The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 1 year ago

The ABCs of ABM: Account Based Marketing Made Simple w/ Mike Maynard


The meeting you have tomorrow is with the sales team. You’re anticipating a sleepless night. As you sharpen your pitchfork, you wonder why no one’s solved the alignment problem between sales and marketing. Then, you remember something: You’re not in Mad Men; you’re running a successful ABM campaign — and collaboration with sales is the name of the game.

My guest today is Mike Maynard, Owner at Napier Partnership Limited, who came on the show to demystify Account Based Marketing and explain how to harness its numerous benefits.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What ABM is
  • How to implement ABM
  • How ABM helps better align sales and marketing

    Now that you know the ABCs of ABM, are you ready to learn how to craft your brand or establish a repeatable sales process? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

You're listening to the BDB revenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Welcome everyone to the B Tob Revenue Executive Experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. Today we're talking about account based marketing. This is a word that's been around for a while. Phrase it's been around for a while, a practice that many have heard of. We're going to talk about how it most effectively supports sales leads. To help us we have Mike Maynard, owner of Napier Partnership Limited. Mike, Thank you for taking the time and welcome to the show. Thanks so much for having me on the podcast chat. It's our pleasure and before we again, we always like to ask a little random question, just the audience can get to know you a little bit better and curious to know something you're passionate about that those that only know you from work may be surprised to learn. I think quite a few people who know me from work. I know this, but but probably a lot of my acquaintances don't. I'm ridy into short track speed skating, so it's one of my hobbies. Absolutely love the sport. Think it's brilliant and yes, it does mean I do have like crow race suits. So yeah, not not a nice image for people to stop the PODCAST A. Yeah, I can assure you that there's very few people in the in the audience when I race. So that's fine that you I have tell you are the first short track speedskater enthusiast I've had on the show. How in the world did you get into that? It's a long story and basically I had a friend doing some work for the local amate of dramatic society. This is the way you always get into a skating event. is around and it turned out that the local ice hockey club put some of the players that they'd imported from Canada into the flat below him. Long Story Short, we've started going to watch ice hockey and then, well, on one game we looked each other and said, well, how how can it be? And I said you have a scouted Chris, and Chris said Yeah, I did. It was about thirty years ago. I said, well, that's fantastic because I've never skated before, but let's try and play Ice Soca. So we played ice hockey for a while. It was great and eventually I stopped many because I had kids and in the UK you end up playing ice hockey really late at night, but it's the only time you can get the whole rink yourself. And when I decided to come back, I decided I was probably a little bit old for the Ice Hockey thing. So yet again I thought, well, how how can it be? Let's try speed skating. The answer is it. Both of them are actually quite hard to do, surprisingly, but great fun. I mean I enjoyed both of them. And Yeah, there's the speed skating's a really great hobby. Awesome. I appreciate your sharing that with us. So all right, let's get into kind of the topic of the day. How about we started a little context around Napier, what you do and how that influences your focus in, or a passion for, account based marketing? Yeah, great question. So Napier's an agency. Actually bought the agency back in two thousand and one and at the time I was a client. The the owners were retiring and it just seemed like a an opportunity that was too good to be missed. By May two thousand and one, it was an off togevery wish. I passed up because, of course it was a doctor crash, you know, and business was not quite so good in May as it was in April. But how you get these things? So we're an agency that really helps be to be technology clients market and typically, you know the way I'm trying to explain it as we're marking a technical product of technical audience. So that might be marketing silicon chips to electronics engineers or it might be marketing baggage handling systems to airports. But there's all always a big technical element of the decision making process and what we're good is doing is taking that technical element and engaging people without...

