In this edition of Flippin’ Funnels, we would like to highlight Tyler Lessard, CMO at Vidyard and Eric Spett, CEO at Terminus, who presented a hugely impactful account-based marketing (ABM) case study at our recent #FlipMyFunnel event in San Francisco. The big theme of the session was about how Vidyard truly unites their marketing and sales teams to create impactful programs together.

Flipping Points:

3:00 – One of the reasons why Vidyard makes a great case study is because they literally have someone who sits between sales and marketing.

4:00 – Account-based marketing is all about personalizing your message to your target account. Vidyard’s video personalization technology is one way to accomplish that.

6:00 – Vidyard approaches account-based marketing with the mindset of their target audiences and spends time thinking through how do to create a customer experience that actually makes people want to do business with them.

7:00 – Tyler shares how Vidyard has made some mistakes in the past when executing ABM programs that left many decision-makers within their target accounts unhappy with them.

We’ve had some challenges in the past. I’ll share some specific examples where we’ve run targeted programs that have frankly pissed people off, which is always a risk with doing heavy duty display advertising. You’re hitting people in their inbox and you’re doing all of these other things. We’ve had a few cases where we’ve gone overboard and we’ve learned from that. We’ve learned the importance of having very personally relevant content, having the right context and hitting people with stories and ideas that they like and that they enjoy. – Tyler Lessard, Vidyard

8:00 – Vidyard is a video platform that allows B2B marketers to host and distribute their video content. They are in a highly competitive, emerging market which means they have an opportunity to really define the space. Their goal is to target and create volume in the accounts that they are bringing on board across lots of different segments. They have a kickass revenue marketing along with a rocking sales and SDR team. They are the true definition of smarketers.

9:00  – Back in 2012, Vidyard was very focused on lead-based programs for their marketing efforts. They were using tactics like inbound marketing programs, content syndication, list buying, email marketing, events and conferences. There was significant attention on lead scoring and lead qualification based on lead-based activity and lead-based acquisition.

It made sense at the time, and we built up a really great database. About 10% of those people actually were ones that we wanted to sell to. We built up a great list and we found a lot of people but we’ve also found a lot of people that wasted a lot of our time. – Tyler Lessard, Vidyard

10:00 – While they were able to get a large quantity of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), they realized that their conversion rates on were poor and driving a lot of inefficiencies. Vidyard began to look at the reasons sales was rejecting their leads and the number one reason was the lead was not in the target market. That really put them in the mindset, as a marketing team, of how to focus on accounts and thinking about which companies they want to be going after. They also used this as a pre-qualifier to drive the campaigns they were running.

We were seeing less than 40% of MQLs actually convert to a sales accepted lead (SAL). This means that out of 100 leads we were handing over to our sales teams, 60 of them or more were just being outright rejected as an invalid lead. It doesn’t feel good to me, when sales says, ‘your leads suck.’ It’s nice to be able to say, ‘no they don’t,’ but here I was like, ‘yeah… you know what… a lot of them do.’ – Tyler Lessard, Vidyard

11:00 – What we started by doing is going to our sales team and asking the simple questions like:

  • What types of accounts are you going after?
  • Do you have a list of your key target accounts?
  • Can we help focus there?
  • How make sure more of the leads we’re generating are in accounts that you actually want to sell to, so you can stop rejecting what we’re sending over?

12:00 – Now that the marketing team had the list of target accounts from their sales team, it was time to come up with some creative campaigns to engage the decision-makers within those accounts. The goal was to build brand awareness in accounts where this was there was not much familiarity with the brand. They started by using their blog to write about their target accounts with a little flattery. They then shared on social to get their attention and many responded positively.

13:00 – Vidyard used direct mail to invite the target accounts to an orientation once they got their attention. They also layered on display ads to remind those people of the orientation. This all seemed like a great plan but rarely anyone actually attended the sessions. They actually even had a ‘cease and desist’ situation when a customer saw their videos on Vidyard and did not recognize that they were just linked from YouTube.

14:00 – This ABM campaign was not a complete disaster for Vidyard. They actually learned a lot in the process. One key learning was that flattering accounts through their blog worked really well. Another thing they learned was that they needed to improve their offer and call-to-action to make it contextually relevant to the account and their pain points. One more takeaway was they relied too much on sales to pick the target accounts. Once the marketing team ran the data on these accounts, they learned that they were not really the best fits. The last issue they found was scalability. Their programs were very manual and required a lot of time to implement.

15:00 – The learnings from this process are some of the most important things that are part of their ABM strategy. First was relevance. They asked themselves questions like:

  • Are the people we’re talking to the ones we should be talking to?
  • Is it the right message? Is it aligned with where they’re at?
  • Does it speak to the problems that they’re currently having?

16:00Reach was another key piece of Vidyard’s ABM program. Previously, they were just hitting the same people we already knew. They needed to expand their reach in an organization and find new people. They wanted the ability to simply say, “We looking to target people with a marketing title in this company of this size” and being able to get their message in from of them without actually having previous knowledge of that individual.

The third component was engagementThey wanted to engage their accounts rather than sell to them. The big question was “how do we create an experience that people want to be part of?” In essence, Vidyard wanted their target accounts to be as excited and passionate about the brand as they were.

