Many use cases for ABM focus heavily on digital channels, as well as the content and messaging that fuels those conversations. However, companies such as GumGum are closing millions of dollars in deals by leveraging in-person events as an opportunity to provide unique experiences that get their foot in the door of strategic accounts.
Som Puangladda, GumGum’s VP of Marketing, was brought on to help the company transition to ABM. This led to the team to create a cool event for “Tier 1 brands” — enterprise-level brands on the account list that are looking to see better results from display, mobile and video ad campaigns — in the Hamptons, NY. The company rented a house in the popular summer destination and invited strategic accounts to join them for a week of networking and to learn more about their needs for in-image advertising solutions.
“Agency people really bond a lot,” said Puangladda. “This was unique because they got the full culinary experience where we were able to talk more and build a relationship with them.”
During the inaugural Hamptons event, the house came complete with GumGum branded items such as pillows, towels, cornhole, pool toys, sunglasses and more. For 2018 — its second year — the team will “completely ABM the house” by customizing different parts of the location to match the brands that attend the event.
GumGum used the event marketing platform Splash to create promotional pages for the event, ensure consistent data capture from RSVPs and check-ins to better understand the audience that’s attending the event. Ultimately, Puangladda’s team was able to bring 125 clients to the Hamptons throughout the month.
“Splash helps keep track of who attended, who didn’t and what kind of ROI we were getting from this event,” said Puangladda. “The Hamptons house brought in millions of dollars in opportunities within the first four months after the event.”
Puangladda noted that industry conferences and trade shows are a unique opportunity to surprise and delight strategic accounts with a little creativity.
In one example, GumGum attended the Modern Marketing Summit in New York in which the president of the company had a speaking slot on the agenda. GumGum was scheduled to share the stage with a director-level employee at a notable CPG manufacturer on its account list. The company formulated a strategy to use the presentation as an opportunity to do a live critique of custom-made ads that the company designed for this manufacturer.
“Thinking outside the box is what’s getting our feet in the door with these Tier 1 accounts,” said Puangladda.
While the effort was designed mostly for awareness on the brand side of the business, the session helped the agency side — which Puangladda said 90% of the company’s revenue is driven by — move the needle within that specific account.
Puangladda added that the company saw a 4X return on their investment in the event.
“The director of the manufacturing company never heard of us before then,” said Puangladda. “We absolutely ABM’d this campaign; we personalized the presentation for him and gave him a gift after the presentation. It’s so hard to meet [accounts] in-person and get their attention, and in this case the person was mind-blown by the ads we created for his company, asking, ‘What do you guys do again?’”