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Next Generation ABM

In this episode of Let's talk ABM, we speak with Celia Slack, Pursuit Marketing Lead, EMEA at ServiceNow, about Next Generation ABM.

Date published: Date modified: 2024-07-11 strategicabm 550 60

Celia Slack
Pursuit Marketing Lead, EMEA at ServiceNow

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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.
Celia is a specialist in Account-based Marketing with global end-to-end experience from some of the world's leading Technology, Financial Services, and Consumer brands. She has recently assumed a new responsibility at ServiceNow taking on the role of Pursuit Marketing Lead, EMEA. 

Watch this episode and learn:
  • What is Pursuit-based Marketing (PBM)
  • How PBM works in tandem with ABM
  • What is behind the successful ABM program at ServiceNow
  • Her take on One-to-many ABM
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Next Generation ABM

The full transcript

Declan Mulkeen (strategicabm) - So today I'm joined by Celia Slack, who's the EMEA Pursuit Marketing Lead at ServiceNow. Celia, thanks so much for joining us today.

Celia Slack (ServiceNow) - Lovely to be here. Thanks so much for having me. 

Declan (strategicabm) - Well, we've been, you know, tagging each other back and forth for a while now, trying to organize this, so I'm really grateful that you found the time. 

So, just a couple of things really, and one thing for the audience. I interviewed one of your colleagues, actually, Elise Miller. She was actually episode 31 of Let's talk ABM, that was back in 2021. So if you haven't watched that, please do. And this'll be an interesting continuation of that conversation, really. Because obviously ServiceNow has been paving the way in terms of ABM and it's definitely seen as one of the kind of main major proponents of ABM. So please do look back on that episode. 

And I think actually, Celia, you work very closely with Elise, is that right? 

Celia (ServiceNow) - I do. She's my boss and she's fantastic. I mean, I don't have to just say that she is, she's absolutely brilliant. She's done, you know, a fantastic job leading the EMEA strategy for ABM at ServiceNow in partnership with our global team. So it's, yeah, it's been an absolute joy working with her, learning from her. So I'm very happy to be part of the next generation of the podcast, you know, walking in the steps of Giants.

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Declan (strategicabm) - Fantastic. Well, on that point, actually, as I mentioned earlier, we were tagging each other for some time to arrange this. And I think at the time you had an ABM, Account-based Marketing role. And now, as I mentioned at the beginning, you are now in a Pursuit Marketing role. 

So first of all, congratulations on that change. Could you talk us a little bit about that in terms of, what does that actually mean? Because it may not be a familiar term for everybody, a Pursuit Marketing Lead, and perhaps then the relationship with Account-based Marketing. 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Yeah, absolutely. I think that we really, you know, we are, as you said, very lucky at ServiceNow to have an incredible investment behind the ABM program. But, you know, because of that, because of some of the successes we've been having, demand is just growing and our biggest customers are growing and growing, very fortunately for ServiceNow. But, you know, we needed to figure out a way to be able to scale some of the work that we do to reach more accounts and just deliver more value. 

So Pursuit Marketing is really just, the way that we see it, at least internally, is a branch of ABM. So it uses all of the ABM, you know, tenets, you know, practices. But if we think of ABM as a marathon, we think of Pursuit as a sprint, essentially. So we align ourselves to a challenge or an opportunity. 

So that might be a deal, but it might be some other different scenarios that we look at. It doesn't always have to be, you know, Deal-based Marketing, but an opportunity within an account rather than being aligned to that account for a year or 18 months, two years. But we're still part of the ABM team, and I still also do cover some ABM accounts as well. 

Declan (strategicabm) - So you also mentioned Deal-based Marketing, which is a term that some other people mention as well. So it's the case that maybe somebody in the Account team raises their hand and says, we've got an opportunity here, we really could do with your help. It's a timed opportunity, come in and help us. Is that what kind of happens? 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Yes, one of the ways it happens. We do try and be as proactive as possible for our own sanity and for planning purposes. So we try and work with, say, Sales leadership and Sales teams to identify where some of these opportunities might arise through the year. 

But yeah, absolutely, it is also being, having that agile resource because, as I'm sure many of the listeners will know, people are always putting their hands up for help. And you know, up until last year, it was weekend work, evening work, you know, we all want to help each other where we can, but it was always in addition to our day job. 

