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How to tailor ABM to your specific needs

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Marketers tend to think of account-based marketing (ABM) as though it is one technique or approach. It isn’t. It changes depending on the type of product you’re selling and the market you are pursuing. Gil Canare, VP of Global Digital Marketing at Genpact, offers a guide to how you can analyze your ABM needs and build a cohesive plan to meet them.

ABM allows you to create and manage campaigns that specifically target a set of accounts. Canare says that while there are elements common to all campaigns, there are significant differences depending on what you sell and who you’re selling it to.

 “Some of you are trying to sell to giant multinationals that have hundreds of thousands of people and billions of dollars of revenue, and some of you are small and are selling to smaller companies,” Canare said, speaking at The MarTech Conference earlier this year (scroll down to watch the session). “The reality that we as marketers deal with is those accounts behave differently. You have to sell to them differently. They buy differently.” 

The common elements to all ABM campaigns are

  1. Customer knowledge.
  2. Data.
  3. Messaging.
  4. Tactics.
  5. Sales commitment.

The specifics of each of those are determined by which of three different tiers, which he refers to as cycles, your company falls into.

  • Early cycle: Companies selling multi-million dollar goods or services to very large enterprises. They typically operate in a market where there aren’t that many buyers, and the deal will directly involve C-suite level executives. 
  • Mid cycle: Companies selling expensive products – like a CRM – to medium and large businesses. They have more buyers and the purchase decision is made by the people who use the product or their managers.
  • Full cycle: Companies selling low-cost, commodifiable goods – like office products – likely to small or medium-sized businesses. These will have the largest number of potential buyers who will be at the lower levels of the org chart.

Early cycle

These are all multi-million dollar deals, frequently involving multi-year contracts. Because of that, Canare says, “The sales cycle is roughly forever.” These deals are done with C-suite level executives and it’s likely the CEO will want to be involved.

“In early cycle ABM these kinds of deals are not the deals marketing is going to close,” Canare says. “We are not going to go in there as marketing and close this deal. This is a very traditional enterprise kind of sales. It’s going to involve a lot of conversations, a lot of meetings, probably a golf game or two, because that’s how these things typically work.”

Read next: 3 effective ABM strategies you should consider

Marketing’s job in this situation is getting the sales teams in position to close that deal. This means initiating the buying cycle, getting sales talking to the prospects and giving them the data they need to do the deal. 

Here’s what that means for those five elements.

Customer knowledge. These deals involve key, strategic issues for the client. It’s likely not going to hinge on the details of the product you’re offering. You have to speak to those really fundamental business concerns. What you’re trying to do is build the credibility to get your salespeople in front of these folks. You also have to understand how these purchases are done.

“As you get into this level of purchases, a lot of politics, a lot of corporate roles, their responsibility starts to come in,” says Canare. “It’s really important … you understand how these companies buy, how they behave, where the likely decisions are going to be made, etcetera. If you can have that as a grounding for the market, the next step is to have that data individually understood for each account.”

Data. Data will be relatively easy to gather about the people you’re trying to talk to. Senior executives frequently have a lot of information on LinkedIn and other publicly available sources. As a result, even before you approach the company, you can have a pretty good idea of who will be on the buying committee. “You need to have really detailed account dossiers that outline their current business situation, their current business goals [of] the person you’re likely going to be sitting across the table from,” says Canare.

Messaging. The goal is having them see you as a credible partner. So a lot of the marketing is around who you are as a company: Your reliability, your ability to meet their needs. You have to show them not only how you can get them to their goal, but also how you will avoid some of the pitfalls that got them to where they need what you provide.

Tactics. There’s a tendency to see ABM as a largely digital effort and it can be. However, in this situation it’s going to be some digital and a lot of traditional. “If you’ve ever wondered who those people are that they’re buying those billboards in the airport, it’s probably companies like this,” says Canare. Sponsorships are a really great tool to have. First, they give you a platform for the broad-based awareness you can deliver digitally. Second, and most importantly, you can also bring the clients to the race, the golf tournament or whatever, where the sales team can have long, instructive, substantial conversations with them.

