ABM Playbook

Accelerated ABM

In this episode of Let's talk ABM, we speak with Laura Matthews, Director, Global Account Based Marketing, EMEA at UiPath, about their Accelerate Program, and how to create 'ABM Magic'.

Date published: Date modified: 2023-08-20 strategicabm 550 60

Laura Matthews
Director, Global ABM, EMEA | UiPath

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img-headshot-Laura Matthews

Laura leads UiPath’s ABM strategy for major enterprise accounts in Northern Europe. A seasoned B2B Marketer, Laura has previously held senior Marketing positions at BT, Google, and Cisco, as well as acting as an Enterpise Advisor for the Mayor of London. Laura is also an Executive Board Member at Tech London Advocates Women in Tech, a platform that promotes positive change that shapes an inclusive tech industry.
Declan heads up Marketing at strategicabm. After some 20 years working as a CMO in the Professional Services, SaaS and EdTech sectors, Declan is now Agency-side building the strategicabm brand and sharing our clients’ ABM success stories.

Watch this episode and learn:
  • How to get buy-in to invest in ABM
  • An inside look at UiPath’s Accelerate Program
  • How to sprinkle 'ABM Magic' over your accounts
  • Why Laura feels her role is more Sales than Marketing
Read the full transcript

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The full transcript

Declan Mulkeen (strategicabm) – Right, so today I'm joined by Laura Matthews, who's the Senior Manager of Global Account-based Marketing at UiPath. Laura, thanks so much for joining us today. 

Laura Matthews (UiPath) – Thank you, thanks for having me. Really excited to be here. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Well, I think I mentioned earlier, this is my first recording after being off for a while on paternity leave, so be gentle on me if you can, and I'll try to get through the next 30, 40 minutes of questions and we'll have a bit of fun talking about Account-based Marketing

So, when I was doing a little bit of research, thinking about your company, and I know your colleague, Nancy, from when I spoke to her on a previous episode. I was looking at your website and the whole idea of the robots and stuff, and that got me thinking.

So, I kind of love that messaging that I saw on your website about, and I think it said "We make software robots so people don't have to be robots." So, and I was just thinking about all the kind of repetitive tasks that we all do in our jobs every single day. So, can you give us a little bit of an insight, something a bit interesting that, about an example about how you have helped people just to, kind of, make the intangible tangible? 


Laura (UiPath) –Yeah, no, totally. And I agree, I really connect to it and I think, when I was looking at roles and different companies to work at, I really aligned to that messaging. We've all done loads of admin and manual activities in our work, but I would also say, increasingly, it's much more about automation for innovation. 

So, our customers span organizations like Uber, Royal Mail, Generali, so really kind of modern high-tech organizations, and then also traditional organizations that are using automation to innovate. So, for example, Uber have used UiPath for their Global Operations to basically automate their processing, their process invoices. They've saved $10 million. Organizations like Generali have used automation to do things like health claims and then to do natural language processing. So, in terms of the customer experience and customer contact center, and they've had huge savings, I think 2019, 2020, they saved 18 million euros. 

So, the breadth and depth of things that we're doing is really interesting. And increasingly, organizations are using automation, as I said, and the UiPath Business Automation Platform, as a way of innovating.

So, how can they proactively be mining tasks, so process mining, task mining, communications mining? So, I think it's a really interesting space. And I think, for myself, as the organization is evolving and growing and we are the market leader in automation, it's interesting to see the organization growing and the kind of excitement and strategic things we're helping our customers with. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Well, certainly interesting clients you just mentioned in terms of Uber and Generali, et cetera. And it just makes you think that how much wastage is probably being done in companies where people should be doing more interesting, innovative work as opposed to repetitive tasks that these software robots can do in exchange, right? 

So, let's dig a little bit into the ABM that you are heading up there. I know that you are obviously heading up ABM in Europe for UiPath. Can you paint us a picture of what that looks like: industries, what kind of programs you're running, just a picture of what it looks like there? 

Laura (UiPath) – Yeah, so I would say, just in terms of the basics, we have three ABMers in EMEA: so myself and Amir and then we obviously have Nancy Harlan, who is our amazing leader. We deliver Account-based Marketing through strategic planning, creating aligned goals. So, aligning with the CSM and the seller and the whole entire account team. 

We're creating a unique value proposition. So, we're making sure that our messaging is really specific to the account that we want to engage with. Then we're using this value proposition to create our messaging and our content, creating a bespoke kind of plan and making sure that everything is highly custom. 

So, that's what I would say is really interesting about our program. Everything is quite bespoke at the moment. So, we've been touching 60 accounts. So, we have been doing our program for one year, touching 45 accounts, and now we have bandwidth and an ABMer in the U.S. to support an additional 15. 

And when it comes to industries, I would say we touch upon all the major industries. So Financial Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Energy, Utilities, Retail, CPG. And for us, the accounts that we support are our biggest, kind of, spending accounts where we have high potential. So, they're usually, obviously you can't share the account list, but if you went through the account list, they're recognizable, interesting names HQed in Northern Europe or America. 

ABM PlaybookDeclan (strategicabm) – Yeah, and just to pick up on something you mentioned there, I think it was two or three things that obviously jumped out at me. One obviously is, it's predominantly One-to-one I think, isn't it? In terms of the 60 accounts that you're running, in terms of ABM. 

Secondly, that you've mentioned that you've created a unique value proposition into each one of those accounts. For the audience, 'cause some people get a little bit confused around what a value proposition is in the context of ABM. How do you understand it or how do you explain to people what a value proposition is, in this context? 

Laura (UiPath) – Okay, so firstly you said about One-to-one, so I just want to make sure we focus on this. So, interestingly enough, when we had our prep call, I said, we only do One-to-one. Inevitably, which is what happens as a program matures and there's more demand, we've been doing our program for one year, we were all about One-to-one. And so, in terms of our One-to-one Account-based Marketing, we were touching those 45 accounts, then we had some accounts where we were doing some always-on activities. 

Interestingly/inevitably we've had, we're being challenged by the business to touch more accounts, and inevitably they want us to support more accounts. So, we are kind of thinking at the moment, how can we do ABM at scale? How can we potentially be taking all the different activities that we're doing, whether that's a roadshow, roundtable, a webinar for our growth products, and how can we make sure we help scale it and it's repurposeable across the different accounts?So, it is interesting how that is changing a little bit. 

What I will say is unique within our One-to-one approach, is we basically have two options. We either do what we call 'comprehensive One-to-one', so this is where we'll be doing account intelligence, we'll be doing workshops with the account team, we'll be creating that value proposition. I'll talk a bit, I'll address your second question shortly. And then we'll be creating a custom plan focusing on their target audiences. So, that's what I would say is One-to-one ABM. 

We also do something called the UiPath Accelerate Program. So, this is our champion sponsored ABM program. We call this ABM on steroids. So, we need someone senior within the organization, that is politically empowered to support UiPath, who wants to be the champion for UiPath. They want to drive a culture of energy and excitement around automation, and we work with them. 

So we always position it as a win-win. We say, look, you're going to get your return on investment faster, because we're going to make sure that you are going into new lines of business, white space, and we're going to be making sure that our database is growing and we are also showing growth in these accounts, and we know that the account team have done everything that they can to make the product as sticky as possible and to create this excitement around automation. 

I would say that for me, the Accelerate Program is super-interesting, because I've done lots of ABM programs where we worked really closely with customers, but I've never seen anything like this. Where we will go to the customer, we'll get that Exec sponsorship. So, it'll usually be like a Chief Digital Officer, Chief Transformation Officer. We will create for them a brand. So, we will create for them a mini-brand. 

So, say they are, we might have something called like, I don't know, say it's a Finance org, it might be like the Champions, Automation Champions Community, or we'll basically make a program brand in their style, so we'll use their brand toolkit. We'll have a little thing that says "Automated by UiPath" in the corner. And then all events and activities we do for that organization, we are basically like their Events Marketing agency. So, we bring all our best practices, we fund it, we plan it end-to-end, but it's really cool, because we'll do things. 

