Why Jon Miller thinks the most successful marketers are NICE marketers

Jon Miller, chief marketing and product officer of Demandbase, and former CMO and co-founder of Marketo, recently joined the AMA Chicago for a LinkedIn Live session. Miller has a long history of establishing and leading some of the most notable marketing technology companies. He is a speaker and writer about marketing best practices. He was named Most Influential Marketing CEO of the Year in the 2019 Corporate Excellence Awards.

Miller recently sat down with AMA Chicago to chat about account-based experience (ABX) marketing and why he considers ABX the next big thing in B2B marketing, and what it takes to be a successful marketer in today’s climate.

What is account-based experience marketing?

Account-based experience marketing is the evolution of outbound marketing to combine account-based marketing and demand gen marketing. Account-based experience marketing combines the respect that demand generation marketing has for the customer, focusing on putting all your efforts into a smaller set of accounts that are more likely to engage with your organization actively.

How is account-based experience marketing different from account-based marketing?

Miller equates account-based marketing to spearfishing where you identify the companies your business wants to focus on and go after them whether they are interested in your product or not. He said the issue of the spearfishing analogy: “it doesn’t feel very good to get poked by a spear.” ABX marketing fills a gap for the modern marketer because it focuses on fishing the clients that are already showing clear signs of interest in engagement to create new leads.

For ABX to be successful, an organization must bring together marketing, sales, and sales development reps to foster collaboration and focus on the same goal.

How do I start thinking about an ABX strategy in my marketing organization?

ABX strategy is marketing that is focused on putting all your effort into a smaller set of accounts. By being more focused on these accounts, your organization or product will become more relevant to your target market. There’s so much marketing noise out there, and many people are trying to sell the same thing. By creating an effective ABX strategy, you will effectively cut through the noise and provide relevant experiences to your targeted accounts.

Miller explains the impact of ABX marketing by comparing a general email to 25,000 people versus having your CEO send a customized personal note with a call to action to select key accounts. That email from the CEO will have a much higher hit rate, and it will be worth it for vital and valuable accounts to your business.

Miller notes that this strategy is not for everyone and is very clearly a B2B strategy. Knowing your product price and target will help you make the right choice. For example, if you have a product worth 5k a year, a wide-set strategy is going to work better than something targeted because you would want to reach a wide variety of customers for that type of price. However, if your product is 200K a year, you need to think strategically as an ABX strategy.

How do you cut through data these days for the best-informed ABX marketing strategy?

These days marketers are using predictive data and analytics to make critical marketing strategy decisions. Still, Miller warns that the algorithms are increasingly commoditized, and it’s more important to be asking who has the best data for my decision making, not who has the best AI.

Miller breaks the most important data to inform your ABX strategy into three distinct groups:

Journey Stage Data

Where is the account in its buying process? If you have a client at the beginning of the buying stage, what you send them will be very different from if you have a highly engaged account showing buying signs.

Intent Data

Gaining insight into what your accounts are searching on the open web, if you can look at this data enough, you will learn what they are searching for regularly, making your ABX marketing that much more powerful and valuable to your clients.

Technographic Data

Knowing what other technologies, the client is using is helpful because it will provide valuable insight on whether you are the right partner for them to consider.

One final question that Miller answered during our LinkedIn Live session was: What’s one piece of advice you have for success in marketing? To which Miller replied: “Be a NICE marketer.”

  • Numerical: marketing is as much about the science as it is about the art, know how to use a spreadsheet and use Google analytics, not all markers have quant backgrounds, but an interest in the data will take you far
  • Intuitive: marketing IS an art as well as science, and you really must take time to understand your buyer and their persona 
  • Content: every marketer is a content creator of some sort, whether you are writing emails, press releases, and social posts
  • Execution: you must be someone who gets things done, doesn’t get hung up about what your job is

If you’re interested in learning more account-based experience marketing from Jon Miller, please join us on Thursday, September 9, 2021, for an  AMA Chicago virtual workshop: “Your Roadmap to Success from the all-new Clear and Complete Guide to Account- Based Experience.” 

In this session, Miller will share practical, proven techniques from his book the “Clear and Complete Guide to Account-Based Experience” and focus on how companies can improve pipeline, growth, and satisfaction by evolving their go-to-market to align with the buyer experience at every stage of the journey.

This event is FREE for AMA Chicago members and $20 for guests. Join AMA Chicago for just $149 to attend this and every monthly event for FREE – a $300 value!

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