ABM TechBytes with Sam Smith, VP Product at Sigstr

Sigstr, a cloud platform for employee email personalization, unveiled an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) functionality for marketers to tap into employee emails and deliver 1:1 targeted content to specific accounts, industries, and regions. Sigstr’s ABM functionality is designed to increase account relevance, align email signature marketing activity with account strategies, increase campaign engagement and inspire customers and prospects with compelling content.

We interviewed Sam Smith, VP Product at Sigstr, who spoke about the new functionality.

MTS:  Tell us about Sigstr’s newly launched Account-Based Marketing functionality?

Sam Smith (Sam) : Our ABM functionality is a strategic approach to email signature marketing in which Sigstr campaigns communicate with individual prospects or customer accounts as markets of one. Utilizing our new Account-Based Marketing functionality, customers can choose to assign a signature campaign to email recipients who match one or more email domains. When Sigstr users email recipients who match an assigned domain, the specified campaign is served.

MTS: What prompted Sigstr to come up with an ABM functionality?

Sam: Account-based Marketing is a trend that has really taken the B2B marketing space by storm. As a platform that focuses on enabling B2B marketers and their content distribution strategies, it was a natural progression in product development. We can now help marketers ensure that the appropriate content is being distributed to the target audience you created it for.

MTS: Who are your targeted customers for this particular functionality?

Sam: We were primarily inspired by our customer Terminus, an Account-based marketing platform that focuses entirely on giving B2B marketers that ability to implement and execute a full-scale ABM strategy. The functionality is really applicable to any and all marketers that have either already implemented an ABM strategy and hope to incorporate corporate email into the mix. Or, marketing teams who are just starting to develop an ABM strategy.

MTS: How do your products help customers maximize their ABM strategy?

Sam: The ABM functionality is designed to increase account relevance, align email signature marketing activity with account strategies, increase campaign engagement and inspire customers and prospects with compelling content.

MTS: Why do you say employee email is a natural ABM channel?

Sam: The 1:1 emails your employees are sending to your customers, audience, and prospects are the most personalized communication touch points that you have access to. At it’s core, ABM is a strategic approach to marketing based on account awareness in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospects or customer accounts as markets of one. Employee email is the only marketing channel that enables you to truly communicate with your prospects or accounts as markets of one. Your employees are already tailoring each email message to that one specific recipient. Now, your marketing department can ensure that the perfect piece of content is sent along with that message every time.

MTS: What purpose does it serve to include employee emails with ABM functionality into the marketing mix?

Sam: You have the undivided attention of your most targeted audience through the 1:1 email channel. Marketing departments spend so much time, energy and effort generating compelling content with the hopes of inspiring customers and prospects. Unfortunately, over 60% of that B2B marketing content goes unused. Including ABM functionality into employee emails ensures that content won’t go wasted! You’re getting the most value out of your marketing content by getting the right piece to the right person every time. You’re further aligning sales and marketing efforts by helping to increase relevance and engagement.

MTS: How do you see ABM and AI converging at Email Personalization?

Sam: I think it’s definitely coming. I believe the same predictive analytical algorithms that drive personalized recommendations for services like Netflix will naturally migrate its way into email personalization. At some point, we will be able to use our user data in conjunction with third-party data to better understand customers and prospects browsing patterns, backgrounds, and interests. We will be able to serve up the most relevant and personalized content through ABM campaigns in email personalization based on that aggregate data and wisdom.

MTS: Can ABM penetrate into Social Content and Media Intelligence strategies in the future? 

Sam: Absolutely. At the end of the day, ABM seeks to get the most relevant content possible, in front of the right audience. Social media is just another delivery mechanism for marketing content, and the fact that most users are logged in means you’ll definitively know who’s who. Enabling truly rich ABM experiences in social may require some help from the social platforms themselves, but ultimately, I don’t think any publicly available communication channel is safe from ABM concepts.

MTS: How can marketers use predictive analytics for CRM data cleansing and data standardization? What’s the ideal roadmap for CRM users to do this effectively?

Sam: There are a growing number of services available that aim to help enrich contact data-sets with metadata from a wide range of sources and proprietary capture methods. Some of these are standalone products and others may be offered as a service through existing CRM products. Either way, these provide marketers with a clearer, more accurate representation of their contacts, prospects, customers, and partners.

Employee Email is the direct line of communication to all of these personas, for every business. Sigstr is in a unique position to help marketers and sales organizations, by enabling Employee Email to be the direct source of CRM data enrichment.

MTS: How do you see location analytics and people-based marketing fitting into ABM strategies in 2017? Does it create more ROI opportunities for Employee Email platforms?

Sam: There are some creative use-cases that I think could be powerful with Location- or Contact-based marketing, and especially when intersecting Employee Email. Geofencing is already a common technique for push messages at events or providing a coupon to a nearby coffee shop. The same strategies can be applied to content in Employee Email to provide dynamic content based on the recipient’s location. This could incentivize physical presence at an event or tradeshow, or allow for better ABM targeting if you know your reader’s location, but maybe not exactly who they are.

MTS: What’s the message to B2B enterprises that use neither Predictive Analytics nor ABM?

Sam: There’s a lot of research, surveys, and findings out there about where ABM works, what’s right for B2B, and how Predictive Analytics work best based on who you market to. Ultimately, the function of marketing is inherently one of experiment, analysis, and fine tuning to strike the most effective balance. I think the message is clear that Predictive and ABM strategies are permeating cross-functionally in many organizations to make better use of data all around. I would highly encourage any marketer in a B2B organization to find ways to incorporate these principles to see how they perform, and especially within Employee Email.

MTSThank you, Sam, for answering all our questions. We look forward to having you back at MarTech Series for more insights.

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