In this case study, I’ll share one of our favourite ABM tactics we use to create awareness, connect and warm-up target accounts – virtual summit.

We ran a virtual summit with Iridium Mobile, platform for smart homes and buildings automation, that generated:

  • 2320 sign-ups
  • 34 sales-qualified opportunities
  • 5 new customers

The most interesting fact?

The campaign was launched by three people with a $3000 budget.

Considering their sales cycle length is 9-12 months, generating 5 clients with LTV above $100k right off the bat was a mind-blown result.

Let’s dive in.

ABM tactics overview

1. Ideal Customer Profile

Initially, Iridium wanted to get both the end-customers and system integrators. However, these two groups have completely different needs.

Integrators are looking to sell a good quality installation and earn a good margin.

End-customers are mainly interested in getting new technologies at the best possible price and are not interested in hearing from vendors.

So we decided to focus on system integrators only.

For the main event, we didn’t apply any account selection and disqualification criteria, as the goal was to create market awareness at the top of the funnel and maximize the number of attendees from the smart home installation market.

However, we did manually select Tier 1 and Tier 2 accounts for the activation play I’ll describe later.

2. Summit audience.

ABM tactics

Here are 5 audiences we invited for the event:

1. Best customers.

Inviting your best customers helps you cultivate and strengthen the relationship and prevent churn.

Consider doing live case studies or panel discussions with your best customers. In the case of our client, some of the clients also helped with a promotion.

2. The members of the buying community of our target accounts.

Inviting Tier 1 accounts as speakers is the easiest way to connect with them and build a relationship.

When you arrange pre-summit calls with speakers, not only you can help them to prepare better, but also introduce your company, learn more about current goals, and figure out if there is a fit.

It is very similar to Connect & Qualify campaign which is one of the account-based marketing tactics we regularly use.

3. Thought leaders.

Thought leaders give your event credibility and attract a new audience.

4. Partners.

These are companies selling complementary products and services to the same audience.

In the Iridium case, these were other integrators & smart home hardware manufacturers who sell their products to the same target market.

5. Media and industry publications and associations.

Media partners help to promote the event and create awareness.

Keep in mind, that once you have an extensive list of speakers and have done the first round of promotion, it would be much easier to get the media’s attention and partner with them.

3. Recruiting speakers and potential customers

The next questions we faced were:

  • How to recruit speakers?
  • How to sell the idea of the summit to your existing and potential customers?
  • How to motivate them to promote the event?

With existing customers, it was pretty easy because they knew Iridium very well.

But enterprise prospects like Microsoft or MTS telecom asked critical questions about the event and the target audience and made specific requests.

We had to take them through several stages of negotiation.

We managed to get about 50 companies as speakers.

Here are the key nuances.

1. We didn’t make the event about promoting our company and products.

The goal was to create general market awareness and share knowledge about the latest technologies, use-cases, and best practices with the market.

2. Our potential customers and partners got the same speaking opportunities and could choose a time they wanted to present.

The only requirement was that the content needed to be educational and focus on the different use-cases of the target audience.

3. Each of the five summit days had a dedicated topic.

Both speakers and attendees were able to choose the topics that were more interesting to them.

4. We created a clear process of summit promotion and signed the agreements.

For instance, we said, “On September 15th, there will be an announcement from your side and our side”.

So next, we will make an announcement two weeks before the summit, and so on”.