1 min read
OK, this is kind of funny. Going into this week, George and I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that we wanted to do a Thanksgiving episode. We...
If you've spent any length of time in the inbound space, the idea that buyers have changed how they make their decisions isn't a new concept....
Meet your HubHeroes
Agency vet, content therapist, messaging strategist, HubHero wrangler.
HubSpotter, partner enabler, strategy wizard, BLACK@INBOUND.
HubSpotter, senior solutions engineer, CRM evangelist, a millennial on TikTok.
George B. Thomas
HubHeroes leader, growth catalyst, guardian of humans, HubSpot expert.
[00:01:26] Devyn Bellamy: I feel so special that I have my own section in the intro. It's just, it's wonderful.
[00:01:31] Liz Moorehead: I want my own safe harbor language. I'm going to advocate for this once more. Liz represents everybody. Liz's opinions represent the globe. Get in line or get
[00:01:43] George B. Thomas: world. The world has its own thoughts. So does Liz.
[00:01:47] Liz Moorehead: A few, I dabble in some thoughts. Uh, also guys, can we just talk about, we are stacked today. We have five, five people rocking the mic today. Max, how are you feeling? You look, you look excited
[00:02:03] Max Cohen: Yeah. Yeah, i'm stoked. I wasn't here last week for some sad stuff. Um, but i'm back now and it's uh Happy stuff. Yeah
[00:02:12] Liz Moorehead: Yeah.
[00:02:13] George B. Thomas: like happy stuff.
[00:02:15] Liz Moorehead: I like happy stuff too. You know what makes me happy? Guys, we have a guest today.
[00:02:19] George B. Thomas: Yes, we do.
[00:02:21] Liz Moorehead: hit up that applause. Let's get some applause in here. Hold on. He
[00:02:24] George B. Thomas: I
[00:02:24] Liz Moorehead: entrance.
[00:02:25] George B. Thomas: Oh! Max beat me to it.
[00:02:28] Liz Moorehead: Woo woo!
[00:02:30] George B. Thomas: I'm a loser. Nice,
[00:02:31] Kevin: Alright.
[00:02:32] Liz Moorehead: tell us a little bit about yourself.
[00:02:34] Kevin: Oh,
[00:02:35] Liz Moorehead: Welcome to the
[00:02:35] Kevin: wow. Um, I guess a little about myself. I've I've been an entrepreneur since I was 13. I was a developer, a little kid developer of applications and programming, you know, that kind of stuff. My first business was an IT company. So I ran that until I sold it to gateway computers. And then I jumped into the sales and marketing world.
And kind of spiraled up to eventually being a An elite partner for HubSpot. So, you know, we have about 40 some odd employees here and, uh, we're, we're rockin it every day.
[00:03:09] Liz Moorehead: That's amazing. Just, I like how you just slid that in there, by the way, just sold to a little company called
[00:03:13] Kevin: I know.
[00:03:14] Liz Moorehead: bigs. No whoops. You know, whatever.
[00:03:15] Kevin: Okay.
[00:03:15] George B. Thomas: you probably haven't heard of him, you know. Um,
[00:03:19] Kevin: Not anymore. Cowboxes. No one knows that anymore.
[00:03:22] Liz Moorehead: Oh my gosh. Hey, prodigy. Remember that, guys? That was fun. I'm not dating myself. This is totally fine. I am.
[00:03:30] Kevin: thought...
[00:03:31] Liz Moorehead: conversation is going to be very. Interesting. Normally I say, I'm so excited about today's conversation, and don't get me wrong, I totally am. But today's conversation is fascinating because in many ways, particularly in the inbound community, I wouldn't necessarily say it is controversial, but there are definitely people who have a lot of opinions about the two different things we're going to talk about and how well they do or do not play together. We are talking about. A. B. M. account based marketing and inbound. Are they mutually exclusive or are they a match made in marketing heaven? And to be honest, let's be real here. If for a lot of people at inbound agencies, they maybe know that how to spell a B. M.
[00:04:20] George B. Thomas: Oh, I got that
[00:04:21] Liz Moorehead: understand. Wait, you got
[00:04:23] Kevin: Apples, bananas, and mangoes. No? We missing something? Why do we
[00:04:26] George B. Thomas: yes.
[00:04:28] Kevin: have bananas in one place? I don't
[00:04:30] George B. Thomas: shopping list.
[00:04:32] Liz Moorehead: it.
[00:04:33] Kevin: a good diet, too, by the way.
[00:04:35] George B. Thomas: Keeps you regular every day.
[00:04:37] Kevin: okay.
[00:04:38] Liz Moorehead: But what my favorite thing about how inbound has evolved is that back in the early days of inbound, there was a very kind of purist mentality about it, right? There was inbound or there was outbound. You didn't, you didn't cross the streams like in Ghost, like you just didn't do it. You kept everything in.
Separate. And what's been fascinating is that as inbound has continued to evolve, we're starting to see some blending of these methodologies. We're starting to see that some of the methodologies and approaches that we considered, like not part of the inbound club actually have a little bit more in common with us than we originally expected.
So Kevin, I know you spoke at inbound, which is how the hub heroes, this family got to know
[00:05:20] Kevin: Yeah?
[00:05:21] Liz Moorehead: We're really excited to have you here today. But I want to start with the, just, I want to just start with the basics. Let's get everybody on the same page to make sure we're all talking about the same thing.
What the heck is ABM actually? And has that definition changed at all over the years?
[00:05:39] Kevin: Great question. Um, I kind of, you know, actually the first thing I did in my session at Inbound was I, um, asked a bunch of marketers out there what they thought ABM was and I got a whole bunch of answers and I started off with, well, if you ask a thousand different marketers to define ABM, you most likely are going to get a thousand different answers.
Um, and it's really because the diversity stems from the fact that, uh, companies communities. kind of shape their definition of inbound around their own products and services and their personal interpretation of the theory rather than the actual implementation of inbound. So, I mean, at the core of inbound, it's basically, or at the core of ABM, it's basically tailoring, you know, one's marketing efforts, you know, to a specific audience.
And that's really not new, you know. I mean, the term maybe didn't exist back then, but the ideology around ABM has kind of been prevalent for, I mean, centuries. You know, marketers for generations have kind of thought to, you know, zero in to specific audiences and align their marketing strategies, you know, accordingly.
