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ABM During Covid: Bringing a Fresh Perspective to B2B Experiences

This is the seventh post in a series on how to do ABM during Covid. In previous posts, we've covered how to create personalized ROI for target accounts, how to align sales and marketing around an ABM strategy and even how to get started with ABM in the first place. You can explore previous posts below.

In this post we'll look at how Dropbox is rethinking parts of the purchase journey and creating online experiences that support buyers at every stage.

You’re no already doubt familiar with Dropbox, and you might even use their service for cloud storage or file syncing. But Dropbox is on a mission to make sure people know they’re more than just a great storage solution. It’s a place where teams can easily bring all their work together so they can spend more time focusing on what matters most to them. Clearly, experience matters a lot to Dropbox, and that’s why they’re creating the Dropbox Experience Center. What’s an experience center, you ask?

Deborah Holstein, Dropbox’s VP of Integrated Marketing describes it like this: “From a very small business where there's only four people on your team to a 20 person team within a 5000 person organization, there are commonalities to their concerns and their challenges which transcend the size of the company. So we thought about how teams work together and created content around questions that we know businesses are facing globally.”

High quality educational content in the experience center helps companies learn how to work better, and discover how Dropbox products can help facilitate that process.

To pull off this experience center, Dropbox fundamentally rethought some roles on their marketing team. Event managers that previously focused on in-person events, now think of themselves as web experience managers. They have a laser focus on the buyer journey, and on producing high-quality content that serves buyers at different stages of that journey. For example, a famous entrepreneur might give a talk in the Dropbox studio about how to build a great remote work culture, while there may be a series of news segment style interviews with customers walking through how they used Dropbox to collaborate across timezones in real-time.

Deborah elaborates on how the experience center points to a core strategic initiative. “We think of everything digital first, and we don't necessarily expect someone to take that final action or most valuable action as their first action. There’s engaging content, and the visitor chooses to lean in to the learning aspect of it. Then we stay in their consideration set for when they're ready to buy.”

A conceptual still of experience center content

While leaning into content that supports buyers along the purchase journey, Dropbox is also investing in the data layer to continue to enrich the visitor experience. For example, they’re using a 3rd party intent provider to understand buying intent and automatically ping a BDR to reach out to a target account when they’re on the site. They’re also using IP data to identify enterprises and push relevant content based on their size or location.


And because of their investment in data and cultivation of a relationship based on providing value through education, Dropbox looks to consistently attract high value audiences that are likely ready to transact.

“We started with small business as one of the top audiences,” says Deborah. “From there we went through many levels of persona and created ongoing programs that are continually running against all of those levels. What role do you play in that business? Are you a marketing person? Are you the CEO? And then you go down another layer and you say, OK, are you a Dropbox user yet or not? What kind of Dropbox user are you? Are you paying, not paying, active, not active, using different features?”

“Getting your team of five or six people to do anything in a coordinated way is always hard,”she continues. “Getting them to try new software, or take on a new work process––that's a big deal. So we need to be able to talk to business people and get them confident that when they're ready to engage their team and make this decision they're like, yes, I know it's Dropbox.”

By understanding this interaction with small businesses––who the stakeholders are in a purchase decision, and what’s relevant to them at each stage of the buying process––Dropbox has created a scalable playbook that can be extended to enterprise segments down the road.

Squarely focused on teams and providing rich resources in the experience center, Dropbox evolved their marketing from something that resembled siloed channels to something more integrated and unified around the audience.

Dropbox shows us that with a deep understanding of your audience, a clearly expressed vision, and an unwavering commitment to providing value, an online experience can be much more than flat and transactional. It can be something that people return to again and again, maybe even bringing more people along when they do.

Author

Evan Burton

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