shares his thrilling journey to entrepreneurial triumph, and the simultaneous path to rock bottom. With it, you may just realize the way you’re working isn’t working.
You won’t find this essential advice in a business book. They didn’t teach it to you in school. Most learn it the hard way.
But you don’t have to.
I’ve invited Carlos on to the Engagio blog for a departure of our usual B2B content so he can help answer some of life’s important questions, “Is it all really worth it?”
Please enjoy this guest post by a good friend, esteemed colleague, and humble sage Carlos Hidalgo.
– – –
The American Dream was a phrase that was first used by John Truslow Adams in 1931 in his book The Epic of America. Within the book Adams writes the following when referring to this dream, “a land that should be better, and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement”. It is lofty, no doubt. However, along the way something has gone terribly awry as many in corporate America today are not living “richer or fuller lives.”
A recent Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees found that 23 percent reported feeling burned out at work very often or always, while an additional 44 percent reported feeling burned out sometimes
Even as marketers, we are not immune to this trend. A 2019 report by MarketingProfs and Mantis Research states that only half of marketers are “finding fulfillment in their work.”
Does not sound all too dreamy, does it?
This is indeed an alarming trend. However, we do not have to succumb to the message of the hustle that is so loud in today’s professional marketplace, we do not have to buy into the lie that says we are the “scarce resource at work” therefore we must continually stay connected and we do not have to neglect ourselves and our relationships in lieu of our professions, which clearly is not working.
There is a better way!
I know this because not long ago, I was the poster boy for the hustle. As an owner of a B2B demand generation agency, I put everything I had into the growth of our business and made it my focal point. I was bound and determined to outwork everyone in an effort to achieve success and along the way, I found that the more I achieved, the more success we had, the more unfulfilled and narcissistic I became.
In reality, the “dream” that I was chasing became a nightmare.
So how does one go about reclaiming happiness and fulfillment? While I do not believe I can detail all of my journey of doing so with one blog post, here are a few things to begin thinking through that will be of help.
1. Find Your Purpose
I see so many, and I myself fell into this trap, of defining my purpose within my work. However, as human beings, we are wired for relationship first and foremost and when we put our identity and purpose into our work rather than what we are hardwired for, happiness will remain elusive.
For me, I spent time exploring what brings me true joy and I discovered that above everything I love to help people. Once I discovered that I began to identify how I could do that first within my relationships and then within my work. This approach has changed things dramatically and allowed me to live out my purpose in different ways, which are truly life-giving.
2. Define Your Boundaries
As evidenced by the research stated earlier, work-life balance is virtually impossible to maintain. It is for this reason, I have established work-life boundaries, which are more established and permanent.
I started, along with my wife, of defining those things that I value – my health, my marriage, my relationship with my kids and my work. Once those were defined, I established boundaries to protect them. I have defined working hours, which means when I am working, I am wholly focused and when I am tending to my relationships or my health, I am off the clock and equally as focused on those areas. The result is that whatever lane I am in at that time is getting the best of me and my efforts.
3. Choose Happiness
We all have a tendency to rely on things or people to make us happy. We have this idea that if I just get that promotion, if that person just does these certain things, then we will be happy. To be clear, things and people are not responsible for our happiness, we are.
We choose to be angry, be unfulfilled, and unhappy. However, we do not have to make that choice.
This does not mean we will not have hard times, have projects and campaigns that don’t work or have bosses we would rather not work for, but at the end of the day, we can choose happiness over stress and despair.
Our founding fathers, in the Declaration of Independence, wrote about “truths that are self-evident” and one of those was “Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness”. It is our right and ours for the taking.
So what are you going to do with it? The choice is yours, but let’s not fall prey to the toxic message of work is more and success is defined by monetary means as after all that is quite UnAmerican.
– – –
About Carlos Hidalgo:
Carlos Hidalgo is a 25-year business veteran. Over the span of the last 2+ decades, Hidalgo has held corporate roles, started his own entrepreneurial ventures and served in non-profits.
Hidalgo co-founded his first company in 2005 leading it to two consecutive Inc. 5000 Awards before departing and launching his second company VisumCx.
In addition to his current role as CEO at VisumCx, Hidalgo also serves as a managing partner in a health care platform start-up and serves on the board on a tech start-up and writes often on the intersection of business and personal success.
Carlos and his wife Susanne have four grown children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.
Startups are hard. In fact, in the beginning, it can seem nearly impossible. But startups are exciting. There’s nothing like the prospect of building something that can change the world. That will keep you going, and when you reach a certain point, your success goes from impossible to inevitable.
Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin know a thing or two about this. They’ve both been successful operators, but both consult countless companies, and they’ve written a book whose title says it all: From Impossible to Inevitable.
Aaron recently swung by the Engagio office, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a quick vlog. Aaron and Jason just released a revised and updated version of their book, which contains a lot of new ideas and all new case studies. So, we decided to chat about one of those case studies – how inbound has changed in the last 10 years. Yes, it’s the story of how Jon Miller did inbound in the early days at Marketo versus how we’re doing it at Engagio.
Here’s my conversation with Aaron. Enjoy!
Going From Impossible to Inevitable: A Case Study on Inbound Marketing - YouTube
– Alright, it’s Aaron Ross here, with Brandon Redlinger, who’s Director of Growth at Engagio. Brandon, thanks for hosting me here.
– I came in off the plane I was like yeah, I’ll come by, let’s do a video.
– Let’s do a video!
– Why not And I couldn’t say no.
– I couldn’t say no.
– So, this time for this updated book from Impossible to Inevitable, I can’t even say it sometimes, second edition. There’s a bunch of great new case studies in sections, like it is a pretty massive update. One of them is from my friend Jon Miller founder, CEO of Engagio. And I thought it was really interesting, because he was the original co-founder of Marketo. And so, this section here talks about the difference in 10 years between when Marketo was founded, and today with Engagio. So, I got one of the tips that I liked a lot, and I realize you’re just kind of like a foil for me to hear to talk, So one of the tips I liked, that Jon had to share was 10 years ago, and you can put up a blog post, and he said he could get it on the highly ranked keywords
– Show up on Google
– on page one, you know Jon Miller writes a post and BOOM!
– Then marketing comes flooding in, right.
– All the leads come flooding in. So today he’s been working for three years to get on range for Account Based Marketing, he can’t even get on the first three pages or 10 pages. So two things, he said it’s really important to take an accountant-based approach, kinda mixing content marketing, with outbound prospecting, Account Based Marketing. You’re taking ideas, you’re taking to people, and that was much more a spears approach with marketing. And that was, in the book he he goes to these four tiers, so when you have tier one accounts, these big strategic accounts, you know Wales, like the true Wales, how do you treat them, verus tier two where you got the big companies versus tier three which means like mid-market, and tier four which is small business. So, I don’t know if in those different tiers that you guys use and talk about, love to hear maybe like a tip, if I’m trying to target the big enterprise, not like the, lets say the bigger companies.
– What’s a common mistake that you see companies make, whether their customers or not on Engagio? It’s account based marketing
– Yes, absolutely! So I think we run into this all the time.
– I’m putting him on the spot by the way
– Happy to take this on. People choose too many accounts, then when they take on
– That’s a good one
– Too much, and then they don’t have the resources or they don’t have the time, or the budget, or the people, to properly actually go after… ’cause your top tier accounts
– Top, top tiers
– Top, top tier, right
– We don’t have certain budget, we don’t have certain time, certain resources
– Okay, how many accounts, okay pick a number, how many accounts do you think is too many?
– For tier one?
– For tier one, the biggest ones, and then, ’cause you’re gonna guess too many. Like what would you say?
– Don’t go more than five.
– Five, right, five or fewer.
– We do not, I don’t think we have a rep right now that has five. That’s the most we allow, and I don’t think they do it. There are people, they say, I can do five, I can do five, they know what what their resources are, they know the SLAs they have to hit, they know what they need to do. But like a lot of people are like, oh I can easily do five, I can easily do it. And then
– Yup at the end of the day they’re like, you’re like hey, were you able to touch this account? What happened with this account? And like I just didn’t get around to it.
– Yep there’s no shame in saying, ah maybe I’ll do four, maybe I’ll do three.
– Yeah, like it’s not more, is not better.
– So in page 74, they go through the different tiers here, right. Tier one, two, three, or four. And that was something interesting, that at the top level five, and actually per if I remember, per account they might spend $60,000.00 per account, per one company.
– Obviously, if you have money to spend.
– Yeah, exactly.
– Yeah, and anyway, tier two you could do more companies if it’s small, that was a really interesting when we talked about it with Jon, and so that was like when I was really excited to get into the book, so.
– A lot of good stuff in there
– Go pick it up now, it is the Bible in Silicon Valley for growth.
