A New Way of Doing ABM: Branded Podcast

b2b marketing guest interviews Aug 01, 2021

In Conversation with Joe Escobedo, CEO of Esco Media

Listen to the full podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1824245/8955155 

When a lot of people say they want to do ABM (Account Based Marketing) campaign, they generally just think of grabbing a list of top tier targeted accounts, uploading them onto LinkedIn and starting running ads to them. 

But a good ABM campaign is way more than just that. In my conversation with Joe Escobedo, CEO of Esco Media, he shared with me his unique approach on doing ABM differently for both his clients and his company. 

Joe is a man with a lot of different roles and responsibilities. He is the co-author of “Asian Growth Stories: How To Do Business In Asia.", has been a contributor for Forbes, Inc, HuffPost, a digital marketing “professor” at a university and CEO of Esco Media which helps B2B brands accelerate pipeline and conversions through content and social. 

I was lucky enough to spend some time with him and get to pick his brain for a bit around the topic of ABM and learn more about his marketer journey so far. 

Here is what I have learnt. 


So how did you get your foot into marketing?  

I first encountered marketing when I was actually working for a local student store as I was asked to help do marketing for them back in high school. And I really enjoyed that experience and it made me want to do this full time which led me to doing my bachelor degree in marketing. 

After graduation, I started as a marketing research analyst at a venture capital firm for a while before I moved to China to pursue my Masters. Then I took on a job as a journalist in North China, covering all things about business and entertainment. That gave me the exposure in terms of interviewing different executives, finding out about their businesses, and I was fascinated about the process behind it while doing what I love which is content and writing. 

I moved into PR and comms after for big brands such as Nike and Mercedes-Benz in China. It was all exciting but then I felt the PR space was still very traditional and wasn't moving fast enough. I saw that there was a kind of a slow down in the demand for PR and its value within an organisation. Instead, I saw the potential of digital marketing. 

I was in the front seat seeing a lot of organizations moving from traditional to digital, changing their strategy and shifting their money online. So I wanted to learn as much as I could early on so shifted to doing digital marketing and I have never looked back since. 


So having worked in the B2B marketing space for the last 8-10 years, what are the major trends or changes that you saw or are seeing right now? 

One interesting phenomenon I see is the shift from mass marketing to more specific marketing. So you think of Account Based Marketing as something that has gotten really popular over the past few years.  

The approach has already been very well mature in US and Australia but now it is also getting more popular in APAC. I personally love the ABM approach because my approach to building businesses is very one-on-one or one to few anyways.

But with that being said, it is not a strategy that would work out well for all kinds of companies. It depends on your organization, your company structure and the ticket size of your product and services. 

For example, if the average ticket size of your product is over one hundred thousand dollars then adopting an ABM strategy makes perfect sense. If you are a SaaS company and you have a product, which is about maybe a thousand dollars a month, then that strategy may not make as much sense. 

That's not to say you can't do ABM with other tactics or strategies like performance and inbound marketing. But I think the way you structured the approach would be a little bit different. 


So can you share more with us about your ABM approach and the process you help clients to define their ABM strategy?  

Our ABM approach versus our client's approach tends to differ. 

For me, I'm not necessarily interested in the company. I focus on the person who I am working with. Yes, the company still has to be a certain size because we generally work with different departments and different geographies of big enterprise companies. But for me, I focus on people versus organizations because the average tenure of a marketer will be two to three years max. So if they jump to new companies and you solely have a company specific approach, that relationship can be lost easily even if you worked with them for years. 

We've been very fortunate that when our clients joined new companies, they would bring us on board. And that is far more exciting for me because I like working with them regardless of what company that they're in. With that being said, that's not the way most companies do it, not the way our clients do it, which once again, no wrong or right.

In general, companies should have a list of specific companies in mind. Work with the sales team to identify the top 50 to 100 companies that the team is trying to close. Further breaking it down to seniorities, personas, geographies to even specific person at the targeted accounts who you want to target. 

At the start, it is all about gathering as much information as possible to understand who they are trying to reach and what they're actually looking to do with them. 

This is a realization that I learned on a recent project is we should ideally be meeting with both the Head of Marketing as well as the Head of Sales. Because issues happen when there is any sort of gap or misalignment between the two teams. 

You need both teams to align clearly on who we are targeting, understand their personal goals and how we can work together because marketing may be doing something already with that person or Sales may be doing something already.

But our job is to find out what's been done thus far. How do we bridge the gap?


Any exciting things that you are working on with your clients right now? 

We're actually doing a couple of pilots right now with some very large tech companies that will launch hopefully in the next month or so. We are launching what I call the branded podcast series.

So I'm hosting the series and we're bringing the Head of Marketing, Head of Sales from the client's company together with the person we want to reach from the targeted account for a private dialogue or conversation. We are looking to give them an opportunity to share their expertise as well as a channel to understand more about the challenges and goals they have. This is not purely about helping clients in doing discovery but also giving your prospects a platform to build their thought leadership.

It's about finding out what works and what's going to benefit both parties. 


How do you measure the result or the impact of this branded podcast ABM play?

I think we have to have both marketing and sales KPIs. The holy grail is that they close all of the accounts within three to six months. That's the ideal situation. But realistically, even the best sales are unable to close at this rate.

If you look at the amount of investment versus the potential ticket size, if we're able to close even only one of these accounts, the ROI would already be huge. On the sales side, closing deals and opportunities would definitely be the KPIs. 

On the marketing side, we would look at the drastic improvement in terms of reach, engagement, potential leads from these targeted accounts which sales previously could not set a foot on.

On one end, you won't know until months later if you are able to close the opportunity or not. So you're sort of need to be using those marketing matrix, the stuff that you can actually measure to see if we are getting good engagement out of these content and constantly talk to sales to see if marketing is helping to move the needle for these specific accounts. 



Connect with Joe Escobedo on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-escobedo/ 

Listen to the full podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1824245/8955155 

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