Carlota Pico recently sat down with Ross O’Neill to discuss his role as senior account-based marketing manager for EMEA at Cloudera, an enterprise data cloud company. Ross delved into the details of account-based marketing: what it is, how to use it and the qualities of an effective ABM strategy. With 15 years of experience and extensive expertise, he provided insightful advice on how to implement this approach at your company, along with tips for sources of both personal and professional inspiration.

Watch the full conversation in our YouTube video above, and listen to our podcast and read our recap below.

Key takeaways

  • Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach that uses alignment with sales and insight-driven marketing to zoom into specific accounts or groups of accounts and market to them directly, through targeted campaigns and content.
  • ABM is typically used at B2B organizations, where buying behavior is vastly different from that of B2C. In B2B, the decision to purchase can be made by teams of 20-30 people; in B2C, the buyer usually makes decisions with little input from others.  
  • ABM requires high collaboration between sales and marketing teams, as strategies are personalized for a small number of potential clients. Sales and marketing also need to be closely aligned with customer success and professional services.
  • ABM can help you reach the various decision makers across a large organization, but it requires a lot of strategic planning and time; when dealing with big B2B transactions, deal cycles tend to be quite long.
  • As outlined by the ITSMA, success is measured by the three R’s: relationship, reputation and revenue. Although ABM is great for focusing on relationships and revenue (primarily through pipeline generation and influence), reputation requires a wider marketing strategy that must be compatible with this approach.

The purpose of account-based marketing is to understand your customer, and to produce campaigns that resonate with people in order to help them solve problems.

Rapid-fire recs

An influencer or role model who you admire?

I’ve worked with several colleagues over the years who I’ve taken inspiration from. And I’ve always shared ideas with my brother, Rory, who’s also a marketer. He’s currently the CMO of a fintech company. He’s definitely someone who I’ve looked up to and tried to emulate over the years.

A publication or book you’d recommend?

I’ve just finished a book called “American Gods” that’s been made into a TV series on Amazon Prime. It’s a challenging read and at times you have to do research while reading it, but it really helps you escape from the day-to-day, which is what I love about reading.

Your favorite app at the moment?

I’ve been using the collection of apps from Adidas, and I really like the way they connect their fitness apps to their retail app. Every time you do a workout using the training app, you get points added to the loyalty program, which can translate into discounts.

Connect with Ross and Carlota on LinkedIn.

This post was edited by Rishabh Agrawal, a freelance content creator based in Madrid.

To read the full transcript, click on page number 2 below.