Q&A: JLL To Tackle Top ABM Misconceptions At Innovation Summit

Published: March 11, 2019

Kate FisherAs more marketers dip their toes into ABM, early adopters are stepping forward and sharing their experiences with common hurdles and challenges that can be avoided via the right combination of technology, research and support. Ninety-three percent of marketers say ABM is extremely or very important to their organizational success, according to Demand Gen Report research. Yet, 75% have had their ABM strategy in place for less than a year and are still fine tuning it, making peer input invaluable.

In an interview with Katie Fisher, Senior Director of Americas Marketing at JLL, she shared a sneak peek into her session at the upcoming ABM Innovation Summit in San Francisco. The presentation, titled: “Avoiding The Top ABM Misconceptions That Can Trip You Up,” will detail a practitioner’s perspective on rolling out an ABM program and best practices to get started with minimal hurdles.

Demand Gen Report: What is your current perspective on the ABM space and how is it having an impact on your business?

Katie Fisher: In general, I think that ABM went from being a buzzword and a hot topic that people weren’t sure would really stick around five years ago, to really being a tried-and-true strategic approach for more targeted demand generation and the way that people go about targeting specific accounts.

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For JLL, it’s absolutely imperative to our demand generation goals and programs. We’re going full steam ahead within ABM, but I think a lot of other companies haven’t even looked at embarking on ABM yet, especially really big firms. They think it’s still pretty new to a lot of people. In those terms, I think we have a long way to go and we’ll see more vendors coming into the space, more consultants trying to enter the space and probably some mergers in the space around vendors that aren’t working in the ABM world.

There’s definitely going to be more opportunity with AI technology, data companies and the way that we go about intent monitoring and trying to track the companies that are really in the market for specific services. I also think that with GDPR, we’ll see a lot more data security regulations not just in Europe, but across the globe. That’s really going to make our job as marketers even more important in finding new ways to generate demand for our firms and making sure that our own firms are within compliance to those regulations.

DGR: Can you share a sneak peek of the session you have prepared for the ABM Innovation Summit?

Fisher: Our presentation will shed some light on the roadblocks around starting up ABM. When any company is going about an ABM journey, there’s a lot that goes into it. One of the biggest things is partnering with your stakeholders and across your business. Without that, you’re going to have a lot of trip-ups. Even though we have grown a lot in our organization’s understanding of ABM, there are still misconceptions about what ABM is and how you can overcome them. We just really wanted to take the misconceptions that swirl around ABM and help dispel them. We will talk about how we overcame some of them and separate fact from fiction so, hopefully, it will help others launch a successful ABM program within their firm.

DGR: When it comes to ABM misconceptions, internal detractors tend to be a common theme. What was the biggest internal detractor for JLL and why?

Fisher: I don’t want to give too much away, as we’ll talk about this in our presentation, but I think the biggest detractor that we had to overcome was when a pretty senior stakeholder told us that they don’t believe in ABM. What it came down to was not that they didn’t truly believe in ABM, but more that there wasn’t a basic understanding about what account-based marketing truly is and why it’s important to any demand generation strategy. There are the RFP catchers of the world, and then there are those that are trying to fill the top of the funnel. This was a big cultural shift and change for us to go about, so once we started educating that stakeholder and others on what ABM is, and how we were going to pilot our approach, that detractor — as well as others — really started to get on board. Soon, we had quite a few people even calling us and saying that they wanted to learn more about ABM either to get their clients into our program or because they wanted to implement a program in their area of the business. I think education and, again, that continued partnership is really key to moving past some of those internal detractors and getting past road blocks.

DGR: What are you hoping to learn more about at the ABM Innovation Summit? Are there any topics or sessions that caught your eye?

Fisher: I’m really excited about just getting to be there and be around other people. There’s a lot of really smart people at the Summit, both attending and presenting. I’m looking forward to hearing what other people are doing, what technologies they’re using, how they’re advancing their programs, what vendors they are partnering with and how they’re tracking and measuring their successes in different ways. There’s a lot that we can learn in order to continue to evolve and scale our programs. I’m really interested to see some of the tech presentations and vendors that will be there, as that’s one big thing that I really would like to get a better basic understanding around.

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