The Very Real Benefits of Account-Based Marketing

Day 1 of the SiriusDecisions Summit Featured Marketers Singing the Praises of ABM — and Jewel Just Singing

May 17, 2017

Jewel delivered the keynote address to kick off Sirius Decisions 2017 Summit in Las Vegas. (I feel I must pause here to say, yes, that Jewel, the singer of “Who Will Save Your Soul” and other hits).

Jewel opened her keynote with a striking a cappella version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” While lyrics of that song venture into a fantasy world, the rest of the Summit’s sessions were grounded in a surprisingly positive reality that even a decade ago might have seemed like a mirage.

That positive reality? Down here under the rainbow, marketing is regularly proving its value to sales.

Nowhere is marketing’s value to sales become more evident than in the rise of account-based marketing. “Salespeople don’t care how many Twitter followers you have. They care if you help them close a deal,” Nick Panayi, VP-Brand, Demand & Digital Marketing at DXC Technology, declared during a case study session at the Summit.

Panayi and Dorothea Gosling, Global Head of ABM and Pursuit Marketing CoE at DXC, convincingly made the case that DXC’s sales team is benefitting from marketing’s embrace of ABM. Gosling said DXC deploys a subset of ABM called “pursuit marketing,” which is designed to help sales close deals.

“Deals won, deals lost. That’s your ROI right there,” Panayi said.

At the center of DXC’s ABM/pursuit marketing is LinkedIn. Using LinkedIn has enabled DXC to build its database, target its audience on the platform, and customize messages on its website. “You go to LinkedIn, because everybody is there,” Panayi said. “It’s the Bible of business. We supplemented our database with LinkedIn.”

In its ABM efforts, DXC used LinkedIn Sponsored Content to target its strategic accounts. “You should see our LinkedIn Sponsored Content and the results we’re getting,” Panayi said. “It’s through the roof — very targeted, very relevant.”

Panayi and Gosling weren’t the only ones sharing positive ABM outcomes. The growth of account-based marketing was a central theme of the Summit. In one of many case study sessions exploring ABM, Oracle Marketing Cloud shared research that indicated that usage of ABM principles by B2B marketers had more than doubled between 2015 and 2016, growing from 20% of marketers to 41%.

In the same session, Lynsay Russell, Senior Global Marketing Operations Manager for medical device manufacturer Medtronic, discussed how her company uses the Oracle Marketing Cloud to support its ABM efforts. Russell outlined an ABM program Medtronic used to target hundreds of hospitals and said that the average deal size of these targeted accounts was 35% larger than the average deal size of accounts not targeted via ABM methods.

After seeing the results, a Medtronic sales executive asked, “Why aren’t we all over this and using it more?” Russell said.

To bring this all back around to Jewel, we might say that with responses like that, ABM may not save your soul, but it will save your relationship with sales.  

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