Sales commitment. You have to get the sales people to really buy in here. You do that by proving your value by actively working on the sales targeting list. Then, when you get past the initial conversations, you want to make sure you follow up with the right content, the right messaging. “In these kinds of deals every deal is big, every opportunity is important,” says Canare.

Mid Cycle

Typically mid-cycle companies operate in mature markets. In those the products are understood well enough that people are comfortable actually doing pretty deep in the sales cycle without necessarily getting in front of sales. Also, the products are less expensive, the deals smaller and there are more potential customers. Because of that you don’t necessarily want to put a lot of sales effort in each account. It’s not cost efficient. So here marketing needs to take a larger role in the sales process. The job is no longer just initiating that initial contact. It’s progressing the deal deeper into the buying cycle.


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Customer knowledge. It’s important to understand how your customers are using the product, because that’s going to be the basis of a lot of the messaging. You also need to know how they enter the buying cycle.There’s only so many different ways a purchase like this is triggered. If you understand what those triggers are, you can start to think about the buying experience that you want to drive. 

Data. The most important thing to know is who’s actually looking to buy, who is in the market . Not every potential customer is in the market. Some may have just bought a product. Some may be in the middle of a contract. Some are struggling and can’t afford to make this purchase. That will tell you who you need to target. 

Messaging. The messaging here is much more product-focused. It should be about the client’s pain points and how your product addresses it. Right down to the point where the people that would be doing the actual work and implementation can really see the product’s benefit and its ease of use. 

Tactics. “You want to start moving away from just that broad-based awareness, that ad, that web page, down to slightly more complicated tactics like webinars or roadshows,” says Canare. “Places where you can bring people in and deliver more complex information. Because as you move from education to solution to selection, the level of information you deliver goes up. So you want to make sure that you’re delivering the kind of detailed information that will help them make a decision.”

Sales commitment. In this situation sales will come in far down the line. Make sure sales knows when a deal is potentially coming up. When they do pick up the deal, make sure they’re in position to close it because they are up-to-date on all previous client interactions. familiarized with what’s happened before. 

Full Cycle

This is where marketing is designed to actually close the deal. There are a lot of customers, the deals are relatively small and you want to drive this as close to e-commerce as possible. There is a really thin line between this kind of ABM and basically transactional B2B. 

In a lot of cases, you’re making a lot of sales to one company. That means there’s a high lifetime value for an account. 

Customer knowledge. You have to be intimately familiar with how they buy and the process that they go through. “Remember, you’re either at full ecommerce or you’re at what I call ecommerce without the buy button,” says Canare. “We’re getting them to the point where they can pretty much buy, but there may not be a button and have to call somebody. Either way, you have to know how they buy so you can build the experience that you need to make that as seamless and frictionless as humanly possible.”

Data.  You want as much account level purchase and usage data as possible. That’s a challenge if it’s a new account. You also want the most detailed firmographics you can get: geographic location, industry, customer base, type of organization, technologies used, etc.

Messaging. This is a really product focused sale. You’re trying to just get the right information in front of these folks so they can pick the right product, be comfortable it’s the right product, and then make the choice. 

Tactics. This is really close to transactional B2B and e-commerce. So you want to do two things: 

  1. Make sure you’re capable of optimizing ecommerce for high velocity sales. Be cognizant and comfortable with promotions, incentives, targeted emails specifically addressing rebuy and resell and next purchase opportunities. At the same time though, because of the nature of this type of ABM, you’re also trying to maximize the total number of purchases.  
  2. Make sure you’re not just pushing individual sales. You have to have an account layer where you’re managing the health and overall performance of the account. 

Also, be sure you can deliver those incentives to drive sales. Not just continuing sales but upselling, cross selling — all the things you need to maximize the ongoing value of any one account. 

Sales commitment. Sales has to be okay with selling directly. They’ll be more amenable to this if they know that you’re going to support them as they work with the high-value accounts. “The ones that you do want to reach out to and have some face to face contact and some account level support,” says Canare. “You want to make sure they’re on board with that. You want to make sure that they really understand the end-to-end buying process.”


About The Author

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

Through deals and coupons, Instacart has saved consumers more than $700 million in 2022. As we dive into 2023, the leading grocery technology company in North America has big plans to help consumers save even more while also helping CPGs generate sales. Instacart recently announced an advertising solution that helps both sellers and consumers called Instacart Promotions. This exciting feature is designed to help drive conversions, boost sales, and generate overall engagement on the app.

Interested in this feature and how it can help your business on Instacart? Read on as we dive into everything you need to know about this ad solution including benefits, how to get started, and more.

 

What are Instacart Promotions?

 

Instacart Promotions is an advertising feature that’s now available to all brand partners, including emerging brands, within their open beta program. Promotions give CPGs the opportunity to offer new deal structures, promotions, and incentives with Instacart Ad campaigns. With this feature in place, consumers will have access to more promotions, coupons, and deals that are tailored to them within the Instacart Marketplace.

“With the launch of our new Instacart Promotions, all of our brand partners now have the ability to set up coupons and promotions that can drive meaningful business results while also passing on more savings opportunities to consumers. We’re proud to continue expanding our portfolio with additional self-service capabilities, ad formats that drive results, and measurement that brands need to understand the true impact of their campaigns on Instacart.”

 

– Ali Miller, VP of Ads Product at Instacart

 

Source: Instacart

 

How Do Instacart Promotions Work?

 

Promotions, now available in Ads Manager, gives consumers the ability to discover more promotions and savings opportunities within the Instacart app. These promotions now show up directly on product item cards before checkout for easy accessibility. Promotions allow advertisers to customize their campaigns to sync with their goals and objectives whether that be driving sales, building baskets, or boosting trials.

Instacart shared a recent example of a brand successfully utilizing Promotions… 

Athletic Brewing, General Mills, Sola Company, and Wells Enterprises (maker of Halo Top) are strengthening campaign performance by pairing Instacart Promotions with ad formats such as Sponsored Product and Display. Instacart Promotions include two new flexible and customizable structures: Coupons (“buy X units, save $Y”) and Stock Up & Save (“Spend $X, Save $Y”). 

According to Instacart, in the coming months, the company “will work to further enhance the new offering with new deal structures such as Free Gifts and Buy One, Get One (“BOGO”). The new deal structures will help brand partners run “Free Sample” programs that can win new customers and serve personalized discounts for different customer segments, such as “new to brand” and “new to category.”  

 

Example of Instacart Promotions

Source: Instacart

 

Instacart Promotions Benefits

 

Deliver Value and Savings to Consumers

 

With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to deliver value and savings that will have consumers coming back for more. With this savings feature, your brand can stand out among the competition and offer a variety of deals to shoppers ie: “Buy X units, Save $Y”.

 

Hot tip: Ensure you are selecting products for your promotion that are well-stocked and widely available.  

 

Tailor Your Campaigns to Specific Objectives

 

With a variety of savings options available, your brand can structure deals to fit specific business goals and objectives. 

 

Hot tip: If you’re looking to drive visibility and awareness, try pairing promotions with Sponsored Product campaigns. 

 

Access Real-Time Performance Insights 

 

The Promotions beta program is live and can be accessed within Instacart Ads Manager. Within Ads Manager, advertisers can access real-time insights to maximize performance and adjust campaigns as needed.

 

Hot tip: Make sure your budget matches your discount and objectives.

 

“As an advertiser, Instacart’s unique offering to self-manage promotions is so exciting! Historically, making adjustments to offer values and other promotion parameters was a more manual process, but now we’ll be able to easily make optimizations in real-time based on redemption performance.”

Emily Choate

Emily Choate, Senior Specialist, Marketplace Search at Tinuiti

 

Interested in Instacart Promotions?

 

With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to reach new customers, build bigger baskets, and drive sales. Interested in testing out the beta program or looking to get started with advertising on the app? Drop us a line – we’d love to help elevate your CPG brand on Instacart.

 

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(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!

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(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!



It’s important to us that you, our valued customers and partners, can identify with the tools you use daily.  

In that pursuit, Optimizely set out to simplify the way we talk about our product suite. That starts, first and foremost, with the words we use to refer to the technology.  

So, we’ve taken a hard look at everything in our portfolio, and are thrilled to introduce new names we believe are more practical, more consistent, and better representative of the technology we all know and love.  

You may have seen some of these names initially at Opticon 2022 as well as on our website. In the spirit of transparency, the team here at Optimizely wanted to make sure you had full visibility into the complete list of new names, as well as understand the context (and rationale) behind the changes. 

So, without further ado… 

Which names changed?  

Some, but not all. For your ongoing reference, below is a complete list of Optimizely products, with previous terminology you may be familiar with in the first column, and (if applicable) the new name in the second column.  

Used to be… 

Is now (or is still)… 

Meaning… 

DXP 

Optimizely Digital Experience Platform 

A fully-composable solution designed to support the orchestration, monetization, and experimentation of any type of digital experience — all from a single, open and extensible platform. 

Content Cloud 

Optimizely Content Management System 

A best-in-class system for building dynamic websites and helping digital teams deliver rich, secure and personalized experiences. 

Welcome 

Optimizely Content Marketing Platform 

An industry-leading and user-friendly platform helping marketing teams plan campaigns, collaborate on tasks, and author content. 

DAM 

Optimizely Digital Asset Management 

A modern storage tool helping teams of any size manage, track, and repurpose marketing and brand assets (with support for all file types). 

Content Recs 

Optimizely Content Recommendations 

AI-powered and real-time recommendations to serve the unique interests of each visitor and personalize every experience. 

B2B Commerce 

Optimizely Configured Commerce 

A templatized and easy-to-deploy platform designed to help manufacturers and distributors drive efficiency, increase revenue and create easy buying experiences that retain customers. 

Commerce Cloud 

Optimizely Customized Commerce 

A complete platform for digital commerce and content management to build dynamic experiences that accelerate revenue and keep customers coming back for more. 

PIM 

Optimizely Product Information Management 

A dedicated tool to help you set up your product inventory and manage catalogs of any size or scale. 

Product Recs 

Optimizely Product Recommendations 

Machine-learning algorithms optimized for commerce to deliver personalized product recommendations in real-time. 

Web 

Optimizely Web Experimentation 

An industry-leading experimentation tool allowing you to run A/B and multi-variant tests on any channel or device with an internet connection. 

Full Stack 

Optimizely Feature Experimentation 

A comprehensive experimentation platform allowing you to manage features, deploy safer tests, and roll out new releases – all in one place. 

Personalization 

Optimizely Personalization 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to create/segment audiences based on past behavior and deliver more relevant experiences. 

Program Management 

Optimizely Program Management 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of an experiment. 

ODP 

Optimizely Data Platform 

A centralized hub to harmonize data across your digital experience tools, providing one-click integrations, AI-assisted guidance for campaigns, and unified customer profiles. 

 

So, why the change?  

 It boils down to three guiding principles:  

  1. Uniformity: Create a naming convention that can be applied across the board, for all products, to drive consistency 
  2. Simplicity: Use terms that are both practical and concise, ensuring the names are something that everyone can understand and identify with  
  3. Completeness: Develop a framework that showcases the full and complimentary nature of all the products and solutions within the Optimizely suite 

 As the Optimizely portfolio comes together as a complete, unified platform, it’s important that our names reflect this, as well as support our 3 key solutions (i.e. orchestrate amazing content experiences, monetize every digital experience, and experiment across all touchpoints).  

Other questions? We’ve got you covered. 

Q: Why have you made these product name changes? 

    • We wanted to simplify how we talk about our portfolio. The renaming applies a naming convention that is both practical and concise.  

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect the products I own? 

    • No, there is no impact to product functionality or capabilities.  

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect who is my Customer Success Manager or Account Manager?  

    • No, there are no changes to your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager. 

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect the ownership of the company?  

    • No, ownership of the company has not changed. We have only made changes to the Product Names. 

 

Q: Have any contact details changed that I need to be aware of?  

    • Only contact details for former Welcome customers has changed. These are the new contact details you should be aware of: Optimizely, Inc.| 119 5th Ave | 7th Floor | New York, NY 10003 USA. Phone: +1 603 594 0249 | www.optimizely.com 

 

Q: Where can I send any follow up questions I might have?  

    • If you have any questions about the Product Names, please contact your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager.  


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Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts

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Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts


Every year, we see new trends entering the world of email marketing.

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