Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at Marketo.
Tell us more about the recent ABM announcement from Marketo Engage.
We recently announced ABM Essentials for Marketo Engage, which is our new ABM solution that is part of our account-based experience (ABX) story. ABM Essentials is a B2B customer experience management (CXM) solution that helps B2B Sales and Marketing teams work together to close opportunities faster and easier than before. It enables both teams to collaborate on the right strategic accounts, coordinate ABX across all channels, and measure the effectiveness of their combined efforts all within a single solution.
We hear a lot about the exciting opportunities in ABM and Intent Data Science. No one talks about the challenges and risks. What ABM-related challenges do you deal with at Marketo?
ABM is becoming mainstream, but it is a strategy that is still difficult for marketers to master and scale. Too often, ABM programs are channel-based or point-in-time campaigns and interactions that focus too much on short-term gain instead of long-term lifetime value. These interactions often are a result of random acts from the Sales and Marketing teams that leave gaps in the customer experience. In terms of scaling ABM, most ABM point solutions lack the automation engine to continue the account-based experiences necessary to truly win business. ABM strategies also require deeper collaboration between Marketing and Sales teams to plan and execute. By putting people and experiences at the center of their ABM strategy, marketers can create account-based experiences that focus on long-term lifetime value instead of random, disconnected interactions that focus on short-term gain.
In terms of risk, B2B brands were initially hesitant of ABM because marketers were concerned with going all-in on one approach when it came to their Marketing strategy, so we encourage brands to add elements of ABM at their own pace. Brands need to consider their state of readiness, type of business, and their own risk profile for a more targeted strategy to determine which elements of ABM to add to their strategy and when to add it.
Tell us about your Partners community and how they help to influence ABM practices and use-case scenarios.
No one tool does it all. ABM is core to good Marketing Automation, so we wanted to build out ABM capabilities inside Marketo Engage alongside our traditional lead-based capabilities. The capabilities are available through our APIs, so customers can extend the value of Marketo Engage in other ABM specific tools. Additionally, we wanted to simplify the challenge of researching thousands of Marketing tools and managing a growing ABM technology stack, so we’ve hand-selected 32 ABM-specific strategic partners with pre-built Marketo Engage integrations. The integrations allow customers to add elements of ABM at their own pace and build the right ABM recipe that works for them. These partners complement each of the following five ABM Essentials capabilities:
- Account insights and profiling, which enables marketers to collaborate on a shared strategy with Sales and identify the right target accounts together using data and Artificial Intelligence.
- Contact discovery which enables marketers to attract new and known contacts across paid media and identify key personals within target accounts.
- Cross-channel engagement to help marketers automate personalized account-based experiences with intelligent nurturing.
- Sales and Marketing partnership so that marketers can pursue accounts in lockstep with Sales and both teams have full visibility into Sales and Marketing activity.
- Measurement and attribution, which allows marketers to measure account engagement and the combined impact of Sales and Marketing activity.
As part of the ABM Essentials announcement, you used the term “ABX.” Can you explain the difference between ABM and ABX?
To us, ABX is the outcome of what successful ABM was always meant to be. ABX is coordinated customer experiences that focus on the lifetime value of a specific account and add up to a larger, holistic, and long-term customer relationship. When you bring together the power of ABM, and customer experience management (CXM) and put people and experiences at the center of B2B Marketing strategies, you create what we are calling ABX. With ABX, you have an entirely new way of thinking about how to identify, reach, and deliver engaging experiences to account-based buying teams. When experience is at the center of your ABM strategy, it forces Sales and Marketing teams to come together, break down notions of buyer stage ownership and focus on a holistic and longer-term customer relationship and lifetime value instead of random acts from Sales and Marketing teams that create interactions that focus on short-term gain.
What makes Marketo Engage different from other Marketing and Sales technologies currently available in the market?
What’s unique is that the combination of Marketo Engage’s industry-leading Marketing Automation and Lead Nurturing solutions is now combined with essential ABM capabilities so that marketers can do both lead and account-based strategies from the same place. We’ve become the solution of choice for B2B Marketing professionals seeking to transform customer experiences by engaging across every stage of complex buying journeys. Natively supporting both lead and account-based marketing strategies, Marketo Engage brings together Marketing and Sales in a comprehensive solution designed to orchestrate personalized experiences, optimize content, and measure business impact across every channel, from consideration to conversion and beyond.
How is Adobe’s Analytics and CDP offering transforming ABM practices? How is your Marketo Engage team involved in this transformation?
Adobe is helping businesses deliver ABX by unifying data from multiple sources into a centralized data location and enabling businesses to segment account-based audiences and offers, orchestrate cross-channel campaigns and activate audiences in real-time through every available channel. Successful ABX requires that you collect and centralize as much account-level data and insights as possible. This includes both Sales and Marketing data, along with second- and third-party data, all of which Marketo Engage enables account-based marketers to do from the same solution.
What’s the one thing you want your customers to know about the ABM Essentials launch?
We want to make ABM accessible to all marketers, regardless of company size and maturity. We also want to make it easier and quicker to do. ABM Essentials is our first step towards doing that. We have things like easy-to-use AI that enables marketers to build sophisticated models with one-click. Ultimately, we want to simplify the processes, technology, data, and services needed for creating ABX. With ABM Essentials, teams can collaborate on the right strategic accounts, coordinate account-based experiences across all channels, and measure the impact of the combined efforts on pipeline and revenue.
Why does this matter? How does it compare to what is already out there?
ABM Essentials – the industry’s most complete ABM solution – uniquely combines Marketo Engage’s industry-leading Marketing Automation, Lead Management, and Attribution with natively built ABM capabilities, giving marketers the unique advantage of supporting ABM, inbound, broad-based, or hybrid marketing strategies all from the same solution.
What is your advice to all ABM practitioners when it comes to Sales and Marketing alignment?
We don’t like to think of it as Sales and Marketing alignment, but rather as a Sales and Marketing partnership. Alignment means that you have to align to something some other team is doing. Instead, we feel that Sales and Marketing need to partner and become one revenue team. The two teams need to collaborate to execute any account-based strategy successfully. For example, account lists can’t be created in a vacuum by Sales. The lists must be created based on data and with input from the Marketing team and other data sources. Once the target list has been created and confirmed by both teams, they need to pursue accounts together with two-way visibility into account activity, so that Marketing knows what Sales activity may have already happened, and vice versa.
Brian Glover is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Marketo and is responsible for planning and executing go-to-market strategy for Marketo’s B2B products.
He has spent the better part of 15 years in Marketing and Product Management roles working on solutions that help companies grow top-line revenue.
Marketo, an Adobe company, offers the leading Engagement Platform that empowers marketers to build brand value, grow revenue, and prove impact. Consistently recognized as the industry’s innovation pioneer, Marketo is the trusted platform for thousands of CMOs thanks to its scalability, reliability, and openness.