You know, although, you know, kind of modern advancements, um, in sales and marketing technologies have kind of revolutionized the way we approach ABM and gone are the days that we relied solely on these broad methods. Like, I mean, I guess you could say like TV and magazines and newspapers to disseminate information.
Now, you know, kind of thanks to evolving technology, we can identify our target customers. And our prospective buyers, uh, more easily, and ABM kind of refines that process, ensuring that individuals receive content that's, you know, more precisely tailored to their needs and their preferences. Um, and with the, you know, advent of like AI, you know, and bringing that into the mix, that really allows us to personalize our content and information even more.
I mean, so, I guess if I, if I was to sum up, you know, ABM. ABM is like refining your audience in such a way that the, the customer journey becomes kind of a unique experience that makes your target audience feel emotionally connected to your product, your service, and your brand.
[00:08:03] Liz Moorehead: George, I want to ask you a quick question, and Max and Devin also feel free to chime in. George, when you and I were talking about this topic initially, because you and I have been batting the ABM acronym around as a topic for long before we actually met Kevin. Thank goodness you came along, bud. We needed you.
But George, you mentioned that you were excited to be here in many ways as a learner alongside our audience. So I'd be curious, again, to all of you. What was his answer what you expected?
[00:08:34] George B. Thomas: So it, like, it wasn't because here's the thing, like, I I'm listening to Kevin and I'm like, uh, bro, I call that content marketing. Like I, I call that being specific to the audience. And so, like. And then I'm always, I get this question and I've got it historically and I've never really known how to answer it because when I, and maybe I'm wrong, like in my thinking, and I totally could be, by the way, that's why I'm excited to be here today is like, when I think about account based marketing, where my brain immediately shoots to is I have a business, I'm sitting there and I know there's only 727 companies that I can sell my thing to.
So. And so therefore, I know that I have to get really good at understanding who those 727 companies are and I don't need to know anything about anybody else. And so I, do I believe that Kevin was like, Hey, that's how you would do the content strategy for this thing, but I was expecting like, uh, to understand a little bit more of like.
When are you a right fit to even think about doing this thing they're calling ABM or when is it like, nah, you're just supposed to be doing general content marketing. That's kind of, I don't know about anybody else, but that's where my brain kind of went in that first little part.
[00:09:55] Max Cohen: I think I was always taught with account based marketing and i'm trying to like think back like when This information even entered my brain, or if I just made it up when I heard the word account based marketing. Um, but you know, at least the, you know, I was learning about it when I was onboarding HubSpot customers, right.
And it was around that time that. ABM started to become much more of like a buzzword, right? And everyone's like, Oh, I want to do account based marketing. I want to do account based marketing. And, you know, they were always coming to the table saying like, Hey, we've got these X amount of very specific companies that we want to go after.
And we have like these big giant logos that we're trying to sell to, whether it's a situation where they're selling to like multiple franchises of a specific company, or there's just like, Hey. We've got these 20 big accounts we want to land and that's it. Right? And, you know, what I was always taught is like, you know, you're, you're going after these specific companies, but the big risk that's involved is that, like, you'd spend a ton of time and effort putting together these, like, very specific campaigns to go after these very specific logos.
And a lot of the time this content wouldn't even be seen until someone from this company, like, you know, actually interacted with it, right? Um, and what's funny is that the more conversations I've had with people where I've asked them, like, what does ABM mean? It's actually more in line with what you said, Kevin, versus this like hyper specific going after only certain target accounts, sort of methodology that like I was taught, right?
Um, you know, so it's, it's interesting to hear you say that because that's more in line with what I've heard other than. You know, versus like what I thought it was, I guess.
[00:11:41] Kevin: Well, you're, you're both right. I mean, George, you're right in the sense that you know what, it is content marketing. It's more personalized content marketing. It's basically you take that content and you personalize the content to your specific audience. So if you have 600 some odd companies you want to go after, there's got to be a differentiation between them.
And what is the differentiation so you can speak to them directly and make them feel like they've been heard and understood. And then also when you talk about that, you know, Max, when you're talking about, you know, these These specific companies that you're gonna go after. Imagine if you won some of those specific companies.
That's that. You know, we start with a one to many going down to a one to view, to a one-to-One approach that, one-to-One approach that could, that could be a huge part of your business. And we've landed some of those businesses by developing out personalized content specifically to a customer. And you know, we won that business.
And you know, yes, it takes a lot of time and effort. You're right, I
[00:12:35] Max Cohen: Yeah. Cause there's like a, it makes sense. I mean, there's, there's risk and reward with anything you do in, in marketing. And we've talked about that a lot on the podcast, but. Um, yeah, I know it was, it was always funny, like, and maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here, but when HubSpot released those ABM tools.
Right. They always seemed a lot more like account based selling because like when that stuff came out and everyone was like, Oh, we can do account based marketing now. I was always sitting here just being like. Well, I mean, what was ever stopping you from saying, Oh, we want to sell in a specific way to Pepsi.
So we'll create a bunch of content and email that's just aimed at people from Pepsi. And when people from Pepsi fill out forms, They go into this workflow for people from Pepsi. You know what I mean? It's like, You could always market to like, Hyper specific slivers of the audience or the market that you're trying to get to.
You know, I wasn't, like, sure how, you know, HubSpot's, like, Targeted Accounts tool or ABM tools, like, Really added much more other than, you know, saying, Here's Targeted Accounts and, like, here's how much they're interacting with you. Right? I don't know. So I thought it was funny. I thought you could always do it with HubSpot, but...
[00:13:47] George B. Thomas: better with me than me, Max, because when they launched the tools, this This was, I was like, uh, uh, that was my response, right? I was like,
[00:13:57] Liz Moorehead: Once again, I can spell ABM.
[00:13:59] George B. Thomas: I'm like, what happened to my tool? By the way, we do have to take a moment out to let everybody know that Pepsi is not sponsoring this podcast, even though Mac said Pepsi at least 57 times in about 30 seconds.
But Pepsi, if you're interested, call a
[00:14:15] Max Cohen: You're better than, you're better than Coke. Anyway, good.
[00:14:18] Liz Moorehead: So Devin, where does your brain go with ABM? Like, uh, was that a surprising answer to you? Do you have more familiarity with it? What's your relationship with ABM overall?
[00:14:27] Kevin: Um, well, we basically, I mean, our relationship with it is that, you know, we utilize it on a regular basis for ourselves as well as everyone else.
