ABM + Inbound: Q&A with Dan Tyre

With the stratospheric rise of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) in recent years, business marketers are actively exploring how this targeted approach pairs with other sales and marketing initiatives, especially inbound marketing. At first blush, these two appear incompatible, with ABM focusing on companies and inbound targeting the individual.  But the belief you must choose between one or the other is a mistake – these strategies share several core principles and have much more in common than you’d think. Employed together, ABM + Inbound have the power to deliver an indomitable GTM strategy.

A longtime leader in the B2B marketing space, ANA Phoenix is pleased to welcome Hubspot’s Dan Tyre to discuss the convergence of ABM + Inbound. Dan joined HubSpot as a member of the original team in May 2007, and has led the recruiting, training, and growth of HubSpot sales team ever since. He’s an authority on inbound marketing and sales, and a regular speaker, writer, and coach to those who yearn for inbound success.

Below, Dan gives a preview of what we can expect from his presentation on September 18th, including the new rules of B2B marketing, advice for those just getting started and best practices to keep in mind along the way.

Finish this sentence: ABM + Inbound is the future of B2B marketing because…Marketing is in the midst of a revolution and many of the old rules don’t apply. In fact, there are no rules. It’s a street fight. The good news is that unlike the last 50 years, marketers have the tools to show the value of their hard work. The marketing department used to be a built-in excuse for the sales organization, but today marketers are at the forefront of revenue generation for virtually every company. In the old days (back in 2016) you could market and sell to everyone.

Today the “riches are in the niches,” meaning today’s buyer has higher expectations for a partner understanding their business, diving into their business problems and accelerating the process of solving their business pain. The ABM and Inbound methodologies both focus on a targeted segment and delivering the right information at the right time.

In what ways are ABM + Inbound stronger together? The general definition of inbound is to encourage potential customers coming to your website and taking action as the way to start the conversation, where ABM suggests that you use email and workflows to start the process. In reality, in today’s omni-channel, instant gratification, always on world, you really should do both. The method of the first interaction is much less important than targeting the right accounts and providing ways to help.

What is the greatest barrier for marketers when it comes to implementing an ABM + Inbound strategy? It’s hard. You have to have to really understand your personas, you have to produce 10x the content, you have to originally guess and then measure where people are in the buyers journey and then you have to execute flawlessly or people get annoyed. In the old days (again, back in 2016) it was just an email. Today, the wrong message to the wrong person at the wrong time, or too many emails overall, creates anxiety or animosity that can impact your brand.

This sounds like it could require a robust tech stack. At a high level, what tools would marketing and sales need to have as a foundation? I am kind of partial to HubSpot (full disclosure: I work for HubSpot and have been part of the Inbound Revolution for 12 years), but basically you need a modern CRM to keep track of companies and contacts (HubSpot provides one free). You need marketing automation software and then you have to practice Smarketing – sales and marketing alignment – which has been proven to be hard.

Would any aspects of Inbound and ABM be abandoned by combining the two strategies? I don’t think so. I am not a purist that insists that one process is the best process. We like to test everything and go with the option that gets the better results. If you have a good fit customer, and you are:

  1. Treating them like a human being
  2. Offering to help
  3. Adding value from the first interaction, then it’s all the same.

What will have to change between how marketing and sales work together for ABM + Inbound to work successfully?  An acknowledgement that there is joint ownership of the client. The marketing organization owns all the targeted clients in the AWARENESS stage. They own the leads, the interactions, the message and the responsibility to determine 1.) good fit and 2.) the incentive to move to the CONSIDERATION stage. That shared responsibility is hard for a lot of sales people to understand and internalize. Sales people only work deals in the CONSIDERATION or DECISION stage and have to trust that the marketing organization is nurturing the right type of clients with the right information. But when a company moves to CONSIDERATION, a salesperson has to have immediate access to all the data of what the clients wants to meet that need.

For marketing teams looking to implement this strategy, what would be their first step?  Read this blog article and then start a campaign with a small target segment to get some real life experience.

Lastly, you just wrote a book – congrats! What can readers expect to learn from it? Yes, I did. Inbound Organization is about how to build and strengthen your company’s future using inbound principles and how to grow better. After speaking for years to hundreds of thousands of people, lots of people want to transition to inbound but don’t know how to get organizational consensus, take the first steps and get started. This book helps them do that.

I was lucky enough to work with Todd Hockenberry, the best co-author in the history of books, who is an expert at applying inbound to industrial companies worldwide. There are tons of examples, an assessment of how ready you are and lots of super great stories.

Thank you, Dan! Be sure to purchase tickets to ANA Phoenix’s ABM + Inbound event on September 18th.

 

 

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3 Marketing Approaches That Are Driving Business Growth

By: Jenna Beck – VP of Sponsorship 

Marketing continues to search for its seat at the C-Suite table. The marketing executives that are being invited are the ones that are positioning their organization as a source of business growth. I attended the Business Marketing Association (BMA) event, “B2B Marketing Drives Business Growth: Learn from the Experts,” in Scottsdale, AZ, and heard three interesting marketing approaches that can be used to impact the bottom line.

