The Road Ahead for ABM: 6 Key Takeaways from Oracle MME16 and Marketo Summit ’16

For B2B marketers, the months of March to May are well and truly “conference season”. From the Martech Conference (#Martechconf) in San Francisco in March, to the Oracle MME Event (#MME16) in April, the Marketo Summit (#Mktgnation) and IBM Amplify (#IBMAmplify) events in April-May, topped off with the Sirius Decisions Summit (#SDSummit16) at the end of May, it’s a full plate of B2B marketing innovation for everyone. We at Kwanzoo have been present at all 3 of the “Big 5” marketing events this conference season so far, while the IBM and Sirius events are still ahead of us.

ABM: Is it Rough Waters or Clear Skies Ahead?

Account-based Marketing (ABM) was front and center everywhere at the past 3 conferences. What became very clear to us was the following: The faster an enterprise B2B CMO has confidence that her team was equipped with the right answers to their questions (i.e. they are headed to clear skies, and not caught deep in rough waters) the faster they would move forward with their first ABM “pilot” or kick off a strategic ABM initiative.

ABMDoneRight: Moving from Rough Waters to Clear Skies

This post is part of Kwanzoo’s “#ABMDoneRight” series of posts and webinars.
Storm vs CalmWhether you are a mid-to-large enterprise B2B company, a B2B SMB business, or a high tech startup, you simply cannot ignore ABM. You need to map out your ABM strategy. You need to make decisions around your ABM tech stack and solutions, both tactical and strategic. You need to educate and build up ABM skills within your teams. You need to make a decision around ABM related investments. You need to cut through the “noise” from martech providers, with just about everyone telling you they can help you with “ABM”!

This post is our attempt to help clear some of the ABM “rough waters” today and help you get to “clear skies”. If you are new to ABM, we hope it helps you get started. If you are already in, we hope it helps you avoid some wrong turns, get serious, and start seeing near-term results.

As an ABM display tech provider ourselves, we partner with several marketing cloud leaders, and almost all of the ABM and marketing tech and services providers. We believe that gives us a unique perspective, that we hope is useful to fellow B2B marketers.

And now to our 6 Key ABM Takeaways from Oracle MME16 and Marketo Summit16:

#1: Eloqua is Serious about ABM
#2: Marketo is Serious About ABM
#3: OMC|BlueKai Wants to Own ABM At Scale
#4: Engagio Quick-Stepped from ABM into Account-Based Everything (ABE)
#5: Predictive Is Also Now ABM, But Questions Remain As To Its True Value
#6: The ABM Baton Handoff: It’s Now Over to Practitioners

#1: OMC|Eloqua is Serious About ABM

Oracle’s Stephen Streich (Head of Product Management, OMC|Eloqua) made it very clear that ABM capabilities were their #1 priority over the next 12 months.

Key ABM features will include: account-level cross-channel lead nurture, account-level scoring, and account-level sales intelligence

Note: The other two non-ABM, priority items on their roadmap were Intelligent Content Sourcing and Responsive Content Generation.

What does this mean?

  • Any ABM tech provider who is building out core “ABM” capabilities directly into OMC|Eloqua may find that they have a “shelf life” of 8 to 14 months.
  • Any B2B CMOs who are evaluating such 3rd party ABM capability for OMC|Eloqua (described as Account-Based Marketing Automation) may find that they need to incur non-license costs (i.e. people, process, and training) all over again when OMC|Eloqua delivers these same capabilities and more, all better integrated.
  • Another path for B2B CMOs in 2016 as they wait for core ABM in OMC|Eloqua would be to invest in ABM data, ABM on their websites, ABM for display, and ABM-based content development. Get early tactical ABM wins in 2016, and push into ABM orchestration using core ABM capability inside OMC|Eloqua in 2017.

Full disclosure: Kwanzoo provides ABM for display capabilities as part of our All-in-One
ABM and Retargeting platform, fully integrated with OMC|Eloqua and BlueKai. We are an OMC|AppCloud partner.

Tweet this: @Kwanzoo sums up @OracleMktgCloud #MME16 says @Eloqua is Serious about #ABM 

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#2: Marketo is Serious About ABM

With strong support from top leadership, Mahesh Jeswani (Marketo Product Management), in his session, made it very clear that Marketo is dead serious about ABM. Marketo ABM, with initial availability in August 2016, is designed to help sales & marketing teams go after targeted accounts in a highly coordinated way. Arrow shooting

Mahesh showed a series of screenshots around ABM program orchestration, built on top of existing Marketo lead management. He also confirmed that Marketo ABM will provide APIs soon after initial launch, so Marketo LaunchPoint partners can add additional value.

