February 2, 2022
8 mins read
The Real World in ABM: Five Lessons Learned by a Marketing Ops Pro at Cotiviti
8 mins left
The struggle of being responsible for the marketing efforts of a large company with a small team is all-too-familiar to many. Yet few of the ones who manage to do it successfully take the time to share their experience and learnings with those who could use the guidance.
But that’s not the case with Keyonda Noel. As the Director of Marketing Operations for Cotiviti, a healthcare analytics company and Demandbase customer, Keyonda –– a fierce account-based marketing (ABM) advocate –– held nothing back for “The Real World: ABM – 5 Lessons Learned,” a webinar where she shared all of her insights as a marketing leader with great responsibilities.
In her day-to-day, Keyonda is accountable for building a foundation of excellence by reinforcing Cotiviti’s marketing strategy with metrics, process infrastructure, and best practices. Her company’s leadership team has entrusted her with ensuring the efficiency, effectiveness, and cross-functional coordination of outreach campaigns, deploying ABM, the company’s marketing technology, reporting, and analytics.
With over 15 years of experience across B2B and B2C, Keyonda is undeniably passionate about sharing lessons learned along the way, hoping they reach those who are just getting started in their marketing journeys. With that said, the amount of relevant insights she shared makes this webinar useful even for seasoned ABM leaders.
Without further ado, here are Keyonda’s lessons learned in the real world of ABM.
For large enterprises, Keyonda and her team can attest that deploying ABM is no longer a question of if, but when. During the webinar, Keyonda shared ITSMA’s 2021 B2B Marketing Trends Survey, which revealed that in 2021 the number one priority for marketing leaders was ABM. In the same study, 72 percent of respondents said ABM delivers higher ROI than other types of marketing. The study also recorded that 70 percent of ABM principles influence the way we go to market today.
For Keyonda, there are three reasons to prioritize ABM at Cotiviti:
“To deliver on pipeline acceleration, you have to have orchestration between the marketing and sales teams.”
Director of Marketing Operations, Cotiviti
We’ve covered the importance of our phased approach to ABM that we like to call “Crawl, Walk, Run.” For Keyonda and her team at Cotiviti, this was critical to their implementation strategy. “You can’t do everything at once,” notes Keyonda. “Sometimes, you need to take steps back to move forward.”
Despite being familiar with Demandbase software since July of 2019, Keyonda admits that it’s imperative to remain curious and continue learning about ABM principles and best practices. Her team is steadfast on training consistently to stay on top of new releases and capabilities that enable them to do their jobs well.
Although it might look like a smooth, linear journey, Keyonda says it’s important to remember that ABM takes time. The methodology is meant to be taken one activity at a time, measuring results along the way and modifying approaches where needed. ABM requires curiosity and patience. And one more hot tip: Celebrate the small wins.
With a small team managing lots of moving parts, Keyonda was candid in sharing that they would be limited in their impact without their MarTech. Although the solutions, systems or applications may be different for each company, the purpose and functionality required to be effective remain the same.
There are six key functions your MarTech should help you optimize:
When studying ABM, Keyonda came across a rowing analogy to illustrate the way a marketing team works to deploy a winning strategy.
Although for spectators, rowing may give the impression that participants are all doing the exact same thing, they’re not. Every seat on the boat has its own assigned duty and strategic action that helps pull the team closer to their goal. Everyone rows together, going in one direction. Even with different skill sets and responsibilities, the team comes together towards one single goal, and in the case of a marketing team, the goals are to find opportunities for the sales team and contribute to the organization’s growth.
Bonus tip from Keyonda: “Identify ABM evangelists within your organization –– executives and sales leaders who can vouch for the solution and results so that everyone else is eager to get on board.”
Teamwork makes the dream work is one of Keyonda’s favorite phrases, especially because making ABM work requires complete alignment from everyone involved in the buyer’s journey. The team leaders in your organization should meet not just to plan your strategy, but also to define:
Although this might look different for every company or team director, Keyonda outlined the following efforts as a winning formula for her team at Cotiviti:
Real world alignment is all about getting the right data to the right people, at the right time.
The way that Keyonda and the Cotiviti team have managed their approach to leveraging data to yield actionable insights and ensure alignment throughout the organization revolves around three pillars:
Metaphorically, the pillars are all key instruments in an orchestra where Keyonda is the conductor. Prior to Demandbase One, Cotiviti used to run this reporting manually and pulled all the data from each source separately. After the deployment, the team automated many processes, and they can now upload their data seamlessly to extract actionable insights.
To illustrate how Keyonda and her marketing team at Cotiviti launched their enterprise brand awareness advertising campaign, look at the webinar video starting at the 33:03 mark. Hear directly from Keyonda on her experience going from the strategy planning of the campaign all the way to the campaign optimization based on the reporting and metrics they were able to leverage along the way.
Keyonda and her marketing team at Cotiviti have a clear plan for the short and long term with specific ambitions for themselves, as well as for the greater organization. With optimized orchestration initiatives and the tools within Demandbase One at their disposal, there’s no limit to what Cotiviti’s marketing outreach can accomplish as they seek to share the differentiated value Cotiviti can provide.
I am so grateful to Keyonda for her partnership in this webinar, her candor in sharing her experiences, and her commitment to helping others understand what it takes to run a successful ABM program –– especially with limited resources.
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