Putting ABM under the X-Ray

You’ve heard what the industry is saying.

You’ve heard Earnest’s point-of-view.

You’ve even seen ABM compared with the wonderful world of dating.

Now, in the final part of our ABM blog series, we take a look under-the-bonnet (or ‘under the hood’ for readers joining us from the US) of three examples of Earnest chasing the humdrum out of Account Based Marketing.

All three take a more human, more tactical, and more accessible approach to ABM by following our ‘Three C’s’ approach: Credibility, Capability and Creativity

1. When is a map more than a map?

Cast your mind back to 2012:

  • Barack Obama was re-elected to the White House
  • London successfully hosted the Olympic Games
  • Felix Baumgartner skydived from 128,000 ft over Roswell, New Mexico

And…Earnest won the Best B2B Creative award for our ‘Google Maps for Business’ ABM campaign.

What was the brief?

Google came to Earnest with a very specific task: to develop a campaign to drive sales of its Google Maps for Business software.

Working with one of the world’s most recognisable companies didn’t mean the campaign could take care of itself. We needed to put across an important business case, attuned to the needs of different audiences, while remaining humorous, informative and on-brand.

What did it involve?

  • An integrated ABM campaign, targeting senior executives in the UK Retail and Logistics industries
  • A big idea creative platform under the proposition ‘When is a map more than a map?’
  • High-impact pop-up book style direct mail – featuring personalised Google Maps based on the target’s location – supported by targeted e-DM and online ads
  • Personalised URLs driving executives through to a microsite featuring relevant content, videos, case studies and a ‘refer a colleague’ email function
  • ‘The Little Book of Google Maps for Business’: a handy and informative guide that would encourage social sharing

And the all-important results?

  • Generated 134 leads within the first four weeks – with a potential pipeline of $1,250,000
  • An average time of 2 minutes 16 secs spent on the website
  • visitors from 71 countries and actual leads from 10 countries – despite the campaign only targeting the UK
  • As a result of this success, the campaign was extended into France and Germany 

2. Making bankers smile (about something other than their bonuses)

Unlike Google, you may not have heard of ACI Worldwide – but you’ve probably interacted with them. ACI powers payments and banking around the world, processing $14 trillion in transactions every day.

What was the brief?

ACI’s Universal Online Banker solution enables banks to offer a tailored approach to online transaction banking – so customers can bank on their terms with an approach that works for them.

The campaign challenge was to deliver this message to those hard to reach senior decision-makers in large banks, with panache and emotive impact. 

What did it involve?

Our strategy was to develop a highly-targeted campaign, coupled with highly disruptive creative.

Rather than deliver just a very factual message, our aim was to resonate with the audience on an emotional level and deliver real cut through using subtle psychological triggers:

  • Control: the messaging focused less on the problem, but more about the ease of which the target prospect could tackle it
  • Inclusion: our campaign proposition ‘Changing the face of online banking’ was not just about what ACI was doing – it acted as a call to arms.
  • Personalisation: the campaign was highly personalised, but also brought personality to the subject matter. The campaign humanised the end customer and brought it to life in a way that resonated as if the end customer was talking to you.

The charming creative was supplemented with characters whose faces were made from wooden block puzzles, adding an element of fun to an otherwise potentially dry subject matter.

The campaign was delivered across personalised email, DM and online channels, supported by highly-personalised content and data points to ensure credibility in the eyes of knowledgeable banking executives.

And the all-important results?

  • 28% response rate
  • 25 leads
  • $30m pipeline
  • $5m confirmed sales as a result
  • Overall providing 48:1 campaign ROI

3. Meet your next star employee 

This final example demonstrates the amazing impact a big creative idea can have on channel partner communications – traditionally one of the most difficult B2B audiences to engage.

What was the brief?

Canon are most famous for their cameras, but they’re also a world-leading manufacturer of printers and scanners. They came to us to help increase sales into small businesses.

What’s more, Canon never sells direct; everything goes through distributors and resellers – a notoriously time and attention-poor audience, constantly bombarded with sales messages from competing vendors.

So, how could Canon leapfrog the competition and convince resellers to stock and recommend its products? 

What did it involve?

  • We started with an insight: being able to print proposals, presentations and leaflets on-time and without stress can make their printer just as important to a small business as its employees.
  • We filmed four small business owners talking about the qualities of their star employee, and the value they add to their business, before revealing that each star employee is, in fact, a Canon printer.
  • We used a high impact, high-value format to get attention and make prospects feel valued by Canon.
  • Our ‘Meet the team’ pack consisted of an interactive videopak containing the four stories, a ‘CV’ for each printer which light-heartedly outlined its key benefits and features – a completely different take on the ‘data sheet’ – and a digital marketing toolkit to get partners up-and-running with promoting the product suite right away. 

And the all-important results?

  • Canon hit 98% of sales target reached within 4 months 
  • Overall the campaign provided 359% ROI


[Header photo: Umanoide on Unsplash]


[Header photo: Umanoide on Unsplash]