Interview with Mary Gilbert

SVP at r2i

mary gilbert svp at r2i
Video Transcript


hi this is Bob Samuels founder of tech
connector tech connector is a
marketplace and campaign management
platform of best to breed account based
marketing lead generation solutions
we’ve partnered with a serious decision
summit to bring you wisdom from leading
account based marketing thought leaders
to that end I’m happy to introduce you
to Mary Gilbert senior vice president of
strategy and account services that our
two integrated Mary it has years of
experience helping businesses transform
their marketing organizations to become
increasingly more customer focused and
this rapidly changing b2b marketing
world Mary it’s a pleasure to speak with
you how are you today I’m doing great
Bob thanks wonderful thank you for the
time it’s a it’s a fun topic and I’m
glad to get your take on account based
marketing and and b2b optimization and
all that it’s good stuff it is a fun
topic I love talking about it thanks for
having me here yeah so some of the
aspects that I’ve seen and from talking
to people it’s you know ABM is you know
it’s not really a new thing it’s it’s
you know it’s named accounts its target
accounts so it’s got a new label and
it’s it’s got a big butt
so it’s all about you know putting the
right messages in from the right people
and prioritizing your prospects and all
that so what are some of those first of
all if you can give a little bit about
your background and b2b marketing and
account based marketing particular that
would be a good start okay so I have
been a marketer in Silicon Valley for
over 25 years so that’s dating me a bit
but you know back in the day when we
were launching AOL and Netscape and you
know when you were 12 I started when I
was very young yeah and and you know
back then it was very traditional
database marketing we used a lot of
and direct mail and lead generation
tactics like you know registration cards
and those kinds of things and I
literally started helping clients like
3com and Cisco move their registration
cards into databases and put programs
together to market to those customers
for upsell and cross-sell and retention
and upgrade to remember the days of
upgrades and you know really have been
in the in the saddle of b2b tech and
have you know gone through the digital
transformation wave and found out you
know myself on the other side about 12
years ago in the realm of what we now
call today account based marketing which
to me is more than you know a way of
targeting personalized messages into
accounts it’s really an organizational
way of being it impacts marketing impact
sales development it impacts sales and
an impact or customer success
organization so it is an organizational
decision not just a marketing decision
and it from my standpoint it’s really
what pushed us over the edge from that
traditional b2b marketing where you had
kind of a you know range of tools you
used and you still were spraying and
praying but you were you know doing a
little bit more target refinement and
this is really about focusing your
organization around those topic ants
that are going to be net the most
benefit to your organization from a
sales size deal size sales velocity as
well as a you know long term lifetime
value makes sense so it’s really a
culture lilia culture change
absolutement happen in the company yep
and and what I like about it is that
it’s I mean it seems it seems to make a
lot of sense that it’s a it’s a rallying
cry or a cause to coordinate between
sales and marketing you know getting
getting each of each of the group’s
focus on the top the top targeted
accounts or those accounts that that are
going to bring in the most value yeah
exactly exactly and and you know when
when you look at it from a maturity
standpoint in organizations there’s
really three kind of quadrants that you
look at one is that you know the
targeting and the TAC which is where a
lot of companies really just stop
right hey we know who those client
customers are and that’s who we’re gonna
get a target but there’s also then that
experience so personalize the right
messages to the right people in the
buying you know the buying ecosystem and
then the team and the culture of that
team and the orchestration of that team
and where the handoffs are and who
touches who when and and you know how to
refine those those moments so you know
there’s a really kind of three three big
variables that come into play when a
when a company is trying to become more
mature and and really make a be a core
part of its strategy and I sent it and
who have you seen typically drives it as
good sales or marketing or like you said
customer experience or or that someone
else or or is that important yes that is
really important and you know it really
has highlighted you know one of the key
challenges and organizations today which
is sales and marketing often are at odds
and so a lot of times what you in
customer success may set off in another
area somewhere and throw data out or you
know bring up issues that might be
happening with customers that might
inform a sales cycle or a marketing
cycle but they’re not really working in
tandem all the time and what we
typically see is a mark as a marketer
will bring up the notion of a B M and
sales will say hey we’re already doing
that but marketing isn’t necessarily
targeting programs towards those
customers so you know once that champion
from a marketing standpoint arrives then
that’s when things really start to get
going so we see typically there’s an ABM
lead and they have a big where a
marketing hat but they really are in
service to sales right I think to me
everybody is either in sales or in sales
support yeah yeah yeah and that’s where
I think the resistance has always been
sort of you know marketing was thinking
longer term and big brand and all of
that which is still important but when
you look at it from an ABM standpoint
everything you do even from a brand
perspective becomes in service to those
top accounts and then if as you decide
to go broader or you
know that you need to go broader because
you want to have a larger brand you know
footprint out there in the marketplace
your content and your stories are still
informed by those target accounts that
you want to go after and not the other
way around and I think that’s really the
switch that we have seen that that the
you know the tail wagging the dog now
are those target accounts not the you
know not the goals of the brand team and