So by defining the practice within ServiceNow and then, you know, define, we're able to not only offer more support, but also measure it correctly, make sure we're set up for success from the start. Still going to be weekend and evening work sometimes, but it is, yeah, it's exactly that.

So you never know when something really short term's going to come up, but also it might be that we know, you know, a renewal's coming up or there's, you know, there's an M&A in the account and there's a risk of a downsell or whatever it might be. So it's definitely a number of different things. 

Declan (strategicabm) - Gotcha. Well let's spend the next half an hour talking a little bit about Account-based Marketing, ABM and PBM? Would that be the right acronym? PBM, which is a new one as well. So let's kick off a little bit. 

I mean, obviously from my previous conversations with your colleague and friend Elise, she explained to me a lot about the exponential growth that you have been experiencing there at ServiceNow. So tell me, what part has ABM played in that growth or in supporting that growth? 

Celia (ServiceNow) - I think we, I mean we really live our values here at ServiceNow. I know that, you know, possibly everyone says that, but it's one of the things I've absolutely loved since joining ServiceNow is we live our values. And while the customer is one of our values, we put, ServiceNow genuinely puts the heart at the customer of everything that they do or we do. And that means that, you know, it makes the role of ABM really clear. I mean, that's obviously the heart of ABM as well. 

So whilst we've really focused on our largest customers and working with those customers, learning from them as well, a lot of the newer products that we build are in partnership with our partners, learning from what they need. And so having ABM involved to really support building that strategic relationship with those partners has, you know, has really fed into that growth, I think. 

Declan (strategicabm) - And if we talk a little bit about the last five years or so, I think that's how long the ABM program has been around for approximately. I think you've gone from a team of one to a team of about 20 in that time. What would you say, and that's a, you know, of, all the conversations I've had with many, many ABM practitioners, that's a sizeable team for an Account-based Marketing practice. What would you say separates ServiceNow's approach to Account-based Marketing from perhaps other companies and other approaches? 

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Celia (ServiceNow) - I mean, I can't speak for every company, but I think that the fact that we had really, really strong buy-in from the top, from the start really helped. I think, you know, I think part of the challenge is with ABM, as we all know, it's very labor intensive, it's resource heavy, it's budget heavy. And if you don't have that buy-in from the top to really support it and know that it's a long-term program, it's very easy to fail and therefore, you know, try it for a couple months and think, oh, it doesn't work, and therefore never build the team from there. 

So I think a combination of early successes. You know, we started with a very, very strong leader here that was able to really deliver success. And so, to prove those tangible results and get the buy-in from senior leadership, both on the Sales and the Marketing side as well, I think, is really what has helped us to build this incredible team. 

And I think, you know, that alignment between Sales and Marketing throughout the whole way has really been what has helped us grow and grow because there's all that demand is coming. They understand that we're partners to them, and so we've been really fortunate to get, you know, a lot more resources put behind this as well. 

Declan (strategicabm) - Well, that's great to hear. I think it's an important message for anybody listening really, that you do really need that support from the top, because obviously ABM's different, it's a mindset, it's a change. It takes time. It requires patience and it requires, clearly, C-Suite support in order to, nurture and allow that kind of time and space for it to work. Right? Would that be fair to say?

Celia (ServiceNow) - Yeah, that's exactly right. I mean, we are not, ABM is not going to deliver results, you know, in-quarter, let's say, when, you know, when you're starting an ABM program. It has, you have to have that understanding that things are coming and results are coming. But you know, just like the largest deals take a long, long time to put together, so do the ABM results sometimes. 

So, you know, and it's tough. It's really tough, particularly for growing businesses, you know, where they do need quarter-on-quarter results, you know, that's a big question to ask of someone and to have that belief in them. So, you know, understandably, it doesn't work for everywhere because priorities might change. But as I say, yeah, we've been really fortunate to have that understanding and now we are an established team, you know, we're just building on that and hopefully going from strength to strength. 

Declan (strategicabm) - And would you say, Celia, that we have, you know, when we have companies who come to us and ask us for help with Account-based Marketing, one of the questions that we probe them with is what do they have already established in terms of their existing go-to-market strategy? And one of the, kind of, alarm bells for us, if they don't have a solid go-to-market, then obviously ABM is not a silver bullet. 