Don’t underestimate humor—even in B2B marketing

For B2C advertising, creating an emotional response that comes from laughter has been shown in various research to help strengthen brand affinity. If so, why is humor not used more in B2B marketing? Judy Begehr from gyro, an award-winning marketing agency, shared her agency’s research. gyro has conducted two parts of a three-part research project targeting executives in the C-Suite, IT and marketing. The majority of the respondents agreed that humor-based B2B ads, such as those from Adobe and Intel, helped with attracting the target audience, reinforcing the brand and raising awareness. Yet, they are risky. So much so that an overwhelming number of the respondents felt the potential risk to the company and to the brand was too great to apply levity in their advertising.

Begehr believes the research gyro is undertaking will help to boost the confidence of marketers who want to test the effect of humor in their advertising. As with all marketing programs, understanding your audience is critical to know if the funny poke will resonant and not offend. Additionally, she recommended to set up pilots and test the effectiveness on a small scale to minimize risk.

Learn more about the study and check out what we’re finding at gyro.com/B2B-humor.

Data Can Shape a New Corporate Culture

Paul Miller, Group President of Penton, presented a case study on how data and analysis fueled innovation in the traditional B2B media culture. Miller’s experience at EE Times, UBM Tech and now at Penton have led him to the realization that growth can come from reinvention, but it requires a culture focused on innovation.

For many established companies, the vision for renewing itself is clouded by emotion. Miller was able to transform cultures by sharing data daily, ensuring that everyone was aware of critical information such as who is clicking on what content, what articles are being shared, how is content being consumed and so on. With transparency to facts, everyone had a clearer perspective into what was actually happening—devoid of emotion.

Through visibility, Miller was able to identify new growth opportunities such as creating new community sites to connect their audience. At Penton, he realized that all his industry publications had a common interest in the Internet of Things and launched the IoT Institute, an online community.

Relevancy Captures the Customer’s Mind and Heart

Carla Johnson of Type A Communications would like marketers to stop breeding irrelevancy and training their customers to ignore messages. Johnson helped to bring her message home as she shared the type of content she found going through her social media channels. As a marketer, it was obvious that much of what she showed wasn’t relatable to me, helped me like a company or compelled me to take action.

Then she showed two campaigns from Marriott: “Travel brilliantly” and their recent content in the form of feature-length films, “Two Bellmen” and “French Kiss.” Both campaigns tapped into a person’s travel lifestyle and told the story in an entertaining way rather than a through an ad. “French Kiss” can be tracked to driving revenue for Marriott as people want to eat and visit the sites where the film was recorded.

To be successful with today’s sophisticated audience, you must be a storyteller. Here are Johnson’s three recommendations for how to improve your storytelling:

1.     Understand your audience and tell your story from their perspective by linking meaningful moments together. For instance, create a blog based on your customers’ questions that go beyond your product to focus on the industry. Indium did just this with their blog and it has helped to expedite sales.

2.     Don’t try to be “better,” be “different.” such as the humor-based B2B advertising done by Gusto to launch their new HR software.

3.     Always leave the target audience wanting more so they keep coming back. You can create your content as a long story that you can tell through multiple channels and over time like breadcrumbs leading back to the ultimate goal. Lincoln Electric did this by creating ARC, a welding lifestyle magazine, to celebrate the pride of being a welder.

As marketers we are always looking for new ideas to inspire us for our next marketing programs. I felt each of these examples gave me something to help get my creative juices flowing.

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2016 Marketing Technology Summit Recap

The Arizona Technology Council (AZTC) and Business Marketing Association (BMA) Phoenix Chapter presented the eighth annual Marketing Technology Summit, Thursday, August 18, 2016, at ASU SkySong. More than 225 business-to-business marketing, sales, and technology professionals from throughout Arizona were in attendance for this intense half-day program featuring top-tier educational content and networking with industry leaders from both AZTC + BMA member organizations.

Check out these videos for a recap:

Jon Miller, CEO Engagio, Founder Marketo

Eileen Gibson, VP Market Management, Avnet

Panel Presentation on B2B Trends featuring:

Al Maag, Executive Director, BMA, Founder MaagComm+
Sheila Kloefkorn, CEO/President, KEO Marketing Inc
Jeremy Hudgens, SVP Director of Client Solutions, Genius Monkey
Rick Flowers – Managing Partner, Kpmh Digital
John Fraser – CMO, Tiempo Development

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2015 Marketing Technology Summit – Michael Brenner Keynote

How To Create Content Your Buyers (Actually) Want

Michael Brenner is Head of Strategy at Newscred and former VP of Marketing and Content Strategy at SAP

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2015 Marketing Technology Summit – Panel Conversations

INTERACTIVE PANEL 1

Hear it from the Source: What Tech Buyers Wish Marketers and Sales Professionals Knew

Featuring:

  • Steve Booze, COO, AppointmentPlus
  • Tony Portela, Managing Director, onTop Technology Corp.
  • Jeromy Siebenaler, Vice President, Cloud at Insight

Moderated by Renee Yeager, Founder & Managing Partner at Yeager Marketing

INTERACTIVE PANEL 2

Bridging the Gap Between Marketing Strategy and Sales Execution

Featuring:

  • Jeffrey Gregorec, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at KnowledgeNet
  • Tania Katan, Curator of Code (and Creator of #ItWasNeverADress) at Axosoft
  • Marc Leach, Principal & Founder, Encore Success Group
  • Dan Taylor, Head of Marketing and Strategy for SunEdison
  • David Tuhy, Strategic Initiatives and Business Development, Intel
  • Mark Zembal, SVP of Marketing at Trax Technologies

Moderated by Molly Castelazo, CEO at Castelazo Content and President of BMA Phoenix

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