‘A Puzzle That Never Ends’: 5 Account-Based Experience Insights From ContinuumCloud’s MJ Craig

4 minutes
Jan 07, 2022
Account-Based ExperienceDigital Marketing

As hard as it might be to believe, it’s possible to generate a nearly 270% increase in pipeline by moving away from website forms and switching to an account-based experience...

As hard as it might be to believe, it’s possible to generate a nearly 270% increase in pipeline by moving away from website forms and switching to an account-based experience that fuses data-driven decisions with existing customer-based knowledge. 

That’s the remarkable story MJ Craig, VP of Marketing for ContinuumCloud, shared during a recent webinar hosted by 6sense. ContinuumCloud is a 6sense customer.

MJ’s story revealed how successful marketing relies on personalization, constant innovation, and testing new ABX strategies. But solving this puzzle is an ongoing process. It takes continual investment in the right technologies and a mindset focused on evolution is crucial to maintaining it. 

Read on to learn more about ContinuumCloud’s mission and the key insights the company gained as it optimized its ABX strategy.

ContinuumCloud’s Mission and Purpose 

ContinuumCloud provides cloud storage solutions for healthcare companies. Its marketing efforts aim to connect buyers with ContinuumCloud technology that’s tailored to their specific needs. 

Engagement often focuses on stories and messaging that highlights helping others reach their full potential — a drive that deeply resonates with ContinuumCloud’s customers. 

Takeaway #1: Clearly Identify Your Constituents

Early in the webinar, MJ shared that many of ContinuumCloud’s competitors are larger companies. These organizations don’t just have bigger advertising budgets to reach broad swaths of potential customers — they also have a broader range of potential customers to reach. These wider customer bases often demand larger promotional spends.

So instead of imitating these expensive and less effective methods, ContinuumCloud doubled-down on serving its niche market.

“We focus specifically on software designed for health and human services organizations,” MJ said. “So, in and of itself, a billboard’s not going to do us any good. We only work with a specific subset of the market.”

Takeaway #2: More Focus Means Ambitious Options

By understanding who it served and why, ContinuumCloud’s actions illustrated a valuable lesson: When you serve a niche market, really zero in on it.

According to MJ, revenue teams are better served investing energy into finding that core sliver of individuals than pushing your brand in front of as many people as possible. 

By focusing its goals on the (relatively) tiny population of behavioral health and human services providers, ContinuumCloud concentrated its brand exposure and increased ad frequency on its most valuable demographic. 

“We can make sure that with the right strategy, our target buyers are going to see our name almost every time they use a device,” MJ said. A constant presence in front of a target audience was more impactful than a diluted presence across a wider audience.

Takeaway #3: Refining the Process Is a Learning Experience

ContinuumCloud’s astonishing 267% increase in pipeline didn’t happen overnight. It took practice to generate those results — and it takes discipline to stick with a strategy in the face of constant iteration.

For instance, as ContinuumCloud focused on reaching its target audience in the digital sphere, it also tried to find the best way to blend its prior approach (with a heavy reliance on website forms to capture user interest) to one that captured more intent data from investing in external technologies.

That didn’t happen smoothly at first — and initially, there was an overcorrection. 

“The sales team got super excited about it,” MJ said, “and they were almost putting too much stock in the intent data and ignoring the actual known activity of people converting.”

In the short-term, this led members of the revenue team to mistrust the data. But MJ and other leaders knew that was a mistake. ContinuumCloud recognized the overcorrection and settled on a compromise that smartly leveraged data while honoring the important elements from its previous marketing approach. 

Takeaway #4: A Hybrid Approach Offers Compounding Benefits

The intent data ContinuumCloud collected during its initial steps into ABX proved valuable. But to be truly effective, this information needed to be contextualized with what the team already knew worked for ContinuumCloud’s clients. 

“We created this hybrid scoring model that would take into account the 6sense predictive stage or the known account score to automate the stage value,” MJ said. “So by doing that, we created a single source of truth from our sales team.” 

Blending the old with the new offered a path forward that took the benefits of both while avoiding dangerous pitfalls. This is where the company saw the real potential in account-based experience processes. 

Takeaway #5: Continued Success Requires a Mindset of Evolution

While this solution generated the kind of results ContinuumCloud was hoping to see, the company didn’t stop there. 

Instead, MJ realized that generating these results at scale would require ContinuumCloud to adapt to its newfound data and the changes it would generate in client behavior. The ability to evolve is what can take a one-time success and make it a foundational part of the company’s marketing strategy, MJ said.

“It’s like you’re putting together a puzzle that just never ends,” MJ explained. “So I feel like this whole thing, in terms of personalization and these digital experiences … it’s all just an evolution.”

To Be Continued…

ContinuumCloud’s success illustrates how technological solutions and a commitment to understanding and supporting your clients are a winning combination. But — even more — it’s a sign of the kind of future-focused mindset that will provide ongoing success for revenue teams, for years to come. 

Want to learn even more insights and best practices from ContinuumCloud’s experience? Check out the entire webinar about the company’s success with account-based experiences.