So I'm guessing that's the case also at ServiceNow, is you've got a very strong go-to-market strategy, demand and a whole host of other Marketing activities, and ABM has just won more. That is almost an addition, it's not a substitution, right? 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Yeah, I mean, I have to say, and I wasn't here when the start of the program happened, so I'm, you know, I'm speaking from third-hand understanding, but we, as ServiceNow, as you said, we've been growing exponentially as well. And that also means our Marketing function has been growing exponentially. 

And when ABM started here at ServiceNow, I think that, you know, I think it's fair to say that yes, we had a very strong direction and we had a very strong go-to-market function, but it was also still growing and it also still had gaps as well that I think have filled. 

So actually, you know, as you say, it's one string to a bow of many, so you do need certain elements in place. But I wouldn't say, don't do ABM just because you don't have the perfect, you know, Demand Marketing function just yet. But yes, it's not going to be, you can't just remove any, any focus on Demand Marketing and go straight to ABM. I think that that's, you know, that's going to be, you know, a challenge. 

So if you're trying to balance a budget and you only have a certain amount, as you say, get the fundamentals right, get that really strong go-to-market strategy ready and maybe just trial one account. If you're trying to dip your toe in ABM. 

And I think, you know, as I say, you know, as ABM's been growing as a function, so has our Marketing. So I think some of the work we've done is fed back into, you know, other teams and, likewise, you know, we very much built, we are very much a core part of a multi-function Marketing team here. So yeah, that's not quite a straight answer. So yeah, I just wouldn't, don't wait for everything to be perfect, but definitely wait to have something. 

Declan (strategicabm) - That's fair. Good advice. I think to be fair, Celia. So one thing that we spoke about previously, and I think I made lots of copious notes when we were chatting, you said that with every single account that you work with, you, customize the experience and you customize it on a whole range of different issues, whether it's what's happening within the account, what you know is happening within the account, what's the goal of the account, what's the experience that they're having with your company? Could you tell us a little bit more or maybe perhaps share an example of how that actually works in practice? That kind of level of customization? 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Yeah, and it's both a blessing and a curse. I mean, obviously when you are customizing things so much it limits the reusability and scalability, although we are identifying quite a number of patterns at the moment now, which is really helpful. 

But I think that that really, particularly when it comes to One-to-one ABM, I think that it goes beyond account insights and in terms of what's publicly available or what we know about the business. And it has to go down to that personal level. And I don't mean necessarily personalize it to one human being, but personalize what's happening in that account. 

So whilst I can't share any sort of specific examples, we definitely have a different approach based on, sometimes we call them challenges or opportunities. So, you know, I think we, the end goal of our One-to-one accounts, we are obviously as everyone is, focusing on our largest enterprise customers. We want them to see us as a strategic partner. That's going to be the end goal for all of our ABM work. But how we get there is really where those insights feed into how we change up the journey. 

Because it might be that they're, you know, they really understand the power of the platform, they really get what we can do, but there's a relationship challenge there that we need to be really cognizant of. So actually is the ABM that we are doing supporting a shift in the relationship so that we can unleash, you know, the power of the platform within the customer? 

Whereas for other customers, they may still see us as an IT ticketing tool and it's actually more of an education piece and how do we reach the specific stakeholders and how do we broaden the reach within different BUs? So there are a couple of different scenarios that we come up with a lot, but I think that's really, you know, that's really where we sort of feed into those insights. 

So yes, we absolutely have to understand the industry, we have to understand what's going on with the account as a whole, what their priorities are, but we really also have to understand where do we sit with them? What, you know, what is their knowledge of us and what, you know, how do we define our purpose as an ABM function for the year that we might be going into. 

And I think that, yeah, that extra layer is absolutely key because you know, if the relationship isn't there and that's what we need to nurture, then you can bang on about the power of the platform and you can create some wonderful ways to reach people, but they have to want to hear us as well. So I think that that's sort of what we, does that answer the question? 

Declan (strategicabm) - It does, it does. I think so, interesting. You said at the beginning there, you kind of had to put the caveat saying that by customizing for every account, then you don't necessarily have the ability to scale everything, but you're finding certain patterns, which I think is really interesting that you can actually pick out now patterns. And I'm guessing maybe some potential, maybe I've got a question for you potentially later about AI. It may well be that you might be able to use AI to look for some of these patterns as well in your, customized approach to customers. Right? 

Let's talk, something that just came into my head then when you were talking was with regards to how you work with your Sales team. Because obviously Sales are very good at customizing, they're very good at personalizing, they're very good at getting under the skin of the customer. 

