Who hasn’t been on a Marketing journey?
Those of us who have been around for a while have seen the rise of Google, paid, Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, Demand Gen, Content Marketing, and ABM.
Personal Marketing journeys translate into Organization Marketing journeys.
That is certainly the case with Auth0, the leading authentication solution.
They’ve been on a journey from Inbound Marketing to ABM over the course of the last few years.
I was fortunate to sit down with Rachael Tiow, Director of ABM at Auth0, about their evolution from Inbound to ABM, and her biggest takeaways from their ABM journey to date.
In the interview (full recording here) we discussed:
- How Auth0 GTM evolved from Inbound to ABM
- Rachael’s greatest learning from 5 years of ABM
- What the hardest part of ABM is and why
- Advice on how to succeed at Account-based Marketing
So let’s take a look at some of Rachael’s top ABM tips:
7 Tips to go from Inbound to ABM
1. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate!
Part of what makes ABM so powerful is that it combines all of the talent, expertise and knowledge of your teams into one.
It takes the creativity of Marketing, the people-skills of Sales, the analytics and reporting of the Account team, and the organization skills of your C-suite, and creates an account-centric journey that resonates and engages your key decision-makers.
But without input from every one of your teams, your campaigns will lack that extra oomph!
You don’t have to dissolve your Demand Gen team in order to do ABM. It’s about merging boundaries and collaborating on a cross-departmental basis to get the best of both worlds.
No, ABM is not all about Demand Gen. But it’s also not all about Sales, or Marketing. It’s a balance of everything, which is why collaboration is key to successful, impactful programs.
“If Demand Gen is the overarching umbrella, then truly it's just a matter of trying to figure out who starts first, where do we then meet up next? Where and when do we pass the baton at the end of the day? How do we win the damn race?” - Rachael Tiow, Director of ABM at Auth0
2. Build a culture of experimentation
Trial and error. With ABM, this is a phrase you may want to get used to.
After all, what works for one account won’t always work for another. And in a fast-paced landscape, there’s always something new to try.
Good Marketing thrives on creativity and new ideas. ABM is no different.
Ultimately the aim is to ‘break through the noise’, stand out to your target accounts, and pique their curiosity enough for them to want to know more.
But creating the ideas that have the most impact isn’t always easy, and you will see some failed attempts throughout your ABM journey before you land on the approach that sticks.
“I think ultimately in life, there's so much that we can translate from life into work. And if we don't try new things in our lives, we kind of stay stagnant. It's the same with a lot of our programs, right?” - Rachael Tiow, Director of ABM at Auth0
3. It's not about selling. It's about engaging.
Often in B2B Marketing, we get caught up in the Sales side, making it easy to lose sight of our goals. Of course, the ultimate aim is to land the account and close the deal! But that’s just the beginning of the journey.
With ABM, it’s not just about closing the deal. It’s also about retaining accounts and expanding within them.
That means once you’ve closed the deal, you can’t lose traction. It’s your job to keep that account engaged and interested in your product or service. You have to pique their curiosity and keep them hooked.
To do that, you must look beyond the product, and appeal to what people need. How can your product or service help them specifically?
By always taking an account-centric lens, you’re more likely to attract and engage your key decision-makers than you are by simply showcasing your product.
“Our job is not to sell the product or the service. Our job is to pique the curiosity of our prospects to go, 'that's interesting' so that I can get their attention” - Rachael Tiow, Director of ABM at Auth0
4. Be prepared to listen and learn
Whatever your background is - whether you have previously worked in Marketing, Sales, or elsewhere - there is always something to learn from others n your team.
You can’t approach ABM with a purely Marketing - or Sales - mindset. It’s about collaborating, learning and combining expertise for maximum impact.
That means aligning across your Marketing and Sales departments, and understanding that each team will have different levels of experience.
Be prepared to listen to each other’s ideas, and take on board new perspectives - you won’t always agree, but finding a middle ground between approaches is often what will propel an ABM program forward.
“You have to really understand that Sales and Marketing are just two wings on a bird and two wheels on a cart. And when you can embody that, you start to realize that for Marketing to be effective and proficient and efficient in what they do, you have to embody somewhat of a sales mindset” - Rachael Tiow, Director of ABM at Auth0
5. Keep your eye on the prize
A key aspect that will help you form true alignment will be to focus on the end goal - revenue.
Marketing teams are used to metrics such as the number of leads generated, or website engagement stats.
But while these numbers are perfect to highlight potential revenue down the funnel, they won’t engage your Sales team. They need to see something more tangible!
Having a view on SQL numbers, pipeline revenue, SQOs etc, is what will engage your internal stakeholders. These are the numbers that matter, which ultimately determine the success of your program.
“I'll hear Marketers talk about leads, leads, leads. That's great. But I find that when teams can actually unite and not measure just on vanity metrics, but really have metrics on both sides of the coin, it creates more accountability, there's check and balance, and more minds come together” - Rachael Tiow, Director of ABM at Auth0
6. Try to always be one step ahead
ABM is fast-paced. There’s always the next-best tech, gadget, Marketing tactic, social media platform.
You can’t risk falling behind.
To stay one step ahead, keep an eye on the programs you’re running! Consider what you’ll run next quarter, assess the time and resource that requires, identify which accounts are your current priorities, etc.
Strategic planning is a must in order to succeed. Start planning ahead, and you’ll be better prepared for any obstacles (and there will be some!) when they arrive.
“I spent a lot of time actually thinking about what's happening this quarter, what's happening next quarter so that I can be two to three steps ahead in executing on tactic” - Rachael Tiow, Director of ABM at Auth0
7. ABM is a mindset, not a tactic
ABM is a mindset. It’s about putting the account front and center, and creating a campaign around that.
But a common mistake that ABMers make is getting too caught up in the program itself - meaning you miss opportunities for growth and evolution.
The key is to keep your ear to the ground. Follow key thought leaders in the ABM space, and get insight from your peers, colleagues, competitors on what they’re doing for their accounts.
If you can find out what they’re doing, and learn what’s working for them, you can look for and create opportunities - using their insight to fuel new ABM tactics.
It’s about putting on your ABM lens, and looking for every opportunity to develop your strategy and provide that standout account experience.
“ABM is an approach. It's a mindset. And it's also a program style, which you can integrate across any function from Developer Marketing, to running digital ads, to hosting your own events, joining events, growth chatbots etc” - Rachael Tiow, Director of ABM at Auth0
Keen to learn more about the world of ABM? Hear from some of the leading industry experts about all things account-based in our Let’s talk ABM podcast and webinar series.