This is the eighth post in a series on how to do ABM during Covid. Check out the most recent post in the series here.
We've previously covered topics like steps you should take if you're just getting started with ABM, how to align sales and marketing and how to make the most of your data.
To get deeper insights on all these strategies and more, download the guide '10 Strategies to Save Your ABM Program During Covid'.
Now we'll turn to the example of DocSend, a company that provides real-time sharing, secure access and engagement tracking for business-critical documents. Their target market has drastically different use cases and buyer personas, from entrepreneurs to sales reps to finance professionals to consultants. So, the marketing team has invested in deeply understanding their customers' needs and has created clearly defined personas that allow them to market a horizontal product vertically. When the pandemic began to take hold of the market, DocSend saw an opportunity to use all the data they had amassed about their audience to create educational content that helps each persona better navigate the new market realities.
To achieve this, DocSend anonymously analyzed their document engagement data to see how viewership had changed post-Covid and combined that data with opted-in survey data from their users. For example, for their sales leader persona, they might look at changes in how many stakeholders were involved in a deal. Were different stakeholders more or less likely to view certain types of sales collateral? Were they spending more or less time on the pricing portion of a proposal? Or, to give another example, if a startup founder persona was using DocSend to share pitch decks––DocSend looked at if investors were more likely to look at product slides or market landscape slides or traction slides. As a part of this data-backed education effort, DocSend published the most important insights that reflected how the market had changed in reports like this.
To ensure a rapid pace of data-driven educational content, DocSend made an early investment in a data warehouse where they can store, access and easily analyze useful data. This includes a mass of customer surveys that they query via a business intelligence tool to produce original research and persona-based reports that are rich in data relevant to the current market. For example, if a founder is using DocSend to send out pitch decks for fundraising, DocSend is able to create an in-product onboarding experience that surfaces data-backed reports on the best fundraising tactics right now.
They maximized the value of their educational content by showing prospects and customers the right content for their persona. Alex Poulos, VP of Marketing at DocSend, has a very succinct way of explaining the logic: “The most important thing in marketing right now is relevancy and urgency. This means personalization.”
Alex explains how they incorporated their education content into their already personalized in-product experience: “We're running about six to eight different onboarding tracks inside the product based on what our customers tell us they are using DocSend for,” says Alex. “If I know you're a founder and you’re fundraising, there will be tips and resources around uploading your pitch deck and showing you how you can send it to investors. And now by the way, here is the DocSend Fundraising Network we have, plus our latest research report on recent changes in the fundraising environment.”
DocSend was seeing that the people who had received personalized onboarding experiences with data-rich resources in the product converted somewhere around 2x to 5x more than other audiences. So, they started personalizing their website.
“When Mutiny came along,” says Alex “we decided to start serving people different messaging on our website as well. With custom messages we could differentiate from other file sharing software and show each persona the right educational content that is relevant to their company or role. And this is not done as just an A/B test, but rather it’s done in a way that turns our web site into a dynamic asset that adapts and personalizes for each different visitor.”
That messaging on the website included the data-driven content mentioned earlier, which expanded the very effective tactic of sharing resources with just current users to all target accounts. So, as a founder saw a report on fundraising, a salesperson might be served resources on measuring collateral engagement using DocSend’s document analytics.
This education-led strategy coupled with personalization created significant conversion results for DocSend, like doubling their demo rate.
As Alex stated, relevance and personalization were key to DocSend’s success. And through that process of learning and iterating, they got pretty fast, too. In fact, Alex predicted that as the current market changes continue to take hold, we’ll see more marketers adopting strategies like the ones in this guide. “If companies don't already have a strong online marketing muscle,” Alex says, “it's going to be hard for them––especially if they cannot adapt fast.”