those become more tightly aligned that
make sense so what do you have any
examples of some of the companies that
have implemented ABM really well yeah
and you know what we’re seeing is the
ones that are doing it really well are
typically ones that are either on me on
the sort of mid-market
ready to kind of move to that next wave
of growth around 100 million 200 million
you know dollar companies maybe in a
maybe in a series C or Series B and
they’re really really aggressive and
really serious about ABM so one of our
clients Centrify who’s a cyber security
company got super serious about ABM
about three years ago and and launched a
program targeting their top 20% of their
their client base and that top 20% of
their client base netted 60% of their
revenue in that first year and they saw
their deal velocity increase they saw
retention rates increase they saw you
know deal size increase and so that was
a really really great story in fact run
a chance who was the CMO at the time who
has now gone over to MobileIron a client
that we’re doing a similar thing for was
one of the the keynotes at serious
decision summit last summer and really
showed their their program in what was
their key to success was that
orchestration between sales and
marketing she did a really really great
job of getting sales by in designing the
processes of locking in that customer
base and really doing targeted programs
against those top accounts another one
that is a favorite of mine which is a is
a client everybody knows Ingram
but not everybody knows that Ingram
Micro is now a technology platform
company and they launched a product
called cloud blue which is an enabling
platform to allow companies and the
anything as a service economy to to
launch SAS products to customers so one
of their clients is is is t-mobile for
instance and they use their platform to
sell software services to small
businesses small medium businesses you
know there’s only about maybe 1,200
companies in the world
that they really want to go after and
they had no marketing organization they
had no demand generation strategy they
had a really good solid sales team and
we came in and worked with them on
setting up their marketing organization
and driving it all from an ABM
standpoint so everything they do is ABM
and they’ve actually been able to grow
their brand they’ve penetrated the key
accounts that they’ve needed to
penetrate and they’re really on a roll
and they you know we have taken that ABM
Foundation and done some brand work on
top of it like we’ve done a strategic
partnership with fortune but pounds and
the kinds of content that across that
decision journey are really most
relevant to those companies that were
going after so while we’re going after a
good broad footprint and fortune because
we want to be where Microsoft is and
Salesforce is that is you know it’s a
it’s a big chunk of their media spend
but the the biggest chunk of their
marketing effort and their content
effort and their sales orchestration
effort goes against those 1,200
companies and there’s probably somewhere
around 4,500 to 5,000 contacts that
we’re working at any given time within
those companies against a global sales
team in that brings up a good point
where there’s not just one contact that
at that target company there is a whole
buying committee yeah exactly
angles that you need to hit them yeah
exactly yeah
and if you have any different personas
you need to hit right yeah for different
types of people and it’s that buying
committee that has really
this whole ABM approach and I remember
about 10 years ago when I was running
strategy for mrm on the Microsoft
business and we worked on a campaign
called people ready business and that
was when really the lights went on for
Microsoft and and our team you know
around hey there’s business
decision-makers here that have a say in
whether you’re running a Microsoft
platform or you know a competitor
platform and we need to get to them
whether they sign the check or not
they’re the ones that are really in
there that have you know having the
business concerns that are driving the
IT agenda and so that was the first in
my career really true ABM content
oriented campaign of course it wasn’t
down at that you know micro level of
targeting that we’re getting today or
the orchestration across sales but it
really provided that foundation for me
that in my own mind I was like this is
the future I’m going in that direction
because it’s really it really had an
impact on their ability to close more
deals you know their retention and their
footprint in the market from a brand
perspective as well because decision
makers were all of a sudden paying
attention to Microsoft technology where
they might have been ignoring it in the
past yeah that make sense so I guess you
found if the clients find that it’s not
a ABM not a project it’s like I said it
the clothes were changing yeah it’s a
way of life
yeah I’m confident it’s going on forever
it’s not that we in date know it’s going
to just get more and more and more
prolific prevalent in fact we’re talking
to companies now and the you know I was
just talking to Stanley Black and Decker
a couple of weeks ago and they you know
we’re looking for really just some b2b
strategies and we went and started
talking to them about ABM and they were
of course already kind of in the know
about it but really had no idea about
how to get started or even that they
could possibly execute an ABM strategy
so you know we’re seeing it now they’re
you know looking at the technology and
talking about Bambara and looking at
demand base and thinking about which you
know platforms they need to integrate
with their Salesforce so you know it’s a
it’s um
that’s pretty easy once people get their
heads around this is the direction we
want to go to start really talking about
how to bring that to life yeah and
that’s a good point you’re bringing up
about some of the technology one of the
things that that I’ve found is that
there’s some companies make the mistake
of figuring that if they go out and buy
a technology then that’s their ABM
strategy yeah solve all the problem yeah
exactly but it doesn’t air to that
technology company if you don’t see well
the homeless in it is a nation yeah and
and you know there’s a there’s there’s a
hundred technologies that you could put
together for you know you’re eight in
fact it is a it is a whole you know kind
of body of technology that you have to
look at across the entire spectrum and