...boring them stupid with all the data. So that's what we do. We look at it as really two challenges. One is to generate content, so generate this information is going to be interesting and frankly, if the content you generate is an interesting you've got real problems. No matter how many people see it's not going to work. And the second one is content distribution. Getting the content you've created in runt of the right audience, and that's really where count based marketing comes in, is making sure you get the content in front of the the optimal audience for your client. Okay, so let's let's start with the definition for account base marketing. This may seem a little hard and maybe even, for some of our listeners, a little bit basic, but I always want to start with a macro kind of contextual understanding so we all have a shared language as we as Reagin the discussion. So, from your perspective, how would you define ABM today? So this is a actually a surprisingly difficult question. Sounds really simple. There are no end of definitions of ABM and I can give you some formal definitions, but I'd rather talk about what I feel ABM is. So to me, ABM is about focusing your marketing resources on a particular set of target accounts, and those can include accounts that are already customers as well as prospects. But all it is is taking what you do already, doing great marketing, but really focusing down on a smaller audience based upon which company they work for, and that lets you do so much more and be so much more effective. So you're concentrating your budget and you're also concentrating all your thought on a particular group of prospects or a group of clients and prospects, and that's what I think ABM is, and I really do strongly believe that a lot of people they start doing abm and they start getting intimidated by all these, you know, very specific definitions about what's programmatic ABM and you know it's not important. Just focus your budget. It'll be more effective. That's all you need to know to start off and I really recommend that as a basic definition. That's something we should all work towards, you know, just making better use for a budget and doing great marketing. Yeah, I love that. So when we think about, you know, the abium approach, it's complex in terms of execution because you're essentially wanting to be where your target audience is, which necessity is you actually know who that audience is and, secondly, where they are and how to get to them. So I'm curious how, when you say targeting an account, what are kind of facets you think about when it's the the publishing or distribution or outreach o, the the marketing content, so you can ensure you do get the right message to the right person inside of specific targeted accounts. Yeah, and you make a great point their chat. I I love that point that to start you've got to know who you're targeting, and that's that is super important, because we're focusing our budget on this particular group of accounts. If they're the wrong group of accounts, we're just throwing more money in the wrong place. So yeah, absolutely right. You've got to understand where you're targeting and typically companies either have known target list of companies or maybe even, you know, specific industries that they want to target, or they go and look at where they're successful a moment and then they'll either target more people in their successful areas or their target adjacent markets, you know, kind of what people call a bowling ball strategy. So the look to go from one market to a very closely related market because if they're successful in market A, probably market B, which is very similar, is also going to be a good market for them and totally great. You know, to make account Bas marketing work you've got to be really clear about who you're talking you've got to have really clear reasons why you're the right supply of for those companies, whether it's a list or just, you know, a market definition. And when you get into ABM, for say, existing customers or even those that that have shown interest, maybe they've you know, they've hit a website for that of form or attended a Webinar. There's some there's some level of interest which there's... end of ways people can rank and quality quantified, depending on what we're using. But at the end of the day, how do you look at and approach those individuals from more of a like the way that personal is blurring into business these is especially since everybody's been lockdown and quarantine for for so long. When you do ABM, are you taking into account the persona? So if I'm going after, I don't know, director of it or director of technology, am I looking at them based on the industry that they are in, or am I also trying to find demographics that might bleed over into, say, what social platforms that they're active on and where they may engage, you know, outside of the standards a company stuff, for Linkedin? How do you how do you bridge that gap between the business and personal to still execute in a active ABM strategy? So I think the first thing to say is absolutely, we look at personas and customer journeys and that's always a real core part of our ABM planning. I mean, if you're focusing down on a smaller number of accounts, you really should be able to have a better knowledge of the decisionmaking unit or buying committee, whatever you've called, the group of people that make the decisions. You should be able to understand who they are and what motivates them far more accurately and far more comprehensively than you would do if you're trying to target just everybody. So absolutely, you know, use those personas, use those customer journeys and test, I mean it. You know you mentioned targeting existing customers. You know, great way to test an account based marketing strategy is to start with some existing customers because hopefully you know them fairly well and if you can make it work with those customers and grow their business then probably you can attract prospects. So absolutely, you know, start with knowledge of the customer and then that knowledge almost always drives you to understand not only that that kind of individual, that persona from a business point of view, but also, to some extent, from a personal point of view and that's where you can start looking at. You know, for example, as you say, the types of social media that they're likely to interact with. But it's about really getting in their shoes and understanding what they're doing and who they are, rather than thinking about yourself and thinking about you know, what you want to say and how you want to jet your company. That that's the wrong way account base marking should really be done from the point of view of what you can do to help the account and that just requires knowledge. Yeah, absolutely, and and okay, so curious about data. So when we build out an ABM strategy, we know that web cookies are phasing out here in the in the future and there's this increase in usage of customer data platforms to collect that information that we could have scraped from other places before. I'm curious how do you recommend clients you leverage data from systems they may have in place in order to shape and format, maybe validate the personas and then shape and format kind of the strategy for the outreache. That's a great question. We're based in Europe. We do most of our work, and all of it, but most of it in Europe. So we're very driven by the European gdpr regulations, although increasingly, I mean if you look at what's happening in in various states over in the US, that California. Yeah, you know, I think. I think there's going to be similar regulations. So one of the things, and maybe this is a different discussion, but one of the things that's happening is this hole movement around privacy. Is All a bit disingenuous because it really is a battle between big companies. So Google, for example, is collecting data. They're not stopping collecting data, but they're starting to block third party cookies, so they're limiting what other people can do it. It is absolutely there's a definitely a competitive advantage in google stopping other people from collecting data. And Apple, from their point of view, you know, they're competitive Vanchers, is this privacy idea and...

