Thursday, February 25, 2016

Azalead Account Based Marketing Tracks Web Site Visitors, Orchestrates Outbound Messages, and Reports on Results

Account Based Marketing. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

Okay, just kidding: ABM gets just slightly less attention than Donald Trump and arguably generates a similar amount of confusion. Many of the industry vendors are addressing that problem (the confusion, not Trump) by working together in the Account Based Marketing Consortium which, among other things, has published an excellent survey and nifty six-level functional framework. You can download them both here.

The purpose of the framework is to help marketers understand the differences between ABM vendors. Let’s apply it to ABM Consortium member Azalead, a Paris-based firm that is planning to enter the U.S. market.

We’ll start with an overview of what Azalead does. It lets marketers create lists of target accounts by identifying Web site visitors (at the company level) based on IP address, by reading data through a CRM system integration, or by uploading lists any source. Users can export account lists for retargeting, connect via API with the company Web site to personalize messages shown to visitors from target firms, or send lists to CRM. Azalead tags can be embedded in Web pages or emails to track response. Opportunities and revenues can also be imported from CRM. The system reports on impressions (i.e., messages sent), responses, opportunities and pipeline value for targeted accounts and gives salespeople lists of all identified Web site visitors or of visits from target accounts.  It can also rank accounts with a system-generated engagement score.

Now that you have a more or less coherent view of Azalead functions, we can map these to the Consortium framework.

Account Selection: users can select accounts from the list of identified Web site visitors, from the list of accounts imported from CRM, or from any other list uploaded to the system. There is no predictive scoring although users can build lists by filtering on whatever attributes have been attached to the records, such as industry, country, or company size. Azalead has created its own technology to identify site visitors whose IP address cannot be tied directly to a specific company. Results vary, but in Europe this can increase the percentage of identified visitors from the usual 30% to as high as 50%..

Insights: once a company has been identified, Azalead can present users – typically sales people – with a screen that shows the company name, basic information (industry, revenues, etc.) from an external database, engagement history as captured by Azalead’s Web and email tags, and contact names from the CRM system. 

Content: Azalead doesn’t create content.

Orchestration: Azalead can create lists based on engagement level, opportunity stage (imported from CRM), and other account attributes.  Different lists can be selected for different marketing treatments.

Delivery: Azalead tags on a company Web site can both identify visitors and return basic parameters including company name, industry and size. These parameters can drive personalized Web site messages. Messages in other channels are generated by sending lists to marketing automation, CRM, retargeting, or other external systems.

Measurement: Azalead offers a summary dashboard and more detailed information on retargeting, display ads, and Web site visitors. A pipeline impact report plots sales opportunity probability against marketing engagement for individual deals, helping marketers to see the impact of their efforts.

So, what information is missing here? The framework doesn’t explicitly cover integration, arguably because that’s a supporting technology rather than a functional capability. Azalead has API-level integration with and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. A general purpose API allows custom integration with Web sites and other systems. The company is working on API integration with major marketing automation platforms, but currently uses its own tags to track response to emails sent by those systems.

The framework also doesn’t including pricing or vendor background, which are also not functional capabilities.  Azalead pricing is published on its Web site. A limited system starts at $1,000 per month for a 3,000 monthly Web visits and 400,000 ad impressions. A system with all features starts at $3,200 per month for 20,000 Web visits and 1.4 million impressions. The company was founded in 2013 and currently has about 80 customers, mostly tech companies in Europe. It plans to open a New York office later this year.

No comments: