A digital-first focus using AI to pinpoint prospects that are in-market is helping transform KPMG’s B2B marketing strategy.
The company’s business—and the professional services field in general—has transformed over the last few years, says Marten Van Pelt, executive director, advisory marketing leader, KPMG. The industry is highly competitive, and deals are complex, with many decision makers involved.
In the past, KPMG—like the other “Big Four” accounting firms Deloitte, Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers—was able to crest on a strong wave of brand awareness. A lot of relationship building happened at in-person events, and marketing was a more reactive support function, rather than a sales enablement function. Today, marketing is more proactive, with every campaign looked at as a digital-first journey. There’s a larger focus on martech and optimizing a complex ABM strategy.
“We need to stay top of mind as our clients business needs change,” says Van Pelt, who spoke at the B2B Sales & Marketing Exchange in Boston this week. “Buyers are more digitally focused, and we’re creating a full digital journey.”
The backbone of this is a greater focus on data and lead gen, where teams works to help define and design buyers’ journeys, and build scoring models. This is backed up by a lead operations team, that looks through the data on a daily basis to qualify and distribute leads.
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KPMG is also designing personalized web experiences, using Demandbase to leverage AI to create a more customized visitor experience using data such as company name and industry vertical.
The strategy helps marketing provide sales with data about target accounts, including what topics prospects are interested in before they make a buying decision, to help identify intent; what types of content and activities engage prospects on the website; and what types of content—such as blog posts or press releases—might be good fodder for talking points with individuals at key accounts.
AI is also helping the company identify keywords that can provide buyer insight, and help expand KPMG’s SEM strategy, to increase engagement and help create new content more aligned to buyers’ interests. “The keywords might be different from what we’d [assume] they are,” notes Van Pelt.
Key accounts are filtered by site activity, and their propensity to be in-market is modeled on keywords, buyer roles and their likeness to ideal customers. Awareness of the brand—gauged by recent site visits to KPMG.com—is also considered, as is research on other sites.