Live From The Marketing Nation: Day 3 – ABM, Content Marketing, and Leadership

By Ellen Gomes


Author: Ellen Gomes

Usually, by the time you hit the last day of a conference, you can feel the energy dwindling, but that wasn’t the case for day three of Marketing Nation Summit. Maybe it was the awesome party and Train concert the night before, but sessions were packed—both with people and awesome content. Here are some takeaways and highlights from a few key sessions:

Be a Champion Leader

Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group, kicked off his session, 2017: The Year of Tough Choices, by setting the scene: we do a ton of stuff. And, according to Michael, that stuff can do more harm than good. In fact, he shared a stat that highlighted this for the audience: after 40 impressions in a short period of time, sales decline. It’s not even that your marketing messages aren’t being listened to, it’s that buyers are actively punishing you for overwhelming them with volume.

So why do we do it? Because the CMO is expected to deliver ROI for the organization. Michael posed that “behind every bad marketing idea is an executive who asked for it,” and then challenged the audience to make tough choices, highlighting that “in 2017, we have a choice to do what our boss tells us to do or what we know will work.”

But it’s not really about blaming your boss. It’s about continuing to do activities just to check a box. We need to stop blaming our boss and instead start proposing new ideas. We are the leaders. It’s our job to hold ourselves accountable to drive impact for the organization.

It is time for us to become a champion leader.

Instead of trying to stop directives from the top down, we need to start championing ideas from the bottom up.

You can’t create an idea champion—you have to earn that. When we champion other people’s ideas, we earn a supporter for life. So look around on your team, and ask yourself, whose ideas have you championed lately?

ABM School is in Session

Joe Chernov, VP of Marketing at InsightSquared, shared the lessons he’s learned as he implemented account-based marketing (ABM). With simply amazing slides, his real-life advice went beyond high-level strategy and theory to tackle the issues that ABM marketers face in their day-to-day. So, according to Joe, here’s what they didn’t teach you in ABM school:

  • Get out of the gate and win early: Many organizations are in the habit of needing credit for different activities. And for ABM to be successful, you need to abandon the idea of credit. “Credit is a dirty word,” Joe urges, because “the more you think about sales and marketing individually, the farther away you get from working accounts together.” Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, demonstrate the success of your ABM strategy by winning together, early.