Customize and target content based on the buyer's journey, says Mark Ogne, CMO at MRP

Mark Ogne
Personalization is one of the key aspect of ABM, however it can be challenging when it comes to multi-channel messaging. Mark Ogne, CMO at MRP, sheds light on the transformation in B2B space, personalization in ABM and provides a vision for a substantial ABM strategy.

I like to say that relevance is in the eyes of the beholder of your messages. They, not you, define what they’re interested in.

MEDIA 7: You have been active in the B2B space for about three decades and have driven revenue for various organizations. Being a CMO of MRP, how do you look at the transformation of the B2B market?
MARK OGNE:
The complexity and speed of B2B marketing continue to accelerate, particularly for the enterprise. Digital is at the center stage, which has forced marketers to reevaluate every aspect of their programs - from data management and intent to channel orchestration, sales hand-off, and close. At the same time, marketers must support go-to-market changes, new product lines and new regions, and prepare for changing economic conditions while making sense of the ripple effects of the massive disruption caused by the COVID pandemic. It’s an incredibly dynamic time - but also an exciting one!

The competition for attention is fierce as marketers must learn to stand out amidst thousands of daily digital messages. Companies must demonstrate an understanding of their audience’s needs on a more granular level than ever before. To make meaningful connections with prospects and customers amidst these changes, ABM initiatives need to shift their focus from trying to define needs, a top/down vision, to instead identifying needs at the account, and now even buying center level, and use those insights to deliver truly personalized experiences. Ones that are defined by the audiences, a bottom/up vision. Demonstrating relevance at this depth, at scale, and globally, is a steep challenge – but the definitive opportunity in the market right now. I like to say that relevance is in the eyes of the beholder of your messages. They, not you, define what they’re interested in. As a marketer, it’s your responsibility to identify those needs and to use them to make it easier for buyers to do what they do best buy.

One major positive trend is that account-based strategies are rapidly maturing as a practice – and not a moment too soon. Primary research from MRP and Demand Metric finds that the percentage of companies who consider their ABM programs to be fully adopted versus experimental has grown to 45% – up a third compared with 2020. Yet revenue impact can remain elusive, 83% of enterprise marketers report the pace of their campaigns has intensified over the past year. And, as the channel mix continues to change and data management intensifies, more than a third (42%) admit they’re still struggling to execute successfully.


M7: How do you target content to your audience, and what challenges do you face while producing effective content?
MO:
High-performing ABM is - has always been - about the audience, their needs, and their experiences. High-performing content is content that’s personalized based on the needs of each account, and adapts to fit changing concerns during lengthy buying processes.  It’s also tightly orchestrated, personalized across channels and platforms, cutting through siloed data and channels to ensure that all messages work together to create a symphony, not distorted, discordant noise.

When it comes to delivering on this promise, we face many of the same challenges as our enterprise client base. We are a large, global company with several hundred employees in 11 global offices, and 40% of our clients are based outside of North America. So we are very attuned to the needs for sophisticated personalization, advanced orchestration, and multi language support, to name a few. Looking at our content strategy as part of true omnichannel engagement, we’re laser focused on controlling ABM processes across teams and real-time triggered connections.  We invest in the creation and versioning of content that specifically addresses the needs of each target account, the languages of their region, and adapting that content across the course of their buying process.

We use our own MRP Prelytix platform to train AI/ML models to prescribe recommended content and channels, as well as prescribe the next best action step and trigger that response. Prelytix also allows us to create dynamic audiences, and segments, and then automatically trigger engagement action in multiple channels, as well as control personalization of the content and messaging across these channels. We’ve been extremely successful with this approach, and espouse it to our client base, yet we aren’t totally alone at using this approach.  In fact, high-performing marketers are 3X more likely to use a platform that automatically changes content across channels as target account needs change or the target account advances in their buying journey.

Read More: Intent data can highlight your target accounts' problems and interests, says Marc Laplante, CEO and Co-Founder at Intentsify


Approach ABM as a team sport and ensure a mix of job roles and teams across the organization are involved in program execution.

M7: As an industry professional with extensive experience in Marketing, according to you, what are some of the different ways an Account-Based Marketing platform like MRP Prelytix helps businesses expand their businesses into untapped marketable sectors?
MO:
Despite their long history, ABM platforms have largely focused on solving simple top of funnel needs for an SMB organization. Creating a new array of siloes in the tech stack, these technologies lack a solid connection with other platforms, focused on channels, and have a tremendous bias against regions outside of North America.  Creating new acronyms, like ABX, hasn’t changed this siloed, top/down vision, especially for the enterprise, where they don’t address their core challenges at all. Large organizations typically hold abundant data sets on their target accounts. Unfortunately, this data, the most important of all data, is disconnected from their ABM efforts and left unused in the process of creating insights necessary to discover target account needs, drive impactful orchestrations, and measure actual target account engagement as it exists across the enterprise.

