Marketo ABM: The End of ABM Hype, the Start of ABM Done Right?

We had 600+ B2B marketers present this past week at the Four Seasons in San Francisco, as Marketo launched their new Account-Based Marketing (ABM) offering. Marketo ABM is generally available as of September 23rd. We first heard about Marketo’s ABM plans  at the Marketing Nation Summit 2016 in Las Vegas (see “Marketo Is Serious about ABM”).

Marketo ABM and the Emerging ABM Tech Stack

Another development over the past few weeks has been David Raab releasing his comprehensive ABM Guide (covers 40 providers, available here). This was just prior to the launch of Marketo ABM.  

3 Bands

So what are the implications of Marketo’s entry into the ABM space for other ABM tech providers? Which areas within ABM tech are now directly in the “line of fire” of Marketo ABM? Should customers take a serious look at Marketo ABM? What are the potential costs and benefits? And if they do, what should they expect will be available to them re: core ABM  capabilities? How will Marketo ABM (re)shape today’s Marketing and ABM tech stacks (at least for Marketo customers)? What’s its likely impact on ABM deployment plans at B2B companies?

How will #MarketoABM impact ABM deployment plans at B2B companies? @Kwanzoo explains: #ABMDoneRight 

Here at Kwanzoo, we have had extensive conversations with Marketo partners, customers and product leaders, both at the launch, and over the weeks leading up to the event. Here’s our quick take on what Marketo ABM brings to the ABM space, and how Customers may want to think about their ABM investment plans and priorities in the coming weeks and months.

A Quick Primer on Marketo ABM

With Marketo ABM (an optional, separately priced module), Marketo customers can add core ABM capabilities to their existing Marketo Lead Management system. Marketo has built out “accounts” as a first class object into the Marketo data model. Marketers can act on “accounts” with the full power of Marketo, similar to what they do with (lists of) contacts today. New ABM capabilities include:



  • Account discovery, Lead-to-Account Matching, Named Account Lists.
  • Account-based personalization, cross-channel engagement, Account-based workflows.
  • Account-Level Insights.
  • Account engagement scores, Account-level pipeline/ revenue impact


#MarketoABM packs ABM essentials in one place to extend traditional marketing automation. @Kwanzoo explains: #ABMDoneRight 

Launching and Scaling ABM: Key Investment Considerations

As customers make their ABM plans in 4Q 2016 and going into 2017, they will want to plan investments in the following 4 key areas:

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 6.15.05 PMMarketo has now made their move to extend their footprint in the “Infrastructure” area beyond traditional marketing automation. This immediately impacts several ABM tech providers who have been positioning to get themselves locked into that area.

@Marketo wants to own ABM infrastructure spend, w/ partner content, programs & data. More here: #ABMDoneRight 

ABM Tech That Overlaps (More) with Marketo ABM

We believe that the following ABM tech providers will face questions of “overlap” with Marketo ABM (as they engage with Marketo customers)

1. ABM Infrastructure (“ABM Hub” type platforms): 

Any provider who wants customers to look at them as their system of record for account information, external to the MAP or CRM. We think both customers and partners will prefer a unified marketing infrastructure for accounts, leads and contacts (such as Marketo Lead Management + Marketo ABM). Besides the hard costs of the ABM tech, this can deliver significant economies and lower costs, due to fewer integrations that need to be build and maintained over time.

Managing account lists, lead-to-account matching, account-based lead routing (Marketo says they will build this out in an upcoming release), account hierarchies, account-based scoring, collecting and reporting on cross-channel account-based engagement metrics wil all become a part of core marketing infrastructure, with master account data residing in Marketo BM or another MAP with ABM capabilites. Of course, large enterprises may continue to pursue an external model for a unified customer record, that brings together account, contact and other data from marketing, sales and customer success, finance and other systems.

Do 3rd party “ABM Hub” tech have a play with @Marketo customers? #MarketoABM makes it harder. @Kwanzoo Insight: #ABMDoneRight 

2. ABM Orchestration (Cross-channel “Buyer Journey” type platforms):

Any provider who wants to play the central role of orchestrating the account-centric buyer journey across digital channels (email, website, ads, print, and more) will again find themselves up against Marketo ABM (and Oracle|Eloqua with ABM, that will be available in the next few months). Third party solutions for B2B buyer journey orchestration will need to cross a much higher bar, if they seek a sustainable role within the enterprise marketing tech stack.

@Marketo wants to own ABM orchestration, push out 3rd party ABM tech players. @Kwanzoo take on #MarketoABM here: #ABMDoneRight

3. ABM Analytics (Cross-channel ABM reporting type platforms):

As a provider if your core value is aggregating data on interaction of prospects with a brand through different channels (email, website, display, print, offline events ) and presenting it in a more consumable account-centric form through nice looking dashboards, you may need to build out specialized B2B use cases or address specific  Industry verticals to receive customer interest. Standard cross-channel ABM reporting will become available through Marketo ABM and similar MAP / ABM capability.

The next release of Marketo ABM in October promises to include APIs, enabling Marketo partners to feed in account-specific cross channel Interaction data into Marketo, to allow for rapid buildout of interesting reports for both marketing and sales teams. This again makes Marketo ABM a more compelling option due to the breadth and depth of their partner ecosystem.

New @Marketo APIs will make #MarketoABM complete for Customers. Which areas? @Kwanzoo explains:  #ABMDoneRight

4.  ABM for Websites (including Account-Based Personalization of the Website Experience)

Marketo ABM + Marketo RTP would be a good option for marketo customers who want to enable account-based personalized experiences on their websites. Customers will want to assess the benefits of single sourcing these solution components, with the resulting economies of scale around consistent marketer and customer experience,
seamless data flows, easier integration and better end-to-end reporting.    

