A Day in the Life of an ABM Marketer
Marketing is changing faster than ever before. I remember like it was yesterday when Jon Miller left Marketo, the company he founded to lead the marketing automation revolution. He left to start Engagio, and built the company on a vision in which revenue teams were accounts-based. This vision was called Account Based Marketing.
Now, over the last 4+ years since the founding of Engagio, ABM is becoming business as usual – you’d be hard-pressed to find B2B companies NOT taking an account-based approach.
Among all of this change, there’s one thing that I know for sure – the roles and responsibilities of marketers are also quickly changing. Many companies know what ABM is, but few know the tactical details of how to execute ABM.
Today, I want to take it one step further and dive into a day in the life of an ABM marketer. I sat down with Sandra Freeman, Head of Strategic Marketing at Engagio, to document what she does every day. So, we pulled up her calendar, and she walked me through the previous day.
Sandra is hands-down the most creative person I know and one of the hardest workers in the industry. Jon chose her to lead field marketing at Marketo and now has chosen her to lead ABM at Engagio. In her 3 years at Engagio, she has led our ABM efforts and influenced the way we (and hundreds of our customers) do ABM.
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8:00am – 8:30am: Commute to work
Sandra usually commutes in with a co-worker and catches up with what happened over the weekend. Bearing any unusually wild story, the conversation inevitably turns to brainstorming on an upcoming event or campaign.
This is one of my favorite things about Sandra – her creativity never stops. Her daughter did something fun for her drama class… here’s how we can adapt that for ABM. She saw a fun street performer while in Austin over the weekend… here’s how we can adapt that for ABM. She got a fun giveaway at the Giant’s game… you get the point.
8:30am – 9:30am: Check the “Optimize” and “Progress” Reports and Take Action!
Sandra leverages some of Engagio’s out-of-the-box reports to answer the questions “How did we do last week?” and “What needs to be followed up on right now?” and “What can I do better?” She looks at how accounts are moving through the funnel, how many meetings, opportunities and pipeline was generated in our target account segments.
These reports are built from Engagio Selectors for example:
- [Progress] Meetings Scheduled last week
- [Progress] Opportunities Created last week
- [Optimize] Prospect Engagement No Recent Sales Touches
- [Optimize] Opportunities Stuck
9:30am – 10:30am: ABM Standups
Sandra will fit two ABM Standups in, with two separate teams during this one-hour chunk. We have a 1:1 ADR to AE ratio, so it’s usually just those 3 people. Occasionally, she’ll ask another member of the revenue team to join in to bring his or her expertise to the table, whether it’s our VP of Customer Experience, our Director of Product Consulting, or myself. Usually, you’ll find everyone standing huddled around the kitchen table or on a walk to Peet’s.
To keep this tactical and practical, let’s dive into a recent ABM standup example. Sandra was meeting with our North Eastern territory team, and she noticed that one specific account had high engagement but no exec engagement. They did some research and found that the decision-maker was into cross-fit, so they ran an “executive connection” play with a cross-fit theme, complete with some custom cross-fit swag.
10:30am – 11:30am: Flex time
Often times, there’s bound to be unforeseen things that come up that need attention. Sandra leaves time for this. It could be anything from helping onboard a new rep to assisting a co-marketing partner or pulling reports for the board or providing feedback on a Marketing Operations process question.
11:30am – 12:00pm: Sharing success
A key to getting everyone onboard and excited about ABM is sharing success. This is also a great way to give newer reps ideas for how marketing can help them. Not to mention, you’ll stop getting the question “What does marketing do all day?”
Sandra tells stories of how personalized research led to a creative play that got a meeting at a Tier 2 account. Or she breaks down a campaign we did at a recent event and report on its performance. She even shares ways in which she’s using new features of our Engagio product to execute her ABM.
One pro tip she’s learned: you have to share it multiple times via different channels. She uses Slack, email, team meetings, posters and whiteboards, etc. – anything that can help her share a success.
12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch
Sandra usually goes out to lunch with different members of the team. One of the great perks working for Engagio is if you go out with someone from a different department, you can expense the meal! This is positive for cross-department collaboration and overall great for the culture of your organization. This is especially helpful for Sandra because the ABM marketer needs to be one of the most tuned in people on the team.
1:00pm – 2:00pm: Territory jumpstart or ABM focus session
During this time block, Sandra sits with new ADRs and reps in new territories to help jump-start engagement in their territories. We will spend a little extra time, energy and resources to get accounts in the new territory engaged. Some of the typical activities we do are increase our direct mail sends for 30 days, organize an executive breakfast or workshop, host a webinar, or sponsor a conference. This is all done with the lens of that territory. For example, if the territory is Texas, we may build a direct mail package around a country singer.
If Sandra isn’t busy jumpstarting a new territory, she’ll take this time to drive engagement at target accounts for a different outcome. Maybe there’s a territory that is seeing low engagement – we’ll take a similar approach to the territory jumpstart. Maybe we’re getting ready for an industry conference – in this case, we’ll take this time to drive meetings at the show.
2:00pm – 3:00pm: Customer Meeting or Sales Call
At Engagio, we always put customers first, so you’ll frequently find members of the marketing team taking time out of their day to hop on a call and share best practices with customers. This could be anything from how we use Engagio, to how we do content for ABM, to how we think about analytics and attribution in an account-based world.
Other days, you’ll often find us on sales calls giving a prospect our perspective. After all, the marketing team members are the power users of Engagio – prospects love hearing from us, and we love talking with prospects. These calls are also very important to us, because at the end of the day we’re ultimately here to support sales.
3:00pm – 3:30pm: Break and email session
It’s about this time in the afternoon that we’re all ready for a quick break, whether it’s a cup of coffee or a bag of pop chips. Sometimes the break you need is just going over and chatting with a colleague. Then, Sandra heads back to her desk to triage emails that have piled up throughout the day before getting ready for her next meeting.
3:30pm – 4:00pm: Product feedback
Our product team is great at sitting down with the marketing team and giving feedback on how they’re building the product. Whether that’s going over product specs, showing us low-fidelity mockups or having us test new features before they go into beta, the product team is always collecting qualitative and quantitative data to improve the product.
4:00pm – 5:00pm: Weekly team meeting or 1:1
Holding regular meetings keeps the flow of information going and focuses the team and its people to the main objectives. Weekly meetings open up opportunities to come together, reflect on progress and help each other.
At Engagio, we put a lot of emphasis on creating a Fearless Organization where people feel safe to take risks, where everyone feels heard and respected, and where everyone is empowered to do their best work. Regular weekly team meetings and 1:1s are a great way to reinforce and show these principles.
5:00pm – 5:30pm: Direct mail check in
Sandra manages interns to help with our hyper-personalized aspects of direct mail operation, so she needs to check in with them daily to make sure they’re on track. Do they have any questions or roadblocks? Are they following the proper processes and procedures? Do they have the correct lists? How is our inventory?
In addition, Engagio leverages Sendoso and PFL for high scale direct mail.
5:30pm: Wrap up
This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 60 minutes. Sandra uses this time to tie up any loose ends, send any last emails and then prepares to do it all again the next day.
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Of course, not every single day looks like this. I probably caught her on one of her busier days, but this is a very good representation of what a typical day in the life of an ABM marketer looks like. Also, there’s a ton of nuance depending on what you sell, who your customers are, your industry, your business model, etc., so take this info, learn from it and adapt to make it your own.