Next-generation ABM platforms like MRP Prelytix allow enterprise marketers to simplify the enterprise operating environment, take control of data, and leverage every channel at their disposal to connect with target accounts and surface new opportunities. With Prelytix, marketers can harness account intelligence beyond intent data, in multiple languages, with full geographic context, to indicate buyer location and buyer centers, with predictive analytics and account scoring to prioritize accounts and identify and time the next best action across all their channels. Marketers using MRP can act on this intelligence in milliseconds, connecting with newly identified target accounts and buyers almost instantaneously, with the right message to engage their goals and interests. For example, in milliseconds, a B2B marketer can bid, win and personalize display advertising while simultaneously personalizing website content to reflect a buyer’s location, language, stage and interests for a seamless, high-value experience as a buyer progresses along the purchase path.


M7: How has MRP's Channel Enablement been delivering results in the channel for the largest and most complex companies in the world?
MO:
Everything I said about increased B2B marketing complexity is amplified in the channel environment. Here, you have what can be called “two-step ABM.” That is, instead of the enterprise marketer having an array of product-level constituents on one side and an audience on the other… they also have another set of constituents between them and their accounts, their partners. An unrestricted stream of intelligence is the only means to make ABM work in the channel environment. This means a single shared data source with open lines of communication between sales and marketing, both at partner and vendor levels.

MRP has been delivering results in the channel for the largest and most sophisticated companies in the world, since our inception 20 years ago. Through the MRP Prelytix platform, innovative omnichannel programs target new partners and support existing ones based on account level intent and predictive scoring, as well as renewal or competitive data. Programs can be executed across 8 channels, performance tracked directly into a CRM system, delivering full control of MDF, conversion, and pipeline objectives.

One great example is our work with a major global technology brand to transform their channel marketing program to a digital-first approach. When COVID-19 pandemic first hit, this company’s channel partners lost their main engine for driving success: in-person interactions with prospects at events. Working with MRP, the company executed a new virtual program, now considered its best-performing National Solution Provider (NSP) campaign to that date, that delivered over $33.9 Million in deal registrations for one category and a 94% increase in year-over-year deal registrations across all partners.

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To ensure cohesion and control at every stage, marketers need to take a full-funnel approach that extends through post-sale.

M7: What is your go-to approach for personalization in ABM, and according to you, what is the best way to tackle the challenge of controlling multi-channel messaging?
MO: 
At MRP, we talk about “putting the ‘person’ back in personalization.” This means coordinating content and messages across channels based on their individual needs and buying stage. This is completely different than other platforms, that use limited intelligence, like simple intent data, and fragment the personalization experience by having this knowledge used in one platform, or one channel at a time, rather than the actual customer experience as it exists across all their marketing channels and platforms.

To accomplish this, we aggregate all account-based data into a single source of truth that can be accessed by our teams across the globe on a single, shared platform. The Prelytix platform applies next-generation insights, predictive analytics, and lightning-fast ML to identify signals across the buyer journey and prescribe the next best actions to influence the buyer’s journey. Then robust omnichannel orchestration capabilities allow us to consistently deliver the right message across the right touch points based on target account needs and the appropriate product or solution area.

To ensure cohesion and control at every stage, marketers need to take a full-funnel approach that extends through post-sale. Unlike startups, companies operating at enterprise scale have an existing customer base whose capabilities and needs can be uniquely addressed. Forrester Research recently noted that B2B marketing organizations are now “moving beyond focusing primarily on acquisition” to concentrate on upsell, cross-sell and retention. So, it is imperative to customize and target content according to the stage of the individual customer’s buying journey. MRP Prelytix enables this high degree of personalization by integrating CRM data with incoming data signals and AI-powered predictions to highlight which customers are open to new offers.

Thinking global is another way to keep omnichannel messages on message and operating in perfect sync. Most ABM platforms and solutions fail to reflect the complexity of enterprise companies’ international efforts. Technology is often built on a base of American English, and the AI algorithms that ingest intent and power predictive analytics often fail to account for other languages. To capture every opportunity, enterprise marketers need technology that is multilingual and multitenant at its core. This gives individual marketing teams the autonomy to localize campaigns, strategies, and objectives, while still coordinating insights and data at the account level across the enterprise.


M7: What would be your essential advice for marketers struggling with establishing a substantial ABM strategy in their organizations?
MO:
My advice is to focus on research rather than conjecture or best practice that really looks more like a thinly veiled platform user guide. Earlier this year, we partnered with Demand Metric on an in-depth primary research study of more than 1,200 marketers across four continents. This research identified an elite group of companies (23%) that report significant revenue impact from ABM and benchmarked the specific practices that set these leaders apart from their lower-performing peers.
Based on this data, my first piece of advice is to approach ABM as a team sport and ensure a mix of job roles and teams across the organization are involved in program execution. Nine out of 10 ABM top performers report close, cross-functional collaboration between marketing and sales to create ABM strategy and include more roles in ABM initiatives. These roles encompass generalists such as ABM leads and specialists such as product marketers, creative experts, and business intelligence professionals.

The second is to double down on data - and data management. Among ABM leaders whose initiatives deliver significant revenue impact, 80% reported three or more systems contributing data to ABM. Still more, 84%, say their tech stack is very or completely integrated – almost the percentage of those with negative or unmeasured ABM impact. These high performers are twice as likely to use multiple data sources, like intent data and predictive analytics, alongside their CRM and MAP data to create account profiles.

