WhiteHat Security’s Marketing Program: From Inbound to ABM
WhiteHat Security offers web application security solutions that reduce risk, lower costs, and decrease the time it takes to develop and deploy secure applications and websites. The WhiteHat Security marketing team has been doing account-based marketing (ABM) since early 2016, when they realized their inbound, mostly organic marketing strategy was not driving enough pipeline for sales. We had the chance to hear from Beth McCullough, Director of Demand Generation, and Avi Bhatnagar, Director of Digital Marketing, on how they got started with account-based marketing. “We realized we wanted to reach out and target more of our ideal customer, and the way we were doing it with the traditional demand gen couldn’t really get us to that level,” explains Beth. “So, we started looking into broadening and adding an account-based marketing strategy to our current strategy.”
Check out Avi and Beth's full story in this video case study!
Getting started with ABM was a learning experience for Avi and Beth, who previously had not been using outbound marketing channels like digital advertising. “When we planned our ABM program, we knew we needed to leverage digital advertising for targeted accounts as an outbound marketing strategy,” explains Avi. “We didn’t have a digital advertising function within our organization, so we needed to build out a self-sufficient, cost-effective, and reliable solution that would meet our needs.” For WhiteHat, that solution is Terminus. Beth explains that Terminus was one of the first ABM tools they invested in after selecting their list of target accounts that they wanted to turn into customers.
“We needed that air cover, and Terminus is one of those vendors that could help us do that,” she says.
Why WhiteHat Security Selected Terminus for ABM Advertising
When the WhiteHat Security team was evaluating ABM MarTech vendors, they created evaluation guidelines to help them weigh the value of each solution. When they evaluated the Terminus platform alongside other account-based advertising solutions, they graded each product based on its features and benefits, cost, implementation time, ROI, and customer support. Avi explains, “We went through an extensive review of Terminus and a few major competitors, and we felt that Terminus would bring the best value for our investment. We had Terminus and a competitor test a set of our accounts to see how much reach they could provide, and the reach with Terminus far exceeded that of the competitor. When we shared this with our executive team for buy-in, of course they were in agreement to move forward with the partnership.”
“Terminus is an integral part of our overall outbound marketing initiatives,” adds Beth. “In all our ABM campaigns, we try to build out marketing ‘air cover’ for Sales. We do this using staged-based campaigns in Terminus to increase the propensity for prospects to see value in our solution. This also gives us an opportunity to target accounts directly from our Salesforce instance.”
“In fact,” she says, “we’ve entirely eliminated remarketing efforts since we realized that having a way to directly target the right accounts is the best strategy for our ad spend.”
Partners in Account-Based Marketing
For Avi and Beth, the benefits of Terminus don’t end at the product. They also work closely with the Terminus customer success team, meeting every week to plan their campaigns and review their results.
“With Terminus, we’re able to work with the customer success team on an ongoing, weekly basis,” Avi says. “[It’s been] helpful because some of the ideas and ideologies around digital advertising were new to myself, and having the constant education and being a strategic partner [with Terminus] were critical elements for success.”
Generating Demand with Account-Based Marketing
“We’ve seen all of our ad campaigns that are top-of-funnel and provide educational material tend to perform rather well,” Avi shares. One particular campaign that drove demand among target accounts was an awareness campaign promoting a free e-book about web security. They used Terminus to target IT Engineering, IT Operations, and C-Suite personas at about 300 net-new accounts. Avi shares, “We deployed a Terminus campaign promoting our Website Security for Dummies e-book to net-new target accounts, and 65% of the accounts in the campaign requested a copy of the book.”
Collaboration Between Sales & Marketing with ABM
“Account-based marketing, in my definition, is really the alignment between Sales and Marketing,” says Avi. Since getting started with ABM, WhiteHat Security’s sales and marketing teams meet weekly to look at account progression and optimize their campaigns. Beth explains, “We’re taking a look at those accounts week over week to see [if they’re] progressing and working with the sales development team specifically to see what are they responding to, what campaigns have we rolled out during the week that might be influencing them, and then where they are in that pipeline.”