[00:14:35] Devyn Bellamy: is literally the story of my
[00:14:37] Max Cohen: Devin rhymes with Kevin. Devin Rhymes! He
[00:14:39] Devyn Bellamy: The entirety of
[00:14:40] Liz Moorehead: Devin runs it.
[00:14:41] Devyn Bellamy: my
[00:14:41] Kevin: Did Devin? Oh, did Devin jump in there?
[00:14:44] Devyn Bellamy: Well,
[00:14:45] Liz Moorehead: No, I was asking Devin.
[00:14:48] George B. Thomas: Liz, Liz, Liz, for the rest of the, for the rest of the podcast, Liz, you're going to have to pronunciate, pronunciate the
[00:14:56] Liz Moorehead: after dark. We're back in the mark after dark scenario. All right. No, Kevin, though, I am very glad to know that you are in a deeply committed relationship with ABM. I was concerned. I saw an it's complicated on your Facebook status. So I'm glad we at least got that cleared up. But Devin, for you, what is your relationship historically been with ABM?
[00:15:15] Devyn Bellamy: Um, when ABM first appeared in the marketing zeitgeist, um, I, I was a huge fan, um, uh, sangrams flip my funnel podcast was like, like a daily sermon for me. Um, for me, uh, ABM about. Not just, you know, we're just going to create target and content. And we're, I mean, the logos that you're going after that's, that's part of it.
Um, but the thing is, is that it goes back to that idea with inbound of finding out what's keeping these people up at night and use that to initiate a human connection. So if there's like, uh, problems that. You've uncovered, um, and in trends that you've uncovered, uh, with this group, then you can start tailoring your content to target that group.
Now, that doesn't mean that that that content is exclusively for that group. Um, what you can do is you can use that to go after them specifically and then continue to do that hyper segmentation, uh, of your, uh, CRM and your contacts. Uh, in order to, uh, disseminate highly relevant, highly specific, highly valuable content about what's keeping them up at night.
And I always like to, uh, to, uh, put an addendum on that, that talking about what's keeping them up at night is not the same thing as talking about the problem that you're solving. Because the problem that you're solving may not have anything to do with what's keeping them up at night, but, uh, at least not directly.
Um, but you can still position yourself as a thought leader in their nightmares, uh, and helping them to, uh, get towards.
[00:17:17] Liz Moorehead: The way you phrased
[00:17:18] George B. Thomas: it's like you're the Freddy Krueger of their marketing
[00:17:21] Liz Moorehead: leader of your nightmares.
[00:17:24] Devyn Bellamy: Yeah, and, and, and how to, uh, what those
[00:17:26] Kevin: O. Yea man,
[00:17:27] Devyn Bellamy: so now I wish I had my buttons, um, there on my other computer, but, um, just being able to address those problems because, like the saying go, there's nothing new under the sun, the same problems that these people are having somebody else is going to have, and so.
In that fashion, the content is still evergreen, but being able to target your efforts, uh, and specifically generate those, uh, content around, uh, the trouble that those logos or that segment are, are facing, um, is, is how I utilize it and how I understand
[00:18:02] George B. Thomas: So, Liz, I know you're doing a great job of herding cats, but am I allowed to, am I allowed to ask a question real quick?
[00:18:11] Devyn Bellamy: it. Your name's on the door,
[00:18:12] Liz Moorehead: And you're getting a gold star you're getting a gold star for
[00:18:15] George B. Thomas: Okay, beautiful.
[00:18:17] Liz Moorehead: Gold star for
[00:18:18] George B. Thomas: So I can't let it go. I was trying to let it go. I really was. I was like, just let it go, George. Let it go, but I can't. I can't. Max said something. Uh, and I was like, wait a second. Uh, wait a second. Max said, um, account based selling and we're on a podcast to talk about account based marketing and we've got a pro here.
And so I really want to know, like, are they, yeah. One in the same? Are they really different? Like, when we're, when all of a sudden we're going to drop a word in there of like account based selling versus account based marketing, like, What does one to do with both of those terms sitting there
[00:19:00] Liz Moorehead: patato or is it potato... Mashed
[00:19:03] George B. Thomas: so,
[00:19:05] Kevin: Well,
[00:19:06] George B. Thomas: Like,
[00:19:06] Kevin: yeah, no problem. The first thing you got to do is you got to bridge the gap between your sales and marketing department. So they're actually working together to, you know, develop out a strategy cohesively, which is usually the challenge.
[00:19:18] Liz Moorehead: alignment.
[00:19:19] Kevin: Um, that's usually the first challenge we run into. And we've had customers that, you know, I've had real problems with that.
But as far as account based selling, what we do now is. We turn the account based marketing on and then as it pushes over, the problem is, is it pushes over to the sales team. The sales team are still just sending out generic stuff, you know, through their sequences and things like that. So we now will set up the account based selling piece associated to that by now separating out their sequences into multiple industries and micro verticals associated to industries and updating their content so that we're actually developing out an account based selling strategy.
For the sales team along with the marketing team so that the journey is cohesive across both departments So that's how I look at the account based selling the way it is today Is you know maintaining that same cohesive? Structure and process from marketing into sales.
[00:20:17] Max Cohen: Yeah, that's an interesting point. Cause like, does it always mean if you're account based marketing, are you always account based selling and do you have to be doing one to do the other? Right. It's an interesting question. Yeah.
[00:20:32] Kevin: It's a, it's, it's actually for the customer. The customers, you know, go through this whole, you know, where they feel seen and heard, right? Um, and then all of a sudden they get to the sales team and it's all this generic stuff. So it changes, you know, kind of trying to keep them together. It's a great question.
Hopefully that answered it for you. Yeah.
[00:20:48] George B. Thomas: No, I love that. And it's, it's funny. I'm glad I asked that question first of all, but second of all. Um, words matter. Words are important. And Kevin, it was interesting when you were talking about account based marketing, you said the word hyper segmentation, right? And I'm just pointing that out to the listeners when you're talking about, um, account based selling, you said micro verticals.
So the moral of the story is whether it's marketing or whether it's sales, this is a, a deeper level. It's a more strategized, uh, plan. It's a, uh, thing that probably should be working together, uh, in the minutiae versus the And what I like to say historically is like, This is one of those scalpel moments instead of a sledgehammer moment.
