Contact-based Marketing – What We Learned from Our Customers

by Robin Tinker, on Aug, 13, 2015

That this is the week after the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, the following recap from a recent client meeting is very appropriate. Our client is a leading distributor of motorcycle and ATV aftermarket parts, accessories, and apparel. They have many salespeople across the country using Modus for managing, distributing, and monitoring sales materials for new products and promotions.


During this meeting, we discussed our recent announcement of the integration of Modus with the leading marketing automation system, HubSpot. Attending the meeting from the client organization was their director of marketing and the Modus admins. This was the first time that we talked about this integration with an actual customer. We were about to learn something very important from them.

As a new HubSpot customer, our client was interested in what would happen if they integrated their Modus and HubSpot systems. Our plan was to tell them what we saw as advantages for marketing and sales and walk them through the integration itself. The integration setup is deceptively simple and took about three minutes. Then the questions came.

“What happens when a sales rep sends a follow-up to a prospect or customer with links?” “That information is sent to HubSpot” was the reply. “Will we know what specific link was sent to the prospect?” “Yes,” we said. “If that’s the case, then we could tailor our workflows based on the specific content sent to the customer,” said the client. That was our epiphany. Contact-based marketing.

Why Account-based Marketing isn’t enough

HubSpot supports the interaction of sales and marketing working closely together (they call it Smarketing). We add actionable data to create Contact-based Marketing (CBM). Contact-based marketing, when compared to Account-based marketing (ABM), makes much more sense. While ABM attempts to use automation and market intelligence to increase the effectiveness of B2B marketing, it negates the importance of the direct sales rep and their relationships with customer contacts.

When organizations use account data as the sole basis for their marketing automation, they overlook critical data gathered by direct sales teams during their interactions with customers.

By using Modus, the follow-up email, in this case, reflects the collective understanding and output of the conversation between the salesperson and the customer. This activity (trigger) represents the needs of that contact at that point in time. Rather than mass marketing to roles similar to that contact like ABM does, CBM targets the specific need of the individual. Which method would you prefer?

Since this meeting, we have had more validation that by linking Modus to your marketing automation system you are filling what was a void with a new and scalable information resource. If you are looking for a competitive edge, this is it.

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