Why Account-Based Marketing Is Not Just for the Marketers

Why Account Based Marketing Is Not Just for the Marketers

Jodi Lebow from CollabNet Version One joins the Content Experience Show to discuss all things ABM and giving customers a more personal experience.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

It’s Not All About Marketing

It’s not just another approach to marketing. It’s a transformation that involves everyone. This is how Jodi Lebow describes account-based marketing, and with the success CollabNet VersionOne has been having, she has a lot of great insight.

In Jodi’s eyes, ABM is simply the evolution of what marketers should have been doing all along. It is the next step in audience segmentation that goes beyond the marketing team and ties every aspect of a business together to follow each “account” through to the end. The end goal is to create an even deeper, more personalized experience for your customers through every stage of the journey.

By collaborating among departments to create a more focused buyer’s journey, you can engage your audience and guide them to the sale rather than leaving them at the top of the funnel.

In This Episode

  • Why content is relevant to all branches of an organization.
  • Why account-based marketing is more than a marketing approach.
  • How account-based marketing creates a more personalized experience for your customers.
  • How to implement re-targeted ads.
  • How to get started with ABM.

Quotes From This Episode

“People expect a constant flow of content.” — @fishuw

“We need more relevant content and to keep it going to really create those engagement experiences for our buyers.” — @fishuw

You have to come at ABM from a multi-pronged approach. It isn't something that just marketing can do. Click To Tweet


Content Experience Lightning Round

We’ve learned that you’re more of a traditional theater person, so what does going to the theater mean to you?

Jodi grew up doing theater, and it’s always been a huge part of her life. These days she loves attending all kinds of shows and even has sat on the board of a non-profit youth company!

See you next week!

