by Hillary Carpio, Director of Account Based Marketing at Snowflake
Marketers do everything possible to understand their target audience, but the amount of data available can be overwhelming. As a result, most organizations haven’t yet cracked the code to transform all available insights into an experience that makes sense for a customer. Instead, many marketers end up providing a generic experience to everyone.
Account-based marketing (ABM) on the other hand, is all about personalization and applying all knowledge of a person or group of people in a way that resonates with them and their specific needs. Most companies have phenomenal marketing capabilities. With ABM, you can filter the information from these activities to serve the most relevant nuggets to a particular account. And from there, you open the door for a meaningful conversation.
Snowflake is a data cloud that allows organizations to easily unify, integrate, and analyze their data. The data cloud creates a network effect, so customers can leverage data from other organizations to make better business decisions. The unique structure of Snowflake’s data cloud allows our business to connect and quickly unlock new business value.
We’re a software company, but we’re also a spirited and humanized brand, with a lot of personality. As Director of ABM, I’m responsible for ABM as a global center of excellence, as well as strategy and execution in North America. My team is split between enterprise and “majors,” who support our sales team focused on our Fortune 1000 accounts.
We have about 2,000 1:1 campaigns live today, plus some programmatic and strategic ABMs as well. These 1:1 campaigns are personalized pages for each of our accounts. We use these to deepen relationships, create new opportunities and look for new lines of business to expand within a single account. That’s one differentiator between ABM and demand generation: Demand gen creates the lead while ABM works together with them to build out long-term relationships.
The Difficulty with Scaling the Human Touch
Creating personalized, 1:1 web experiences for customers was extremely effective for Snowflake, but there was a downside. In 2020, Snowflake made the largest-ever software IPO, and growth has taken off ever since. But scaling our ABM to match this growth was dependent on humans—we needed more people to build more landing pages, and building those pages that were so central to our marketing efforts was a highly manual task.
Regularly updating 2,000 1:1 campaigns was a major challenge. Each landing page has custom imagery and messaging, with content hand-curated for the individual account. This customization helps us identify what each account wants to see when they come to Snowflake to learn more about our offerings. We were doing our best to replace content when it was out of date, but we were so tied into the daily tasks of keeping everything organized that it was difficult to focus on how to up-level these campaigns. We didn’t have enough bandwidth, and that took away from our ability to work with other team members and provide more strategic value to everyone.
I knew we could work smarter. To be most effective and scale at the rate Snowflake was—and is—growing, I thought it best to reserve the humans for the things humans can do best, and offload those things that technology can do more efficiently. It was time to add a layer of automation to our ABM efforts.
A Solution with Experience and Flexibility
I ran into the same issue when I was working at a previous company. To solve it, I’d built a solution between cloud-based content experience platform Uberflip and account engagement platform 6sense. I didn’t want to build that solution from scratch again at Snowflake, but I knew that was what we needed: a way to take the dynamically updated accounts from 6sense and connect that to Uberflip to automatically update our content for that personalized experience beyond the out-of-box integration they offer.
We explored other ABM personalization vendors, but Intellimize emerged as the best option for us for two reasons. One, any solution we chose had to connect our different sources, integrating fields from 6sense and Salesforce. I didn’t want to just segment by industry, but to maintain a higher level of personalization. Two, only Intellimize could support our entire organization, including demand gen and the marketing operations team. With a broader use case for the entire company, not just the ABM team, it was easier to get approval.
Intellimize offers so many possibilities that I was concerned the platform wouldn’t get used at all due to overcomplicating execution. It’s so open ended, how would we know where to start? But I didn’t need to worry. Intellimize promised that they would help us get started, supporting us as we generated personalization ideas, and they delivered.
Before we even connected to 6sense, Intellimize suggested that we consider small changes like shifting the color of our CTA buttons and changing the copy. We started with these little iterations to figure out how we could optimize the page, and ultimately rolled out a new page template. Erica, our CSM at Intellimize, constantly brings her optimization expertise to the table. And even though Intellimize works for the entire organization, they have separate meetings with us in ABM than with demand gen. Having separate, department-specific conversations means Intellimize can support everyone’s different needs.
Snowflake is at a pivotal point in our history, and the challenge of choosing a vendor now is as much about finding a genuine partner as it is about technical specifications. Intellimize strikes the right balance between being experienced enough to meet Snowflake’s professional needs, but also flexible with a human touch.
Other big-name competitors gave us standard pitches and didn’t reflect our unique needs. Whereas Guy Yalif, the CEO of Intellimize, always answers the phone if I call him. They prioritize us as a customer, their customer success organization is top-notch, and they keep asking what we need. And when those needs change, they respond.
A Boost to Our Capabilities and Performance
We’ve used Intellimize for a year and have developed two approaches to ABM. Our first approach still involves 1:1 pages for our Tier 1 accounts, but we produce them better than ever before by leveraging dynamic personalization with Intellimize. Quarter over quarter, we’ve seen a 49% lift in meetings booked for these accounts since deploying Intellimize as part of a refresh of our strategy cross-functionally. We also now practice 1:many ABM, or what we call “ABM at scale,” creating pages for subsets of accounts by use case and industry. With these pages and accompanying outbound efforts, we’ve seen a 3X boost to our meeting rate.
Overall, Snowflake has experienced a 60% increase in engagement in Q2 FY22 alone, and the best part is that these wins are shared across the company. Intellimize not only helped my ABM team achieve more personalized experiences for our customers, it also provided us the time to become more aligned internally and improve our collaboration. In ABM, we don’t create anything in isolation; we incorporate elements from our marketing and sales counterparts. Demand gen runs webinars and creates content, field marketing creates events, SDRs do outreach, and we curate it with hyper-personalized messaging for top accounts. We’re cross-functionally integrated, so our wins are these other teams’ wins too.
Snowflake is highly regarded for our boutique treatment of accounts. It’s what sets us apart from everyone else. Some people hear “increased automation” and think we’re wiping out that human element with machines, but that’s not the case at all. A better description of our transformation might be “improved orchestration”: a boost in capability to carry out our strategy and achieve our vision. We haven’t had to sacrifice what ABM is all about. We still have personalized campaigns that deliver the 1:1 experience, but they’re created by Intellimize as the page loads, relieving my team of labor-intensive work.
A Hybrid Model for the Future
With Intellimize, I have the peace of mind that all the landing pages will be updated with one click. Ours is now a hybrid model: People still curate the pages, but Intellimize ensures all the components that need updating get updated. I get to step back from the day-to-day creation of campaigns and trust that everything is taken care of brand-wise.
As marketers, our business is understanding our viewers and delivering more value, and we always think we have what we need to do that. But when you have the data in front of you via Intellimize and can see how people engage and what’s statistically relevant, it’s a revelation. Intellimize takes the guesswork out of what we thought we knew about our audience. It allows my ABM team to focus on the data Snowflake is known for and connect that with our customers in a way that captures their interest.
Snowflake has cracked the code, and we use Intellimize to do it.
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