[00:21:37] Liz Moorehead: It's interesting too, and just going to the chat here for a minute, Salim actually brought up something really cool here in the way he thinks about it. He always imagined account based sellers like the secret agent running a mission and the account based marketer is the computer guy hacking the surveillance systems and guiding them on where to
[00:21:52] George B. Thomas: Let's go!
[00:21:53] Kevin: I like
[00:21:54] Liz Moorehead: I love that.
[00:21:55] Devyn Bellamy: inaccurate.
[00:21:55] Liz Moorehead: That's
[00:21:56] Devyn Bellamy: inaccurate, Salim.
[00:21:58] Liz Moorehead: So, what's interesting is that, where I wanted to take this conversation, it sounds like we've already answered one of the big questions, which is that, why do so many people see them as mutually exclusive? One, we're going to get into how inbound mindsets apply to ABM strategies here in a second, but it sounds like it's also just a lack of understanding.
There's like the natural evolution Of outbound and inbound principles converging as they have been, I would say, probably over the past decade, like we're just continuing to see more blending happen naturally as people get more dimensional in their strategies, but it sounds like also just in general. I don't understand it, so it's a no, like, that's kind of like, like, I think that's where a lot of it seems to come from, but I'd love to hear from you, Kevin, when you think about, cause you spoke at Inbound, you weren't, you weren't a wolf in sheep's clothing.
You're like, this is where I'm supposed to be. This is with my people. And I'm here speaking at Inbound about ABM. When I ask you. What types of inbound mindsets can apply, be applied to execute great ABM strategies? Where does your brain grow? Go, to quote one, George B. Thomas. Devon,
[00:23:13] Kevin: Um, I think that's a great question. I mean, you know, I think HubSpot, It's primarily known for its inbound capabilities, but it offers so many different powerful tools that leverage ABM strategies. I mean, you have your targeted accounts and other areas that you can utilize, but if you think about traditional.
inbound type of strategies. Content, obviously, is one big part of that. But it's just creating more personalized content, more personalized landing pages, content tailored for specific accounts and industries and micro verticals associated with those industries. Um, this ensures that your target accounts receive the content that's most relevant to their needs.
And there's also other features. I mean, so, as those that are thinking about inbound, they should be thinking about, like, personalization. Well, we have smart rules, right? Smart rules can serve up different type of content based on the data and information that's already within your platform. You know, the industry and the other piece of information.
So use those smart rules. Nobody's... Sorry, not many people are using and doing that. You create all this amazing content. Why are we not using it to share it with those individuals and make them feel like we're actually speaking to them? Another thing that I think people could be using is lead scoring.
The whole lead scoring strategy allows you to change your content based on behaviors and as they move down the funnel or, you know, move down the process from a one to many to a one to few to a one to one. That lead score can serve up different content based on where they are within their journey.
Still content that's more specifically defined and developed out for Um, you know, for that account or, you know, that type of individual. Um, so that's another tool that I think is available to them. Also, across the board, we talked about, um, uh, you know, like the, uh, you know, sales automation. There's the service hub.
There's all the different hubs that we have that all work together within Cyber Platform. That integration between each of those allows us to kind of, again, serve up information that's going to help us to Target and pinpoint, um, uh, content that's going to really get the customer educated to understand the value that, you know, that we as an organization might provide.
Um, so I look at HubSpot just as an inbound platform. It's kind of a suite of tools that when, you know, executed or leveraged in a hybrid approach, um, you know, combining the best of both inbound and outbound along with ABM. You know, tailors that experience to targeted accounts while maintaining the kind of fundamental principles of inbound marketing. There's
[00:25:59] Max Cohen: I love that you brought up smart content. That was the, that was like the cool move that like I would always show people that weren't quite thinking about it that way, where it's just like. Alright, you're going to create a whole bunch of like landing pages for, you know, brand X that you're really trying to like capture or franchisee X, like whatever it may be, like, imagine if you just did a smart content module on your homepage that was based on a list of that contact having a certain email address, right?
And like they hit your homepage and all of a sudden it says, see how company X uses product Y to do whatever. And they go, Oh, that's me like that is. Crazy unexpected. It's a huge pattern interrupt. It's insanely personalized, right? and like people just like aren't thinking of using something like the Most simple features that hub spot has to like deliver exactly what you're talking about.
[00:26:46] Kevin: that's the future. The future is that type of personalization. When we design websites now, the future is to create that using smart content, to, you know, again, serve up information. If someone comes to our website that's in healthcare, I want them to see everything healthcare. If they come to our website and they're from a tech background, I want to send them to see everything tech based.
That allows us to be able to do that, you know, using smart content.
[00:27:10] George B. Thomas: So, so, well, don't, don't jump off of that, uh, because
[00:27:15] Liz Moorehead: oh, no, I wasn't. I wasn't jumping off of it, but
[00:27:18] George B. Thomas: because as, as, um, if we're talking about the future. And we're talking about hub heroes. Um, what, what we need to enable them with is you're going to go to the internet and you're going to type in smart content or something.
I don't, I want you to head to contextual marketing. In other words, if you type into Google or we'll probably put in the show notes, the link to the HubSpot Academy certification on contextual marketing. Which will teach you all about smart rules and the places that you can use them in HubSpot if you're not doing so right now and allow you to embrace what we're talking about as the future of this and the way to communicate in this with actually the knowledge to be able to execute the thing based on the education you'll have.
So again, link in the show notes or search HubSpot contextual marketing certification.
[00:28:14] Liz Moorehead: Oh, that will be linked in the show notes. Well, George, the best part is, is that you, uh, you answered the question I also wanted to hear from Devon on. So we're staying on the right track, which is really understanding, Devon, from your perspective, as Of the others, you're, of the other guys, you seem to have more of a, a plug into ABM.
That's something that's been in your DNA as an inbounder longer than say, Max and George, right? So I'd be curious, as someone who has been, Consuming this type of content, thinking about ABM. How do you think about inbound mindsets applying to ABM strategies? Where does your brain go with that?
[00:28:58] Devyn Bellamy: You, you, and I'm sorry, George, because you haven't said it yet, but I'm gonna go ahead. You gotta focus on the humans.
[00:29:04] George B. Thomas: Now,
[00:29:04] Liz Moorehead: Do you want to give us a good humans? Do you, don't worry, we're going to be talking about humans here in just a
[00:29:08] George B. Thomas: Okay, so I want to go after this then. I want to go after this because there was a worm in my brain that I want to unpack, but go ahead, Devin.
