How to Be a True Nerd and Rule the Marketing World

Data-Driven Nerds Are Taking Over Account-Based Marketing

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In today's data-driven society, nerds are running the world. Rather than being stereotyped as awkward math geeks, so-called "nerds" are using their affinity for numbers to fundamentally change society -- everything from designing smart cities to improving and developing modern robotics. Now, tech nerds are more like pop culture icons, and high profile executives like Mark Zuckerberg are even encouraging students and young professionals to "be the nerd." Today "nerd" is the highest compliment you could pay someone!

To be a true nerd in the marketing world, you do not need suspenders or a stereotypically lackluster social life. What you do need is a passion for data and an understanding of how data-driven insights complement the most strategic marketing approach: account-based marketing (ABM).

If you want to be a data-driven nerd in today's marketing world, it's imperative that you understand the following ABM principles to better choose and assess your targets, close more deals and essentially rule the marketing world.

How marketing nerds define ABM

Account-based marketing is still a relatively new trend for marketing teams. If you talk to ten of your marketing colleagues, you will likely hear ten slightly different definitions.

If you boil it down, ABM essentially relies on an understanding of collective decision-making. Since it's highly unlikely that one person at a particular company is in charge of making every buying decision, ABM allows marketing nerds to more effectively target a collective, rather than an individual.

When targeting a collective, marketing nerds flip the traditional sales funnel on its head. Rather than casting a wide net to gather as many leads as possible, ABM requires that your teams identify the best-fit accounts to convert up front. If done correctly, this process helps avoid wasting resources on leads that are less likely to convert.

How marketing nerds are taking over ABM

It's no secret that marketing has become a primary driver of revenue at many companies. For example, Demandbase, a marketing technology company, wanted a more strategic approach to identifying the right targets to help boost revenue. After deploying predictive analytics, it was able to use data-driven insights to focus its marketing efforts, such as where to hold field events, and target only the best possible opportunities. As a result, Demandbase saw a 72% increase in the average value of a contract.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, 69% of senior marketing executives globally believe that business owners view marketing as a revenue driver today. So now, nerds aren't only pop culture icons -- they're corporate breadwinners, too. While this is an exciting development, your teams are likely under more pressure than ever to efficiently close more deals.

To meet new revenue expectations, many marketing nerds have adopted ABM, which was a strategy traditionally used by sales teams. By first building a target account list -- the companies with which they want to work -- marketing nerds are empowered to better understand their targets -- their pain points, their needs, etc. -- and thereby create more powerful, cost-effective campaigns that are likely to deliver a favorable ROI.

Essentially, ABM better prepares marketing nerds for success by allowing them to conduct personalized outreach to high-potential accounts. However, to be successful, you need to adjust key performance indicators to better reflect ABM outcomes. Unlike traditional marketing campaigns, the success of ABM campaigns should be measured based on the quality of the leads, rather than the quantity. For example, successfully targeting two large accounts that are open to upsell is far more valuable than delivering twenty leads that may or may not close.

Nerd alliance: marketing and sales

While marketing nerds were inspired by sales teams to implement ABM strategies, real nerds don't rule via domination -- they rule via collaboration. ABM aligns marketing nerds with sales by allowing both teams to jointly define the best set of accounts or segments to target.

Additionally, studies show that sales reps are challenged by the amount of information and time it takes to conduct research and, as a result, miss sales opportunities. By implementing ABM, marketing nerds can work more closely with sales to define the accounts that are most likely to close, saving time that otherwise would've been spent on potentially fruitless research.

The future of marketing nerds

Marketing nerds understand the value and increased success rates that accompany highly personalized outreach to select leads. It's time that you, too, embrace your nerd calling. Given the success of ABM in closing deals, driving revenue growth and aligning marketing and sales, it's safe to say that marketing nerds will continue to run the (marketing) world for the foreseeable future.

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