Key ABM features from Marketo, available in August 2016, include:

  • Support for accounts – manage all account lists in Marketo, fully synced with CRM
  • Account hierarchies & segmentation – critical for targeting large enterprises
  • Cross-channel account-level campaigns – making it easier to launch to sets of accounts
  • Account scoring with multiple built-in account scoring models
  • Lead-to-account matching – automatically map new leads to existing or new accounts
  • Rich account-centric analytics – aggregate all program insights into account-level views
  • Account team collaboration tools – extend use of Marketo beyond marketing into sales, customer success, services teams who work across the entire account.

What does this mean?

  • Any ABM tech provider building out “core ABM” capabilities (e.g. an ABM Account Hub) will soon need to explain what exactly they can offer that Marketo does not.
  • Jon Miller and Engagio have made the right choice in getting out of “core ABM” and “ABM orchestration” as they push their new vision around “Account-Based Everything”. They will of course need to stay ahead of Marketo’s account team collaboration features.
  • Any B2B CMOs who are evaluating 3rd party ABM orchestration solutions will want to talk to Marketo about their native ABM orchestration offering. Beyond license fees, they will want to evaluate the impact on other costs (people, process, and training), should they choose a 3rd party core ABM solution.

Full disclosure: Kwanzoo provides ABM for display capabilities as part of our All-in-One ABM and Retargeting platform, fully integrated with Marketo and Marketo RTP. We are a Marketo LaunchPoint partner.

Tweet This: @Kwanzoo sums up #Mktgnation 2016 says @Marketo is Serious about #ABM 

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#3: OMC|BlueKai Wants to Own ABM At Scale

OMC|BlueKai is making a serious push into B2B data for programmatic display. Given the already strong BlueKai brand at large B2B enterprises, media agencies, and ready-to-deploy media execution process across BlueKai and all major DSPs, this is a logical next step for OMC|BlueKai to go beyond their B2C strengths for growth.

Niraj Deo of OMC|BlueKai Product Management in his product session shared these highlights:

  • OMC|BlueKai for B2B Account-Based Marketing (ABM) launched at Oracle MME16
  • 4000+ B2B categories including job functions, job levels, company size, industries, company revenues, and more. 700+ B2B categories directly curated by Oracle.
  • Account and contact data on 1 MM+ US companies and 60 MM+ users and growing.
  • 15 MM+ B2B past purchase category (e.g. education software, construction, legal, tech)
  • Past event attendees category (industry-specific events, all major industries)
  • Instant access to 400 MM+ online cookies and device IDs, and over 240 MM+ Dun & Bradstreet cookie-based data points.
  • New B2B categories including past application purchase data and B2B event attendance
  • Custom ABM segments crafted to specific target accounts / job functions / titles / B2B interest and intent behavior, easily setup for media execution with all major DSPs

What does this mean?

  • ABM display tech providers that charge $24 to $30 CPMs for IP-based ABM will have a hard time justifying their value to Customers.
  • While IP-based ABM provides reach, it does not provide the precision targeting of cookie-based ABM. And the pool of B2B cookies just got a whole lot larger. We still recommend that B2B companies use a blend of IP-based and cookie-based ABM approaches to maximize coverage, reach and engagement.
  • With BlueKai data available at much more reasonable CPM rates, B2B marketers should pay closer attention to the media and data fees that they are being charged by their ABM display tech provider.
  • ABM display tech providers building direct data integrations to point data will find it a challenge to match the breadth and depth and rapid media activation of new data through the OMC|BlueKai B2B data marketplace.
  • Customers will want to make sure their ABM display providers offer an “Open Data” approach where they can tap into the full breadth and depth of B2B data available via OMC|BlueKai for any ABM program execution.
  • Customers can now plan several novel ABM program executions that were never available to them (e.g. past application purchases, event attendees). And the scope and range of B2B data available will grow very quickly in the coming months.

Full disclosure: Kwanzoo provides ABM advertising and personalized display capabilities as part of our All-in-One ABM and Retargeting platform, fully integrated with OMC|BlueKai. We are an OMC|AppCloud partner.