Account Based Marketing is a go-to-market strategy that coordinates personalized marketing and sales efforts to land and expand target accounts. An array of technology solutions now empower companies to use this methodology to increase reveue. These include customer relationship management, marketing automation, web analytics, and advertising technology, predictive tools, etc. Also essential are tools for web analytics, progressive profiling, content delivery, social media management and more. Even more recently, we’ve seen the rise of ABM platforms.
As we climb through this technology stack, it’s easy to lose sight of the key to success — to connect human-to-human and develop long-term, win-win relationships that foster business growth. Technology is simply a stepping stone that enables a company to relate to prospects and customers in an insightful, personal way.
Find the balance of technology and the human touch and you will strike gold.
The Role of Technology
That said, it does not diminish the essential role of technology. Without it, due to the immensity of the task, B2B marketers would fall back on blanketing their target audience with one-size-fits-all messaging. Unfortunately, one size fits some better than others. Technology enables them to drive results by delivering personal messages at scale. And today, because your competitors are likely personalizing their communications if you’re not doing the same, you’re falling behind. Customers now expect emails, websites and phone conversations to cater to their needs.
How to Build Human Relationships 1 – Create Your Ideal Account Profiles
To build human relationships, you start with the big picture and then drive down to people you want to reach. Define your ideal account profile, including specifics such as industries, number of employees, location and anything else that is a predictor for your company’s sales achievement.
Here are some factors to consider when defining your ICP:
What sector or sectors are you winning in?
Are there ‘look-alike’ segments similar to those you have success with now?
Alternately, what new markets are most important for your company to develop?
Are these markets growing?
What accounts will deliver the most value (including strategic value, advocates, referral sources, geographic presence)?
The output of your ICP should be a document that clearly represents the type of companies you are targeting in your ABM efforts. The most important part is this is clearly articulated to everyone and in a place that is easily accessible for quick reference.
2 – Learn About Targeted Industries
Once you decide on the industries you wish to target, learn as much as possible about the trends, growth drivers, competitors and challenges. This information helps inform how you communicate with them.
Generating insight isn’t enough. Insight isn’t anything if itn’s not followed up with action. Get the knowledge into the right hands and get busy. Here are some insight-sharing tips:
Create an ABM Insight Machine with a dedicated team of researchers. One company we work with has a four-person team that creates Value Hypothesis documents for each of their 1,400 target accounts, including: What they think the account should be worried about; Examples of similar companies that they’ve helped; Content they’ve researched about them (e.g. quotes from their CEO); Entrypoints–contentor messages that can be sent directly to start dialogsThese are customized by account but can be based on segment-specific templates.
Spin up an Insight Base using a web collaboration tool or intranet.
Issue regular update reports highlighting new insights or developments
And ad hoc alerts for breaking news that can be acted on.
Integrate insight into your CRM profiles or your ABM platform.
Next, develop a profile of each account because they are not monolithic organizations. Instead, they represent networks of decision-makers. You need to identify the individuals and determine the concerns and questions they may have during each phase of the buying cycle. Understanding their decision-making process enables you to approach them in an intelligent, relevant way.
Create these individual account profiles using web research, LinkedIn, sales intelligence platforms previously mentioned, and engagement data using a platform like Engagio. After you’ve completed this secondary research, you will likely still have some knowledge gaps. Fill them in by talking via phone with decision-makers, influencers and gatekeepers at your target organizations.
During phone calls, establish rapport quickly by painting a picture of how your company can provide help. By providing value, you can open doors and gain clarity on how the organization functions. Your goal is to learn who is on the buying team, their titles, roles in the buying decision and contact information. At the same time, learn as much as possible about their issues and any upcoming or recent changes, such as acquisitions or high-level personnel moves, which may trigger buying decisions.
4 – Orchestrate Your Outreach to the Buying Team
With this information under your belt, you can orchestrate personalized human and automated account-based tactics through multiple channels. Your game plan should include well-coordinated plays from both marketing and sales to all those who contribute to the buying decision. The trick is going to be balancing automation with human efforts – automate where you can, do it manually where you should.
Marketing might start with online ads to build awareness and then follow up with a highly segmented, personal email. They should be prepared to offer webinars, white papers and case studies that help solve problems. Business development reps can follow with customized emails and phone calls. Since you won’t reach everyone you call, make sure you leave voicemails. They have proven to increase response rates when they refer back to emails. Include a call to action, such as a request to set up a demo.
For best effect, you can stagger your outreach to the various contacts within an account. You don’t want to overwhelm anyone by providing too much information all at once. The drip, drip, drip nurturing approach popularized by inbound marketers, also applies in ABM.