[00:29:15] Liz Moorehead: Do you want to give us one good humans though, George? Just like one
[00:29:18] George B. Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. Ladies and gentlemen, Devin is about to talk about the humans.
[00:29:24] Liz Moorehead: Oh yeah, that's what's up right there. That's the good, that's the business. Devin continue.
[00:29:30] Devyn Bellamy: when you're thinking about inbound, like, on a macro level, you're thinking about, you know, your target personas, and you're thinking about the challenges, their watering holes, things like that. When you're thinking about, when you're doing it with ABM, It's like Kevin said, it's like hyper segmentation and focusing specifically on a group of individuals who may or may not be at the same company.
Um, and you want to focus on that challenge and, and to allude to the topic that we had before about the integration of account based marketing and account based selling. If you keep that customer centric mindset, the idea is that you're catering to this person and their needs, um, before and notice I'm saying person and not people because you're doing this one person at a time.
One interaction at a time and using tools like HubSpot to automate that process. But you're focusing on the needs of that individual and meeting their needs one to one throughout the entirety of the customer journey. So when we're talking about incorporating. Uh, inbound and a B. M. It's to me very close to the same thing, but on a smaller scale, more targeted.
Um, and so you're, you're, you're taking these challenges. And like we were talking about before, with smart content, the way I used a B. M. Personally. Um, and incorporated smart content into it was when I was working for a shower manufacturer, specifically shower bases. Um, I know entirely too much about shower bases.
I judge hotels based on them. So, oh, absolutely. I've made TikTok videos about shower
[00:31:15] Liz Moorehead: we do a power ranking for Inbound 2024 of the, of the shower bases of hotels in and around the Boston
[00:31:23] Devyn Bellamy: I get, I get into it. I'm talking materials, tiles, solid surface, whether or not you have pebble, whether or not they're
[00:31:30] Kevin: not cleaning them
[00:31:31] Devyn Bellamy: drain, oh yeah, and of course, if it's not clean, I'm not even going to, you know, ah, anyway. Um,
[00:31:36] George B. Thomas: out.
[00:31:37] Devyn Bellamy: the thing is, is that with something as simple as you would think of shower bases, different verticals refer to them in different ways.
Some say shower base, some say shower pan, some call them receptacles, some call them floors. And the thing is, is that depending on the vertical you are trying to address, the naming structure and nomenclature is completely different. What you can do is use your smart content to, uh, look at who they are.
What vertical they in or what pages they've gone to and then make your content just ever so slightly adjusted. So you're speaking to them in a language that they understanding is comfortable to them. And so it can be as simple as that, um, but getting into the more nuanced and granular applications of it.
At that point, we're talking about the actual challenges that they're facing, like, for instance, uh, in a mental health setting, they're thinking about. Non ligature and basically keeping people from hurting themselves using the equipment versus when you're looking at dorms and residence halls who are experimenting with unisex bathrooms, then their challenges are Florida ceiling partitions so people can feel comfortable when they go into the space that no one's looking at them.
No one's crawling under. No one's crawling over. It's basically a room within a room. But at the end of the day, we're talking about showers. And they might all come to the same page looking for completely different things. And I'm able to segment my content, uh, and, uh, identify the problems, uh, and potential solutions, um, without them ever leaving.
Uh, just because I've adequately identified the verticals or the logos that I'm going after.
[00:33:21] Kevin: Yeah.
[00:33:24] George B. Thomas: So, thank God that was dope. First of all, um, I,
[00:33:29] Liz Moorehead: Devin Bellamy, shower receptacle
[00:33:31] George B. Thomas: I'm like, I just, my next business, I'm going to open something to do a shower pans and get
[00:33:36] Liz Moorehead: You knew it was a mic drop moment though, when I literally, for those who are in the audience watching this live, you could see it happen, but Devin just spit straight fire for like four minutes and both Kevin and George at the same time were like, well. Who's going to follow that?
[00:33:51] George B. Thomas: well, so I do, I do want to follow that though because I have this bugger worm in my brain where it, when we were going to talk about account based marketing and even when Max was talking about Pepsi, um, I was getting sad because And we've, we joked about this, but you all know, I like to talk about the humans and I felt like I made the assumption, which one should never do that.
This conversation would actually lean into some strategies of how we should be, um, approaching, engaging or paying attention to the company more. Then we should actually the humans and I was gonna ask the question of like, well, shoot, like, is this and then Devon steps in and goes, Hey, I'm surprised we haven't said the word.
And also my
[00:34:41] Liz Moorehead: George. You have no idea where we're about to
[00:34:44] George B. Thomas: Let's do it.
[00:34:44] Liz Moorehead: we're, we're going deeper down that or because George, I love that you brought that up. I'm glad that you interjected with it because when Kevin and I were prepping for this conversation, he and I were talking quite a bit about like, what do people get wrong about this?
Where do, what are the connotations of ABM? That people fundamentally do not understand. And one of the things that really jumped out at me, Kevin, when you and I were talking, is that like, the first thing, the first word that he brought up in the conversation was human. talked about how in the world of ABM, the human connection is often seen as a critical element.
And so, Kevin, I'm gonna have to just like, spoiler alert this, you have like, a hilarious dating analogy that goes along with this, that like, literally, I had to kind of, I had to pause. For I had to pause,
[00:35:34] George B. Thomas: is this going to be like a Tik Tok moment here in a hot minute? Yeah. Yeah.
[00:35:37] Liz Moorehead: I haven't, I don't know. I don't know. Nobody say anything, nobody interrupt him. So that way we can get good social video anyway.
No, but I would love to hear you talk about why building strong human connections is essential to ABM success. Because George, your point right there, I think is where people struggle. They're like, well, I'm just focusing on the company. No one needs people, you know, like, like that's, that's, and that's why we're having this conversation.
So, Kevin. Talk to me,
[00:36:05] Kevin: I'm going to go two ways with that. First, I'm going to start with the building a human being. So we have to think about it. You know, we as humans, right? We yearn every day for authentic connections, not just with people around us, like all of us connected to each other together, but with the brands that we engage with every day.
