The B2B marketing landscape is always changing, so keeping our finger on the pulse of what’s new is one of our most important challenges. That’s why we made the trip to this year’s SiriusDecisions Summit at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas to absorb insights from more than 3,000 B2B marketers, salespeople and product designers.
Here are our three key takeaways:
ABM IS STILL A HOT TOPIC
SiriusDecisions reported that 92 percent of B2B marketers today consider ABM “extremely” or “very” important to their marketing efforts. However, many still lack an understanding of how to make ABM work for them.
As more marketers take on the challenge, we’re seeing the conversation shift away from “why” to use ABM and toward “how” to better execute it. And at the crux of the “how” is taking the time to understand your target accounts and get your list right.
It’s not enough to know company size, industry and geography. If you are planning to target at the account level, you need to gather actionable intelligence and insights on your accounts and use this data to drive customized marketing and sales actions.
Maintaining proper alignment with sales is equally important. Based on their own experience with similar company pain points and challenges, salespeople typically have a solid idea of which types of accounts to go after and how to have conversations with them. Bringing sales into strategy development and ensuring they have an active role throughout will help make ABM programs more successful.
LEAD NURTURE IS SHIFTING
Traditional linear nurture programs focus on moving individuals from one interaction to the next. However, they don’t necessarily make use of behavioral “signals” that indicate whether or not that move is appropriate.
Forward-thinking companies are tracking and tuning into prospects’ behavioral signals in order to serve them personalized content at the right time, based on what they’re doing and likely thinking. One example is sending the highest-converting content pieces to prospects when they become “hot,” rather than confining them to a traditional drip campaign.
STORYTELLING IS POWERFUL
“I will take you on a journey through power as I’ve been privileged to witness it.” – Platon
By far the most inspiring keynote, presentation or speaker I’ve ever witnessed at a conference was Platon, a British photographer who has taken portraits of countless presidents and world figures. By providing anecdotes and context to convey the circumstances and meaning behind each photo, he described how he was able to break through the individual’s exterior mask to capture the authenticity of the individual within.
“Sometimes the mask shows more than the truth does.” – Platon
Platon had much of the audience in tears when he ended with his tribute to “Service,” a photographic montage of American military service, which he created for The New Yorker. He was able to show the authentic personalities of servicemen and women who had experienced disability, or survivors who had lost loved ones to war.
As I left, I wondered how it’s possible to craft a story with the power to make a whole room of people feel something together. The keynote was a reminder that as marketers, we should strive to bring meaning into our interactions with audiences.
Keeping up with the shifting dynamics of the B2B marketing can be a tall order, but the results are worth it.
Questions? Reach out to us.
Bringing sales into strategy development and ensuring they have an active role throughout will help make ABM programs more successful.
About the Author
Kari is a cross-discipline advertising and marketing professional with 10+ years of integrated marketing experience connecting with customers, maximizing brand value and driving revenue. Outside of work, she likes to combine her passions for hiking and travel, having tackled the Inca Trail, summited Mt. Kilimanjaro and trekked the “W” in Patagonia.