BEFORE implementing an account-based marketing strategy, video marketing company Vidyard had a lead problem.
“We were generating a lot of leads through a lot of different channels, but we were finding our conversion rates were very low,” said Vidyard CMO Tyler Lessard. “More than 60% of the leads we were generating were being rejected by the sales team. More than 60% of the leads we were generating were being rejected by the sales team because they were not in our target market.”
The team at Vidyard saw that ABM could help solve that problem. “We realized we needed to focus more on specific accounts and which companies we really wanted to go after,” said Lessard. “We needed to transition our thinking from leads to accounts.”
“The human element still needs to be included in ABM. There’s only so much you can automate to get really precise with your messaging.” Tyler Lessard, Vidyard
As a result, the messaging strategy the company uses within its ABM program is much more “personalized and contextualized, with more depth of content around an individual company, the industry it’s in, and its existing use of video,” than in its previous campaigns, he noted.
One application of that strategy was Vidyard’s “Competitive Displacement Program.” For that campaign, the Vidyard team filtered the companies in its database to identify 500 target accounts that were using one of its competitor’s products. The initial messaging sent via email to get the target’s attention focused on a specific competitor’s product that the company was using and the target’s possible pain points.
“We’d reach out and say, ‘Hey, we were on your website and saw you were using this product. We heard other customers who used it had this specific pain. If you’re seeing that, then we can help you figure out how to overcome it,’” said Lessard.
Vidyard tracked which deals were progressing faster and had the sales team focus on those accounts with direct outreach, including phone calls and personalized videos from the rep. The messaging in that direct outreach then matured to Vidyard’s value proposition, tailored to the specific challenge that the company or individual was facing with the competitor’s product. They created several messages and touch points for their universe of constituents, including customized emails and telephone follow-up, according to Lessard.
A MULTICHANNEL APPROACH
The video provider takes a multichannel approach to ABM, with the order of this messaging tailored for the company’s Tier 1 targets. First, the company uses a combination of display ads and social media ads for brand awareness and relevance, followed by email and physical mailers, and complemented by direct outreach from sales through phone calls, social media and emails. “Once the rep is reaching out, we want to make sure the individual has brand awareness so it’s not a cold call,” said Lessard.
“We realized we needed to focus more on specific accounts and which companies we really wanted to go after.” Tyler Lessard, Vidyard
In order to segment its targets, the Vidyard sales team chose which potential customers received certain messaging, based on the rep’s knowledge of them, the industry and each individual’s pain points. “This is why working with the sales team is so important, because this is where the customization come in,” said Lessard. “The human element still needs to be included in ABM. There’s only so much you can automate to get really precise with your messaging.”
Lessard said that 28 new sales opportunities came from the program, “which represents a sizable amount of pipeline” for Vidyard.
The team at Vidyard is somewhat early along in its ABM journey — about two years — but they’ve seen some “strong, early results,” with other ABM efforts as well, adding personalized messaging and one-to-one video to the mix.
The ABM technology leveraged by Vidyard is an extension of its overall marketing stack, according to Lessard. The company uses a combination of tools to identify accounts, acquire contacts within them, target individuals within those accounts with specific messages and measure results (see “Vidyard’s ABM Tech Stack” sidebar).