So every purchasing decision that we make in so many different ways is has an emotional component to it. I mean, yeah logic. We know logic kind of plays a part, but the emotions kind of weigh in to tip the scale of, you know, how we make the decisions on what we purchase, you know, it could be either nostalgia that maybe a brand evokes within us or, or maybe like the trust that we feel towards a certain brand or even, even the way it resonates with our values, but these, these emotional trends bind us to our choices.
Now, if you want to transpose that into ABM, We are not targeting faceless corporations. You guys said that. We're reaching out to individuals, you know.
[00:37:03] Liz Moorehead: Max is so happy right now.
[00:37:05] Kevin: Each has their unique preference and their emotions and, and we need, want to genuinely engage with them and foster their trust so that we need to be able to tap into their inherent human desire for connection.
Because at the end of the day, before the, any transaction occurs, you know, there has to be an engagement of trust and trust as we all know it is the kind of the foundation of connection. So while all this technology and data and strategy and all the stuff that we do, the Pivotal, the ABM, all that good stuff, we can't underestimate the power and the importance of human connection and human touch.
All back to what Devon was saying in the beginning part of that process. Um, now, I, I could go on further about kind of what I talked about at Inbound. Liz, do you want me to do that? Or do you want to kind of talk a little bit about human connection first?
[00:37:52] Liz Moorehead: Talk to us a little bit about it, but I think everybody needs to experience a little bit of the magic that I got to experience, and then let's dig into that human connection
[00:37:59] Kevin: All right, um,
[00:38:01] Liz Moorehead: Because I think it's part of it, because the way you told the story, it kind of talks about human connections are built
[00:38:07] Kevin: Yeah, I did. I kind of, I likened the whole inbound connection to, and there's various phases of ABM strategy, and I'll talk about the phases, and we'll get into that a little bit. But, you know, it's, it's How we undergo, I kind of likened it to how we undergo the realm of human relationships. From online dating to the expansion of the family.
It's like this journey, um, much like love, right? Where we consistently work to understand that, that deeper connection with, with each other, with humans. So I, you know, if we start with like, so there's five phases, first of all. There's five phases. Brand awareness. Building the pipeline, pipeline acceleration, customer retention, and customer expansion.
Those are the five phases of ABM on how we deliver out an ABM strategy. But when you look at the first one, brand awareness. It's like online dating, right? So, when you're, when you're doing online dating, what you have to do is you have to kind of first, you know, type in all your information, you put all your stuff in there, then you're swiping right and swiping left, and you're engaging with somebody, right?
Well, similarly, with ABM, in the brand awareness phase, what are we doing? We're building out content that tells all the greatest stuff about ourselves, um, and then we're pushing that out to an audience and hoping that they engage with it. So it's like that first level, the brand awareness, like that first level of online dating, whereas when we transition to building the pipeline, that next phase, that kind of reminded me of the process of Dating to moving towards exclusivity.
You know, you've moved beyond the initial interactions of the whole kind of, you know, online dating part of it. Now you're delving deeper into understanding each other, the needs, the aspirations of the other person that's sitting in front of you as you're going through the dating process. Yes, we're dating now.
In the ABM world, this is where you start to engage with these accounts more deeply. You know, your content changes. You're providing them a richer understanding of your products and services. You begin to evaluate them through behavior based content. That's all part of the process. Um, so that's the building the pipeline.
Um, I can, uh, if you guys want to comment on any of that, or I can go on to the next stage. Um, alright, I'll jump into the next one. Um, so pipeline acceleration. That feels like entering that committed relationship. You know, where you're...
[00:40:26] Liz Moorehead: Gettin goin steady.
[00:40:27] Kevin: right. Now you're establishing trust. You've got this deeper emotional connection.
Similarly, like with ABM, this is the phase where your potential leads actually become genuine opportunities. They're moving into the pipeline, right? You know, you've engaged enough where they have a genuine interest. Um, and now it's about nurturing that interest and guiding them towards the purchase. To where they eventually become the customer.
To where you put a ring on it. Uh, and this is the point of marriage. You're making that decision. That's the long haul. Ensuring the relationship thrives and grows. And it's funny. It's a common mistake of so many marketers. That they stop engaging after the sale. And they go back to start again. They go back to the brand awareness.
It's like, wait a second. You just got married. Does it mean you kind of kick back and say, great. I'm just gonna watch football. No, you got to still dig in. You still got to give all those that, that care and the love that you did through the dating process. So we got to be able to manage the customer retention piece.
Now the final one, customer expansion. It's about. growing together, evolving together. And it's akin to building like a family, you know, where you have that deeper relationship and you're, you're, you're buying a house, you're building a family, you're having kids, depending on what you want in life. Right.
You know, and if I were to use, let's say my company as example, it's as a business. It's where I want to continuously offer more value. If they started off with an onboarding, I want to now take them into a full time relationship. I mean, ABM just isn't about selling, it's about building a bond, a connection.
And just like in love, the journey matters just as not, if not more than the, than the destination.
[00:42:08] Max Cohen: Yeah.
[00:42:09] Kevin: my two cents of it all.
[00:42:11] Max Cohen: Yeah. And I think it, it, it, it kind of goes into the account based selling piece a bit too. I mean, like I would think that if you were a company that was really going into an account based marketing model, it's probably because you have these bigger customers that you want to have that you can continuously sell to during the entire relationship, not just sell them one thing and then you're done.
Right. Right. So like. You know, in that account based sales motion, building those human connections is so important because you got to figure out how to navigate all the people there. Like if you're selling to, you know, if you're a company that's selling something to McDonald's, right. You're not selling something just to McDonald's once you're probably getting McDonald's to agree that you can sell to them and then you're figuring out how to build all the relationships with all the franchisees and all the regional, you know, uh, holding companies and all the places that are like.
Buying from there because you've become a vendor of choice for them or whatever it may be, right? So it's like you're you're having to constantly deploy that flywheel Tons and tons and tons and tons of times On your individual customers like when you're when you have to sell or market in that model, right?
um, so like the human stuff I think is so important and you know, just like Just like it is with inbound like i've you guys have heard me say a billion times. There's no such thing as B to B. It's always B to H or have to have humans at businesses to humans at businesses. Like it's all, you know, you're, you're, you're talking to people and like that calculus doesn't change just because you're doing account based marketing, right?
It's still ends up being people that you're selling to at the end of the day. Um, and you can't forget about that. So I just like how you weave that into everything you talk about when you're going through it. People forget it, man. It's crazy. Like again, you said like faceless organizations. Like I was, I always called it, uh, you know, you're not selling to sentient buildings with arms.
