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How Coursedog is navigating an ABM journey

30-second summary:

  • Coursedog implemented an ABM strategy aimed at eliminating sales and marketing silos, maximizing marketing talent, and gathering information on account travel.
  • After evaluating multiple platforms, Coursedog chose Demandbase for its ABM capabilities and integrated advertising platform.
  • Demandbase helped Coursedog align sales and marketing and provide better and more insightful data to sales. It also improved the customer experience.
  • For Coursedog, the pandemic has only further cemented the importance of an ABM approach and helped them continue to be successful through uncertainty.
  • Implementing an ABM strategy can be overwhelming at first, but it is a worthwhile investment in your company and customers in the long run.

I have a passion for driving demand generation for start-ups: planning travel for buyers, generating ideas for content, running ABM (account-based marketing) programs and much more.

Currently I’m focusing on B2B ABM campaigns mixed with sales and marketing orchestration to increase pipeline and sales. Not these vanity metrics. This is my ABM story.

Originally, my challenge was to remove our sales and marketing silos, maximize the talent of the marketing team, and bring business intelligence together in a way that both groups could work together.

I was also interested in collecting account travel information about anonymous and known people to better understand the impact of the campaign and segment accounts. ABM platform, anyone?

Do you speak the same language? Use the same dates

Traditional lead generation will always have a place in marketing, but ABM becomes even more critical within demand generation. It was the strategy we needed.

As a sales enablement solution, it would help sales do jobs better. And because the sales team is a marketing customer, I wanted to make sure that whatever platform we used could be used by both departments. In addition to activating sales, I was able to orchestrate various games, prioritize the reach of sales and automate MMS (Marketing Qualified Leads).

After evaluating a number of platforms, I felt that Demandbase, with its ABM capabilities, proprietary advertising platform, and easy-to-use interface, was the best fit for our needs.

As a proof of concept for Demandbase, I developed an experience where we tracked 100 accounts with a personalized experience campaign. While our goal was to have 2 of the 100 target accounts become customers, we turned 20 with sales of $ 1 million and spending of $ 5,000. After clearly demonstrating the value, our leadership agreed that we should implement the platform.

Pros: Improve the shopping experience

With Demandbase, we were able to define and execute a new marketing strategy that differed from traditional demand generation.

For example, the platform allows us to automatically start an MMS for an outreach sequence for the SDR team, identify anonymous and known accounts, run personalization campaigns, and automatically move accounts to the correct personalized ads based on their stage in the journey.

Our continued success facilitated the adoption rate by the marketing and sales teams.

Now our teams are better aligned than ever, and ABM has also helped us get sales more involved in their day-to-day work. We send them account retention notifications on a daily basis and every two weeks we hold a stand-up meeting with account managers from each of our areas and go through their plans for different levels of prospects.

We talk about what you’ve been doing since our last conversation, what you want to do next, what obstacles stand in your way and what marketing can help you overcome. Thanks to the insights we get through Demandbase, we can bring data to the sales department to prioritize their time and design their area plan.

While the pandemic has created uncertainty and frozen budgets, we have been able to reduce the time to close marketing deals and improve personalization in outbound marketing.

Instead of sending out a broad email, we look for accounts that indicate intent or website activity and create outreach sequences that examine institution type, pages visited, etc. So we know what each goal is about and can talk to it.

ABM helped us improve the shopping experience by looking at the most popular pages or content prospects and bringing them to them via website personalization or maintenance campaigns. We want them to be in control of the buying experience and remove barriers to content that keep shoppers informed. That is my main goal when it comes to the experience.

Two become an ABM platform

The acquisition makes sense because both Demandbase and Engagio were focused on ABM and had more than 30 joint customers.

Unifying the two platforms will give us the power of Demandbase to help marketers leverage third-party data and proprietary advertising, and Engagio is focused on helping them use their own first-party data and visualize the data to make them more consumable for sales and marketing.

COVID-19 has not eliminated the need for an ABM solution.

In fact, I suggest that this should be a priority as we still need to generate revenue and traditional tactics don’t work. With a solution like Demandbase, you can identify the accounts that are actually in the market and look for a solution by seeing the engagement on your channels.

Once you see this commitment, you can play a piece instead of blowing people up, which shows a huge lack of empathy at this time. I’m looking forward to the next iteration of the Unified Platform (coming soon).

Interested in ABM? Here is my advice

How would I advise marketers looking for an ABM solution? One thing is not to overstate your ideal customer profiles (ICPs) at the beginning. It works best to look at everything in ABM from a Minimally Viable Product (MVP) lens.

Then plan to check the firmographs of your closed opportunities and adjust your ICP scoring model monthly, or check out the campaigns and see what kind of lift you were in the target accounts for. When you get an MVP going, you have the foundation you need to move forward.

For other B2B marketers out there, I strongly recommend considering ABM to access these more important accounts. You can create personalized experiences, drive actions with the data you have, and simplify and automate your ability to move prospects from marketing automation to sales to orchestrating games.

While ABM can be overwhelming at first, a unified platform like Demandbase allows you to do these things automatically and on a large scale. I encourage you to move on with your creativity and think about what is breaking the pattern that your prospects are used to. Break the shape and select it more precisely.

Our future with ABM looks bright. May the (ABM) force be with you.

Jimmy Montchal is the VP of Demand Generation at Coursedog.

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