What Field Marketing Learned by Taking Account-Based Marketing on the Road

In Q1 of 2015, Demandbase tried something we hadn’t done before.  Marketing put together an 11 event, 9 city roadshow all within 6 weeks. The purpose of the tour was to kickoff a year long field marketing strategy of building a presence in regions saturated with our target accounts, advocate the value of the emerging Account-Based Marketing (ABM) category and of course, fill the pipeline and drive revenue.  Almost a 1,000 registrants, 35X ROI and a nod as a finalist for Marketing Profs B2B Project of the Year, we learned a few things about how ABM affects Field Marketing.

Market to the entire account

Crucial to ABM is the concept that accounts are teams of influencers that all direct the purchase decision in some fashion.  In large organizations there is a good chance that not all of those influencers are tucked away in the same office sitting next to each other passing notes about the latest in marketing technology.  More than likely they are in satellite offices, corporate offices, extra bedrooms and Starbucks’ throughout the country.  By marketing to our accounts we saw that teams from the same account were attending multiple events across the country!  After the tour was over and it came time for follow up, we had closed the distance and knowledge gap between influencers, which accelerated the sales cycle and pushed accounts into the pipeline.

A Named Account List Matters

Demandbase endearingly refers to our target account list as the “DB3K” (Demandbase 3,000 target accounts).  Using the DB3K, the field marketing department was able to plot our entire target account list on a map. Using this data we were able to identify the regions with the highest saturation of prospects. This data not only told us the most likely locations for us to have successful live events, it also drove our entire field marketing strategy.  Using this target account data paid off huge with metrics not often seen in your average B2B Marketing program:

• 84% conversion of sales accepted leads to pipeline

• Pipeline to Closed/Won conversion rate of 69%

• 35X Program ROI

• Sales leadership realigning their territories based on Field Marketing regions

B2B Marketers are hungry for ABM

When we began the tour, we were talking about the emerging importance of ABM and evangelizing its value.  When we were leading discussions about ABM it was common to see an entire room full of “B2B marketing bobble heads” nod and then vigorously nod every time an “ah ha” moment happened (lots of “ah ha” moments were had).  This response reaffirmed our ABM decisions and helped direct our message heading into the future. It wasn’t long after that when Megan Huer of SiriusDecisions released her 2015 State of Account-Based Marketing Study in April at our Marketing Innovation Summit.  In her study Megan validated the feeling we developed as we toured the country:

• 92% of marketing companies claim ABM is a “must have” and essential to improve sales and marketing alignment

• 52% of companies have ABM pilot programs in place

• All companies currently practicing ABM responded as having at least some Marketing and Sales alignment

If at first you succeed, do it again

What’s the point of being a marketer who relies so much on data and doesn’t use it to inform what you are doing?  If someone proved you could improve your happiness 76% if you pet a puppy everyday, you are going to find a puppy! Our data told us what cities we should be in.  Our data told us that our promotional tactics were working.  And our data tells us we have to do another tour!  With over a full year of Field Marketing under our belt at Demandbase, we are going to host another cross-country tour.

ABM is no longer a new strategy for B2B Marketers to think about.  It’s changing the role of the B2B Marketer. ABM impacts the marketing mix we select, how we evaluate programs and use data and most importantly, how we drive revenue.  That is why we are kicking off the ABM IMPACT Tour, a gathering of high-level B2B marketers to discuss ABM as it is now and its effect on the future. There will B2B thought leaders, real examples of companies using ABM and of course no B2B Marketing event is complete without delicious cocktails.  All the data points to this being an event no B2B marketer can afford to miss heading into 2016.

ABM is not an emerging trend, it is happening now, and you can’t afford to fall behind.  If you are interested in joining the nation’s top B2B Marketers for the preeminent ABM thought leadership tour, register today!

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