That's, that's how I kind of characterize to like, you know, what people thought they were selling to when it's B2B. It's like, no, there's people in there.
[00:44:10] Kevin: Absolutely.
[00:44:11] Liz Moorehead: George, you are being surprisingly hurtable right now. Which means you're processing something, and I also don't trust it. Like, I just frankly, I don't trust this right now.
[00:44:23] George B. Thomas: so, so, no, I am processing because it's funny. Um, cause I'm taking in what Kevin was stating, the five phases, right? And, um, and, and it was five phases explained as ABM, but when I heard the five phases and when what was happening there, there were two things that are happening in my brain. One, I was wondering if we should start another podcast that has to do with relationship advice, but the true thing that I was
[00:44:50] Liz Moorehead: Call her. Stop waiting three days to text back. Done.
[00:44:54] George B. Thomas: put a ring on it. But, but the real thing that was going through my brain is, is this one of those areas where, and, and, and back in the day I did this with, um, we talk about the buyer's journey and we talk about the customer journey and the buyer journey in the customer journey, or actually one thing, but smart people decided to crack it up into two different things and talk about it, which to me is weird.
And so when I heard Kevin talking about the five phases, I was like, oh. Um, okay. That's ABM and ABS or account based marketing and account based sales. Because if you're going to put a ring on it, you just bought something baby. And so my brain was literally trying to process like the conversation around the five phases to the entire.
account based journey versus it just being the marketing journey or the sales journey of that account based conversation that we're having. That's why I was easily hurtable. I'll start throwing in some more shenanigans so that you can
[00:45:54] Liz Moorehead: I wasn't saying that, George. I wasn't saying that. I was just trying, I was just trying to get ahead. I was trying to steer into the skid. I was trying to steer into the skid. Also, again,
[00:46:03] George B. Thomas: Turn right to
[00:46:04] Liz Moorehead: Also, I, look, I saw Devin and Max also get, like, start laughing. We were all uncomfortable. When George is suddenly very quiet, it's like, what?
Has he started another company in his head? Are we already volunteered for another podcast? Like, what's happening? What's
[00:46:21] George B. Thomas: in a moment, by the way. Like,
[00:46:22] Liz Moorehead: Those happen in a moment, and then I get a sla My favorite part is when I get a Slack message on a Saturday that's like, No need to respond to this until Monday.
I'm like, Oh, yay and oh no. I
[00:46:37] George B. Thomas: True facts. True facts.
[00:46:38] Liz Moorehead: Okay, so I know we don't have too much time left. What I do want to wrap this conversation up with, other than the obvious of like, Kevin, would you like to be our friend and come back sometime to talk about more detailed ABM approaches? Because I think, What's been really fascinating about this conversation is the light bulb moments.
I've been watching George and Max and to some extent, Devin have throughout this conversation. Well, he's the shower receptacle King with an ABM backbone.
[00:47:08] Devyn Bellamy: Okay, see, I didn't know how to take that at first, like, can I not have light bulbs? But
[00:47:14] George B. Thomas: Oh,
[00:47:14] Liz Moorehead: No, you were, you were the light bulb creator today, sir. You are a light bulb creator. I mean, if the light bulb
[00:47:25] Kevin: I really, I started thinking about my shower this morning and what type of flooring I had. You know when I heard that conversation.
[00:47:32] Liz Moorehead: pebbled or get out. That's what I've learned today.
[00:47:34] Devyn Bellamy: Literally pebbled her
[00:47:36] Max Cohen: I went, I went into my bathroom and I sent Devin a picture of my shower base and I get him to rate it. So
[00:47:41] George B. Thomas: Oh my god.
[00:47:42] Max Cohen: it's not good.
[00:47:43] Liz Moorehead: Is that where you
[00:47:44] Max Cohen: that's where I went.
[00:47:45] Liz Moorehead: I was wondering, like, remember that time you said that you were going to be super focused during today's
[00:47:50] Max Cohen: I listened the entire time
[00:47:51] Devyn Bellamy: Oh my god, he actually did. And don't show this to anyone ever again.
[00:47:56] Liz Moorehead: wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, rate max the shower. I mean, we'll get to ABM in a second. Rate max the
[00:48:01] Devyn Bellamy: I'm going to give it a five cause he has jets in his bathtub.
[00:48:05] Liz Moorehead: Five out of
[00:48:05] Kevin: Oh, that's good.
[00:48:07] Liz Moorehead: Five out of five, five out of
[00:48:09] Max Cohen: I have some
[00:48:09] Devyn Bellamy: Yeah.
[00:48:10] Max Cohen: out of the bottom of it that I don't quite know how to deal with. So I wanted to,
[00:48:13] Devyn Bellamy: Yeah. I'm, I'm curious about that. Like there, there are questions there. Actually, I'm going to give it a six and here's why your floor is pebbled. That's a safety thing.
[00:48:23] Kevin: Uh,
[00:48:24] Liz Moorehead: pebble pebble
[00:48:26] Devyn Bellamy: bases, smooth bathtubs, total safety hazard. My, my bath, my, I have a house that I'm renting, my bathtub is not pebbled.
My two year old jumped in it and slipped and then slid around like it was a cartoon after he landed. And after he was okay, I did laugh a lot. But, the thing is, that's why you need pebbles. You can't do that in a pebbled tub.
[00:48:49] George B. Thomas: So, Liz, I'm, I'm going
[00:48:51] Liz Moorehead: ABM strategies and parenting advice. We're doing
[00:48:53] George B. Thomas: I'm going to send you the latest ebook for you to download on how to truly herd cats so you can download it before next week's episode.
[00:49:04] Liz Moorehead: Ouch.
[00:49:05] Kevin: ABM approach right there. He targeted
[00:49:07] George B. Thomas: Very specific to
[00:49:09] Liz Moorehead: he targeted with a knife in my back. That hurt, man. Hold on a second. No, I'm kidding. All right. So, Kevin, I'm going to give you a different last question than everybody
[00:49:18] Kevin: Alright, what do you got? Yeah.
[00:49:19] Liz Moorehead: Everybody else, this is your warning. I want you to think about, George, I'm not even going to bother telling you one thing because you'll give me 80 regardless as to whether I tell
[00:49:27] Devyn Bellamy: I know you said one thing, but...