@Marketo wants to provide more value combining #MarketoABM + Marketo Web Personalization @Kwanzoo explains: #ABMDoneRight

Complementary Tech and Solutions for Marketo ABM:

Marketo ABM is in its first release. Therefore they will have a lot of ground to cover in upcoming releases. Based on our conversations, the following all seem to be areas where Marketo does not have immediate plans to build out their own core capabilities (and thus partner solutions will the primary option for customers):


ABM Interactions and Programs for Prospect and Customer Engagement: From what we can tell, Marketo does not plan to directly address most of the interaction channels, including display ads, direct/physical mail, events, video, phone/dialers, and human emails for account-based sales development (ABSD). As always, marketing emails now geared for serving into target accounts, will continue to be a core MAP capability. Will Marketo ABM enable an account-centric lens or filter on social channel interactions? From what we have learned, it does not appear to be a focus area, at least for their initial product release(s).

Customers need partner ABM tech (display, social, mobile, in-app) with #MarketoABM #ABMDoneRight

ABM Data: Marketo will continue to rely on partners to help customers build out their marketing databases around specific target accounts. This means being about to source information and insights on accounts, relevant contacts within those accounts. Use predictive techniques to prioritize accounts for making investment decisions around ABM programs to apply against the company’s target accounts.

Customers need partner solutions for ABM data (account and contact coverage) with #MarketoABM #ABMDoneRight

ABM Content: Marketo ABM along with Marketo Web Personalization will provide certain core capabilities around account-based personalization for emails, and website interactions. There is a lot of work to be done in preparing today’s content for account-based buyer journeys, so the content comes across as relevant and draws high engagement with individual buyers and influencers at target accounts.

Customers need agency and partner solutions for ABM content deployed with #MarketABM #ABMDoneRight

We believe Marketo will look to both solution and services partners to enable account-based buyer journeys directly in the Marketo platform using Marketo ABM. There is much innovation ahead in this area. Marketo’s next round of APIs will be critical for enabling multi-channel ABM programs at scale, with the collection of deep ABM insights back in Marketo ABM.

Marketo-Logo-2 Oracle-BluekaiWithin the ABM Display area, where Kwanzoo has been focused (we were recently ranked in the Top 2 for ABM Display providers) we see a significant opportunity to innovate and deliver a range of ABM display program capabilities to Marketo customers, by integrating Marketo ABM with Oracle BlueKai’s new B2B (ABM) database of 400M+ cookies and device IDs, and additionally integrating multiple providers of ABM IP data to enable ABM IP targeting programs at scale globally. Have specific questions on ABM display? Write to us at or drop us a note here

 #MarketoABM + Oracle|BlueKai + @Kwanzoo =  ABM Display At Scale  #ABMDoneRight

Marketo ABM – Cost versus Benefits

Some B2B marketers have argued that Marketo ABM should be “bundled in” with Marketo Lead Management, instead of being priced separately. Typical B2B companies that target 1000 to 10,000 accounts will need to budget $2,500 to $5,000 per month for Marketo ABM.

Marketo has little incentive to bundle in their new ABM capabilities at zero cost to Marketo Lead Management, as 3rd party solutions (e.g. Demandbase) are even more expensive in terms of license fees and total costs. That said, Marketo will want to get their ABM solution widely deployed while they have a head start on Oracle|Eloqua and others. So we think Marketo will be seeking rapid adoption, which bodes well for Customers.

#MarketoABM is priced, but fair given 3rd party ABM tech also has license costs. More here: #ABMDoneRight

Even with Marketo ABM’s separate license costs, we believe the benefits to deploying Marketo ABM, given their large ecosystem of partners and solution providers, will far outweigh going with other “ABM Hub” options in the market today.

We hope you find this post helpful as you plan your ABM initiatives in 4Q16 and 2017. We’d welcome your questions, comments and feedback either here below, or privately via email to us at Kwanzoo. Contact Us.


Kwanzoo’s Awesome August of ABM

This August has been an exciting time at Kwanzoo. From new ABM programs with current customers, to broader industry recognition, new ABM resources, Kwanzoo Awesome Augustand new customers who are in the Fortune 50 and Global 100, it has been an eventful few weeks. We are glad to share some highlights of our “Awesome August of ABM” with our appreciation and gratitude below:

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Are you finding it a real challenge sorting through all the ABM hype and confusing messaging from providers? The newly released Guide to ABM (covers 40 providers, available here) from David Raab features Kwanzoo as 1 of the top 2 ABM display providers that support 4+ core ABM capabilities. This objective guide will help you choose the right partner(s) for your ABM programs in Q4 and beyond.

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Measuring Success from ABM Display Programs

This is Part Two of a 2 part post. In Part One, we discussed how ABM display programs which serve ads to specific target accounts and contacts differ from traditional display programs that target broader audience segments based on their content interests, site visit, or search behavior. As any good B2B marketer or CMO will tell you, any marketing program that you deploy needs to be measured. Your Company must be able to establish a clear correlation between spend and sales outcomes within a reasonable period of time.
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Why Run ABM Display Programs, and How to Measure Success

Many B2B companies today are investing in Account-Based Marketing (ABM), and a key part of that investment is through ABM display programs, in which display ads are served across the web to your list of target accounts.

In this post, part of Kwanzoo’s #ABMDoneRight series, we will look at how ABM is transforming traditional display advertising. We will discuss why display has not worked traditionally for B2B marketers, and how ABM is fixing some of those limitations. In Part 2 of this post (to be published next week) we will get into the specifics of measuring ABM display program success – and how measurement for ABM display is different from traditional display programs.

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