The Year of Account-Based Marketing Comes to a Head at Dreamforce

After the #FlipMyFunnel conference in Boston, where we filmed the “professors” for ABM University, one of the professors, Tyler Lessard, said something which really stuck with me.

Tyler said the ABMU professors should do a reality show for “The Amazing ABM Race” where it would be marketer vs. marketer in a series of marketing challenges. Only one will survive to claim the grand prize of eating house-smoked bacon from Heinz Marketing, Tyler joked to me in an email.

Professor Lessard’s idea of the amazing ABM race has been running around in my head. It seems like every day I see another press release announcing that Company A raised money to develop an account-based marketing platform, or Company B is proud to announce they’ve rolled out a new functionality to their existing SaaS solution allowing marketers to do ABM.

But here’s the catch: everyone is talking about account-based marketing, but no one is actually telling you how to do ABM from start to finish.

The B2B marketing industry as a whole is trying to figure out the right tools to truly develop a comprehensive ABM program. I try to tell as many people as I can that a product won’t solve a problem: you need to have an ABM strategy, from the beginning of your buyer’s journey throughout the entire customer lifecycle.

Shameless plug, when I decided to author Account-Based Marketing For Dummies my goal was to help B2B marketers understand what exactly ABM is, and then provide a blueprint for implementing it at your own company. However, some of the feedback I got was that I really wrote B2B Marketing Operations For Dummies, or that a lot of the information was for beginning marketers who were just getting started with ABM.

I realized I had a lot more work to do to help educate the market on how to actually do account-based marketing!

So I started thinking, how can I help B2B marketers truly understand how to design an ABM blueprint across every stage of the customer experience? Plus with the ever-increasing amount of MarTech solutions out there, I could help my fellow marketers select the right platforms, products, and technologies to do ABM at scale.

That’s when I told my team at Terminus: we have to create the ABM cloud. In the interest of full transparency, it took several months to obtain all the pieces needed to build the ABM Cloud into something significant…but we did it.

The Terminus Cloud for ABM is an ecosystem with more than 35 vendors who have signed on for the initiative. Each software tool integrates with the Salesforce CRM to share data and is classified into at least one of the five categories following the inverted B2B sales funnel for account-based marketing, or the same stages of the #FlipMyFunnel you know I love so much. These stages include:

  • Identify – tools for identifying potential accounts
  • Expand – tools for expanding reach within accounts
  • Engage – tools for engaging with accounts
  • Advocate – tools to help individuals within accounts become product champions
  • Measure – analytics tools that help marketers understand attribution and engagement from those accounts

As marketers face an overwhelming array of technology tools with widget in touche-ranging implementation requirements and features, the ABM Cloud classifies and simplifies the tools required to execute account-based marketing tactics and strategies from start to finish. All of the companies participating in the ABM Cloud connect with Salesforce, as the CRM truly is the backbone for B2B marketing strategies.

Here are all the companies who are part of the Terminus Cloud for ABM.

Measure: Bizible, BrightFunnel, Engagio, Full Circle Insights, InsightSquared, KickFire, LeanData

Now if you’re heading to Dreamforce this week, I’d love to meet up with you and talk more about account-based marketing and why this is such a game-changer for B2B marketers. Download the guide to ABM at Dreamforce or get in touch and we’ll talk about this amazing account-based marketing race and how we can take the ABM Cloud to the next level.

Read more by Sangram Vajre, here



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