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Episode Transcript

Randy:Welcome to Conex, The Content Experience Show. I'm Randy Frisch from Uberflip. I've got Anna Hrach with me here and what we wanna do is we wanna make sure that you know everything that's coming in this podcast. You don't wanna miss this podcast because this one was really great. We say that all the time, but this is one of those podcasts where you will take away ideas to implement on your team.
Now, that doesn't matter if you're focused on ABM, which Jodi Lebow hits on, or if you're B2C and you're kind of just thinking about how do I personalize an experience at every stage, but Anna after the recording we stayed on and just talked to each other about how that hit the mark.
Anna:Yeah, this one is fantastic, so I totally agree, Randy. We say that a lot. You're right, but, this one was really, really great especially today. For anybody who's confused on ABM, this episode is really gonna help break it down and actually specifically Jodi breaks it down in just really great tangible ways. Especially ABM is kind of a buzz word right now. People are doing it. Maybe people are doing it really well.  Maybe some people are sort of wanting to get started, but nobody really kind of knows what it is, but Jodi breaks it down so succinctly and so well. It's a really great, tangible episode.
Randy:Yeah and just to again, set expectations because I think some people when they think about ABM they're like, how's that gonna tie in content? ABM, isn't all about picking the accounts that you wanna go after and focus.  That's where Jodi's gone to that next step of ADM which is, how do we take those target accounts or how do we pick if you're not in ADM mode yet, how do we pick the customers we wanna work with? How do we actually line up engagement strategies for them and ways to activate them that drop them into the content we've worked so hard to create.  I think that's something that all of us would be excited to do whether we're a content marketer and we can drive people to the content we created or we're in digital and demand gen and we're trying to figure out how to leverage the content that's been created. I really am impressed with Jodi in terms of how she's brought that mentality into her org.
Anna:Yeah, for sure and you know she even actually explains how content should be involved and at the very end just to give everybody a little bit of a snip it, the very end of the episode, she breaks down the exact three things that marketers today should be doing in order to really get started with content and ABM.
Randy:Alright. Do we tell them or do we make them listen? Let's make them listen, set up the cliff hanger. Now we're gonna roll right into the podcast this week. Anna, I believe you started off, so here we go.
Anna:Jodi, thank you so much for joining us today. It's so great to have you here.
Jodi:I'm really excited to chat with you.
Anna:I know. We're gonna talk about a lot of really cool stuff today. Before we get to that, would you mind telling everybody a little bit about yourself.
Jodi:Sure. Jodi Lebow. I'm the Director of Demand Generation and Marketing Operations at a company called CollabNet VersionOne. Two companies that merged together in the last year. I've been in B2B marketing for nearly 20 years, focused on demand generation, digital marketing throughout my career. Today, I lead a great team of marketers and have been doing a lot of fun things around content and account based marketing, which I am excited to talk about.
Anna:You just gave a huge presentation on account based marketing right?
Jodi:Yeah. Actually, I got to co-present with Randy at the Marketo Summit, which was really a lot of fun and a great chance to talk about everything I've been doing with account based marketing and content and some of the recognition our company's had in the last couple years.
Randy:Yeah. You rocked it up there Jodi. Thanks so much for doing that with us. I think you are a great guest for this podcast for the following reason. A lot of people expect that we are always going to have people that are hard core content marketer or a content marketing thought leader. I put you in that bucket even though, as you described yourself, your background is more in demand gen and digital strategy. I think that is the really exciting part to me. I know Anna, as well, content is starting to work its way throughout an organization. It's not just sitting with the content marketer, but everyone in the organization is doing that. Tell us a little bit about how that's evolved in your career and maybe even at CollabNet VersionOne.
Jodi:Yeah. I know. I agree. It's funny because when people talk about content or demand generation, I say it's all about revenue and driving our business forward. I don't think of marketing as we get patted on the back for doing some cool campaigns or developing some great content, right. If these things aren't delivering compelling message that speak to our buyer's needs and help really engage them to drive our business forward, at the end of the day, we're not successful. I think the advent of content marketing and it's proliferating our usage in demand generation. The change in the way people consume content individually or in business continues to evolve as we get more and more comfortable with consuming content on demand and being able to see things in the format that we want to see it. Whether we are someone who loves to binge watch video or we want to read the white papers. People expect to get access to those things when they want them and how they want them. They almost expect to have that constant flow of content. I think the needs for demand gen has just been fueled that we need more content. We need more relevant content. We need to keep it going to really create those engagement experiences for our buyers.
Randy:That's a great summary of the state of where, I think, a lot of marketers are at. I don't care if you're B2B or B2C, I think there's that challenge of delivering the right piece of content at the right time. As you put it, to drive someone to that revenue outcome. Another hot buzzword topic that probably pushing that and I know it is for you because that is what your presentation was all about is ABM, or account based marketing. I think the tricky part with ABM or any buzzword. Forget about ABM. When it comes out there's kind of three groups. There's a third of the people, roughly, that have no idea what it is and haven't heard of it. A third who have, but have no idea how to define it. And a third who actually know what they are talking about. I'm going to put you in the third group, which is where we all want to get to. Maybe you can help everyone understand what ABM is first.
Jodi:Yeah. You know. I call it a little bit of our ABM philosophy and some of the things I've learned over the last couple years here, working with the team that's went all in on ABM. The first thing I tell people is though it stands for account based marketing, first and foremost, it's not all about marketing. That's not what it stands for. It really is not a campaign, a technology, or even a marketing approach. It's really a whole go to market team transformation. It's the business saying that together sales, marketing, customer success, we're going to align and think about driving the business with this account based focus. It requires an all bound strategy and really tight alignment between marketing and SDR organization, a sales development team. You have to come at this from a multi-pronged approach. This isn't something that just marketing can do. It's not just sending out some emails. It's not just putting some personalized content out there. You need to be thinking about how you're going to spider into and gain traction within an account.