So, for example, I have one customer that I work with, a Financial Services organization, we're trying to get more business users and developers excited about using test automation. So, next week we are running five roadshows, so two in the UK and three in India at their key sites. We've got branding, which is in their customer style. So, we have banners, we have everything that you would want for a road show, cupcakes, balloons, we're running competitions with QR codes, all our swag is sustainable, because they care about ESG. 

So, things like that. And that is just one element of the things that we are doing as part of the UiPath Accelerate Program to target their goals, to reach new audiences and to be partnering with them to drive demand. 

And then separately, your second question was around value proposition. I can't believe I remembered it, but I think I did.

ABM readiness workshop

Declan (strategicabm) – You did. 

Laura (UiPath) – And about the audience, it was about the audience that we're speaking to. So, I would say that we have a few audiences. So firstly, the audience is often like the Chief Transformation Officer, the Chief Digital Officer, that C-level audience. For them, we are basically trying to communicate and focus on business outcomes. 

Increasingly, we are seeing that automation has gone from RPA, so repetitive, that manual work alleviating, and saving, and saving money and creating efficiencies for organizations. And it's more about scaling transformation and helping them in areas like customer experience and things like that. So, we are focusing a lot more with the C-level in terms of that elevated conversation. And we're talking a lot more about innovation. 

So when we, what we do when we launch these accounts, we do our workshops and we go through with a seller and the wider team to basically understand these people and understand the situation in the account. So, we will basically gather our account intelligence. 

So, we'll use platforms like Databook, 6sense, and then we'll also obviously use our own Marketo and insights from the account teams to shape how we speak to these people. We'll create a messaging playbook. If we are working with a customer as part of the Accelerate Program, we will share the playbook with them and we'll get their buy-in, which just helps them communicate consistently throughout the organization. 

I would would say in addition to the C-level executives we have, we also have line of business owners. So, we are always helping them answer: "So what? Why does it matter to me in Finance, in HR, in Customer Experience?" So, I would say quite a lot of what we're doing is we're tweaking our UiPath language, we're making it relevant for those line of businesses. And as we do more ABM at scale, we have to make sure that we are targeting these business users in the right way. 

And then I would say our additional, one of our additional audiences is the Center of Excellence. So, within the organization there's often the Automation Center of Excellence. We need to help them raise the profile of what they're doing. That's what we do a lot with Accelerate. We want them to be able to articulate internally, the values of intelligent automation and what they're doing and lots of our activities help kind of shine a light on them. 

We're also helping them in terms of, sometimes they say that they're thinking a bit more in terms of the pipeline and demand and things impacting them. And we're basically helping them kind of focus on the most strategic initiatives and to be able to articulate their value internally. 

So, I'd say we have them and then there are other products. So, for example, our test suite products where it might be a bit more developers and business users, but I would say as our organization has matured, we are talking more to that senior level audience. Does that answer the question?

Declan (strategicabm) – Yeah, so it does. Yeah, so to summarize in terms of the value prop, going back to the point of the question around the value proposition, which some people sometimes think is, "We've already got a value proposition, our organization's very clear about its messaging." In terms of ABM, if you were to answer what the importance of a value prop is at the ABM level, how would you define that? 

Laura (UiPath) – Yeah, so we have a unique value proposition for every single account and that playbook is like our North Star, for every single thing that we do. And I think it's so important, because it helps the Center of Excellence and the business users take the conversation to a more strategic element, to tie it to business goals, to make them and their activities more relevant.

And in terms of our marketing into the accounts, it's just crucial from everything, from the seller communicating to them, from a BDR following up, from making sure that we're aligned to their brand values from our swag, as I mentioned ESG and stuff like that. So, I would say it's really important, super important. 

ABM PlaybookDeclan (strategicabm) – Great stuff. So, let's talk about, when we were talking before, and obviously, things move quickly. So, as you said that when we spoke previously, just to have a kind of a little bit of prep, things can move and then, the work you're doing can, it might be a little bit different to what we were speaking about before. 

But when we were speaking before, Laura, you were saying that, you've kind of got a three-year program set up here and that the business is looking at ABM and saying, "Look, you guys need three years to get this thing running and get it powering, because of the kind of the time required." 

Now, that kind of goes a little bit against a lot of, kind of, the pressure on Marketing to deliver results quickly. So, how do you see that, kind of, that relationship between? Did you get any issues getting the support internally to get that time that you need? 'Cause obviously three years is a long time for anybody and it reflects on, well, the complexity of ABM. 

Laura (UiPath) – So, I think we've had commitment from the business to support this program for three years. Our data really shows that three years is the recommended time to achieve our objectives. We are working in highly complicated, distributed accounts, really complicated, big kind of beasts of accounts. We are seeing huge value and we're bringing huge value to our key stakeholders. 

Our, the things that we are targeted on, which is year-on-year growth, transaction sizes, campaign responses, engagement in terms of VP and above – that's really important that we look at it from a long-term view. Our data shows that ABM is most successful in these accounts, especially when you're adopting a One-to-one and Accelerate view, when between the 18 months to three-year period.

I think that, in terms of getting that buy-in at an Exec level, we're really lucky, because ABM really supports our kind of go-to-market strategy and the fact that we are, as an organization, focusing on our key enterprise accounts and doubling down and kind of thinking how can we support them and help their growth. So, ABM really supports that. 

Also, just being really candid, as we mentioned, Nancy's amazing and I think that some of our leadership had worked with her before and seen the value of Account-based Marketing, seen the results, seen that, if you do want to have an ABM program and you're thinking long-term and it's not short-term and reactive, you've got to invest from a funds perspective, people perspective, program perspective. 

So, I think we are really lucky, because, actually, in terms of our ABM program, I'm obviously, I'm biased, but it's the best that I've seen in terms of the maturity of the program, the depth that it goes into, the tech stack. 

So, I think yeah, I think it's really exciting, but I think we are lucky to have had that, I think we've had that buy-in and it's helped a little bit, because it really aligns to our organization's strategic priorities and because of the leadership that we have. 

Let's talk ABMDeclan (strategicabm) – Yeah, so I think there's a couple of key takeaways for everyone listening or watching this podcast. I think is the fact that you are saying that the ABM program, ABM strategy, completely aligns to what your GTM, your go-to-market strategy, is and also with your overall corporate strategy, right? That's number one. 

And number two, is that obviously you're working on these key enterprise accounts, which clearly are the lifeblood of your organization, that these accounts are strategically important to you, and therefore working closely to grow them, to make them more, to build advocacy within those accounts to get those accounts to be purchased if you, throughout all their organizations, how complex they are, et cetera. I think that ABM plays to both of those, right? 

So, I think a lot of people sometimes wonder, well, how do I justify the investment in ABM? And I think, Laura, you've nailed it with those two. And I think what we see sometimes as well at the agency, is when we see ABM as being a bit of an outlier and it's not sitting within and answering the kind of the go-to-market strategy, or indeed the corporate strategy, it's just being seen as an add-on. I think that's when alarm bells are raised, really, 'cause then ABM won't have the sponsors and the support that it requires, right? 

Laura (UiPath) – I actually have one thing as well that I would add to that. So, I've seen quite a few times, and I'm sure you have this, I'm sure you've noticed this as well, where I've worked in organizations where you have Enterprise Marketing and within Enterprise Marketing you have ABM. 

So, I've done it when I run regions or industries where you're doing your role, but you're also doing ABM. And, actually, you don't have the time or the bandwidth and you don't have the resources to do a proper One-to-one ABM. So, then you do something called ABM Lite, which basically means if some sellers come to you and you need additional support, they need additional support, you might be able to help them, you might do a few things. And then, inevitably, within one year, that program gets reprioritized and something else is the focus, whether it's like CXO roundtables or I don't know, industry content. 

So, for me, I was super-strict when I took this role. I was like, okay, how is this going to work? Is this a real commitment? And I really just don't like, I understand people have challenges, but I did not want to take a role which was Enterprise Marketing with a tiny little bit of ABM, and I saw that across three or four roles that I was keen on, that it would be Enterprise Marketing, and then within it you'd be expected to set up an ABM function and do some ABM. And for me, it just didn't feel like best practice One-to-one ABM. It just felt like personalized marketing. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Yeah, and I think it's a very, very good point. I think ABM is, it's full-on and you've got to really deliver and you've got to really invest in it, both with your resources and with your people, as well. 

So, you mentioned about technology actually just then, and a lot of the technology vendors have obviously captured a lot of the headlines through their marketing and a lot of people think that ABM is synonymous, and technology is synonymous with ABM, and obviously, I think you and I would both agree that's not true. 

But talk to us a little bit about the technology you use there, and perhaps answer the question, which technology, if you had to choose one that you couldn't live without, which one would that be? 

Laura (UiPath) – Yeah, so the tools that we are using are things like, kind of what you'd expect. So, your standard Marketo, Salesforce, 6sense Folloze, Databook, ON24. I think that's it. I hope I haven't forgotten one, but I think that for me, the one that we get the most feedback, and we kind of actually joke that Nancy should be getting commission, is Databook. 

So, this account intelligence tool is just really, really useful for sellers, particularly when they're doing things like account planning. We know that when an account changes over, sometimes they don't have the time or they have other deals going on and they don't really, they need that support on the account intelligence. So, I think Databook is really good. 

And then also, personally, one thing which I don't think is used as much as I think it should be, and I use this on a kind of individual level, is Crystal Knows. Have you used Crystal Knows before? 

ABM readiness workshop

Declan (strategicabm) – Yeah. I do use it, yeah I do. 

Laura (UiPath) – So, if any of the audience aren't aware of it, it's basically a really cool tool and it basically uses predictive data and it mines your LinkedIn or whatever to guess what your personality is going to be, and then it helps you in terms of how you speak to a prospect or a customer, or even in an interview situation. So, I'm obsessed with Crystal Knows and that's what I use a lot, personally. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Did you check out my LinkedIn profile with Crystal Knows before you agreed to- 

Laura (UiPath) – Yeah, of course, of course. And I always do customers as well, but it's really good 'cause it helps you. It's like how do you present yourself? What should you focus on? But it's also really interesting when you have teams as well, how, in terms of going onto things like diversity of thought and having different perspectives, I think it's really interesting as well. I've used it a lot for interviews and stuff like that. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Yeah, and I think I've done it with a few colleagues as well in the company and a few friends of mine in previous companies, and because we've known each other for so many years, I think the results are pretty accurate, actually, in terms of what it says and how you should approach and your presentation style, your level of detail, how flippant you should be or how more data-focused you should be. And I think that helps a lot to know your messaging, going back to your point earlier.

Yeah, let's just your talk about your program there. I'm not sure what you can share in terms of, are there any results you can share with us about the impact of the success? Anything that you can, any headlines? 

Laura (UiPath) – Yeah, so we've been doing our program for one year, and as I said, the best results are 18 months, two, three years. I would say that Account-based Marketing at UiPath has full support from the leadership and it's showing the results that we want it to show. 

We really aim for, as a minimum, 60% growth year-on-year on all our accounts. There are some accounts where there are 60, there are some accounts where there are 90, and there are some where there are even more. So yeah, our results are very positive, but I'm excited to get through that year two to year three stage and kind of see the growth as well there. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Well, I'm sure you'll probably end up sharing it at some point once you've got that kind of full picture. 

There was something you said to me when we were chatting earlier, Laura, and hopefully it hasn't changed since we were chatting, but it was something you said to me, which was that your team's mantra was "helping Sales to make the deal bigger" and that kind of, really kind of jumped out at me. 

So, a couple of questions really here, and I think you've answered already in terms of what the reputation of ABM within your Sales team there, and also, what do you think is the number one thing that you do as an ABMer to make deals bigger? 

Laura (UiPath) – Yeah, so yeah definitely. I mean, I've said this, I feel very lucky that we have huge support from our leadership, from Sales, from CSMs. I would also say that everything that we are doing also underpins what our other Marketing colleagues are doing. So, Industry Marketing, PR, Customer Advocacy, and we are one part of the UiPath customer experience and their interactions with UiPath. 