And I believe that the way that you're positioned there, the ABM team, you’re positioned as being part of that kind of strategic Sales team. So how's that, you know, positioning, kind of helped you get that key alignment and do you have any recommendations for the audience who are always struggling to get that Sales-Marketing alignment? 

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Celia (ServiceNow) - Yeah, I think that's, again, that's sort of a two way street, but I think that's really fundamental to the keys of your success. And I think that, one is, we're an established team now, and we do have that senior leadership buy-in. So having that understanding at the senior level is really important. 

But also in every communication that we put out and, every interaction that we have with our Sales teams, that's how we position ourselves. You know, we tell them who we are, essentially. So, you know, when we get onto a call with them, whether it's an assessment call or an onboarding call, we have, we make really, really clear about how much of a partnership this is and how we're working together. The time investment that's needed on their side as well. They can't just ask for things and expect us to go away and do things. That's not how it's going to, you know, ABM just doesn't work like that. 

So I think it's really important, yes, okay to have buy-in, but to establish it yourself, lead with confidence, you know, I think any ABM practitioner out there internally, you know, sometimes, you know, thinks that Sales have these, I don't know, magic meetings or conversations that we don't know about. We are all working towards the same goal of making money for whatever company we are in. And so, you know, the more that we can do that together, the better. So I think it's, you know, really showing up and having that confidence to position yourselves at. 

And also we are very fortunate here that we have the support to, you know, move an account off the program if that collaboration part isn't there. You know, if there are a lot of accounts that want to work with us, and I'm sure there are a lot of accounts in other, you know, other companies that would love ABM and love the support and be ready to have that collaborative approach.

It doesn't happen very often here, I have to say, I think most of our teams here really understand the value, but, you know, but having the power to say no I think is really important as well. And having some, you know, having some metrics behind you as well, some proof points if you really need it. 

Particularly as you're establishing a program, get one champion who you've worked with who you think is fantastic and, you know, have them, you know, get in touch with their colleagues or present at a Sales all hands, you know, that's really, really key as well. If you're really struggling to be seen like that, you know, I'm sure there's going to be one person that you can call on to really support and fight your cause as well. But, yeah, I think it does come down to how you position yourself. 

Declan (strategicabm) - No, I think it's a good point there, Celia, and I think it reminds me of another interview with Kathryn Nimmo at HP and she went to great lengths to explain their account selection process. 

And one of the parts of their account selection process is the openness of the Account teams and the Account Director to actually be part of the program and to actually help to make the program a success. And therefore they decide based on that level of engagement from their Account Directors, whether that account or those accounts will form part of the ABM program. So it kind of shows you that it, so it has to be a kind of a symbiotic relationship, right? And both parties have to really want it in order for it to be a success. 

One thing as well, you were saying earlier, which made me want to ask you a question around measurement. Now, I know that you use the Three Rs method there, of measurement. You know, Reputation, Relationships and Revenue. But I think you've added a fourth R to that, right? What's the fourth? 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Why have three when you can have four? 

Declan (strategicabm) - Well, what's the fourth R? 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Fourth R is Retention. 

Declan (strategicabm) - Retention. 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Yeah, and I think it won't come as a surprise to some people, but for others, yeah, it's, I think retention is really key. And actually, really, when you think about it, the other three do feed into the fourth as well. If you, if you're not scoring on any of the other three, you're not going to retain customers as well. But I think that that's something that we really, really want to focus on as well. 

And I think I alluded to it earlier when we were talking about understanding the challenges of the account. Sometimes the retention is the challenge. I think we all know it's a lot cheaper to keep a customer than it is to get a new customer. So we really want to make sure that, particularly for those that we have the biggest opportunities with, that we focus on that retention as well. 

Declan (strategicabm) - And I mean, for a lot of people, I know that measurement is a really difficult part of ABM. You know, obviously some platforms, some ABM platforms tell you they can report on certain elements of your ABM program. But we know there's a lot of manual reporting going on and I know a lot of the conversations I have with people from, you know, very sizable companies that they do do an awful lot of manual work to try to bring together the different elements. 

What's your take on reporting? How would you score yourselves on how well you are at reporting and where do you think the gaps are for people? 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Reporting is a, yeah, we're always working I think on reporting and I think as you say, at the moment, it is still a bit manual. We do have, we've set up some really, really important, not important, but really useful dashboards now and you know, as our technology advances, you know, internally in terms of what we use and also how we really define our success advances, we're able to lean on those platforms more. 

But I think particularly with ABM, when we are talking about relationships, sometimes it still does have to be that manual way. So we are finding new ways of tagging, you know, in our CRM system. So not just using Marketing tools, but also in the Sales tools to see if we can support that. And we have some, you know, some more sort of manual, semi-manual, semi-automated processes internally whereby we can make notes of different things. 

We also have created a scoring model where we are comparing us against cohorts of non-ABM accounts. So I think that's been really useful, particularly in some of the key metrics where the metrics might look fantastic, but actually if you're not comparing them to anything, they don't mean anything. So that's been a really, really strong advance that we've been working on thoroughly. 

But with ABM, I can't necessarily see a way yet that you're going to be able to fully remove that manual process. And I think it's really important when you're doing that, when you're reporting back to whatever kind of leadership it is, again, to just manage expectations and set the scene and actually really look at what your goals of the ABM account are. 

So if the ABM program was to get in front of the CEO and you got in front of the CEO or you had, you know, a reply from, we had one instance where we had no relationship with the CEO and through, you know, not just the ABM work, but through multiple channels, we managed to reach them so much so that they emailed our AE and said, where is the, you know, the DM that we had actually sent to their office, from nothing. You know, that email saying, 'Where is it? I want a meeting.' That's the success of your program, but it's very difficult to sort of track that on a board. 


Declan (strategicabm) - Yeah. And that anecdote you just shared is similar to some of the anecdotes that Rhiannon Blackwell from PricewaterhouseCoopers, PWC, also shared that sometimes it's those anecdotes really that can be even more powerful than the numbers themselves. And the fact that you're trying to get to reach a CEO, a CFO, a CMO, whoever it is who's the key person to reach, that you can actually share those anecdotes or those stories. So often, the story is more important than the actual numbers themselves. 

Talking about numbers, when we were chatting before, and I was asking you about what some of your beefs are with Account-based Marketing and what's happening in the market. One of your beefs, so to speak, was One-to-many ABM. 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Yeah.

Declan (strategicabm) - And I think, let me, if I can remember correctly, I think what you said to me was that you didn't consider One-to-many ABM to really be ABM and I think you consider it to be more Industry Marketing. So tell me a little bit more about that kind of, you know, what kind of like, you know, gets on your nerves, so to speak. 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Yeah. I love how you phrase that and I just want to preface this part with all opinions are speaker's own, not ServiceNow's. 

But yeah, look, I think maybe I'm a bit of a purist at heart, but I think there's a huge amount of value, obviously, in Industry Marketing. Of course there is. Just, when I think about ABM, it's really about that deep, deep personalization. And I really struggle to see that balance between that level of deep personalization and One-to-many approach, which, you know, you can still have a smaller cohort, you don't, you don't have to be communicating to the whole industry. You can still narrow down who you are talking to. 

But I think why not have an incredibly strong Industry Marketing program that does that? I don't think you have to call it ABM and I personally, yeah, I don't see slapping on a logo as ABM. So that's sort of, you know, there could be personalization at scale, but yeah, I personally view that as something slightly different to when you are thinking about how do you really go deep into an account and speak to them as a market of one or perhaps a few. 

Declan (strategicabm) - And so is it the case at ServiceNow that majority of your work is One-to-one and One-to-few? Is that fair to say? 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Yes. Yeah, it is. Yeah. And we have a fantastic Industry Marketing team that does an incredible job feeding into the programs that we then have in the One-to-few space and the One-to-one space. So yeah, that's how we would, how we define it here. 

Declan (strategicabm) - Well that's actually an interesting point. Is that the case that the other teams and the other Marketing initiatives, they may well feed an account into your program because of X, Y, Z? 

Celia (ServiceNow) Well, it's, yeah, not in terms of, they wouldn't, I suppose, wouldn't identify an account saying, oh, all these Marketing signs are pointed towards this being a good ABM account. We still select our accounts through conversations with Sales and also looking at the metrics. 

I mean, just as you mentioned before, to take it back: opportunity, achievability and collaboration. The sort of stand three metrics. But what we absolutely try do, and we're trying to do more and more of, in a more streamlined way is, you know, make sure that whatever our counterparts in Field or Industry or whatever other part of Marketing, are feeding into what we do. 

And equally we are feeding back into what they're doing. I think it's really important to understand that this isn't, it's not a separate Marketing program. We're really working together in full collaboration, which is not always easy. There's a lot of us, there's a lot of people around the globe doing different things, but we need to be making sure that we are making the best use of all of the fantastic work they're doing. 

Particularly when you have things like knowledge, which is, I don't know if it's coming up when we're recording this, it might have been done and dusted by the time this goes out, but, you know, how are we maximizing the value of all the incredible work they're doing and building into our ABM programs. And likewise, have there been any learnings that we've had or anything that we've created or any patterns that we are seeing that might feed back into some of the work that they're doing. 

One of them I can think of an example is some of the incredible work that we are doing around mega trends and that, you know, that's been a start off as possibly, you know, getting some ideas of what we are seeing but really take it and run with and do incredible, you know, performing incredibly and getting incredible results from the Field team. 

So yeah, it's, I wouldn't say that Marketing, the Field team are feeding in terms of the accounts that we're looking after. Having said that, they are often much closer to more of the stakeholders than we are. We tend to be, you know, when we select our accounts, we tend to work with those AEs and the Sales leadership. But they, we have, you know, the industry partners that really have that relationship with all of the AEs and industry. So they definitely provide ears on the ground, just as we do. 

Declan (strategicabm) - I think it's a great, great answer and a great lead into the next question that I had for you actually, 'cause you mentioned something called mega trends and obviously one of the biggest trends at the moment, one of the biggest talking points at the moment obviously is Artificial Intelligence and Gen AI. 

And I know that talking to other guests on the show, a lot of people are looking at it, a lot of people are experimenting, a lot of people are doing some interesting things. Is there anything that you personally or ServiceNow can share about Gen AI and what you're doing in Account-based Marketing or, or even Pursuit-based Marketing? 

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Celia (ServiceNow) - Yeah, I mean I think as many people, we're still learning and I think we're trying to use it as much as possible to, particularly with Pursuit, to speed things up. We are trying to run a marathon at sprint pace when we're dealing with Pursuit, but it still needs that human intervention, that human touch. 

So, as I think you know, there are tools out there, there's some fantastic creative work that can be done with Gen AI. But equally, you know, using Gen AI to give us a kickstart on some account insights, maybe a kickstart on how we communicate, you know, to different people or with different, you know, values. 

I think it's a great starting off point. It gets us in a really good position to sort of hit the ground at speed. But as always, you know, it still needs that human element to come in and and sense check everything and make sure that the direction is right. 

So obviously prompting is really important. Are we, you know, have we got someone who can or are we working with a team that knows how to prompt really well? I think curiosity is really key with all of AI. I think it's, never take the first answer it gives you, keep prompting it, keep digging, keep delving, just see what it comes back with and then take it with a grain of salt and sense check it as well. 

But in terms of innovation, I think actually our broader Marketing team are doing some incredible innovative things with AI. But I don't think we have some magic silver bullet that other people aren't perhaps trying already. 

Declan (strategicabm) - That's good to hear. And I think you, the word that's kind of coming out from what you've just said is caution. 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Yeah. 

Declan (strategicabm) - It's exploit it, use it, but be a little bit cautious. Yeah and I think that's fair to say in my own use of it as well. 

I'm going to ask you one question actually about PBM, Pursuit-based Marketing, just to help the audience understand it a bit more. Because not everyone's familiar with it. Tell me, just how would you summarize what it is? How would you summarize what it is and what it does in an organization? 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Oh, I mean, yeah, I think we've talked about a few different points of definition. I think it shouldn't necessarily be thought of as different or separate to ABM. So if you understand what ABM is, you understand what PBM is. 

But it was really about why we did it. And the reason why we did it is we are, you know, when we are able to focus at a One-to-one level each practitioner has a limited amount of accounts that they can cover and we want to make sure we are that strategic partner. So Pursuit is really about identifying those opportunities. 

So we, again, we're still learning, you know, we're still gathering data. This is the first time it's been offered as a service at ServiceNow. Sort of building the plane as we fly it, but it's about trying to define some of those key opportunities that Pursuit can make a difference and yeah, so that doesn't really define Pursuit for you. 

Let's, I'll give you a few examples. So it could be Deal-based opportunities. So there's a big deal coming up and you know, we need the Tiger team involved. We need all, every person on you know, on the field. And that's where we would get involved as well obviously to, to help sort of uplevel that message and get it to a strategic point. 

But it could be that there is actually, it's more of an opportunity for reach within the account, but it's, there could be a challenge involved. So perhaps something's happened in the account and we are, you know, I can give a sort of a tentative example of there was just a relationship challenge. There was a change in leadership and someone was coming with a negative view of ServiceNow and that was, I was coming in at a key point in time, not necessarily to close a deal, but to make sure that we retained that account and grew that account. So actually how do we come in and support that, nurture that, like nurturing that relationship and then let the Account team get on with the things that the Account team do well. 

So what it means is by identifying it around opportunities like that or challenges like that, it means that we can come in for a shorter period of time, which means that then we can cover more accounts and more opportunities throughout the year. 

So we've been able to expand, you know, I'm covering up to or perhaps even more than 20 opportunities, so perhaps 20 different accounts throughout the year versus perhaps five that you would be able to do on a One-to-one basis. 

But I think that one of the reasons we've been able to do it here at ServiceNow is that we have people in-house that have lots of ABM experience. You can obviously outsource it as well, but it's really that strategic piece that you need to be able to cover, you know, understanding the tenets of ABM, understanding what the process is and being able to do it as quickly as possible to get deep into that account and then identify what the challenge is and work on it. 

And then yeah, as I say, hopefully let the Account team do what they do. You know that we have fantastic Account teams here as well. So it's just a little booster, I would maybe call it. 

Declan (strategicabm) - Booster. I was thinking, kind of, more graphic and like Delta team or, the Navy Seals or the SAS, you kind of get in there. Yeah, you've got the best equipment, you get in, you get the job done and you get out it sounds like a little bit to me. 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Yeah. 

Declan (strategicabm) - So just to finish off with some rapid fire questions, I've got four rapid fire questions for you. ABM learning, what has been your greatest ABM learning over the last years that you've been doing this? 

Celia (ServiceNow) - I mean, very good question. Short answer, collaboration is key. I really do think it comes down to that. If you don't have the buy-in from the account, and by the way you can work on that, we've definitely had periods where that has absolutely shifted, that relationship shifted. But if you can't see that on the horizon, cut your losses, there'll be someone else who wants your support. 

Declan (strategicabm) - Good, good answer. Hardest part of ABM? 

Celia (ServiceNow) - I think the hardest part is seeding. Maybe it's for me, seeding control. We can do everything that we possibly can, but we aren't the Sales team. We are part of the Marketing team. And so, you know, we do have to hand over and and put that trust. 

And also sometimes the hardest part is not, you know, it's, we share losses with the Account teams as well. Sometimes something happens in the account and the Account team have done everything they possibly can. We've done everything we can. The whole of ServiceNow has done everything they possibly can and it doesn't hit and it's just, it's tough. 

Declan (strategicabm) - Yeah, I mean the losses can be very, very hard to swallow really, 'cause you put an awful lot of time into it. The greatest misconception about ABM? 

Celia (ServiceNow) - That we can just wave a wand and fix everything. It is not a magic bullet. It has to have, as you say, it has to be a full Marketing suite there. We don't work in isolation and we can't fix everything as well. So. 

Declan (strategicabm) - Yeah. Good answer. Good answer. Finally, we're recording this on a Tuesday, but let's just imagine it was a Friday evening. You've had a really tough week there. You're about to close a laptop down and have a glass of whatever your favorite tipple is and you get a phone call from a friend saying, Hey Celia, you won't believe it, but I've got to do a presentation on Monday morning to the CEO. He wants me, or he or she wants me to launch an ABM strategy. And that person says, yeah, friend says to you, what's that one thing I must include in the presentation? What would be that one thing you recommend that they include?

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Celia (ServiceNow) - That it's going to take time. Set expectations from the start. I think that that's, you know, that's really what, in life anyway, but just in general, set expectations. Obviously sell ABM sell, sell, sell that it's a great thing. But set those expectations because you know, I think sometimes we do sell it as a magic bullet and, then if there's a disappointment, it's likely to go away. Whereas if there's that understanding. So yeah, set expectations from the start. 

Declan (strategicabm) - I think that's a very great answer. Great way to finish off. Celia, thank you for your time today. Thank you for sharing your ABM journey and I wish you and the team there at ServiceNow every success for the future. 

Celia (ServiceNow) - Oh, it's been great talking to you. I'm so glad we finally got it in the diary and thank you so much for having me on the program. 

Declan (strategicabm) - Great. Thank you Celia.