It's not all about technology. Certainly, there are so many great new technologies and platforms that can help us support these ADM efforts, but that alone isn't going to do it. We have to figure out how do we leverage those. How do we bring that tailored and personalized message and content to those buyers, leveraging all of this technology?
Anna:So one of the things that I loved from your presentation, was this analogy that ABM is a journey. Can you replay some of that and maybe put ABM into a different context?
Jodi:I think when we talk about those different thirds and part of the way that companies are trying to think about account based marketing and saying, "we want to go do this" and "oh my gosh, that means we have to figure out all of these things and bake this whole program before we can get started." I've really learned over the last couple years, it really is a journey. It's not something that you're just gonna do and be done with, or put out there. Because it's a transformation, there's a lot of ways to think about getting started and getting going and continuing to evolve. I think for so many people, it seems daunting and well, "we just don't even know where to go." That's where you can think about how do you think about the market and the accounts and the targets that you want to interact with. How are you going to start to engage them and deliver those relevant experiences with them? How are you going to track that and keep it going and align with sales?
I think a lot of things in life are a journey. We talk about the buyer's journey and people need to engage with you and learn about your company and go through a whole experience. That doesn't change with account based marketing. It's just really a way, I also say... Marketers have been doing this for years. We just didn't call it account based marketing. We've always thought of segmentation, filtering down to a specific industry, or a group of target accounts. I think now with technology, it's allowing us to have more of a one to one experience at scale. It's everything old is new again. ABM is the new thing, but it's really just as marketers, us recognizing that we can create a more meaningful interaction and journey with an account when we tailor and hone in and think about them.
Anna:I love when that happens, by the way, when you read about something that's kind of new, or something that is evolved and you think, "oh, I've been doing some of that for while now". You're like, "oh cool, now I can just do it in cool, new, different way." I love how you phrase that.
Randy:It's so true. I'm listening to this and I'm like, "isn't this what we're supposed to do since day one with marketing? Deliver these experiences that are meaningful to people?" It's funny. I know a lot of people that listen to this podcast are not a B2B marketer. They sometimes get overwhelmed when we go B2B, but this applies to our day to day. I'll give you one of my own personal examples. I bought a new car recently. I'm on this terrible drip campaign from, I feel like I'm going to ruin a brand but, Volkswagon. Who have no idea who I am. They send me cars that are convertibles, when I have three kids. I've been to an interactive thing with them where my kids played and that's why they have my email in the first place. On the flip side, you may think more or less of me after this, but I recently bought a Tesla. They nail that personalization and delivery in experience. This crosses into everything. It crosses into our B2B, but it's just delivering a meaningful experience that makes us want to work with that company.
Jodi:Yeah. I think people expect that. We have these expectations now, like you said. Companies and brands know who we are. They know what we want and what's meaningful to us. We get turned off when somebody blatantly is off. Not only things we know about accounts or individuals from their firmographic information, etc. Also what they've done and how they interacted with us in the past, those digital signals all tell us something. If we don't use that and continue to personalize, people just think, "well you don't really understand me."
Randy:You're so bang on. You're hitting on everything we've been doing from an ABM perspective again, which is gathering that data, gathering those insights so we can do this. I think one of the things you're executing really well is that engagement. I want to hit more on that, but first we're going to take a quick break to hear from our sponsors and a special message from Jay Baer. Stick around and we'll be right back here with Jodi.
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Anna:Welcome back everybody. We are here with Jodi Lebow, Director of Demand Generation and Marketing Operations at CollabNet VersionOne. We are talking about ABM. Jodi, before the break, we talked a ton about what is ABM? What exactly are the benefits? How do we actually do this properly? Maybe you can talk to us a little bit about how you are actually putting this into play today and some of the results you've seen from it.
Jodi:Sure. Absolutely. As we talked about, I believe ABM is really a go to market, team approach and an all bound strategy. We've really architected this ABM approach for what's going to work for our company. It really starts with us collaborating and aligning with sales to really understand the accounts that we want to target. Then that pulls in a lot of great technology and leverages some predictive analytics for us to figure out what those high fit accounts are going to be. From there it really comes down to content creation and creating those interactions and experiences to go and engage people from those target accounts. I've been thinking a lot over time about how to do that, have tested different ways, and have really found some success in building out these content hubs and destinations to drive people to and then using a lot of targeted channels, targeted display ads, and other ways to really outreach to individual accounts or groups of accounts. Then bring them into the destination where I have this more personalized content that's going to be really relevant for them. Giving them that opportunity to engage and learn about our company and start that experience.
From there, continuing that interaction with a more human, one to one, really partnering with our sales development and our sales teams to see what those people in those target accounts are doing. To better understand what's happening. To gather some account insights. Then we're enabling them on how to create more personalize outreach. Gone are the days of sending out some blanket target emails. They are really expected to take these nuggets and insights from these accounts and create something that's more meaningful to outreach to them and to continue the conversation, leveraging content. To continue to feed and give additional resources to those accounts that continues that exploration and supports buyer's journey.
Randy:I love that answer because you, basically in two minutes, described the entire buyer journey and all the different things you're doing at different stages. It shows that marketing these days is not just about bringing in leads, but it's about nurturing those leads. Doing so in ways that are not, as you put it, just sending out emails. It's all the different things that we do. Maybe we could dig in on a couple of the examples about how you're executing. I know you did some really cool things with re-targeted ads, where you're personalizing the ad, but you're going into that next step. Maybe you can describe for people, who are less familiar with the re-targeted ad, how that strategy worked.
Jodi:Yeah. I think that's been some of the fun and some creative exploration and testing that we've been able to do as we've thought about how to engage people in a digital way, but in a more personalized and relevant way. Some of the specific examples, taking a group of target accounts and being able to actually personalize some ad creative. Either for that company by name I've done or by a target industry. Then being able to use some technologies and platforms out there to deliver those targeted display ads to specific accounts. Having those connected and driving people to a really personalized experience for us based in Uberflip and driving people to these custom screens and destinations, where the message and the content really matches that ad creative. It has them feeling like this is a really unique and targeted high touch experience, but a lot of the technology allows us to do that at scale. It doesn't always require a one to one match.
Randy:I absolutely love that. One of the things that I can say annoys me is when I click on an ad and then I land on someone's homepage. The ad is promising me all these amazing things that I'm looking for. If I've done a google search and I find something, or if I'm just on the web and they're re-targeting me, but then they drop me at the top of their funnel. Very top and expect me to navigate. Anna, that annoys me. I know we've talked about this before. It's just lazy.
Anna:It happens all the time. Sometimes it seems like, Jodi and Randy, let me know if you agree, but it seems like sometimes we just necessarily know where to go or maybe we don't have the right place. It seems like the homepage is a great way or maybe we pick the page closest, but it's really just not that tailored experience that we could be providing.
Jodi:Yeah. Absolutely. It's not all about the top of the funnel either, right? A lot of marketing and demand gen efforts can be focused on those new leads and top of funnel activity and getting that initial engagement. In the sense of, we're really focused on an account and moving that all the way forward in the business, we know that it takes how many buyers are involved in an average B2B sale? How many months does this go on? How much research do they do before they're really ready to get to outreach and talk to a human? It's not always just about getting the net new at the top.
With account based marketing and some of the technologies that allow us to see some of that engagement at account based level and say, "wow we got several people from this account hitting us and viewing some content." I know there's other potential stakeholders in that organization that could get pulled in to this conversation. I really want to continue to get our name in front of the people at the company, have them feel like we are a bigger company out there and have a bigger presence than I really do, with my limited marketing budget. It's deeper down the funnel and really serves up our value [inaudible 00:22:00] and it's not just about, I'm going to shove a form in front of them and need them to fill it out to give me a lead. It's really so many more metrics and things that we look at to really measure that overall account engagement that it's not just about top of the funnel and not just about form completions.
Anna:Yeah. It's also pretty jarring when even as a user going through trying to find information and being served with a form. It's like "whoa, hey that's awfully assuming a lot that I'm just going to sign up because you put a form in front of my face." It's interesting how marketers think forms are just magic and somebody will complete them. For those marketers out there that really want to start digging into ABM and really want to start making it work for them, Jodi, what do you recommend are some initial steps to take? What are some steps they can take to get on to the right path?
Jodi:Yeah. Like we talked about ABM is a journey. I really suggest that people get going. The best way to start anything, whether you're trying to run a marathon, you gotta start somewhere. You don't jump into 26 miles. You just get outside, get moving. Start executing. You're going to make mistakes. You're gonna learn and then you're gonna keep going. You're gonna iterate. This isn't something, like I said, you gotta have fully baked. I really suggest if people are really trying to get started. Start with those conversations internally, aligning with your sales counterparts and team. This can't be something that marketing is going to be off trying to drive on their own or in a silo. It really is about that business goal and how the organization wants to approach things. If you start with that alignment, it's going to make everything down the road a lot easier.
Next is really step two. Dig into your personas, to your accounts, to your buyers. Who are they? What matters to them? What are the ways you can reach them? What is the type of content and things they're going to find valuable? We really need to understand and service the right kinds of things to people. We have to know something about them.
Number three is, start with a content audit. Any company, you have more content than you think you do. You don't even know how to grasp is all. For me, I go to my trusty spreadsheets. I start putting columns in. I take everything I have and say what type of asset is this? What industry is it for? What product is it about? I start mapping it all. It helps me start to say, "wow I have more things than I even thought I do." I don't need to necessarily go to create a lot more. How do I leverage this and orchestrate it and start to match it up to that journey?
Those are some really basic steps that people can do to get started and prepare them for this ABM effort.
Anna:I love it. I think that is some of the best, most succinct parting advice we've had on this show from a guest. Align with sales. Understand your personas. Perform a content audit. I love it. Jodi, thank you so, so much for being here today. I feel like we could dig into this topic pretty much all day with you. I love it and I love how you, obviously like Randy said at the top of the call, know your stuff. It's amazing and fascinating to hear how you're implementing this in all the ways that you're doing this. We've gotten to know a ton about you on the professional side, but we'd love your you to stick around a little bit longer and talk about a little of your personal side. We want to get to know more about you. Everybody stick around and we have a couple of questions coming up for Jodi after this.
Randy:Alright. So we're back for a couple minutes with Jodi. As Anna put it, we got to know her really well from a professional lens, but now we want to know, behind the curtain, what's going on when you're not at work? Usually, we like to have a lot of fun. We like to ask people what they're watching on Netflix. It also goes so well with the personalization and we get to know you. The interesting thing that we've learned about you is you're more of a traditional theater person. Maybe you could tell us instead of what you're watching on Netflix, what does going to the theater mean to you?
Jodi:Yes. You're striking back to my good old days. My child theater days. I grew up doing a lot of theater. Dancing, singing, acting, stage performing. Early on in my childhood, my parents imparted their guidance, which was that is a great hobby, that wasn't a career. They knew something about my acting abilities, I didn't. It's always been a really big passion of mine and I continue to love to go to the theater and see performances of all kinds. I've also sat on the board of a non-profit youth theater company. I'm continuing to find ways
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