So yeah, we have, yeah, great feedback. Our team mantra is "helping Sales make the deals bigger", 'cause we are, as a team, we are super metric-driven. We will, of course, always be flexible and consider what is best for the account and the account team, but we really focus on, we kind of have that line of sight in terms of where we can make impact. 

So, in terms of the number one things that people can do to make their deals bigger, I would say deploy the UiPath Accelerate Program. As I kind of mentioned, as a minimum, we see 60% year-on-year growth. And those companies, we are working with Automation Center of Excellences, we are working with CTOs. They're not experts in running road shows, in events, in capturing excitement and energy. They're running events, but they're not registering people or following up, and we bring our best practices and our expertise and we partner with them. So, I would definitely say that. 

Declan (strategicabm) – So, in a funny kind of way you're almost being their kind of outsourced agency for them to be able to sell the benefits of the automation and the digital transformation that they're doing as individuals or teams within their company, right? 

Laura (UiPath) – I would say not to sell the benefits, I would say drive demand. We're here to drive demand and create a culture of energy and excitement around automation. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Well, that sounds a lot better than what I said. We'll stick with your version. 

So, there's another thing you said to me actually, which really, 'cause I come from a Sales background before moving into Marketing. And so, you said to me that you feel more Sales than Marketing sometimes. And I think you said to me that you'd, I think in the last 12 months or something, you'd attended 86 customer meetings. 

Then, that's not your average marketer. You and I both know, that's not your average marketer. So, do you think that's what separates ABM from other marketing strategies? Do you think that's what separates ABMers from other types of marketers? 

Laura (UiPath) – Hmm, so thinking about this. So, I think that, by nature, ABM is more customer-facing, but it also depends what kind of ABM you're doing, 'cause if you're doing ABM One-to-few or ABM at scale, you're probably going to be interacting with customers less. 

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Interestingly, like you, I've also worked in Sales and I'm kind of on that, I'm always like, "Do I want to work in Sales? Do I want to work in Marketing?" So, I think that ABM is really appealing from that perspective, because you are so customer-facing. 

I would argue though, playing devil's advocate, that the more senior you get in an organization, if you're a CMO, you should be interacting with customers as much as that. So yes, I would argue that yes, ABM is very customer-facing, but I think it's great practice if you wanna be a CMO, right? 

And I feel, for me, that I personally do feel closer to Sales just because I spend so much time with them and I spend so much time in account meetings advising them on everything, maybe even tactical things, seeing LinkedIn posts and saying, "Hey, that's so and so from our customer, you gotta engage." So, I think that yeah, definitely for me I feel more like I'm in Sales, because of the amount of time with them. 

Having said that, I'm really lucky to have a really supportive Marketing function in EMEA and globally. So, I feel really lucky to be able to learn from them as well. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Yeah, I think, also just thinking about a previous guest, Christian Weiss over at Autodesk, and he made this kind of analogy about ABM being like a, the customer being the driver in a Formula One car and that everyone, the ABM team, the Marketing team, the Sales team, the Customer Success team, is like that image of the pit-stop where everybody's trying to make the car go as quick as possible. 

So, I think there's that kind of like customer obsession, kind of customer centricity that I think ABMers have, because they just focus on the accounts and those customers, as opposed to the kind of wider metrics of impressions and all the rest of it. 

Laura (UiPath) – And don't get me wrong, I would also say we are very metrics-focused and I think that's sometimes a bit of a misconception about ABM. Sometimes we'll have to be flexible, 'cause we're working with customers, but we are very metric-focused.

And I would also say as well, what I really like working about with customers is you get real-time feedback, and you're often having to negotiate between the customer's aspirations and what they want, and what UiPath wants. And I really like, just in terms of keeping my brain occupied and being challenged. So, it's fun in that way. 

Declan (strategicabm) – That's good to hear. So, another thing, actually, you said to me before, 'cause I've made lots of copious notes about when we had our chat, and it made me smile a little bit, was you said, you talked about 'ABM Magic' and I think you said that you were passionate about how you could use ABM to make customers feel magical. Tell me a little bit more about that. 

