This is the sixth post in a series on how to do ABM During Covid. You can explore the previous posts below.
For a deeper dive into the strategies we cover in this series, download '10 Strategies to Save Your ABM Program During Covid'.
In previous posts, we've covered specific strategies like how you can align sales and marketing teams to create an ABM program with greater impact, or how you can create personalized ROI to provide immediate value to target accounts. But let's zoom out for a moment and assume you're just getting started with ABM. It can be a confusing process, and difficult to discern where to start. Luckily, there's a great blueprint you can adapt to your needs. It comes from RStudio, a company that makes open-source software for data scientists, plus enterprise software to help professional data science teams develop and share their work at scale.
RStudio has a deep understanding of its audience and has dedicated a lot of effort to serving and delighting them. That’s won them loyalty from millions of open-source users, many of whom have adopted RStudio’s professional solutions. As RStudio’s desired target market shifted to early majority buyers, they had to adjust their marketing strategy to incorporate account-based marketing (ABM) approaches.
“We had a lot of material on our website that our passionate open-source users would be intrinsically motivated to seek out and find,” says Robert Bethell, Marketing Manager at RStudio. That meant when those same open-source users needed a professional solution for data science, the sales cycle was relatively short. But, addressing an early majority market required a different, more aggressive outreach approach from RStudio––one that stayed true to the brand and culture they had carefully stewarded. So they chose to take an approach to outbound that was relevant and rich in useful information.”
Robert continues, “we started by figuring out the industries that were adopting our professional products more quickly than other industries. Then we reached people in those industries through digital channels, like LinkedIn, and put out really good content. The content speaks to a very technical and critical audience. Through this promotion, we resonated with people that traditionally wouldn't have reached out to us. Instead, these prospects fortunately said: oh, that's interesting. You know exactly what I'm facing. Let's have a call.”
To get this strategy rolling, RStudio focused on a single vertical––Pharma––where they had seen the higher adoption rate that Robert mentioned. But to be able to act with credibility, RStudio needed to leverage knowledge of subject matter experts on their team. That allowed them to really understand the pain points of their target buyers, and importantly, to speak in their language.
Robert says, “I can think of the phrase data scientist or data science leader, but when you talk with a subject matter expert in the Pharma field, you start learning about job titles you wouldn’t have thought of. You also start learning about so many use cases that really take the content from a B-level to an A-level. Gaining deep knowledge about your buyers from internal subject matter experts is what differentiates marketing content disguised as thought leadership from genuine thought leadership that just happens to be supplemented by great marketing.”
With their experts in place and an approach to thought leadership that was authentic to their brand, RStudio set about using that knowledge to create a robust digital program personalized to each persona inside of their target account. Robert had this to say about RStudio’s use of digital ads: “If you're a data scientist at a pharmaceutical company, you're likely facing a pain point around reproducibility. But if you're an I.T. person at a pharmaceutical company, you might be facing a pain point related to security. We create ads for different use cases, targeted at the right titles on LinkedIn. And then we direct people who engage with the ad to the landing page where we utilize Mutiny's personalization engine to tailor the content to that same use case.”
Since they understood their target, and they had the help of subject matter experts, RStudio nailed the details with relevant messaging and then brought it home with personalized content that unified the whole experience. In Robert’s words, “It isn’t rocket science––you’re building something that’s really going to resonate with them, and you're delivering a package that is aligned throughout the whole process.”
Robert continues, “what Mutiny enabled us to do was create follow-up pieces of content that were personalized at scale. A challenge that any marketer faces is putting all their effort into creating one good piece of content, that's maybe personalized––but it's really hard to do that on the second or third touch point, or more. And you need all those touch points to get someone to actually say, I'll have a conversation with you.”
Along the way, RStudio was sure to fold in feedback from their internal subject matter experts and their prospects, which only sharpened their marketing. And because they provide such high-value content, Robert feels good about BDRs’ follow-up with prospects, knowing that RStudio genuinely helps make their work and lives easier. That also means a more effective program where prospects stay highly engaged throughout the funnel.
About this, Robert says, “most of our good feedback from the prospects came from the third or fourth touch point, where they said, oh, this is cool. Keep it coming.”
After seeing great results in their top of funnel and outbound personalized strategy, now RStudio is personalizing their homepage for inbound Pharma visitors. They provide value by offering to connect visitors with an industry-leading data science expert.
Having perfected the ABM experience for Pharma, RStudio is well-poised to scale their playbook to new verticals, like Finance, Insurance, and Retail. From the first personalized ad, to contact with a BDR, to personalized landing pages, RStudio is a great blueprint for starting an effective, scalable ABM program.