Optymyze provides sales performance technology including sales performance management, data repository, and ETL management, enterprise planning, reporting, and analytics. Fidlon has been VP of Marketing for about a year and a half; he originally came into the company because he had account-based marketing experience (note: he also referred to it as “account-based everything”). He defined the target market as enterprises with 250+ salespeople (3200 accounts globally). Like many enterprise tech companies, Optymyze technology is purchased by committee and has a lengthy sales cycle of between 6 and 28 months.
All this means account-based marketing is the best approach to attracting the right customers. Fidlon also said it mirrors Optymyze’s sales process which helps greatly.
Leveraging Demandbase to identify the best contacts in ideal accounts
Optymyze primarily uses Demandbase, an account-based marketing platform, to help the company identify key accounts within Google Analytics that are visiting the website. Fidlon said it’s the first thing a B2B marketer should be looking at - who’s coming to your website that matters.
He’s also used other aspects of Demandbase such as advertising, web personalization and account-based sales development but the tools he used today include advertising and measurement tools (including its new Targeting Solution).
So how does it work? Fidlon said they first determined the total addressable market and then put that list of accounts into Demandbase’s analytics solution. By doing this, they can isolate those accounts and see their activity. Using Demandbase, they can measure what percentage of those accounts are visiting the website.
Fidlon identified two success metrics:
- Brand Reach - the percentage of accounts in their target market visiting the website over a three-month rolling period.
- Account Penetration - this one is a little harder to do now, but it’s the number of people visiting your website from your target accounts, on average.
One of the reasons Fidlon likes Demandbase over other vendors in the market who say they do the same thing with measurement is the accuracy of their dataset.
Beta testing the Target Solution
Optymyze was a beta tester of the Demandbase Targeting Solution (part of the Demandbase ABM platform). The solution is designed to process over 150 billion intent signals every month to help companies target the right buyers. Using it, marketers can build and manage account-based audiences, execute ad campaigns and measure advertising impact, engagement, conversions and opportunities at the account level.
It also allows a marketer to compare the performance of multiple advertising channels and this is the test that Optymyze did. Fidlon took their total addressable market and divided it into four segments:
- No Advertising
- Demandbase advertising only
- Demandbase and LinkedIn Ads
- Linked Ads only
They ran ads on both platforms and measured which platform was more efficient and received the most activity from an ad perspective. In Fidlon’s experience, they see only a small percentage of clicks on display ads, but a larger percentage are affected by those ads. So instead of measuring direct attribution, like ad clicks, they used Demandbase to measure visits to the website (VTR - view through rate).
What they found in this test was that the combination of platforms created greater audience lift than any individual platform and both Demandbase audience segments performed better than the control group (the segment with no ads). Fidlon said it was a small test - they spent $10k across the two platforms for one month, but the early results were encouraging.
They did notice the VTRs were much greater with audiences they considered “high intent” within an account versus other contacts in that account. High intent audiences are those people that are actively researching defined keywords across the web indicating they play a greater role in the decision-making process. Fidlon said the high intent audience visited the site at 10x the rate of the non-high intent audience.
Fidlon made a good point regarding account-based advertising. You are treating every contact in the account as if they are all at the same stage within an opportunity. You aren’t taking into account the specific personas that work in that account; you’re only looking at where the account is in the opportunity lifecycle. With the Targeting Solution, Optymyze was able to target the high intent people and in the test were able to reach 66% of that high intent audience.
Account-based marketing is marketing in the B2B world
Fidlon has worked with account-based marketing for a while, so I was curious to know what he thought of its role in the marketing department today and in the future. He told me that in well-established marketing departments, ABM is not looked at as part of mainstream marketing. Consider the separation placed between “marketing” and “digital marketing,” he said. They are not separate, they are the same - it’s all marketing, and most people have finally recognized that. Today, ABM has replaced “digital marketing” in that discussion.
But it’s not a side tactic. Fidlon said for a B2B organization with a defined market and a long sales cycle; this is how you market - there’s no other way. If you can define your total addressable market, then the tools and tactics you use should focus on this audience - that’s account-based marketing.
With companies in the position of building out their marketing strategy, Fidlon said it’s easier to establish an account-based marketing program. But with companies that have been around for a while and have established marketing departments, it’s a struggle to bring ABM in. That said, he argued:
Eventually it won’t be a side thing anymore, it will be the way you market.
Ultimately, ABM is about focusing on the right accounts and passing leads to Sales that are truly qualified and not just a bunch of leads. ABM creates a stronger, positive relationship between marketing and sales. And that’s a relationship many organizations struggle to improve.