Laura (UiPath) – Okay, so this is a phrase I learned at a tech company, I won't say the name, otherwise this will get stuck in PR and approval for a very long time. So basically, insert a tech organization, Magic, it was a concept that we got taught and it was basically that you would go to an event and you go, "Wow, this could only be organized by..." Insert tech company. 

And what it really is, is it's extreme attention to detail and personalization. So, it is things from a beautiful venue that has really strong sustainability credentials, that is run by someone from an underrepresented group. And I think, I would say it's like really going above and beyond the level of personalization. 

So, I obviously knew this concept and I've tried to apply it for myself in terms of ABM Magic, it's like what makes our program special and what makes the experience special for someone? So, I would say, I'll give you a practical example and then I'll also give what I think are my mental guidelines, that I think about. 

So, an example is, I did a CXO roundtable last year and it was with a consumer goods organization that really care about sustainability. So, we were lucky, we had our co-CO Daniel attending, our Chief Product Officer, it was in a beautiful venue and it was going to be an afternoon tea setting. It made sense to be afternoon tea, because a couple of people were coming, because of Wimbledon. So again, tied into a nice Wimbledon thing, it felt very kind of British, in that sense. 

And what I did in terms of adding what I think would be ABM Magic is, first of all we had this beautiful, it was a really beautiful venue, really nice food and just making sure you check those things, it was a beautiful table. And as our kind of Exec giveaways, 'cause usually you have something, I had these notebooks created that were made from apple peel, so, sustainable. 

And then I had, because it was an afternoon tea theme, I had these little biscuit tins and the biscuit tins are all sustainable, really pretty, and can be repurposed. And then inside, there were biscuits and these had been decorated so they were like our UiPath robots, and if you look online we have loads of different types of robots and the logo. So, when you open it up, and it was in beautiful packaging, you go, "Wow, this is amazing." 

And I was thinking about it in terms of the context of, when you're an Exec you always get these things when you go to events, but what could they a) use that was sustainably sourced or recyclable, creates some element of magic, and creates that dialogue when you get home with your family. So, you go home and you take your biscuits with you, you can share the biscuits with your family. They were beautiful, they were from a small supplier, which again is really important, and it just makes people feel like it's a cohesive experience and it aligns to their brand values. 

And then I would say, there was someone there who had a gluten allergy. So, I made sure I sourced the absolute best gluten-free hamper that you could get, basically, in the UK. I made sure the branding was the same. I made sure that things were sustainable from local producers. So, I would say things like that are really specific, just as a practical example. 

And then I think it's about, for example, with like the swag that I use, I won't have horrible plastic-y swag. It has to be sustainable, plus inclusive. So, you have to be inclusive of different audiences and their different needs and preferences, and also that element of magic. So, I always try and think sustainable, plus inclusive, plus magical. So, it kind of ties into the theme. 

And then finally, my also, my theory is like, we are really lucky as marketers that we get to do our job. It's really fun and creative and strategic. We should be spending our money with organizations and vendors that are sustainable or are doing things to try and champion inclusivity. 

And when you think about, and I think about this all the time, the next generation of buyers, so Gen Z, they really care about DEI and sustainability. So, I always think like, how can I use my marketing spend via, from UiPath, in the best way that's gonna get return on investment for us, but also is with great suppliers? So that's just, that's my kind of point of view on it. 

ABM Case Study

Declan (strategicabm) – I think it's a great answer and I think it kind of shows people how you can add some magic to your ABM strategy and how you engage and create an emotional impact with your customers and with your accounts. 

Just some very rapid-fire questions, just to finish off with Laura. So, quick one really about you've obviously been involved in ABM for some time now and we often talk about ABM as being a journey. So, what do you think is the greatest learning you've taken from your journey so far? 

