Read my interview with Mark Ogne about how the idea of the ABM Consortium was born!

“A catchy phrase is nothing more than just a jingle”

Five startups later, the B2B marketing veteran and EVP Partner Marketing at Demand Metric, Mark Ogne is creating a global voice for Account-based Marketing. We sat down with him and spoke about being a marketing decathlete, The ABM Consortium and unhelpful Top 10 lists.

Tell me about Mark Ogne. What’s your background? 

I am a B2B marketer, specialized in a data driven multi channel environment. For the last 15 years I’ve tried to become what I call a decathlete – my objective is to be a top ten thought leader and practitioner in a wide range of activities. Prior to ABM, I was deep into social media. I’m an innovator by nature; when I see new capabilities, I jump in. I try to understand and create new ideas in those phases. 

You initiated The ABM Consortium – a collaboration between Freya News, Demand Metric, Vendemore, Engagio, Demandbase, MRP and Azalead. Together we are educating the world about ABM. Why is it needed? 

There’s an abundance of simplified conversations on the topic of ABM – Top 10 lists and catchy phrases. A lot of that stuff just drives me crazy – there’s nothing there. Nothing that’s really helpful for marketers. After several years of development, ABM is still not very well understood. Is it a technology or a strategy? How does it fit with other marketing levers? How can it be done so that outcomes and revenue traction are maximized?

The consortium is a common voice. Collectively we create more gravity, in the metaphorical sense, than anybody can individually. We’re the only people talking about high performance ABM. One of the things I’m proudest of is that we now have a road map for successful, high-performance ABM. We have a quantifiably accurate path for B2B marketers. A Top 10 list doesn’t do that and a catchy phrase’s noting more than just a jingle. Neither are they very helpful. 

You invited Freya News as one of the six thought leaders. What do you think we bring to the table?

Content’s one of the primary elements that helps to define success and failure. I think that it’s one of the highest value, most strategic conversations and it will surface as a primary criteria during 2016.

The value of Freya News increases when clients know they can’t just rehash old content or serve a single experience to a range of prospective accounts. Without a strategy you are in a position of writing a bunch of content, making a bunch of videos and then have your target audience not understand what you need them to understand. Our research identified that 90 % of the highest performing ABM programs use content to speak to the specific needs of their selected accounts. Contrasting this, lower performing programs are focused on technology at the expense of customer engagement. I like to say that they focus on the “Tech” and not the “Mar” in their “MarTech”.

What approach would you recommend somebody just starting off their ABM program? 

Speaking to that person; think of your pilot as going narrow and deep. Don’t launch your ABM program at an undefined level, don’t just start delivering ads. Pick something you can become good at. Choose a few accounts that share a similar interest or issue as well as stage of engagement with your organization. Understand their needs and your objectives for them. Define how you need to deliver value to them. Create content to surround that. Measure their engagement and explore different ways to talk to them. Narrow and very well-defined is a better way to think of becoming a high performer in a very small area. This mindset aligns directly with the primary means to find high performance and truly realize the value of ABM. Don’t boil the ocean. 

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