Join us for our Webinar with OMC|BlueKai where Oracle’s Niraj Deo will discuss all of their new capabilities, on 5/19/16, 10 AM PST. Register Now

Tweet This: @Kwanzoo explains @OracleMktgCloud BlueKai B2B for #ABM that just launched at #MME16 #ABMDoneRight 

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#4: Engagio Quick-Stepped from ABM into Account-Based Everything (ABE)

As we all know, Jon Miller has been a leader in evangelizing ABM over the past 9 months. And just when we thought Engagio would build out an ABM orchestration and analytics platform, they have done a quick-step. Our guess is Engagio got wind of the Marketo ABM steamroller coming their way. So now, they’ve moved out of ABM into “Account-Based Everything” (ABE).

From what we can tell, Engagio will not tackle cross-channel ABM program execution for marketing teams anymore. Instead, they want to help account teams across sales, customer success, services and marketing coordinate all the 1:1 emails that flow between the B2B company’s account team, and their customer stakeholders, or prospect’s buyers and influencers.
ExpansionEngagio will now need to convince Customers why they are better option than today’s Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) tools (i.e. Salesloft, Toutapp, and some 315 other companies). They will also need to explain why a Customer Success (CS) team needs Engagio instead of the built-in email workflows available today inside GainSight, Totango and similar tools. Many of today’s tools already feed customer email interaction history into the CRM. What can Engagio bring that is dramatically better that today’s workflows and CRM-driven analytics?

Engagio is evangelizing a whole new way for enterprise account teams to collaborate, and seeks to create a new ABE category on top of today’s existing ABSD, CS and other categories of customer-facing tools. If anyone can pull this off, Jon can! So it will be interesting to watch…

Full disclosure: We hosted a webinar with Jon Miller on ABM recently. Watch Video

Tweet this: @Kwanzoo explains why @Engagio went from #ABM to AB(Everything) at #Mktgnation 

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#5: Predictive Is Also Now ABM, But Questions Remain As To Its True Value

Many B2B marketers who spoke with us continue to struggle to understand the differences between the predictive companies (6Sense, Leadspace, Mintigo, Lattice Engines, Everstring, Infer). And there is a new predictive company in the market everyday, now with an “ABM” cover to what they do underneath.

How these platforms differ in their approach to ABM, from account selection via Company profile scoring and “intent” signal evaluation, Contact selection through ranking of existing leads and contacts are not that easy to understand. Customers remain unsure as to which signals these tools use truly matter, and which signals are critical to driving revenue outcomes.

We also see Customers grappling with justifying their large investment in predictive tools where all they get at the end is data that’s not “actionable”. What they really want is to turn the output of predictive tools into greater engagement at key accounts with their buyers and influencers, more opportunities, deals and revenue.

Full disclosure: Kwanzoo partners with all the major Predictive and ABM analytics platform providers as we deliver ABM advertising and targeted display execution for mutual Customers. Here is a recent webinar with the ABM CEOs from @6Sense and others. Watch Video

Tweet this: @Kwanzoo says Predictive has gone #ABM at #MME16 and #Mktgnation 

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#6: The ABM Baton Handoff: It’s Now Over to Practitioners

The past year has seen the rise of ABM evangelists. Several folks have made a name for Baton Handoffthemselves talking about “What’s ABM?” and educating the market on just the high level topic of taking an ABM vs lead-centric approach, and what outcomes marketers can expect.

What we saw at the Oracle and Marketo events was that while there is still a contingent of those new to ABM, the larger more engaged audience was at sessions such as this one from Charm Bianchini of Marketo, called Account-Based Marketing: Marketo’s Collaborative Approach.

Charm spoke about how Marketo implemented a successful account-based marketing approach to target high-value accounts, increase revenue, and align cross-functional teams. It was very much nuts-and-bolts, with practical tips and guidance for anyone who wants to kick off an ABM program at their Company.

Tweet this: @Kwanzoo says #ABM baton is now with Practitioners, not Evangelists #MME16 #Mktgnation 

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So that sums up our 6 Key Takeaways from these conferences. We hope you find it useful. Have questions or comments? Please write to us on Twitter (#ABMDoneRight to @iyermani or @kwanzoo). Or post your comments below.

Hope it’s all smooth sailing as you make ABM plans at your Company in 2016!

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