Laura (UiPath) – I think, okay, two things. So, one of the biggest challenges in terms of challenge from the learning from the journey, is that everyone, every seller, every customer, whatever, has had an experience of ABM before. So, one of the biggest challenges has been articulating what ABM is in the specific organization you are in and keep reinforcing that and reinforcing that and reinforcing that. So, I think that's been one of the biggest challenges.

And then I think, as you get past the first year, you understand your job a bit more. You know how to make impact in these accounts. For me, it's like always challenging myself and it's kind of like that 10x thinking. So, say we have a Financial Services organization and there is a $1 million deal this year, how can we make it bigger? What other white space should we be getting into? How do we connect with more business users? What are the lines of business? And actually, forcing myself to think bigger, and therefore, getting the account team and the sellers and the CSMs to think bigger. I think that, for me, is my biggest kind of challenge for this year. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Great couple of learnings there. Three more questions, very rapid-fire. What do you think is the hardest part of doing ABM? 

Laura (UiPath) – I think managing the demand, when you haven't really engaged sellers and CSMs, just managing the demand being across 15 accounts, being able to focus on the focus, prioritize the most important things, will also make your sellers, especially in the first year, buy into the program, feel like they have special ABM support. And yeah, definitely managing the demand has been the hardest thing. 

Declan (strategicabm) – But it'll also be the case, the more successful you are, the more demand you're gonna have, right? 

Laura (UiPath) – And that's where you think about, how do we scale efficiently, how do we make sure we can repurpose things and just, how do we scale? So, it's a different challenge, but it's a good challenge to have. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Yeah, it's a good problem to have. What do you think the greatest misconception is about Account-based Marketing

Laura (UiPath) – I would say the greatest misconception... Well, someone once said to me, someone who worked in Finance said to me, "Isn't ABM just basically handwritten notes?" So, I think that it's that extreme level of personalization. I think, yeah, so I think people that don't get ABM, I think having to explain what it is and how it's different to Marketing. 

And I think what the other thing is just the true depth and breadth of things that we are doing. So for me, I'm doing physical events, virtual events, roundtables, road shows, on-sites, creating customer brands, doing customer workshops, doing customer meetings, doing direct mail, maybe helping with some Customer Advocacy, doing something that's gonna help PR, really tactical things like telling my sellers what to post on LinkedIn and how to engage with their customers. 

So, the whole breadth and depth of things, is actually very different, I feel, to Enterprise Marketing. And I think that is the misconception. And I think sometimes, and I'm guilty of this, you're doing so many things, and we track what we do on our, kind of, we have like a tracker that we do, and when we pull it up, we have this beautiful pie chart and it shows all the color and the variety of things that we're doing. But one of the challenges is communicating how much we're doing, because you're so busy doing it. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Yeah, yeah. No, I think you've beautifully kind of listed a whole bunch of things that an ABMer does that perhaps a business doesn't realize. 

Very, very last question for you, Laura. It's Friday night, you're just about to shut your laptop down and grab a glass of Chablis and you get a call from an old colleague of yours, and they say, "Hey Laura, I've got to go and present on Monday morning an ABM strategy." What's that one piece of advice you give them before you crack open that bottle? 

Laura (UiPath) – Oh, so are they doing it from scratch, are they... Okay. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Well they're presenting it in a new company, put it that way. So, they may have done it before, but what's that one piece of advice you give them for that presentation on that Monday morning?

Laura (UiPath) – I would say you need Exec, well, I say you need Exec buy-in to the program and you also need to decide the type of program you want to do. So are you going to do One-to-one? Are you going to do One-to-one and a bit of One-to-few? Are you going to do One-to-many? 

So, I'd be, figure out your objectives, get your Exec alignment, and then, probably, after they've done that presentation, figure out your account list and also hire passionate people. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Well, you deserve that bottle of wine now. So, or at least one glass. 

Laura (UiPath) – I've got customer meetings. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Yeah. 

Laura (UiPath) – Got to go to my customers. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Yeah, Laura, thanks so much for sharing your ABM journey with us today and all the best to you and the whole team there at UiPath, and wishing you every success. 

Laura (UiPath) – Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. Thank you for letting me be a guest, really exciting. 

Declan (strategicabm) – Thank you.