Throughout The Marketing Nation Summit, we’ve not only had amazing, insightful, and inspiring keynote speakers, but speakers who rocked the smaller stages in our breakout sessions. Our coverage of the event wouldn’t be complete without sharing some of the sessions that offered interesting insights and unique perspectives over the last couple days. Let’s take a look at four sessions that had an impact on us and our audience:
ABM, Is it “And” or “Or”
One of the most popular sessions came from Joe Chernov, Vice President of Marketing for InsightSquared and a former marketing exec of both Eloqua and Hubspot, who made his stage debut for Marketo this year with a session called Growing Beyond Inbound with Account-Based Marketing. Joe started by highlighting a few problems that marketing organizations are facing today—a sharp decay curve in their subscriber’s interest and attention, the fact that the MQL (marketing qualified lead) is subjective and therefore “eating” marketing, and that inbound is a long-tail strategy that takes a while to fully demonstrate its ROI.
This led to the question, “Are we in the and business or the or business?” Meaning, do you really have to pick one—inbound or ABM, or can you do both? His conclusion—as a marketer, you need to do whatever it takes to accomplish your goal, which is to drive revenue, so his answer is “and”. The mix of inbound and ABM are really up to you and dependent on the nature of your business. The smaller your addressable market, the more weighted toward ABM your marketing strategy should be. The broader your audience the more weighted toward inbound.“But” he said, “most of us are somewhere in the middle.”Joe argued that “in an ABM world, sales enablement is a necessity” and that as you think about your ABM strategy, it’s important to start small and identify the pools of accounts that are most valuable to fish in. In his organization’s experience, they found that closed lost provided the highest return and win-rate. If they re-engaged, they were much more likely to close. With that knowledge, their ABM strategy and tactics shifted to support these high-value, high-win accounts. While it’s important to identify your accounts and test them to prove that they are viable investments, Joe emphasized that as you get started, there is value in building a narrative around your efforts. While you wait for your ABM strategy to deliver results, it’s important that you collect success stories from your sales team to continue to gather and maintain executive buy-in and approval for your activities.
Build Your Most Valuable Asset—Your Audience
In his session on EPIC Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute, revealed why content marketing is so important for organizations and why you should build an audience on your own channels, not borrow one from another’s. While you can certainly reach your audience on other channels, like social media or display ads, the problem with focusing all your efforts on these channels is that they’re ever-changing. You have no control over their platform and how your content is distributed to your audience. Take Facebook for example, who recently changed their algorithms once again, making it harder for brands to get their posts seen (without putting paid promotion behind it, of course).
Instead, create and distribute your information and build an audience on your own channels, namely through email or direct mail subscriptions. Unfortunately, the stats show that 90% of B2B businesses use content marketing, but only 30% are effective at it.
So how do you become an effective content marketer? It all starts with having the right strategy in place: