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A look at how The Marketing Practice took O2’s ABM campaigns to the next level


By Awards Analyst, writer

December 5, 2022 | 6 min read

The Marketing Practice's ‘ABM on First Name Terms’ campaign for O2 won at The Drum Awards for B2B 2022 for Best Use of Data and Creativity. Here, we find out what went into this successful work.

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A graphic from O2's advanced ABM campaign

Account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns can provide B2B brands with long-term gains. But to get a real headstart on the competition, O2 needed to accelerate its efforts. Partnering with the Marketing Practice helped them speed up.

The brief

Six years of running ABM programs had shown O2 Business that results improve over time, but in order to get a jump on the competition, they couldn’t rely purely on organic improvement. The team needed a bold new approach that would further increase deal sizes and improve its closed-won conversion rate.

The objective was to secure £28m ($34m) of pipeline and retain all key accounts. Additionally, three new account logos were to be secured in-year (to be ‘closed won’ by the end of 2021).

The idea

In total, 64 accounts were nominated into a three-tier system: '1:1' and 'cluster' ABM accounts; a group of non-ABM accounts which would receive ad hoc support; and a stream of light-touch, always-on nurture accounts.

Organograms were created for each account, using the online engagement tool Miro, desk research, and account team insights. The team then identified the top 10 contacts and assigned each contact a value story. Psychometric research was carried out for the top five contacts in each list, using a profiling tool, Crystal Knows.

Campaign flows were designed which kicked off with a bespoke asset, then relied on repurposed existing collateral for follow-on communication. This approach was impactful, yet cost-effective. The bespoke assets covered 5 products that were applicable to all accounts. Personalization was added through supporting messaging.

For instance, a single video was produced to promote O2’s Voice for Teams solution, but it was sent out using 34 different emails which were built with dynamic content on Eloqua. The messaging in each personalized email was constructed to match the psychometric analysis, account research, and value story: the correct combination of components was selected to be wholly relevant to each of the 148 contacts.

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The results

The increased brand awareness and credibility produced through the program opened up opportunities and conversations with accounts including Accenture, IBM, NHS Improvement, Siemens, The Met Office, and the Department of Health and Social Care.

The insight-led contact strategy expanded relationships across the board, including 583 C-level contacts added to the CRM. Emails to ABM accounts achieved an average 4.52% click-through rate, compared to the O2 Business average of 0.4% in the same period.

The always-on nurture stream achieved between 25-50% click-through rate on emails and drove a 30.2% conversion rate from consideration to the decision stage. Crucially for future sales strategy, over 1,000 pieces of information were logged in the CRM, including 10 accounts identified as up for renewal in the next 12 months.

As for those targets, £42m of pipeline was generated; all key accounts were retained; and two new account logos were won, representing over £5m of in-year revenue.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for B2B 2022. You can see all the winners here. The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

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