Beyond The #B2BMX Podcast: A Deeper Look At ZS’s ABM Journey

Published: May 31, 2023

If you listened to this week’s podcast — “How To Execute A Multichannel ABM Campaign” — you heard all about ZS’s journey to orchestrating an ABM campaign. To record the episode, I sat down with Megan Wolfe, Managing Director of the healthcare-based management consulting and technology firm, to pick her brain about the campaign and dive into specifics. But there’s only so much you can include on a podcast, so I wanted to share more details of ZS’s ABM strategy with you. While I wrote a full feature over on our sister site, ABM In Action, here are some of the key highlights.

It’s no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted almost every industry and forced businesses to pivot quickly. But healthcare and pharma organizations were in a unique position to innovate amidst the turbulence.

“Think for a minute about how fast we got the Covid-19 vaccine: It really created a shift in power that continues to ripple across the healthcare industry today,” said Megan Wolfe, in her #B2BMX presentation. “As an optimist, and a marketer, I chose to look at the shift as an opportunity.”

To get an accurate pulse on the changing pharma industry, Wolfe and her team started speaking to ZS’s clients for “a lay of the land.” Through their conversations, they uncovered that the process of bringing medicine to market was a linear and siloed effort that almost exclusively focused on engaging physicians — leaving a lot of prospects and opportunities on the table.

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The biggest challenge for ZS revolved around targeting the right prospects. Wolfe explained that while the company already had strong relationships with account contacts, the folks they connected with didn’t have any enterprise influence. So, ZS turned to Quarry, a B2B tech-focused demand marketing firm, to craft a campaign that would engage C-level contacts while simultaneously educating them on the power of pharma-to-healthcare.

ZS and Quarry created ZS’s first 1:Few ABM program, which targeted 30 existing clients. The first phase revolved around creating awareness and driving leads, which included a live webinar, content syndication and a combination of inbound and outbound channels. The second phase then split into two streams: The first stream was directed at accounts who were most engaged in phase one, as well as the most senior contacts at those key accounts. The second targeted the less-engaged folks on the same digital channels.

As for specific channels, Meredith Fuller, Managing Director of Demand Strategy at Quarry, explained ZS and Quarry relied on Demandbase, LinkedIn and Twitter for inbound, as well as other paid, owned and earned media opportunities. She continued that these channels helped extend the reach and credibility of the messaging. To further cement that credibility, Quarry helped ZS form a community through research, forums and more.

Additionally, the companies developed a white paper, framed the messaging and themes for ZS’s annual Impact Summit around the concept and built out dedicated landing pages that allowed the team to apply a higher level of personalization, drive easier conversions directly from inbound/outbound prospecting and promote event registration. To ensure it developed relationships with its target audience (senior leads) the ZS team invited those high-level contacts to an exclusive VIP breakfast event.

The company also focused on bringing its internal team up-to-speed on the changes, which required them to develop sales and support materials such as a real-time dashboard that measured against goals, objectives, tactical, channel-level performance and key ABM metrics.

In terms of specific results, ZS:

  • Netted 1,500 new relevant contacts at its target accounts, which increased the marketable database by 214%;
  • Added 329 new contacts into its database;
  • Saw a 5X increase of VP, SVP and C-suite attendance at its Impact Summit; 
  • Drove 425 additional new contacts to drop into its surround program;
  • Engaged with 100% of all 30 accounts it targeted and, of those, 60% reached prioritized account status; and
  • Generated more than 2,000 net-new contacts and saw 8,000 unique microsite visitors.

For deeper insights into ZS’s journey to an ABM strategy, check out our full coverage here. And if you’d like to hear about the campaign from the woman who pioneered it, listen to the podcast now.

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