Balancing Direct & OTL marketing

Estimated reading time: 3 min

This is a write-up of the B2B Marketing Disrupted event 31st March 2022 hosted by the New Zealand Marketing Association.

The second Marketing Disrupted featured both Account Based Marketing and Breakthrough Brands – the balance of the direct and above the line which all B2B marketers know is a true juggling act – but still within our job description!

Account Based Marketing from scratch

Andrea Clatworthy from Fujitsu UK set out a deep dive case study into how she started an ABM programme. Her honest insights into the realities of changing a longstanding business model were refreshing.

Her definition of ABM is right people, right message, right time and Fujitsu also uses the 3 Rs – Relationships, Reputation and Revenue to further refine the scope of the programme.

This is a strategic approach with sales and marketing working together to open doors and increase engagement with stakeholders in specific identified accounts, with a view to increase Relationships improve Reputation and ultimately generate Revenue.

The triangle of ABM in Fujitsu is based on a top layer of One-to-One ABM using key accounts each with an individually customised account plan. Below this is the One-to-Few layer which is a mix of new and existing accounts, clustered by similarity with modest personalisation in the marketing mix. And at the bottom of the triangle is One-to-Many with a focus on new accounts, broad programmes with light personalisation using technology to enable scale.

The first 18 months were critical to the success of Andrea’s transition – she started with the sales account plan which uses a robust 6-step process which everyone now follows. Back-up resources in a portal with how-to guides, policies and guidelines was a key part of the success. Andrea also outlined how to secure buy-in and her 12 week ABM launch plan slide is worth a careful read.

Building a meaningful brand

Deconstructing what lies behind a well-known brand gives marketers insights – seeing the process which led to the outcome can help you work out how to implement it in your own firm.

James Kyd of Xero ran through 6 traits of breakthrough brands. Each trait has a behaviour allied with it. I found this very useful because it allows you to see if your marketing activities are delivering the behaviours you desire. 

Accountants are a key audience for James, he selected them because they’re a growth driver for Xero software sign ups. His over-riding campaign plan tells stories about accountants. And these get told from the outside-in (case study videos) and also inside-out from within the accounting community (surprise gifts).  

The 6 traits are:- Build from a cult following, Commodity as a status symbol, The rise of the B-corp, Un-capitalism, Open source generosity and Remodelling the category.

A key position for Xero is to advocate on behalf of accountants – doing the things they individually cannot. An annual state of the industry research study is not only good for PR it helps accounting firms to benchmark themselves. The other big pillar of the activation is the Xerocon conference and event. James says this will be back as an in-person event this year. It will continue to celebrate the passion accountants bring to their work and to create memorable experiences for participants. These are two ways Xero connects in person with  its customers.

And isn’t it nice that a brand still does in-person events? 

 

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