Finally, set your focus on matching messages to needs – at scale. Thanks mainly to sophisticated data management processes, ABM leaders orchestrate their programs to personalize messages to a higher degree across more touchpoints. 84% of ABM leaders use three or more systems to deliver marketing messages, and nearly half (56%) automatically adjust content to match viewers’ engagement stage within the customer lifecycle.

ABOUT MRP PRELYTIX™

MRP Prelytix™ is the only enterprise-class predictive account-based sales and marketing platform. For organizations that serve multiple partners, lines of business, geographies, or industries, MRP Prelytix is the only ABM platform to empower sales and marketing teams to simplify their environment’s complexity and produce measurable and high-performance conversion, pipeline velocity, and closed revenue. Applying the industry’s only real-time predictive analytics and data management, we fuel 1,000 ABM programs across six continents to coordinate, execute, and optimize their ABM programs using eight channels, produced in 20 languages. Powered by KX, Prelytix sits on top of the fastest streaming analytics database in the world. For more information, visit: www.mrpfd.com.

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GlobeNewswire | January 25, 2024

Seeding and harvesting the sales pipeline — the process of acquiring, capturing, qualifying and converting business opportunities — are essential to the growth and profitability of B2B marketers across every industry and geographic sector. Marketing is largely responsible for driving this business process, yet nearly two-thirds of lead gen and engagement strategies are underperforming. A new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council report, produced in collaboration with WM America, entitled “Fire Up Your Revenue Generation Engine,” covers critical aspects of lead generation and engagement. This includes models and metrics for tracking and measuring performance, best practice demand-gen execution, ways to score effectiveness, and more. The latest CMO Council research finds scores of marketers falling behind in lead scoring, account-based marketing, accelerated pipeline, and intention-based marketing. Key findings from a Q4 survey of over 170 B2B marketing, sales, revenue, growth, demand gen and campaign execution leaders include: 63% say marketing must own and optimize a company’s revenue-generation engine 64% say their lead gen and engagement strategy underperforms 78% of highly evolved marketers are satisfied with their accelerated pipeline, compared to only 15% of lesser evolved marketers “In today’s competitive data-driven environment, marketers should no longer be satisfied with paltry returns on their sizable lead-gen and ABM investments,” the report notes. “It’s time to turn the tables on inefficient, ineffective, and outdated practices for anticipating, adapting, and responding to customer needs and opportunities.” “Marketers must climb the evolutionary ladder and leave behind outmoded and dated practices,” notes CMO Council executive director, Donovan Neale-May. “Using AI-derived, intention-based buyer data and advanced sales intelligence are among the ways growth marketers bring more precision, predictability, and performance to B2B account marketing investments.” The CMO Council’s research revealed the top five skill sets contributing to improved ABM-driven business outcomes: Better segmentation and precision targeting of buyers and influencers On-demand customer business intelligence and personal buyer insights Tighter integration of demand gen, channel, direct sales, and support teams Greater utilization of tools and data sources for richer prospect profiling Proactive and timely pre-sales follow up and cultivation strategies The CMO Council has uncovered widening gaps in performance between highly evolved marketers and lesser evolved marketers. Gaps are occurring in four core capabilities: lead scoring, account-based marketing, accelerated pipeline, and intention-based marketing. This report tiers factors that make up a model for better identification, engagement and conversion. The model coincides with the CMO Council and WM America’s thought leadership initiative to advance lead revenue science practices through a certified Lead Evaluation and Assurance Process, or LEAP model. “Marketers will need to take a few LEAPs of faith in the coming months, because sticking to the status quo is just not practical or possible anymore. As data becomes more critical than ever before, CMOs need to extend their visions for innovation and forward-thinking strategies,” according to Lee Salem, WM America’s Vice President of Sales. Methodology The report is based on a survey of over 170 heads of B2B marketing, sales, revenue, growth, demand gen and campaign execution in Q4 2023. It also included content from in-depth interviews with executives from Netline, Autodesk, T-Mobile, NTT, ABM Consortium, TechTarget, IBM, B2B Marketing, Reachdesk, Momentum ITSMA, and Xometry. About the CMO Council The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. The CMO Council’s 16,000+ members control more than $1 trillion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include over 65,000 global marketing and sales executives in over 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The Council’s strategic interest groups include the Customer Experience Board, Digital Marketing Performance Center, Brand Inspiration Center, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, GeoBranding Center, and the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE). To learn more, visit https://www.cmocouncil.org. About WM America WM America is a leading B2B marketing company specializing in targeted in-market demand generation. The intent database at WMA tracks the intent behavior of over 75 million business professionals globally, 24X7. The database is segmented into 3,300 categories. WMA keeps around-the-clock track of buying signals from each category in this database. Based on this extremely strong foundation of data points, the company delivers precisely targeted prospects for focused marketing. Accurate keyword search enables deriving of active content consumption and opt-in content downloads. WMA's deep search ensures accurate and targeted information delivery that helps craft successful, cutting-edge marketing strategies. For more information, visit www.wmamerica.com

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