Awards case study: Find out how Strategic IC helped Acxiom gain £1.5 million sales pipeline

Learn how Acxiom gained £1.5 million sales pipeline, while making the best use of martech for ABM.

About the client company 

Acxiom: Acxiom provides marketing and data services for marketers globally. They combine data, technology, ethics and ideas to help brands understand their customers and deliver great experiences. A leader in identity and ethical data use for 50 years, Acxiom helps thousands of clients and partners work together.

Strategic IC: Strategic IC is a B2B technology marketing agency that specialises in account-based marketing agency services for SaaS and enterprise technology brands. The agency enables B2B technology brands to accelerate growth and maximise investment by identifying and engaging with enterprise accounts actively in-market for their products and services. 

Specific issues or challenges to be addressed 

From a start in broader demand gen/ inbound campaigns, Acxiom commissioned Strategic IC to develop a blended ABM programme to build pipeline fast in its target account cluster of senior marketers in automotive. 

The campaign developed a blended one-to-many and one-to-few ABM programme that harnessed first and third party buyer intent data and deep customer insight. Intent insight (informed by third party technologies) was included to create a more targeted approach, identify accounts actively in the market for Acxiom's solutions, and better serve account challenge focussed content. 

Campaign objectives were to: 

  • Strengthen reputation: Strengthen Acxiom's thought leadership, change perceptions of Acxiom from 'Data only 3rd party provider to a data technology, integrations and service provider, enhance credibility, and influence target accounts. 
  • Build strong relationships in key markets: Identify and engage DMU, deepen relationships, develop advocacy. 
  • Generate and accelerate revenue: Generate and accelerate pipeline, sell new offerings, enter new markets, increase win rate and deal size. 

The target audience 

This campaign focussed on the automotive vertical across EMEA (Linkedin target audience size for Automotive is c.5500 (UK and Europe), and focused on building one-to-few relationships with senior marketers and data/CRM senior leaders. This campaign is the first in a series, which will expand across Acxiom's target industry verticals: travel, retail and financial services. 

The martech solution

Great campaigns are based on solid, data-backed strategies. This campaign leveraged multiple technologies across six steps: 

  • Ideal customer profiling (ICP). The campaign started with a generic ICP and built out to identify precise persona, demographic, firmographic and technographic focus. 
  • Buyer persona development. With an advanced ICP, persona development focused on automotive - identifying job titles, functions and DMUs to influence. 
  • Account selection. Rather than selecting accounts via first party insight alone, they incorporated third party intent data; to identify and engage good-fit accounts in active buying journeys. This technology was fundamental to generate a £1.5m pipeline within 120 days. 
  • Insights brief. When upping personalisation, it's key to inform content strategy with insight. Campaign content was backed by deep insight reports and analysis on the state of automotive. This was used to align messaging with the account pain point for Acxiom to solve for. 
  • Content strategy. Following a buyer journey mapping process, we identified content channels and formats that Acxiom's ideal accounts. Founded on the insights brief, content developed included blogs, infographics, video awareness campaigns - promoted across social media (paid and organic) and content syndication platforms. 
  • Campaign execution plan. Tactics ran across demand generation, one-to-many and one-to-few; to generate leads across target accounts - which were enriched by third party data to build a total active market picture - and introduce social selling and timely SDR leads and account follow-up. This campaign prioritised sales and marketing alignment - including an SDR within the marketing team for fast follow up. 

Deployment 

Intent data was fundamental to target, engage and select the right accounts. 

Account selection used a combination of first (internal) and third party (external) data; from Acxiom's CRM, and via a third party intent provider platform (Nexus); enabling a clearer active market view. 

As an example of martech in action; the AA (Automobile Association) were a target account. Using the intent platform, they monitored topics and keywords that aligned with challenges Acxiom solve; to monitor increasing intent activity in accounts over time (May-Sept 2019) and identify when they were in active buying journeys. 

Through a combination of strategy, data insight and technology, we engaged accounts to deliver campaigns with context, relevance and timing.

Impact on the business 

Over 120 days (May-Sept 2019): 

  • Engaged 86 accounts (new and existing) 
  • Promoted 35 accounts (automotive accounts in active buying journeys) into a one-to-few programme 
  • Generated 6 meetings across target automotive accounts, including Nissan, the AA, McLaren and PSA Group. 
  • Resulting in a £1.5 million sales pipeline 

Considering initial objectives; to strengthen brand reputation, build key relationships and accelerate revenue, the campaign delivered across all areas - in a short timeframe. 

Success depended on leveraging intent technology and insight; to found tactics and strategy on real data rather than assumption, enabling marketing and sales teams to align and engage accounts actively in-market. 

ROI (and budgeting) 

  • From an investment of c.£55,000, activities generated £1.5 million pipeline. 
  • Benefiting from intent insight, they justified increased investment in personalisation at the right times, in active accounts - for best ROI. 
  • Insight enabled by third party technology was instrumental in building the business case to engage at the right level, with active accounts. 
  • This success is transformative, particularly as previously, Acxiom's campaigns focused at a demand generation level. Here they saw the impact of intent - leveraging intent technology within blended ABM, plus greater sales and marketing alignment through social selling, and an SDR within the marketing team for reactivity. They expect to replicate this campaign across other verticals. 

"We have learned a lot over the last year which I am sure will provide invaluable insight for any organisation either thinking about implementing an ABM programme for the first time or looking to fine-tune an existing one."

Jo Robson, Marketing Director, Acxiom

Martech Awards 2020

This submission won the award for Best use of martech for ABM at the B2B Martech Awards 2020. 

Check out the shortlist here

martech awards