Marketing operations is vital for the future of marketing, working diligently behind the scenes to build the foundations for success in a digital, data-powered world. As with all emerging fields, marketing ops professionals have a big charter, and not necessarily a lot of resources to turn to.

That’s why, earlier this year, we launched a new community just for marketing ops pros: Common Grounds, a space for marketing ops professionals to connect with each other, share knowledge, and be inspired. We recently held our first meetup in San Francisco, and we had such a great time, we’re already doing it again in New York.

Our inaugural San Francisco event focused on ABM, and featured Kate Athmer, Director of Demand Orchestration at Integrate, and Jon Russo, CMO & Co-Founder of B2B Fusion. Kate and Jon shared their own experiences with ABM, including the top mistakes that marketers make. Our top takeaways:

Technology isn’t enough. A major misstep companies can make is assuming that since they’ve invested in an ABM technology solution, they’re now executing on ABM. Jon put it best when he said that ABM technology is like a gym membership: it gives you the tools, but you still have to put in the work to use them to get results.

Targets require careful planning. Both Jon and Kate had a lot of advice to marketers around choosing the right targets for ABM. The common theme? Research, research, research. Kate emphasized the importance of determining both what your ideal account looks like, and who the people are that you want to connect with. Neglect either, and you risk focusing your efforts in the wrong direction.

Alignment with Sales is vital. For ABM to succeed, sales and marketing need to be in agreement on who the right target accounts and customers are. This came up as a common challenge that companies ran into when implementing an ABM strategy. Early and frequent communication is non-optional – moving forward without sales alignment was #2 on Kate’s list of marketers’ ABM mistakes.

Ecosystem matters. When you have all your pieces in place, you need your tools and to support your workflows and objectives. Jon called out integrations and processes as two areas that can trip marketers up. Housing data in unconnected siloes creates hurdles for reporting, and can also make for bad customer experience if numerous different siloes are all independently contacting the customer, without any plan or cadence.

Our second Common Grounds meetup is on the calendar for June 25, 2019 at our beautiful SoHo office in New York City. Join us for networking and appetizers with a presentation from special guest speaker Dimas Martadarma – Director of Marketing Operations at BounceX. Common Grounds is free to attend, and you can RSVP here for our NYC session. Hope to see you there!