Count Dracula Teaches Account Based Marketing

October 28, 2016


For those who don’t know, Count Dracula and I go way back. We met at a Motley Crue show back in the late 80’s (he’s lucky he doesn’t show up on photographs… you should have seen the hair!), and we’ve kept in touch ever since.

Every year around Halloween, he sends me an InMail and we meet up for an interview. I’m always interested to see how he blends ancient Transylvanian magic with digital marketing. Sure enough, I got the message last week:

Dearest Jason,

I can’t believe it’s been another year—once you hit 400 or so, the years just fly by. Little Sophie is getting so big, you would not believe. She can already turn into a bat! It’s adorable. Fingers crossed and knock on a coffin lid, I think I’m doing all right as a father.

I’m excited to talk to you this year about my latest venture. I’ll give you a sneak preview: Account. Based. Marketing.

See you soon,

Dracula, MBA

Needless to say, I hopped on the phone and scheduled an interview, and before I knew it Drac was meeting me in my new favorite pub. Here’s what he had to say.

Interview with a Vampire: Dracula Raises the Stakes with Account Based Marketing

LinkedIn: So glad you could make it in, Drac. Did you have any trouble on the plane?

Dracula: Oh, no. Flying is always pleasant for me. I always turn into a bat and tuck myself away in the cargo hold. No lines, no body scanners, no fighting over the armrest.

LinkedIn: I may have to try that next time. So, what’s this about account based marketing (ABM)? How do you find target accounts for turning people into vampires?

Dracula: Ah! You see, you are right that would not make sense. When I was still V2C, a wide-net approach made sense. But I’ve gone V2B, and now I’m fishing with a harpoon. Metaphorically speaking, of course. I don’t fish. It’s cruel.

LinkedIn: You literally drink human blood to survive.

Dracula: I don’t see what you’re getting at.

LinkedIn: Never mind. So you’re B2B… I mean, V2B marketing now? What are you actually selling?

Dracula: Well, as you recall, last year I started a “Working Your Vlad Bod at Work” video series. It was supposed to just be part of my full-funnel marketing efforts, you know. And a way to get back in shape after a year being a stay-at-home Vlad with Sophie. I really let myself go! I didn’t need to see my reflection to know. I couldn’t see my own toes!

So anyway, the videos really took off, and I started getting comments from people wishing they had a Vlad Bod training program in their workplace. That’s when I knew this was the next phase of my career: Corporate fitness the vampire way!

LinkedIn: Wow! So how did you go about setting up an account based marketing strategy?

Dracula: Well, the important thing in ABM is that sales and marketing have to be really tightly aligned. So I had a lot of sit-down meetings with Lou Garou, my saleswolf.

LinkedIn: Saleswolf?

Dracula: He’s a werewolf. They’re great at sales. Loyal, trustworthy, and people who love dogs are naturally drawn to them. Anyway, I met with Lou to understand what our ideal customer looks like, what key accounts he wanted to pursue, and what kind of content would help him guide people through the sales process. It’s my own sales and marketing alignment strategy. I call it “Count based marketing,” CBM for short.

I created personas for the key decision makers at those big accounts, and created personalized content just for them. In the old days, I would have had an army of thralls working on it for me. But these days, it’s easy to make modular content and combine it in different ways to appeal to different people.

LinkedIn: Naturally. So how did you distribute your content?

Dracula: I used LinkedIn Account Targeting, mostly. You don’t mind if I plug that, do you? I put together an account list that Lou and I worked up, then the LinkedIn Marketing team worked with me to create a custom segment I could target with Sponsored Content and InMail.

LinkedIn: How did it go?

Dracula: It took a little ramp-up time, I won’t lie. But soon the bookings started coming in. I now have a dozen businesses committed to weekly Build Your Vlad Bod classes.

It’s so busy I’ve had to train some of my thralls to pick up the slack—I can’t do it all myself! I’m not as young as I used to be. An 800-year-old vampire just can’t keep up with the kids these days, and raise a family at the same time.

LinkedIn: So, to sum up, what would you tell the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog audience about account based marketing?

Dracula: It worked for me, and it can work for you. The secret is doing it at scale. I mean, you could always target a few specific accounts with personalized content. You could do that 500 years ago. But now you can target a much bigger audience without losing that level of personalization.

Just get on the same page with sales—I recommend hiring a werewolf—and work together to build your target list, your content types, your goals and KPIs. You honestly can’t put too much effort into that stage. It’s all about the strategy, you know?

Then check out LinkedIn Account Targeting. If you’re B2B, or V2B, LinkedIn is the place to be. Did you know, Jason, that over 80% of all B2B leads come from LinkedIn?

LinkedIn: I had heard that, yes.

Dracula: Well, if you ever make one of your little electronic books about account based marketing, you could throw that stat in there. Maybe you could make it one of your Sophisticated Marketer things. People tend to like those.

LinkedIn: I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks again, Drac!

Dracula: Happy to share with your readers, Jason. I’ll see you soon, and I’ll make sure Sophie sends you one of her drawings. She drew one of Lou mid-transformation the other day—really captured the look of anguish in his eyes. My little Rembrandt!

LinkedIn: Can’t wait!

You don’t need the immortal power of the undead to rock ABM. Download The Sophisticated Marketer’s Crash Course in Account Based Marketing.

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