[00:49:31] George B. Thomas: I have said that
[00:49:32] Liz Moorehead: And I'm only going to give you one thing, but here are five other things. Gentlemen, I want you to think about something you learned today that genuinely surprised you. Kevin, what is one myth you hope about ABM people are walking away with today completely debunked?
[00:49:48] Kevin: Uh, that it's a heck of a lot easier to put together than it, uh, than they thought it was. That they could actually do it in less time, especially with artificial intelligence and all the new features built into the HubSpot platform. You can now knock an ABM strategy out in weeks rather than months and years what it used to be like.
[00:50:08] Liz Moorehead: That's incredible. Gentlemen, George, are you ready with your 80 things or Max, would you like to go first?
[00:50:15] Max Cohen: Um...
[00:50:16] Devyn Bellamy: I won't even ask Devin, but that's fine.
[00:50:19] Max Cohen: I'd like to hear Devins.
[00:50:24] Liz Moorehead: Do you know what I love about today's episode? It's less chaotic, but more catty. We're doing great, guys.
[00:50:30] Devyn Bellamy: No, my thing is I didn't realize that people, um, didn't think of inbound as an intrinsic part of ABM. But maybe that's just because of how I learned it. Um, that I, I learned... I learned them as two integrated, uh, two integral, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, aspects of the same process. And so having the content focused mindset going into your, uh, account targeting, uh, vertical targeting, um, that was, that was how I learned it.
Uh, and then that combined with, um, this is the first time I've heard the term account based selling. Uh, because I figured technically all selling is account based selling, but, um, the fact that You need to incorporate, uh, that's another thing that I didn't know that people didn't know was that you need to incorporate your, your sales process as a part of your, uh, marketing process in order to be truly successful with ABM.
Because it's, it's a very. Human centered approach, just like inbound is a human centered approach. HubSpot is completely built around the human centered approach. You want to be able to take that information that you've gathered and continue that level of interaction throughout the entire journey.
[00:52:02] Liz Moorehead: Devon, that was a bright bulb answer if I've ever heard
[00:52:04] Devyn Bellamy: you.
[00:52:05] Liz Moorehead: Brightest bulb in the box. wants to follow
[00:52:08] Max Cohen: I'd say it's, it's, I don't think it's ever a situation where you're saying, are we doing inbound or are we doing ABM? Um, if you're doing ABM, you're doing inbound, uh, it's, they're, they're, they're, they're kind of the same thing, only you're changing up like how you're actually focusing that audience, right?
Like that's, that's the thing you're, you're still creating content. You're still focusing on attracting, engaging, and delighting. But you're, you're doing it in a way where, you know, you, you have specific targets that you're going after. Right. Um, but you gotta make sure you're, you know, you're, you're doing that.
Cause again, the, the thing that the thing that is, is the same between account based marketing and just doing, you know, general, you know, larger audience inbound, I guess is what you'd call it in comparison to that is that it's still human beings that you're selling to that's the variable. It doesn't change, right?
It's the constant. So. Um, you know, just keep that in mind. Haaaaaa.
[00:53:00] Liz Moorehead: George.
[00:53:01] George B. Thomas: Now, I know you said one thing,
[00:53:03] Liz Moorehead: Oh my God.
[00:53:05] George B. Thomas: so,
[00:53:06] Liz Moorehead: so funny.
[00:53:08] George B. Thomas: listen, the, the company humans mindset for me was. Was a thing like I'm like, okay I I can get behind this just a little bit more than where my brain let me go before But also the shocking thing about this episode is we spent What I thought was going to be a, an obnoxious amount of time talking about the HubSpot target accounts, ideal client profile, uh, company recommendations like the tools.
And we really didn't talk about the tools at all. And this might be one of the highest humans mentioned episodes that we have. So. That's where I'll leave it is that it was less about tool, um, total mind shift around companies and it really conversation that I love is about just create great content for humans that needs your help.
[00:54:14] Liz Moorehead: See, that's why we need to have Kevin back, because what I love about this episode, I did the same thing. You know, I knew in this episode coming in that we were going to be talking about the hoomans, our favorite little hoomans, you know, doing all their hooman things and making sure people understand that companies are just made up of hoomans as well, hoomans with needs and pains and fears and goals and challenges and all of these different things.
But one of my favorite things about this conversation is that we have a bunch of Inbounders and a bunch of ABM And I think there's an assumption that is often made that we are speaking the same language when we are not. Like we've had this episode on the calendar for weeks now and Devin didn't realize that all of us were sitting here going, so ABM and inbound, those are different.
Like we consider them separate and different. And I think that's why I wanted this conversation to start here and why we will have Kevin back to talk about tactics.
[00:55:08] Devyn Bellamy: need to check their
[00:55:09] Liz Moorehead: I'm saying this live and recorded so you can't get out of it, Kevin, you're welcome. But that was really, you know, the big thing that excited me about this episode.
I would say the biggest surprise for me and the biggest takeaway is that, honestly, it's really challenging me to rethink how I think about inbound in general. I think we tend to think about, and the reason why a lot of people think that inbound and ABM do not play well together is because they're operating with a.
2012 mindset. It's like, well, inbound, it is a blog. Then it is a landing page. Then it is an ebook. Then it is a, this an inbound is, is the reason why we talk about mindset so much on the show. And in this episode in particular is that inbound cupcakes really is a state of mind. It is about genuinely being of service.
To people and ABM is just taking that with more specificity, a step further to be genuinely helpful because when we think about the things that we didn't like about traditional outbound approaches, it's not just the fact that we were getting spray and prayed in the face with a bunch of ads from companies that didn't care about us, it's because they were not showing that they genuinely cared about us at all.
ABM is just caring very specifically about very specific humans. It's But, you know, whether you're a pebbled or a not pebbled type of shower receptacle guy, you know, will be here for you. And on that note, thank you so much, Kevin, for joining us this week, George, you were very docile. It was terrifying.
I'm sure I will pay for that next week. And to our listeners, love us, leave us a review on your preferred podcast platform helps us get found. Also, I'm an only child who loves affirmation more than breathing. So like, you know, throw us a couple of bones. I don't know. Anyway, but until next week, validation.
Until next week. Bye, everybody.
[00:57:04] Kevin: Take care.
[00:57:08] Liz Moorehead: That was quite an end.
[00:57:10] Max Cohen: Ugh.