I Converted: from Marketing Automation to Account Based Everything
After seven years at my prior role, today I woke up and officially drove to a different office for work. One that has lots of old friends and many new ones. A team with experience, talent, drive and a hunger for making our current and prospective customers hugely successful with Account Based Everything.
I’m Ray Carroll, and I couldn’t be happier to join Engagio’s executive team as VP of Sales, working alongside some amazing people. The co-founder of Marketo is our CEO; the “magic” man who designed Marketo’s product is our Head of Product and UX; the engineer that built the Marketo integration with salesforce.com is one of our first engineers; all 5 members of our executive team have been through at least one IPO.
Drunk on Inbound Marketing
The people are one thing, but having been a key leader at Marketo for seven years and seeing hundreds of transactions per quarter, I got some insight into what the market wants right now – and that makes me even more excited to focus on Account Based Everything. Day after day, I spoke with marketing and sales departments that realized they had gotten drunk on Inbound Marketing. As Warren Buffet says, “the trees don’t grow to the sky”. With the SaaS multiple correction that went down late last year, the world changed. I felt it. You probably did too.
Here’s the reality. In the “growth at all costs” SaaS playbook we’ve been playing in for the last seven years, Inbound Marketing has become a crutch. Everyone is doing the exact same thing, which is leading to content and automation overload. “Throw money into inbound marketing programs and programs that support leads coming to your site and you will grow.” That’s a true statement, but adding “efficiently” to the end of my previous sentence makes the statement false.
There comes a point in every company’s lifespan where Inbound Marketing plateaus and loses its effectiveness. When that happens, I’ve seen companies try to do more of the same thing, hoping something will change. It won’t. It means you’ve squeezed everything out of your brand, buzz, great market, amazing product or whatever advantage you’ve had.
Embracing Account Based Everything
Now it’s time to go and target the right customers for your business and break down the doors. You can do this through phone, email, social, ads… anything you can personalize based on your specific target accounts.
Additionally, the quality of a customer acquired via traditional Inbound Marketing methods is oftentimes inferior to customers acquired via account-based efforts. It may be easier to do inbound than to do really good account-based outbound, but the quality of customer you obtain through inbound has a much higher propensity to churn than the customer acquired via ABE. Quality of revenue has become important, and there is no better medium to bring on the right type of customer profile than through Account Based Sales and Marketing strategies.
A Head of Marketing’s job is now to manage the push and pull of when to invest and focus on “Demand Generation” programs and when to focus on “Account Based Sales/Marketing” initiatives. When times are good, sales are good, your customers are good, and the economy is good and you have a good brand you can “get away” with inbound. If any of those things are off, you’ve got to be able to execute Account Based Everything.
Prediction: you will see Director of Account Based Marketing / Everything titles grow on LinkedIn this year and beyond. In the same way Director of Demand Gen became a thing with the rise of marketing automation, ABE will lead this next chapter of “responsible” growth, quality customer acquisition, and efficient capital usage phase that we are currently embarking on.