The Marketing Strategist:
I’m an ABM-er! Juniper’s Raianne Reiss
The rise of account-based marketing in recent years has created a vital new career path for B2B marketers: becoming an ABM-er and driving growth with key accounts.
As young marketers charge into the ABM future, we’re celebrating the stories and advice of the “magnificent seven” leaders featured in A Practitioner’s Guide to Account-Based Marketing.
In this third excerpt from the book, learn from Raianne Reiss, Director, Marketing at Juniper Networks.
- Juniper Networks’ CMO Challenger Award 2015 for continuously challenging the status quo and driving innovation
- ITSMA Diamond Award for Account-Based Marketing
My route into ABM
Early in my career, I realized that I had a different marketing mindset than other people around me. Regardless of the company or role, I always had limited resources – only so much budget, people and time to go around. Out of necessity, I had to ask myself: ‘How can I focus those limited resources in the right places for maximum impact?’ My peers were talking about volume marketing, such as number of leads, number of attendees, number of downloads and so on – with the hope that a percentage of the volume would land and translate to results. I wanted more assurance that my bets would pay off, and focused my resources on highly targeted marketing to the customers and prospects who had the highest propensity to buy. We were using terms like guerrilla marketing to describe this approach, which morphed into the 80:20 rule, and today, we call it ABM.
In a business-to-business model, we know that 80 per cent of our business is going to come from 20 per cent of our customers, so success is dependent upon what we are doing to support that effectively. This is especially true in technology companies, where we often have a few customers who drive roadmaps, strategies, and a large portion of the revenue. Some customers can produce more revenue than entire verticals, yet we often do not think of our largest customers in those terms.
As a marketing leader, I have always driven my organizations to identify the 20 per cent and ensure that we covered this appropriately, well before anyone used the term ABM. I remember years ago seeing an ITSMA course – I think the first one ever held – called ‘Introduction to Account-Based Marketing.’ I had not heard this term before but the title resonated with me. As I sat in the class I thought: ‘These people understand me!’ I had been evangelizing that message of guerrilla marketing since the beginning of my career, and now I had a framework for it.
Advice for new ABM-ers
My advice to people who are interested in a career in ABM would be to pursue positions that are as close to the customer as you can get. To succeed in ABM, it is critical that you can think like a salesperson, understand what they are trying to achieve, and speak the language of sales. In order to obtain these skills, you need to spend time as a quota-carrying salesperson, or in a role closely aligned with and supporting a sales team. Field marketing and partner marketing are often great roles for those who wish to pursue an ABM path.
*This excerpt from A Practitioner’s Guide to Account-Based Marketing is reproduced by permission of Kogan Page Ltd. Copyright Bev Burgess and Dave Munn, 2017.
Inspired by this ABM-er? Become one yourself by enrolling in our ABM Certification Program. The next program begins with a two-day Kickoff Workshop in Boston on July 12-13, followed by three months of mentoring and deep learning.
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