An Inside Look at Comcast’s Journey to ABX

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October 25, 2021

4 mins read

An Inside Look at Comcast's Journey to ABX

An Inside Look at Comcast’s Journey to ABX

Making the move to account-based experience (ABX) can seem intimidating, especially for those who have used a traditional, lead-based approach for years. Breaking a long-standing routine and trying something new always takes a bit of courage and a leap-of-faith. We’re here to reassure you, the journey to ABX maturity is nothing to fear. Instead, we recommend taking it step-by-step, with a phased approach we call: Crawl. Walk. Run.

To demystify the process, our CMO, Jon Miller, discussed Comcast’s path to ABX with Katherine Boller and where they are in the journey. As the Digital Marketing Director at Comcast Technology Solutions, Katherine is responsible for managing the end-to-end digital marketing strategy, which includes ABM, demand generation, and marketing technology. In the discussion below, she explains how she’s helping her marketing and sales colleagues transition to the account-based world.

Jon Miller, CMO, Demandbase: How did you get buy-in and start the transition from a lead-based model to an account-based approach at Comcast?

Katherine Boller, Digital Marketing Director at Comcast Technology Solutions: It’s always a work in progress. We’re at the walk, maybe moving into a jog stage right now with our efforts. To get buy-in, our approach was to do a test ABM campaign and share the data. We showed the ways we could drive and increase engagement and how that could be leveraged across business lines. We used internal case studies to share the impact of what we were doing. We started with our brand campaigns and, instead of sending to everyone, we personalized based on the prospect’s vertical. From that, we showed a 30 percent increase in engagement with our target accounts—just by changing to the account-based approach.

We were also very intentional about how we approached an ABX strategy. We wanted to execute at scale without having to add headcount or make the case to increase a lot of spend. That helped a lot as far as influence.

Jon Miller: That’s a common first step I see into the account-based world. You’re already spending money on display and brand advertising, so why not focus those dollars on just the best accounts? It’s a great way to show more engagement from those accounts. You’ve been on an account-based journey for a while. What would you say matters most to your team at Comcast when it comes to your go-to-market strategy?

Katherine Boller: Ultimately, with Marketing, our goal is to support the business lines, namely the account and Sales teams. We want to make sure it all fits with who the prospect is and where they are in their buyer’s journey. We also make sure we’re aligned across the organization, so it’s visible to the Sales and account teams. We also use targeted ads and personalization based on where an account is in the prospect journey—pulling them through, so they’re ready for that sales conversation.

With our more mature business lines, it’s all about retention and supporting existing customers. Looking at intent (especially important around specific competitors and in alignment with renewal timing) and engagement with our brand can help the account and sales teams focus on the right things. It’s always good to know when a customer could be a flight risk. For example, we had a customer who was in a carriage dispute with something completely outside of my group’s control. But, through our ABM efforts, we saw an intense spike around competition and we raised the flag right away. Our account team reached out and they were able to save the account. If the timing hadn’t been aligned there, it could have been a different outcome.

Jon Miller: As you incorporate ABX, how are you measuring success?

Katherine Boller: We used to aim for a certain number of leads with the goal of it leading to a particular number of opportunities. Later, we realized it’s not about the leads, it’s about the accounts. So, everything changed to that. Marketing qualified accounts became sales-accepted accounts, then sales qualified accounts, and down the funnel towards opportunity and closing. We have a long sales cycle, so we focus more on those kinds of opportunities as a barometer to see what’s working, what’s not, and how to optimize things.

Ultimately, what matters to every business is getting to revenue. Looking at the funnel view and the percentages on the platform is helpful. We can see where things break down. Are only 10% of what we’re handing off to sales becoming opportunities? It helps us know where to focus our efforts.

Ready to take the first step (or at least crawl)?

The path to ABX doesn’t have to be overwhelming. As Anne Lamott would say, just take it bird by bird, one small step at a time. That’s what Katherine and her team are doing at Comcast.

To follow in her footsteps, read about Demandbase’s phased approach to ABX: Crawl. Walk. Run.

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B2B Go-To-Market Suite, Demandbase

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