...they're playing it really well, but to be successful they've got to harm people like Google and facebook. So it's this this interesting battle between the Czech tech giants. But what it means in reality is that we're moving away from having quite so much data held by third parties, and that means as a business, if you want to market effectively, you've got to start collecting your own data. So you know, it depends on your perspective. And there's certainly a very strong argument that GDPR and regulations like it are stopping third party companies from aggregating lots of data, which definitely can be like. I guess at best you'd say it's creepy, at worst you say it's definitely invasive of privacy. But what it is doing is it is actually meaning more and more companies need to collect data, because everyone needs to collect their own first party data. Now the great thing, the great news about data is if you're doing an ABM campaign, you've by definition limited your audience to a certain group of accounts. So suddenly this data collection problem becomes less big. I'm not saying it becomes easy, but ABM absolutely helps with the data because because of your focus, you're not trying to collect everything, you're just trying to collect what you believe are going to be the most valuable prospects. Yeah, could not agree more. And and here's what's interning with the data thing, and I understand I'm way off script, and as anybody who's ever listened to this show knows, that has tendency to happen, because my brain just kind of goes in different places. But I'm curious from a you know, if we think about data collection, a companies are going to have to do it when you know with customer data platforms and things like that, there have to collect their own data. I have always felt like third parties grabbing data from other places keeps them further removed from their customers. It almost has a tendency to have them group them rather than truly care about what the experience is, even though they have a tendency to script that data for quote unquote, experiential purposes. I'm curious if you think the increase in companies collecting their own data will allow those abm strategies to be even more effective because the data they're collecting is coming through the way those prospects in or accounts interact with the company or in the sphere the company's in. Does that make sense? Absolutely? I think you've really identified one of the opportunities and to me, a lot of this regulation around data. People kind of freak out when they get to they can't do something, but sometimes actually it's better not to do it. So the example I give is is opt outs on emails. We all fail the pain. It hurts, or so when somebody ups out of of a males from our business and it's natural. But honestly, if you've got a recipient of emails that wants to go to the effort to tell you that they really don't want to see those emails anymore, do you think those emails are effective? I mean might feel good, you know, it looks good. There's an extra person on your mailing list. You're mailing. This is a bit bigger. You know, your Egos a little bit bigger, but honestly, in terms of effectiveness, has no impact in facts. Hopefully it lets you understand more about your mailing list by understanding WHO's engaged and the people who are not opting out are the people who are probably more likely to buy. So I think there's always, you know, pros and cons and if you look at ABM and collecting first party data, absolutely, if you if you focus on building and understanding and building you know really models around how decisions are made in target companies and you're collecting information about the people are making decisions. You're marketing directly to those people. It's becoming much more powerful because you're really controlling everything and you've got much more insight into what's happening because you can measure that through whether people click on your email or open it or, you know, interact in other ways. But obviously there's also a downside, you know, and one...

