Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Inside an Oracle ABM campaign that exceeded its pipeline goals by an order of magnitude

Oracle is using this week’s B2B Marketing Exchange to showcase its success in account-based marketing to key enterprise decision-makers such as human resources executives.

In a joint presentation with its agency, Quarry, Oracle walked through a campaign dubbed “Power To The People People,” which was aimed at driving awareness of its human capital management (HCM) platform in “greenfield accounts” where the software giant didn’t have a strong existing relationship. Through the use of predictive intelligence, Oracle and Quarry identified 109 accounts with three to four contacts each. 

One of the keys to the ABM campaign was to tighten the relationship between sales and marketing, said Kelvin Gee, Oracle’s senior director, Modern Marketing Business Transformation. In the slide deck accompanying the presentation, this point was driven home by an image of some Olympic track runners competing for their individual victory, followed by an image of a soccer team working together to win a match.

“The current state of the relationship between sales and marketing in most organizations is, to perform the usual demand gen tactics — generate some MQLs, pass the baton to sales and hope and pray for the best,” Gee told B2B News Network by phone from B2BMX 2019 in Scottsdale. “It’s like, ‘See you later, hope you make it to the finish line.’ In the account-based world it’s a team sport.”

Achieving that level of orchestration meant conducting pre-sales plan on the campaign to ensure the right list of target accounts, campaign launch planning, follow up reminders and prospect engagement notifications, Gee added.

According to Quarry managing director Merideth Fuller, the campaign creative was specifically designed to humanize the subject matter with warm images where models were photographed “breaking the fourth wall” and looking straight at the viewer.

“We heard clearly from Oracle that they wanted to make sure the HR decision maker was the hero, understanding those folks have such a significant responsibility,” she said.  “The workforce is the largest investment most companies make. The time, attention, and effort that goes into hiring and training, retraining and inspiring the workforce is also a significant one.”

The integrated experience that followed was not limited to a series of e-mail messages but also included gifts such as a copy of The Science Of Story (where one chapter was written by an Oracle executive, a coffee bodum and, later, a snack box.

“The message still needs to seem like it’s coming from a human to another human, and with empathy,” Gee said. “The direct mail gifts were carefully selected with the intention that they would resonate with the ‘people people.’”

The personalization didn’t end there. Quarry created a series of landing pages where subheads were personalized by account, e-mail messages were personalized by first names, and other content, such as supporting videos, were personalized by vertical. Body copy on assets like e-mail were also personalized by topic.

This is particularly important given the range of decision-makers that might be involved in an account, Fuller added, whether it’s HR operations professionals, IT department staff or even finance department leaders.

The ABM campaign exceeded expectations, which included a pipeline goal of $5 million. In the end, pipeline actuals were more than $6 million. Though Oracle is a large organization, Gee said he was hoping to see whether ABM might work equally well across other teams and campaigns.

“In terms of ABM we’re in the pre-season. We’re just getting started. These are, for the most part, pilots,” he said. “For us, it’s finding willing partners to try something new and unconventional, and to get away from this MQL game — what I sometimes call the rat race or the treadmill of chasing MQLs.”

B2BMX wraps up on Thursday.

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Shane Schick
Shane Schickhttp://shaneschick.com
Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.