Using this highly personalized process, you go beneath the surface to understand the internal dynamics within a target account. Plus, you uncover the texture of their problems from multiple team members’ perspectives. Technological advances can take you a long way, but to gain the level of insight you require, you’ll need two-way conversations. In them, your reps should listen, learn and share ideas. At the same time, they build trust, which is essential for B2B sales.
Those who derive the most out of Account Based Marketing and Sales recognize that human relationships drive success — people respond to people. It’s about understanding people and offering value. The purpose of the finely choreographed digital communications is ultimately to connect people, provide value and solve problems.
There’s something magical about a collection of individuals working together to become more than the sum of their parts. From legendary sports teams to the most innovative businesses, building these types of teams is what everyone strives for. A team built the right way can overcome impossible odds and accomplish extraordinary achievements.
That said, there can be teams within teams as well. Some of the most extraordinary results have come from a smaller team within the larger organization. And that’s a lesson we can all take when we’re trying to get a new go-to-market strategy off the ground, like ABM!
Someone who knows a thing or two about that is Nicole DiNicola, who runs ABM at Qualitrcs. She’s a wealth of knowledge, which is why on today’s vlog, I wanted her insights on how to build an ABM coalition within an organization.
How Do You Build an ABM Coalition at Your Organization? - YouTube
Brandon: How do you build an ABM coalition at your organization? Hey, there. Brandon Redlinger here, Director of Growth at Engagio, and I’ve got the perfect person to answer that question today. It’s Nicole DiNicola. Now she runs ABM over at Qualtrics and what I love about Nicole is, on the one hand, she can go really deep on the strategy side, but on the other hand, she really is a pure practitioner. So with that said, Nicole, take it away.
Nicole: Hey, Brandon, great to talk with you this morning, especially on one of my favorite topics, Account Based Marketing. And, yes, building your ABM coalition is a critical step of your strategy. It can be very tempting to just, you know, dive into the fun part, which is selecting your accounts, building the content, thinking about the strategy for ABM, but you need to take a step back and think about one of those critical pieces of change management, which is building your coalition.
Marketers are pretty savvy now when it comes to Account Based Marketing. They know what it looks like and how it should be. But we can’t assume that everyone across the organization is on the same pace as us when it comes to changing, or moving to Account Based Marketing. So to build that coalition, think about your key stakeholders that are going to be impacted by ABM. Or that you’re going to need their support in order to make this happen.
So, first and foremost, you need to talk to sales. And make sure you talk to sales at various levels to educate them on ABM and get their feedback. Also, to think about customer success, which I think sometimes gets left out of this conversation. ABM touches every point of the customer journey, from awareness to adoption retention. So make sure to get their input, too. They have a ton of account knowledge that is so helpful.
And then, of course, you have to meet with all your different marketing stakeholders. So you need to meet with your channel owners, like direct mail, paid media, email, webinars, anyone that might interact with your strategy there. Your campaign executors. Your creative team who’s going to be building some awesome content for you. Make sure you speak to all these different stakeholders individually, one on one. Get their feedback, get their buy in.
When I’m meeting with these individual stakeholders, I just put together five quick slides to help them understand, where we’re headed and some of the benefits we’re going to see. That first slide is, what’s our definition of Account Based Marketing? There are a lot out there, so just pick the one that you feel strongly about and get everybody to rally behind it with you. The second slide that I show them is, hey, I’ve got a process and a framework for building out our ABM strategy.
There are steps that we’re going to take to make sure we are successful as we roll this out. A lot of great places where you can frameworks out there as well that you can follow. Don’t feel like you have to build that from scratch. The third slide I show is, what are the roles and responsibilities across marketing, sales, customer success, when it comes to ABM. People, all people, but especially sales, you know, they want to know, what’s expected of me? What are you going to need from me? So that way everybody feels like they are contributing in the right way and we’re all going to see joint success.
Speaking of success, I also like to show a little bit of the vision of what this could be, you know, a year from now, three years from now. Doesn’t have to be perfect, doesn’t have to be exact, but you need to give people a taste of what’s to come and what the benefits of ABM could be. The last slide I show is what we’re going to measure. What are the metrics that we are going to look at when it comes to ABM to know if we’re successful. Be sure to get feedback on that. You may have sales leaders that want to look at some different things. Just make sure that everybody is bought in to the same metrics so that way everybody is seeing success in the same way.
So that is how I build my ABM coalition. It’s a critical step of your ABM strategy so don’t skip it and go make it happen.