Account Based Marketing Needs a Human Touch

Filed in Account Based Marketing on February 24, 2017 by

We’re all human, right? So it makes sense that your account should be treated like the team of hard-working collaborators it is. With an account based marketing strategy, it can be easy to lose focus of the people behind the account you target, but taking that pivotal step back can skyrocket your ROI. It can also make the difference between your pitch taking a one-way trip to the trash can, or being converted into a long-standing conversation and partnership.

So what is a human touch in marketing-terms, exactly? Let’s talk for a second what it isn’t. Each day, we are bombarded with endless emails and messages. Robots attempt to speak to us so much each day that we actually need to tune them out. What’s the last prospecting email you remember opening? Now think of how many thoughtful packages have shown up on your desk in the past few months. One? Two? A human touch is a message you can actually feel with your hands. It’s tactile, and it appeals to your senses. Direct mail has made a comeback as a game-changing channel that opens doors in your campaigns during every stage of your sales cycle.

“Your tactile item brings your brand to life in a way that its digital counterpart cannot,” says PFL Chief Marketing Officer Daniel Gaugler. “It makes the experience more memorable.”

And thanks to changes in technology, tactile marketing automation can not only deliver a tangible item to the humans on the account you’re trying to reach out and touch, it can help you follow up with calls, revive dying leads and provide you with the data you need to improve your metrics.

How Tactile Marketing Fits with Account Based Marketing

Tactile marketing automation addresses what we call “stuck points.” The first stuck point is initiating engagement. A tactile piece warms up an account and starts a conversation. It fosters a sense of urgency with stuck deals. A timely, personal message drives home value points that re-ignite a conversation. Lastly, tactile marketing activates advocates. It can help you pinpoint the true champion in the organization you strive to engage. That extra human touch can really convert a contact into an advocate for your cause.


How to Add a Human Touch to Your Account Based Marketing Campaign

We believe that the key component to successful tactile marketing is personalization. Personalization is  a multiplier. Improve the relevance of what you send­­­—through personalization and timing— and dramatically improve your results. So now you may ask how you can scale hyper targeted, high-level personalization. A platform like Marketo can help you leverage your existing data. From there, create the correct persona to drive those personalizations. You can:

  • Trigger your sends based on different prospect behaviors, using the senses (sight, sound, touch and smell)
  • Review data feedback in real time
  • Monitor behavioral interaction to help improve your conversation.

Of course, as a marketer you are concerned with your ROI. Or rather, improving it however possible. Nurturing an account is an opposite approach to success (however it will outperform your former attempts to achieve it!). When thinking of an account, you must consider the humans you’re trying to contact. What are the personas of the people with whom you wish to connect? What are their titles? In which industries do they work? From there, think about how each person has an individual need for individual conversations. For instance, a conversation you intend to have with a CEO is a very different conversation from one you would have with an account executive. Different titles (or rather, humans!) have different pain points, after all.  But no matter how you toss the dice, you will cut through the clutter when your persona adds that special human touch, and you will deliver value. From there, just follow up with a clear call to action.

Today’s new channel is tactile marketing automation. And a multi-channel campaign is truly the best way to get your pitch out of the woods and into the future, both for your deal and in the marketing world as a whole.

How Scored with a Human Touch

Ty Nokleby, from, partnered with PFL to implement tactile marketing automation as a part of a campaign. The unique challenge Nokleby faced was that his main points of contact were at the CMO/ CEO level. Like we said before, different humans have different needs. An Amazon Alexa may wow an Account Executive, but a CEO can easily go out and buy 15 of his own at lunch. So before dove into their campaign, they had to seriously consider their gifting strategy. In their case, they managed to get former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young to autograph footballs. As most of the campaign targeted Bay Area clients, it proved to be a wildly successful tactile offering.

When building a multi-channel ABM campaign, it’s important to break the process down into four key phases: Who, What, How & Measure. stuck to the simple plan, and generated 15x ROI in the end.

WHO: Locate your contacts and their positions

PFL recommended a six-week program for’s campaign.


From there, it came time to choose their direct-mail item.

“What do you send the CEO/ CRO of a Fortune 500 Company, exactly?” asked Nokelby. “Our campaign showed us that it’s important to create a tactile piece that’s memorable, and ties to your campaign product.”

Drill down in their six-week plan, and see how wrapped up their multi-channel ABM campaign. Follow the flow from the initial football signings, to email and phone follow-ups.


Account Based Marketing Campaign Flow

By partnering with PFL, created 2x their pipeline. In just six weeks, they created as much pipeline as the entire previous year. They also hit 15x ROI.  The most telling success of direct-mail marketing was the moment when a client came back to them after receiving his tactile piece, simply saying: “you have my attention.”

Key Learnings From

– Sales and marketing alignment is key. Partner with your sales team and leverage their knowledge so everyone is on board.
-Take time creating a compelling campaign and plan out every detail.
-Your tactile piece is key to breaking through to top accounts so make it count.
-Leverage your executives’ influence to help AE’s get in the door.
-You can never over-communicate to your sales team! Keep the conversation going.


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