you know we’re seeing a lot more kind of
even partnerships with demand base for
instance around Adobe and par dot and
zoom info and Bambara and some of those
you know inextricably linked
technologies that people have been
having to weave together themselves in
the past yeah so you’ve mentioned a few
technologies so some of them you
mentioned were contact data some are
intense data to our programmatic
outreach so what are some of the other
favorite technologies that you’re seeing
a long layer or if you ain’t good one
yeah those are those are pretty much our
favorite I mean live ramp is a great one
as well you know it’s really an awesome
tool for for targeting the right content
at the right time and getting you know
getting those getting those target
companies kind of household the contacts
within the target companies householder
together so you can identify their roles
and that kind of thing and that really
informs the downstream of your your
campaign tools like your demand base or
you know some of the others that are
that are out there right now and then of
course you know you can’t you can’t back
away from your CRM system at all and
really you know tight integration with
Salesforce or whatever CRM system that
you happen to be running a super super
important as well because that’s what
your salespeople are really using animal
our you know most addicted to as well
make sense
and one of the things that I don’t think
there’s any technology that can help us
figuring out the messaging right and
what message to put in front of the
right people and that’s something that I
guess your team can help with with your
clients as far as absolutely different
persona yeah absolutely and message
message testing is so critical to you
know and you know the cool thing about a
lot of the tools that we’ve got out
there in the in the market today is you
know they really help us do a lot of a
be testing around the right messages at
the right moments in time as well yeah
because a lot of times you know you’ll
you can use a trigger based system also
to look at you know intent data in terms
of who’s in the market now but you don’t
always know what which stage they’re at
so you also have to test content that’s
going to trigger somebody who’s at a
certain stage in the in the buying
process as well and rotate those
messages to make sure you get them at
just the right moment yeah and then the
all sets of you have different channels
to reach them yeah exactly I react to
email or web or maybe not gonna text
it’s probably a little bit too easy
yeah channels exactly okay
exactly so what kind of what if you if
you have your crystal ball in front of
you what what are some of the things
that about account based marketing as
things progress and technology changes
what what is what is it gonna look like
next year or in five years from now
there’s really three areas that I know
that I’m seeing and I think when I you
know kind of look across the body of
thought leadership that’s out there for
ABM that seems pretty consistent but the
ones that are my favorites are first and
foremost is that is that ABM becomes the
basis of your marketing strategy really
knowing who your customers are and
focusing all of your energy around that
you’re gonna we’re going to see a lot
more effectiveness in marketing we’re
going to see a lot more more efficiency
in developing of resources and material
and focusing and alignment because it’s
been a crazy as we know you know so
we’ve gotten into digital it’s been a
crazy hectic time for marketers and I
think marketers and sales folks are
looking for some focus and some
alignment I think that’s going to be
huge I think the second thing is
technology so AI and machine learning
are gonna help us get better and better
and better at sensing where someone is
in the process what the who they are
what their concern is and delivering the
right types of content to keep them
moving through the process so we’re
gonna see a real increase in deal
velocity and increase in size of deals
enough cell and cross-sell through the
process and an increase in in retention
down the line because we’re gonna be
optimizing when a salesperson calls what
they say how they say and so those
relationships are going to be stronger
going into accounts and I think that
that technology is going to make all the
difference and I think you know along
that theme of technology is the
consolidation I think we’re gonna start
to see demand based buying up companies
and Salesforce buying up companies and
all you know Adobe buying up companies
and all these all these technology
platforms are really getting in the game
they’re starting to work together really
closely and I think we’re gonna see more
consolidation there so it’s going to be
easier for marketers to get into the
game without having to stitch all the
pieces together themselves and then
finally it’s that culture piece we
talked about I think you know I’m
already seeing opportunities for
consultants to come in and do culture
work around alignment with sales
marketing teams and the orchestration of
processes and relationship building and
the kinds of things that have needed to
happen but this is really the
opportunity and the true necessity
that’s going to drive that shift in
culture so you’re gonna see a lot more
collaboration between sales and
marketing and customer service yeah yeah
makes total sense and it’s good for all
of them I mean it’s wonderful to have a
shared vision and the should shared
goals yeah absolutely absolutely and I
think it’s gonna make people really you
know you’re gonna see retention rates
and organizations increase because
people are able to be more successful
less friction in the process and you
know so because they have a common set
of customers to rally around and
everybody you know everybody likes that
sort of common mission and purpose yeah
beautiful so anything else says mister
otherwise this has been really really
helpful information Mary yeah do I think
that’s that’s you know pretty much what
I wanted to share and I’m you know feel
like you’ve really teased out some great
questions and I love the opportunity to
think about this and appreciate your
your the dialogue around this well it’s
my pleasure it I love learning and
sharing that nice idea so thank you for
your participation I look forward to
seeing you in person here in the Bay
Area soon and meeting some of your
colleagues at decision great me too
all right well thank you again Mary and
have a great day thanks Bob you too