How Marketo Engage Helped ICF Align Sales And Marketing

by The Adobe Blog team

posted on 10-22-2019

Marketing transformation is not an easy task for a 50-year-old legacy company. Yet it’s a journey that global consulting and digital services firm ICF embarked on just over three years ago, as part of the company’s efforts to help clients solve their most complex challenges, navigate change and shape the future.

Understanding it’s not an easy feat to scale its business, while meeting clients’ demands, ICF recognized alignment between marketing and sales presented a huge opportunity to improve business performance and ultimately marketing transformation. Historically, the firm was challenged with its sales and marketing departments being two completely separate entities, translating to disunity with goals and room for improvement when it came to engagement with customers.

This is where Adobe comes in. ICF sought to build lasting relationships with customers, partnering with Adobe’s Marketo Engage to orchestrate more sophisticated and personalized account-based experiences for its customers and prospects. ICF could address its challenges with a marketing automation solution that natively supported both lead and account-based strategies. The firm also recognized early on that the key to success would be putting people and experiences at the center of the company’s strategy.

“We were incredibly limited in our ability to do things like creating marketing lists and having basic workflows connected to our marketing programs,” said Adam Monago, vice president of digital and performance marketing at ICF, who joined the company three years ago to spearhead the marketing transformation. His first move on the job was building a team of marketers that could help the organization take its marketing to new levels.

With the the right people in place, Monago and his team began to rethink their technology stack, which was made up of a CRM solution and a simple email application. The newly formed team found itself doing a lot of manual work to get their campaigns up and running, leaving them less time to focus on the more strategic aspects of marketing. In addition, because ICF’s customers are often in highly-regulated industries such as cybersecurity, energy, and disaster management, an inbound-only strategy wasn’t going to cut it.

Successful account-based marketing (ABM) requires a sales and marketing partnership. And, while sales and marketing alignment isn’t a new idea, it’s recently grown in importance because it’s essential for account-based marketing success. And the truth is, many companies still struggle with it. Common questions arise, such as: Does marketing align with sales (or does sales align with marketing?); Who should develop the target account lists? When do leads get passed from one group to the other?

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, the end goal is a true partnership–where sales and marketing become one revenue team. According to Monago, the move to ABM via Marketo Engage was instrumental in bringing ICF’s sales and marketing teams together.

Today, thanks to Marketo Engage, sales and marketing at ICF share an ABM dashboard that gives both teams visibility into marketing and sales activities. As a result, the two teams no longer debate about who they should be targeting, and who is engaging with their content. Marketing and sales now collaborate and decide together, which lets them create coordinated account-based experiences for the right customers and prospects at the right time.

“We are currently using Marketo Engage and ABM Essentials to create a shared view with sales that shows how much we are actually engaging with customers,” added Monago. “Since implementing Marketo Engage’s ABM solution, our marketing and sales teams are working more closely and are having more productive conversations, including collaborating on the right strategic accounts, coordinating account-based experiences using targeted campaigns across all channels and even starting to tie our efforts to revenue.”

Beyond identifying the right accounts to target, ICF saw opportunities to leverage data from its ABM efforts to deliver a more personalized and engaging experience across all of its marketing efforts—not just ABM. With data from its ABM dashboards informing who is engaging with content and how, ICF is now able to deliver compelling and relevant content to its prospects, no matter what stage of the buyer journey they are in. To do this, ICF uses the web personalization capability in Marketo Engage, to A/B test the content and messaging so that the content prospects and customers see on the website is tailored to individuals, and meaningful every time.

“Our organization has not shied away from spending marketing dollars when they see the connection to revenue. Now because of Marketo Engage, we are able to connect marketing efforts to revenue and there is an increasing appetite to spend which allows us to scale our efforts,” said Monago.

ICF is using Marketo Engage to delivering personalized experiences across niche industries. Learn more.

Topics: Digital Transformation, Email Marketing, Customer Stories

Products: Experience Cloud, Marketo Engage