...of the great things about being able to do some of these more general marketing activities, as you can, you know, throw a list of email addresses and there's various services that will then advertise against those email dresses. And people who've tried this crm retargeting will know that nobody gets great match rates on the the matching to a beat be emails, mainly because a lot of this datre is gathered through consumer services, so that might be facebook or it might be Google, and the date is gathered by people using their personally email run their business. So you never get great match traits. But those match traits are going to get worse as you go forward. So some of our tools are going to get blunted with privacy, but equally by, you know, changing the strategy, will be able to actually compensate by doing other things better and more effectively. Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I couldn't. Even more so when we talk about you know, it's seems like I mean, I've been doing it for twenty years, I guess, and it's always been a you know, hey, sales and marketing isn't aligned. Sales and marketing is in line. You'd think by now somebody would have figured this out. But I noticed in in some of the content that you'd sent over that you believe that Abim can actually bring sales and marketing closer together. Really curious to help one help the audience understand that a little bit better. Yeah, absolutely. I think what's happened is that actually, although we haven't been running into each other's arms, sells and marketing been getting closer for some time. And if you look back to the mad men days, you know marketing was basically I really like this at it looks good. I think it looks good, you know, to me it makes me feel good, so therefore we're going to run it. And that was kind of the marketing approach, whereas on the outside it was like you hit your sales target or your fired and marketing and cells. We're actually very, very different. Now there is still some marketing. What you have to do. That doesn't get data that is hard to quantify, particularly the sort of stop of the funnel, the awareness level. But as you move people through the funnel with digital more and more marketers have got access to data that shows them what impact their marketings making on the business. And then as we move to it to ABM, it's actually a collaborative effort. So it's not just having the data that shows you how you're impacting the business, but it's actually working together on building the campaigns with the sales team. That brings marketing and cells even closer together and to me that's only a good thing because really we need marketing cells to work together to be as effective as possible and there's always going to be frictions and sales are always going to have a much shorter term view than marketing. So it's good to have two separate groups because otherwise you end up all gravitating to a short term sales model or all gravitating to a long term cells model, and either the company goes out of business pretty much immediately because you're thinking long term, or over a long time, because are we doing short term? So two groups are good. Little bit of friction never a bad thing. But definitely cooperation and collaboration is a really positive thing between marketing and sales, and ABIUM's a great way to do it to get people sat around the same table and love it. And so can you give us just a high level case study or example of how an ABM approach has been deployed and the results are produced for one of our clients? Yeah, absolutely, and only give the simplest example possible. That, I think, illustrates a lot of the benefits of ABM. So we had a client that that had some products that were particularly suitable for people making chips for artificial intelligence. We met the guy who ran European sales for a few meeting. We're talking about what we're doing. You know you have that have the normal meeting. At the end of it you say, okay, is there anything we can do? Else? We can do you know, what else do you need? The classic end of meeting question. And he looked at us and he said there's one thing you can do. We've got this company. My CEO knows about them there, you know, in the UK, and my CEO was to visit them because he thinks they...

...should be using this product and I can't get a meeting. If you can do anything to get me a meeting, that would be fantastic. And that was brilliant because we had very specific you know, this particular company should use this particular product because of reasons X Y and said. So, sales have done their bit, they'd really primed what we needed to do. So we ran a linkedin campaign that targeted specifically the people at this company and that was it. And in fact the company was so small that we had to do certain clever things to be had to build a big enough audience. So it was very focused. But within a week we'd Gunn inquiry from that company. Now that's not necessary something we could ever guarantee with a BM. I mean that there's always an element of luck, particular in terms of timing, and I'm sure that you know sales pushing along with marketing doing things along with you know stuff from the website. It all of that contributed together. But the fact we could allocate a proportion of the marketing spend to solve this problem was great. And that was a classic ABM in a one Cup, one account ABM program and the great news is is you know after you know from the marketing point of view. We done our work there. The sales team came in, they brought the CEO in and my understanding is actually there they've won some business. There's going to be a long term relationship and it's been a very successful project. And it's so simple. It's just like salesperson needs a meeting at a particular company because there's a real reason that they want to talk to them. That's about as simple as you can get with ABM. But I think it's a great example of how powerphle it can be as well. Yeah, I agree, and I think a lot of people have a tendency to overcomplicate it. They have a tendency to see all the new tech and the new things they could do and we could do this, we could do that, and it's kind of like going after the new shiny thing and has a tendency, next thing you know, to get overly complicated and then attribution it comes problem. You're not really doing ABM anymore. So it's an interesting it's an interesting conundrum for a lot of a lot of people out there. So let's switch direction here a little bit. We ask all of our guests two standard questions towards the end of each interview. The first is simply as a company owner. That makes you a prospect for a lot of people out there. They're trying to sell stuff and if somebody doesn't have a referral, Indo you a trusted reform? Always curious to know what is it for you when somebody's trying to prospect you that captures your attention and earns the right to time on your calendar? I think it's absolutely having something that's personally relevant. And this is going beyond the you know, as an owner of you know, Marketing Agency, you'll probably be interested in product X or product why, but it's really going in and giving very specific reasons that show that the salesperson, I guess it's really taken the effort to understand my business, because as soon as you feel that they've got some understanding of the business, suddenly there's this this element of trust that they're not going to try and push something on you that is less relevant to you or less effective. And it's very psychological, because I don't know there's any evidence that that this is really the case, but as soon as I feel someone's understood the business, understood the challenges, then I feel really good and in Napier it's understanding that we're not just a marketing agency but we focus on a very specific group of companies in specific sectors, and that presents challenges and whether we're buying media, databases or computers, it has an impact on what we need to buy, and so suppliers who do that, you know, do very well and because of that we tend to stay with suppliers a long time because once they start working with us, they do build an understanding of our business and that's really helpful to us. Absolutely, absolutely all right. So last question. We call it our acceleration and say there's one thing you could tell sales or marketing professionals, one piece of advice that, if they listened to, you believe would help them hit their targets or exceeding what would it be and why? Yeah, this is a this is a tough question and I think it comes down to this.

Sounds really weak, but being tenacious. I mean the number of times I've said to someone that there's no way this, this prospect is going to engage with us. We've tried, you know, five hundred and ten, fifteen, twenty times. Nothing's happened. I've picked the phone up and boom, they've talked to us and there's been an opportunity. And I think the rule is you've always got to do one more outreach then you really truly believe you could possibly ever need. And it's just that persistence and consistency I think, really matters. And and most salespeople are genuinely good sales people. They want to sell a product that customers want. They don't want to pop them off with something that they don't need. They want to, you know, build long rate. They're all good about that. But it's that persistence and we all hate the rejection of people ignoring our emails and not returning our voice mails and it hurts all of us. But I think picking up that phone one more time definitely would be the the bit of advice I'd have. And I'm just thinking now I've really need to tell myself that because there's a few people I need to take that. I love that we call a respectful persistence. You got to be nice. I fully persistent. Love it all right. So I can't thank you enough for being on the show. Where do you want us to send people if they have interest in learning more about napier or talking to you specifically about ABM and you want us to send them website linkedin someplace else. Absolutely, so. The website is Napif be tobcom. So you know we're being very focused there in terms of saying we're anything beat to be the linkedin presence is if you search from Mike Maynard at Napil you'll find me and if anybody wants to drop me an email direct time, I'm always happy to have conversations. So if anybody really wants to to ask a question and wants to get through to me directly, just email me my ket nap be Tobcom, and you could have probably guessed that email anyway. I love it all right, man, I can't thank enough for taking time to be on the show to day. It's been an absolute pleasure. Thanks. Chat's been great. All right, everybody that does of this episode, you know the drill hit. The website be to be exactcom share the episode with friends, family and Co workers. We like what you here. Leaveis review on itunes. Until next time we have value selling associates. We shall nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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