Jennifer Grazel of RBC Capital Markets: Account-based marketing is “fishing with spears”

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Account-based marketing can be a powerful tool in b2b marketing, allowing financial services firms to identify closely with their buying committees, according to Jennifer Grazel, managing director for US marketing and brand officer at RBC Capital Markets. With account-based marketing, “you’re no longer fishing with nets, but fishing with spears,” she said. 

For an M&A advisory firm, for example, account-based marketing means focusing on a buying committee that is vast and can include a chief executive, a board of directors, shareholders and the law firms that are advising a corporation.

A lot of companies in the B2B space begin an ecommerce initiative focusing on their existing customers. It’s very common for B2B companies to start there, and I believe that is probably responsible for a portion of the companies that fall within that 51.4%—it’s just the stage they-‘re at within their digital transformation journey.

Grazel explained that b2b marketing in financial services has changed dramatically in the past few years, from a focus on print execution solely, with ads in financial newspapers and sponsorships of events for example, to a much broader endeavor. 

“It’s really evolved since then and b2b marketers have to think more of a holistic, omni-channel approach and really an ecosystem approach in thinking about who their heartland audience is and at what stage they are in their information discovery journey,” she said. 

In the future, Grazel anticipates that formats will continue to evolve, with different channels connecting even further. “Ultimately, it’s about storytelling, but really thinking through your people and where they’re at in the decision journey. You have to re-think the varying channels and how you serve up the right information.”