The Book on Account Based Marketing

The book is an interesting journey of discovering ABM. The author came to a realization that targeting only desired potential accounts made sense for the business he tried to grew. The approach also allowed investing into more elaborate marketing efforts, as the target audience was reasonably small.

Some of the most interesting aspects:

  • Creative approach to marketing based on ideas from any part of the organization. A new employee suggested to use a video… in a direct mail. Why not? The campaign was a success.
  • The author promoted a very narrow webinar, which would be interesting only for a particular prospect. The prospect found the topic irresistible, and signed up. The webinar was held for only one person (who did not know about this fact), and eventually lead to a sale.
  • Prioritization… The author emphasized the need for focus and thoughtful prioritization of the target audience to avoid costly distractions. Focus is difficult for startups, which might try to adjust the product to suit one large customer from a different segment. This lack of focus would be a mistake. Product and marketing resources need to be concentrated on a core market.

Watermark Conference for Women

Fantastic event!! Jocelyn, thank you for making my attendance possible!!

Yes, the conference was remarkably inspirational and encouraging. I typically think about myself as a person, not specifically a woman (except… when shopping for shoes 🙂 ), but I make many typical assumptions and experience challenges similar to other women. The realization was remarkable and remarkably helpful.

I guess, better communication was the “theme” of the conference from my perspective. Celeste kicked off the Workplace Summit with a hilarious, insightful, and thought-provoking presentation about the value of human conversations.

Almost 14 million views!

It was a pleasure to see #1 recommendation on her list “Don’t multitask.” Ironically, multitasking requirement can be found on many job postings… even if humans technically cannot do it 🙂

Keynote presentations of the conference continued the “communication” insight. We tend to “create our own stories,” to interpret behavior and thoughts of other people, which could be totally wrong. Brene Brown showed us why we should ask rather than assume we understand other people’s thoughts in the most inspirational and entertaining way.

38 million views!

Communication was also critical for our health (oh, yes, we could – and should – take time off when needed), and for a better understanding of our managers and our teams. One of the main tactics of “managing up” is understanding what is important for our managers, and starting the conversation to gain this understanding.

Doing our jobs is also not enough. We need to communicate our success effectively and understand clearly what is needed for the next step in the direction we would like to pursue.

https://mcclariegroup.com/

More than 6,000 women (and smart men) left the conference inspired, encouraged, and ready for action.

ANA – Funnel Optimization

We did not talk only about the funnel… Though every marketer has a very passionate opinion about the funnel and rising expectations without rising budgets, the funnel performance is a result of many other aspects of the business.

Marketing technology is an excellent scapegoat. We often experience “analysis paralysis” in the avalanche of data, and the best approach might be the most simple option.

What is the trigger to buy? BDRs can ask customers this question and the insight from the conversations might be sufficient. We are dealing with complexity, but the needed insight might not be as complex.

Marketers are not satisfied with the technology they have; do not get the expected value from the technology.

Marketing technology is getting in the way of doing marketing

“We over-engineer our work…” “You can not have 45 KPIs, we need just 4…” “We are flying the airplane by instruments, why not look outside the window?”

Marketers overemphasize the data; sometimes, we are not willing to have a conversation until we have data. At the same time, because we are listening to data, we are plugging any data we have, even irrelevant, trying to make decisions…

If your spouse told you he/she was unhappy with something you did, would you require data?

Collaborate with sales on what is the most important to track. When you bring prospects to talk about their problems/needs, everybody is paying attention. This might be “small” data, but it can make a big difference.

Webinar Benchmark Report – 2019

Marketers watch carefully benchmark reports from different vendors, particularly the vendor they use. DECK 7 simplified our lives and created Webinar Benchmark Report – across several vendors.

The most insightful part of the report (from my perspective) is the registrants conversion to live attendees – across vendors and based on the webinar type.

The report also argues that the success metric of the webinar would be the number of registrants rather than live attendees, as all registrants expressed an interest in the topic and can be followed up as leads.

My guess, the best metric would depend on the company’s objective and specifics of a particular campaign. Webinar might be successful based on the registrants/attendees from specific accounts, or registrants company sizes, or actual engagement with the content, or even happiness of the sales organization with the quality of the generated leads 🙂

Another interesting point: on-demand webinars viewed differently. Viewers can skip sections of the content (lower viewing time), but more on-demand viewers will see the end of the webinar and the next steps.

Great report!

Book – Measure What Matters

Most people understand the need for objectives and some measurement of success. However, many of us experienced goal-setting exercises in a variety of companies, which, sometimes, made goals even more difficult to understand after they were set.

The book, and a companion site with useful and concise resources, give an excellent guidance on organizational goal setting and measurement of success.

I loved the idea of understandable goals, which could be distilled to the short list hanging in the company’s bathroom. The inspirational stories in the book were encouraging and uplifting; if a tiny startup can use the approach to clarify its direction, everybody can. And – based on the experience of other companies – the process is challenging enough and may not be done right from the first attempt. This is OK. This might be the first objective 🙂

Some simple tests to see if your OKRs are good:
— If you wrote them down in five minutes, they probably aren’t good. Think.
— If your objective doesn’t fit on one line, it probably isn’t crisp enough.
— If your KRs are expressed in team-internal terms (“Launch Foo 4.1”), they probably aren’t good. What matters isn’t the launch, but its impact. Why is Foo 4.1 important? Better: “Launch Foo 4.1 to improve sign-ups by 25 percent.” Or simply: “Improve sign-ups by 25 percent.”
— Use real dates. If every key result happens on the last day of the quarter, you likely don’t have a real plan.
— Make sure your key results are measurable: It must be possible to objectively assign a grade at the end of the quarter. “Improve sign-ups” isn’t a good key result. Better: “Improve daily sign-ups by 25 percent by May 1.”
— Make sure the metrics are unambiguous. If you say “1 million users,” is that all-time users or seven-day actives?
— If there are important activities on your team (or a significant fraction of its effort) that aren’t covered by
OKRs, add more.
— For larger groups, make OKRs hierarchical—have high level ones for the entire team, more detailed ones for subteams. Make sure that the “horizontal” OKRs (projects that need multiple teams to contribute) have supporting key results in each subteam.

OKRs and KPIs

OKRs have a soul and directionality to them. Your objective is what you want to accomplish. Your key results are how you get there. Since KPIs are measures, they make great key results. For example, a museum collects data on the number of visitors and number of donors and those serve as some of its KPIs. This museum in particular has an objective to: make the museum more relevant to the community. A good pair of key results would be: grow number of monthly visitors from the local area 30% by next quarter and host 2 community events focused on attracting local donors. Both KRs happen to incorporate the museum’s KPIs.

There is no competition, KPIs and OKRs complement each other. They both have their place in a wellfunctioning organization.

SiriusDecisions – Demand Creation Planning

SiriusDecisions is passionately helping marketers to prepare for 2019 with a few materials some of us find absolutely irresistible.

Marketers sometimes confuse programs with delivery mechanisms. A website or a content syndication effort are examples of delivery mechanisms, which support marketing programs. Delivery mechanisms include digital and non-digital channels (events, DM, etc.). I guess as we observe specialization of the marketing function, we also see a “merge” of digital and traditional delivery mechanisms into each demand-related family.

Interesting: as field marketing specializations persist, the definition of “what each function does” clarifies. Demand Marketing is probably no longer expects to evolve into ABM, but the definition of “Defined Demand Marketing” is definitely evolving. Some companies are starting to separate the roles, but may not yet fully separate the accounts.

SiriusDecisions recommend approaching marketing technologies selection from the perspective of business needs, rather than a specific task. Many technologies have overlapping capabilities, and business objectives consideration could help companies to find the best tool for the task and future needs.

Sample campaign performance report

Webinars, Webinars…

On24 runs a wonderful series of webinars on… how to run webinars. The insight is very useful and typically comes from companies, which are advanced webinar users (and religiously measure the success of their efforts).

How Ericsson is Growing Global Engagement Through Digital Events

  • Ericsson runs over 150 webinars a year; the number of webinars grows about 25% every year
  • Every campaign has a webinar component
  • Ericsson has webinar series specifically for analysts
  • Every physical event has a digital component
    • Challenge is packaging the event materials to be easily digested online
    • Many customers who attend physical events share video recording with colleagues (easiest way to share)
    • Physical events can be also used to prepare a “package” for a certain customer (ABM)
  • Video gets more engagement (no video needed if it is “just me talking,” the video is used when a piece of equipment, etc. could be demonstrated.
    • Ericsson partnered with a video production company
  • Webinars released just on-demand get slightly less attendance; attendees typically would like to ask questions
  • ABM: production webinars dedicated to specific accounts
    • Plan to expend this practice to additional accounts
    • 80% educational, 20% sales
    • Typically producing the webinar together with the customer
      • The customer sends invitations
      • Only employees of the target company can attend
    • This type of webinars get the most engagement
  • The best option for increased engagement: have 2 people to present as a dialog. This approach is less formal and usually preferred by the audience
  • Recommendation to experiment constantly around webinar content and delivery

Lessons from 1,000 webinars – Informa

Informa runs over 1,000 webinars a year in a very organized program (outgrew Excel as a program management tool).

  • 6 – 8 weeks cycle
  • Webinar registrations:
    • Majority of webinar registrants are coming from email
    • On24 promotes registration for the next webinar during the live event
    • On24 successfully tried LinkedIn for webinar registrations (less than $40 per registrant)
  • Case studies are a popular content type (strong registration)
  • Informa is seeing growth in a discussion-based webinars
  • Polls tip: if you can do a poll, where the audience will most likely answer a question in a certain way, and later in your presentation, you could show that this approach is wrong, it is a very powerful tool
  • Twitting during the live webinar brings additional registrants
  • Pre-recorded webinar:
    • polling is not possible
    • but a good option for multiple presenters with busy schedules
  • Webinar engagement correlates with a higher lead acceptance by sales (On24 data)

Expanding webinar program globally – Invidia

  • Nail down your process before global expansion
    • centralized calendar
    • process with clear timelines
    • central location with support materials
    • Templetize… everything!
    • Perfect the process and then share with regions
  • Regional events might require an additional week of preparation (translations, etc.)
  • Train one regional group at a time, and move to the next group when the first one is comfortable
  • Internal newsletter “Webinar Wednesday” – bi-weekly communication sent to the group of people interested in webinars in addition to Slack channel update
    • webinar best practices
    • tool changes
    • program update

How SFDC uses webinars

  • Why webinars are successful:
    • People are more comfortable providing their information in exchange for attending a webinar (information is valuable and they are accustomed to “register” for events)
    • Sales are more likely to follow up on webinar leads than some other type of leads (webinar attendees spent time listening to the company’s content)
  • SFDC uses a Webinar Brief, which is required 5-6 weeks in advance but promotes webinars only about 15 days in advance
  • Master webinar calendar is shared through the entire organization
  • Speakers are encouraged to promote webinars to their contacts
  • Sales are encouraged to promote webinars (marketing and sales promotional emails are used)