The last part was scale. How could Vidyard automate their processes in a way that reduced the amount of manual work required to execute campaigns?

17:00 – The first thing Vidyard did was to rely less on their sales team to give them accounts and started trying to identify accounts that had the highest propensity to buy. When Vidyard was focused on lead-based marketing, they scored and profiled accounts. It was helpful to think about accounts in the same way.

What are the characteristics of accounts that make them our ideal fit? What we thought about here was taking this lead versus accounts idea, when we think about leads we always think there’s their attributes, what’s their role, what’s their company, so on and so forth. We also track through activities. We score on those 2 things. We say if they do this, if they do that. A + B, if there are good attributes and good activities, they equal a good prospect. We did the same thing for accounts. We wanted to start to look at what are the attributes that make an account one that’s likely to buy from us. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, is what are the activities that that account is doing? No different from an individual lead. – Tyler Lessard, Vidyard

18:00 – One great asset to Vidyard’s ABM success is what they call the “Pipeline Whisperer.” He’s a business analyst on their team named Amar and he helped run some analysis that identified some unique characteristics of accounts that would be most likely to buy their offering.

19:00 – In addition to Amar’s game-changing insights, they also looked at activity and intent. If they saw an account that was hiring for a video marketer or creative director, it was a good signal that the account might be ready to invest in Vidyard’s platform.

20:00 – Another key buying signal for Vidyard is momentum. They scrape the YouTube channels of their target accounts to determine how many videos an account has uploaded in the last 30 days. If the number is substantial, then that is a pretty strong indicator of need for the platform.

We did was we took all of these different account attributes, things related to their current activities in the market, to create a company score, which has been a huge boost to our team. Instead of just a lead score on an individual lead, we now score accounts. It’s a scale of about 0 to 20, and all these different things feed into a company score. Now the data tells us which companies are most likely to buy from us and we use that to drive our account-based marketing. – Tyler Lessard, Vidyard

21:00  – Vidyard has automated their processes so that when an account reaches a certain score (comprised of a variety of data sources), they automatically get put into an ABM nurturing program. This allows for the marketing team to create the best experience possible because they know the accounts they are focusing on have the highest propensity to buy. The identification stage is crucial to their success so they try to pull in as many valuable data sources as possible.

22:00 – The Big Willow helps provide inbound intent data that shows how many people at certain companies are reading articles on video marketing or related topics. Hoovers provides basic demographic data on the decision-makers. Wanted Analytics allows Vidyard to see job data to determine who is hiring for video marketing managers. These partners combined with Vidyard’s own proprietary data help to connect the dots on target accounts.

23:00 – Once Vidyard has a good picture of the accounts they should target, they do contact acquisition and data enrichment using tools like NetProspex, KiteDesk and Social123. Sometimes they are not able to find the contacts in the accounts but they know the titles and roles they care about. This is where Terminus comes in the picture to help deliver display advertising to the key decision-makers in those accounts. Vidyard automate this process by updating an account’s score in Salesforce and they automatically get pulled into a Terminus campaign once they pass a certain threshold.

24:00 – The idea behind account-based advertising is turn those unknown contacts into known contacts. One creative way Vidyard does this is to use the account’s data to target the account. For example,  an ad they ran for Motorola Solutions said, “Motorola has over 700 videos but zero trackable leads or revenue from those videos.” Remember back to the part about scaping video counts from YouTube? Vidyard actually insert that information into the ad. Somebody from Motorola sees that and they’re like, ‘interesting, we have over 700 videos.’  They try to pull in company-relevant data into the ads themselves to make it personally relevant and drive action.

26:00 – Vidyard drinks their own champagne by using their own personalization technology to send videos to certain individuals in an account that they want to engage with. They also have a sales team member named Riley whose primary role is to create targeted videos. One way he does this is to use a tool like Camtasia to record his desktop as he visits their website and critiques their video strategy. One key piece of this tactic is making sure the thumbnail for the video is the target account’s website.

27:00 – If Vidyard is still unable to reach the target account, they do a creative direct mail campaign that sends a physical card with a video that plays inside. They make sure that this is also a very personalized experience.

30:00 – To get target accounts to their Space Camp event, Vidyard ran a targeted, geo-fenced campaign to get key decision-makers to its event. They were able to influence 26 different accounts and generated a number of opportunities as a result.

31:00 – Dead opportunities present an opportunity for revival. Vidyard begins targeting accounts from lost opportunities about three to six months after they are declared as dead. They try to target other people in the company beside the original contact which allows them the chance to “wake the dead” and revive the opportunity. They’ve been successful with this strategy in about 20 to 30 occasions.

32:00 – Marketing technology now allows Vidyard to do ABM at scale which is something they could not have done two or three years ago.


We’re hitting the road again, and this time, we are headed to Austin for the #FlipMyFunnel B2B Marketing and Sales Festival on June 7, 2016.

The theme of this event will be “Peace, Love and Funnel” and will be a celebration of challenging the status quo in B2B Marketing and Sales. Tickets are on sale now and we are offering special pricing for Smarketing teams. Promo code VTBLOG50 will save you 50% on your ticket.

Header-Landing-Austin