In South Place Hotel’s Secret Garden, roses, lavender and a whole arrangement of flowers draped from the ceiling while the hotel staff lined champagne flutes along the bar and set the tables for what would be a fantastic evening of networking, business content and fine dining.
The occasion? We had invited a selection of marketing and sales directors from the UK’s technology industry to join us for the latest addition of our exclusive event series, Chief Wine Officer.
This evening, we were gathering to discuss Account-Based Marketing and to map a clear vision for ABM in 2020. Speaking throughout the evening were our partners and clients:
Not only that, by the end of the evening one lucky marketing leader would go home with a title only 471 others (currently!) hold: Chief Wine Officer.
But first, a little background. Chief Wine Officer (CWO) is an ongoing series of B2B networking events that bring our clients C-Level opportunities. Few networking events come close to CWO. Here, our clients get to connect with their prospects face-to-face over several glasses of the world’s finest wines. What’s more, every CWO event is hosted by a wine aficionado who walks guests through the wine selection, and the venue is always in an exclusive location offering a superb dining experience.
This CWO event covering the next year in ABM was no different. Master of Wine and veteran CWO host Peter McCombie was our wine connoisseur, treating our guests to an array of exemplary wines. We enjoyed champagne, chardonnay, pinot noir, and sweet wines from around the globe. Peter also engaged guests in some light competition, the winner of which would become the next Chief Wine Officer.
First to take to the CWO stage was James Isilay from Cognism. James came to share a little about his experiences at Cognism and to map out the five crucial steps to successful ABM. But James started by answering the question:
“Why do we really want to do Account-Based Marketing?”
The answer is because we want to target companies who are in “growth mode”. James pointed out that targeting a company who isn’t looking to expand right now is a waste of time. If you don’t identify which of your prospects have budget to spend, your sales team will end up giving free demos to and chasing leads that will never convert – losing you revenue. “That’s dead time for your company,” said James.
ABM is about finding the right targets at the right time and engaging them in the right way to maximise your chances of success. James’ five steps of ABM followed this tried-and-tested formula: Analyse, Identify, Expand, Rank, Engage.
Helping clients to facilitate this kind of effective ABM strategy has delivered fantastic results for Cognism – the company has seen a five-fold increase in investment over the last couple of years!
James also plugged one of his new favourite reads: Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore. If you haven’t read the book or know about the technology adoption life cycle, we recommend that you get right on that.
Following on from James was the CEO of Cyance, Jon Clarke. Jon shared a little history about Cyance and its Nexus platform, which provides powerful predictive analysis using machine learning so organisations can reach potential clients better.
When creating Nexus, Cyance’s revelation was that consumers don’t leave the consumer mindset at the door when they get into the office. In fact, you can follow the breadcrumbs of their consumer behaviour into the workplace. By following the breadcrumb trail of data, you can make more informed decisions about which targets you reach out to.
Jon had a series of impressive statistics to share with the room. Of those who had adopted ABM successfully:
Contrast those statistics with the findings from those who had failed to adopt ABM:
Jon finished by telling our esteemed guests that account-centric marketing isn’t a shortcut to success, it needs a long-term strategy.
After this portion of business content, it was time to taste some fine wines. Master of Wine Peter McCombie introduced two white wines for the guests to blind taste. He then asked them a series of questions about the wines, which started the competition.
Guests were encouraged to try the wines and answer Peter’s questions to gain points. For instance, guests had to discern which American continent a wine was from, which were made in the champagne method, and which were aged in oak. Soon the meals came. Guests were treated to Cures Loch Duart salmon, horseradish cream and caviar; tender lamb rump, potato terrine and peas in a rosemary jus; and a peach, summer berries and almond tart with vanilla ice cream.
Our final speaker for the evening was special guest Kristian Blackshaw, who flew in from Amsterdam to be with us. Kristian’s company, Citrix, has been a Chief Nation client for several years, and came to discuss his experience with our B2B marketing agency.
One of Kristian’s keenest insights was the fact that “execution is where things can go horribly wrong”. You can have the best planning in the world, but if you don’t have the capacity to execute your marketing strategy correctly it will all be for nothing. ABM is the correct way to execute your marketing strategy. It optimises your marketing output, prioritising targets, so you see more and better results, instead of lead volume but few conversions.
Kristian also highlighted that there was a clear business opportunity for organisations to capitalise on ABM.
“If I drill down to see who is engaging with ABM, it’s not everyone.”
He went on to say that if you aren’t using ABM strategies and have someone to rationalise your data, you’ll limp along – you’ll never run ahead of your competition. Chief Nation has helped Kristian and Citrix to run, and our parent company is ready to help you too. Learn more about Chief Nation now.
There was just one final element to the evening: crowning the Chief Wine Officer. After several rounds of wine-drinking and questioning, Peter McCombie calculated the scores and the winning team was asked to stand to answer final questions on a sweet dessert wine. We had five finalists, so in theory we should have had around five rounds – not so! If the finalists got a question wrong, they had to sit down.
Two questions later and there was a clear winner, an individual who demonstrated their superior wine-tasting abilities: Kate Carey from Rackspace!
Kate is the latest addition to the famed Chief Wine Officer club. We’re sure you’ll join us in congratulating Kate on what will undoubtedly be a highlight of Kate’s career.
Chief Wine Officer is a series of tailor-made B2B networking events, hosted in global, unforgettable locations. Each event is designed to connect leading technology companies to a C-suite audience, foster business relationships and engage key influencers.
If you want to sponsor or attend a Chief Wine Officer event, we’re ready and here to help. Check out our calendar to discover upcoming events. You can also see what previous guests think about CWO in our event reviews.
Alternatively, get in touch with our friendly team today to learn more about the Chief Wine Officer experience.