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Event Marketing
5 March 2019 

ABM and Event Marketing Webinar: Recap

Brandon Rafalson

Your event campaigns are about to get a lot more precise. See how marketing leaders from InsightSquared and Bizzabo fit events into their account-based marketing (ABM) strategy.

What is account-based marketing? How can it make your event campaigns more targeted and in turn more profitable? In February, we discussed the intersection of ABM and event marketing with KC Lincoln from InsightSquared.

During the discussion we covered:

  • Why Companies Are Adopting ABM 
  • How ABM goes Hand-in-hand with Events 
  • The Challenges of ABM
  • Metrics for Evaluating the Success of ABM Events
  • Technologies for Streamlining ABM Events
  • The Future of ABM and Events
  • And More!

Listen to and read the highlights below. You can also watch the ABM and Personalization video for the full discussion. 


Meet the Panelists

KC Lincoln, Head of Marketing, InsightSquared

KC brings 20 years of experience in building, leading and scaling high performing marketing teams at growing software companies. Prior to InsightSquared, KC lead award-winning marketing teams at XebiaLabs, Telerik and SmartBear Software.

Alon Waks, VP of Marketing, Bizzabo
Alon is a marketing and go-to-market executive and startup advisor, having helped B2B and SaaS companies scale and expand their go-to-market strategy over the past 20 years. Alon has lead marketing and business development organizations at Kustomer, 8×8, LivePerson and Avaya.

Why Companies Are Adopting ABM

Q: We here at Bizzabo are practicing ABM. Your team at InsightSquared is practicing ABM. There’s a lot of buzz in the industry right now about this term. In your own words, what is account-based marketing and why should anyone care? ?

KCIt’s been a really hot term for the past two to four years that everybody’s trying to capitalize on, at least the tech stack companies. And I just wanna caveat and say if ABM is appropriate for you, it can be part of your marketing approach, but don’t think that ABM is gonna fix all your ills as a marketer or even as a business.

ABM is targeting accounts. It’s not a novel concept. It’s also not the default approach in most CRM systems and it takes a lot of instrumentation to be able to achieve it.

For instance, Salesforce is organized in a lead model: A lead moves to a contact in an account that are associated with each other. That’s great, but that’s not really the way that many companies, at least in the B2B world, actually approach prospects or even deal with customers.

What I really like about ABM is that the marketing team has more control of how an account is defined, how it’s structured, and how it’s reported on in a consistent way.

How ABM goes Hand-in-hand with Events

Q: According to our 2019 B2B Tech Event Marketing Trends Report the majority of marketers in tech companies (73%) plan events for lead generation and sales acceleration purposes. It seems like events are a natural fit for ABM. My question for you is how do you specifically see events fitting into a multichannel strategy for ABM?

KC: Events are a natural fit for ABM and are critical to us. We want to be seen as thought leaders who provide valuable content to both our prospects and customers. Not all people can come to our annual event, so we also run several smaller events across the country.

The other thing is that the evolution of our company has required that we have events as we move up market. This is being driven by companies finding us and asking “hey, how can you help us?”. 

Then the last is that there’s a lot of markets that are regionally or culturally, or by language, very different, and events are the best way to reach those markets.

The Challenges of ABM

Q: You have a lot of experience in implementing ABM strategies. Before InsightSquared, you assisted both Progress Software and more recently XebiaLabs in adopting an ABM approach. From your experience, what are some of the biggest challenges that organizations transitioning to an ABM strategy face and how can the challenges be overcome?

KC: I think in marketing we get into these hot terms like ABM or inbound or big data—whatever it is, but they are all means to an end. They all are different techniques to implement in their own way. I think if you say “I’m an inbound shop” you are going to create a blind spot for yourself.

Account-based marketing makes your inbound or outbound strategy much more targeted and effective, easier to measure, and easier to prove business value through analysis.

Metrics for Evaluating the Success of Your ABM Events

Q: Which metrics are most important to you when measuring an ABM and target marketing strategy? How do you analyze them?

Yeah, I think the big thing is to make sure you can instrument your CRM and capture the data you need by account. That might not be unique to ABM, but I think that will really be helpful. 

Technologies for Streamlining ABM Events

Q: So the technology you have you have in place can really affect how well you are able to measure the success of your ABM strategy. The core technology for most marketing/sales strategies is the CRM. What’s important to consider when choosing a CRM? Any particular advantages or disadvantages to be on the lookout for?

You really want to look at what you are trying to achieve with your ABM. If you have a good scoring model, you can do that. If you want to see who is engaged, you can go try to find a tech stack solution that would do that. Engagio for instance might do that, they’re someone who I’ve used.

And then there are other times where you may feel like, “Hey, we’re a smaller company and we can’t compete as affectively in search and ad wars as well as some of the bigger players in their industry. Do we want an intent-based solution?”

Demandbase, SpiderBook and Bombora have an intent based solution and every body does it a little different way. You need to get figure out how they do it and which one you think is the best for your situation.

The Future of ABM and Events

Q: Moving towards 2020 and beyond, how do you anticipate the relationship between ABM and events will evolve?

I know here at InsightSquared we are going to expand our event calendar, it’s based on everything I’ve spoken about already. Demand is moving up market for us. We have internal motions to serve that demand. 

Customer obsession is part of our DNA, it’s the center of kind of our behavior. It’s a priority of the executive team right down to everybody else at the company who is really serving content or having discussions whether you are sales or ABM or anyone else you are basically trying to provide, for us, thought leadership to our customers so they can make better business decisions.

That’s it for this recap. Watch the webinar to get the full conversation.  

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