Hello, my name is Tyler. [Hi Tyler!]

And I’m an Account-Based Marketer.

It all started about 4 years ago when my marketing team discovered a new street drug known as MQL. It was a powerful drug with an addictive high and a fiery rush of adrenaline. What started as something casual and experimental quickly became an addiction that sought to control us. I’m sure many of you can relate.

“We need more MQLs!” could be heard throughout the office day and night.

We created dozens of new programs for generating tens of thousands of MQLs, or ‘Marketing Qualified Leads’ as some like to call them. We experimented with new ideas to maximize MQL flow week-over-week, only to discover that we were burning out. Not ourselves, but our sales team.

“We don’t need more MQLs!” shouted the sales team, as if inciting an intervention.

How could that be? Didn’t they know we were doing this all for them? As it turns out, we weren’t. We were doing it for ourselves — for the adrenaline rush of the MQL and the satisfaction of hitting our lead generation goals. But if MQL wasn’t the answer, what then?

“We need more SQOs!” they cried. “More opportunities with the targeted accounts that we’re actually trying to sell to!”

There IS Such a Thing as Too Many Leads

As it turned out, many of those leads that we had generated were nothing more than a distraction. In fact, more than 50% of those MQLs had been outright rejected due to being at companies that were not in our target market. Yikes! This simply would not do. We could do better. We could help our sales team be way more efficient. We could generate more demand at targeted accounts that we all knew we could sell to. We could focus on quality over quantity. And that’s when we discovered the newest drug on the marketing street: ABM.

For those unfamiliar with ABM, or ‘Account-Based Marketing’ as the scientific community likes to call it, it’s a marketing practice that revolves around generating awareness and demand within targeted customer accounts rather than individual leads. Which seems like a no-brainer given we’re all trying to sell to companies not individuals, but very few marketing teams are actually aligned to this strategy or equipped with the right tools to execute on it effectively. Sales teams on the other hand? Yes, absolutely. They’ve been focusing on selling to accounts since the dawn of B2B sales. In fact, ABM is simply a synthetic variant of ABS (Account-Based Selling), and thanks to modern technology, it is much more potent.

ABM Is Not New, But It Is

ABM as an approach is really not new. I’m sure many of you have run marketing campaigns that have targeted a specific set of accounts. But what makes modern ABM new and very different is the incredible technology that now exists to underpin these programs to deliver them at scale and in a highly efficient, automated, measurable and intelligent fashion.

For example, my team can now run a complete marketing program serving display ads, email marketing campaigns, physical direct mailers and 1:1 personalized videos that target both known and unknown individuals within a specific set of accounts – literally with the flick of a button. We don’t even need to manually define the list of accounts, we can simply create rules and filters based on all of that wonderful account-level data that sits inside of Salesforce! So if we want to run a campaign targeting individuals at any account in our database in the manufacturing industry with more than 5000 employees that uses Marketo as their marketing automation system, we can do that. Simply define the filters, upload the assets, and press play. The stack takes care of the rest.

And one of my favorite new toys is our ‘intent engine’, which monitors different online signals that help us identify net new accounts that we should be targeting through our ABM programs. So we can now automate the delivery of marketing campaigns to hit individuals at companies that are actively researching our market, are showing increased activity in their use of YouTube (relevant to our business), have employees that are actively tweeting about us or our competitors, or have recently had job postings for individuals with ‘video’ in their title (a good indicator they are investing in video and therefore need Vidyard!). It really is a beautiful thing.

Learn More!

If you want to learn more about how we’ve approached our ABM strategy, what our ABM tech stack looks like, and what key lessons we’ve learned along the way, it’s all in my 35 minute presentation, “How to Make Your Target Accounts Love the Fact That You’re Targeting Them”, from the FlipMyFunnel conference in San Francisco and you can watch it below. So grab a bowl of popcorn, sit back and relax, and watch your conversion rates skyrocket. Enjoy!

Tyler Lessard