The EverString 6For6 Series Featuring Jon Miller on Account-Based Everything

By August 19, 2016
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Welcome to the third installment of our 6 For 6 Blog Series! This is a series of 6 answers to 6 buzz-worthy questions from leading marketing influencers around the country. This blog features Jon Miller, Co-Founder of Marketo and the CEO and Co-Founder of Engagio—an account-based platform that complements existing CRM solutions and marketing automation software with account-centric analytics and the ability to orchestrate outbound interactions across departments and channels. Since Jon and Engagio have been at the forefront of the Account-Based Everything (ABE) revolution, we had to get his thoughts on the subject.


1. How were you able to anticipate that Account-Based Marketing, and now Account-Based Everything, was going to become the next big thing when you were at Marketo

I was initially looking for a good category for a company that had these three factors in place:

  1. Could it solve a business problem?
  2. Does it solve a problem for a specific buyer?
  3. Was there already a company in that space, and if so, was it one that can be improved on?

So, in essence, I was looking for something that could form the foundation for a big company. I talked to a lot of people and when I spoke to Maria Pergolino from Apttus she told me she liked the idea of an account-based solution. I realized then that I could solve this market.

It’s not that I really knew that Account-Based Marketing was going to be the thing. There’s a bit of a chicken and egg thing going on in the ABM market. I jumped into this category, put my brand behind it, and it catapulted the fire. I really just poured fuel on the spark that was already there.

2.  Can you tell us the story behind the Engagio whale?

The hardest part of starting a company is finding a name that has a URL and social media handles available. It’s very difficult. I saw that was for sale, but that I needed to get the trademark as well. As it turned out, Influitive had acquired an older company called Engagio and owned the trademark. So I called up Mark Organ, CEO at Influitive and Co-founder of Eloqua, to get the name and it was essentially someone from Eloqua selling the name to someone from Marketo.

After I had the name, I always knew I wanted a mascot. When I see other companies that have a mascot, like the Moz robot, I think it’s a nice branding element to have in your back pocket. Since we’re a company that’s all about going after and catching “the big whale” (sales whale, ie. dream account), it makes sense to have a whale as our mascot. Gio, our whale is fun and friendly and works really well. Gio LaBuena, is his name, he’s an Italian whale. Our company name is Engagio but he’s allowed to call it enGAgio (en-gah-gio).

3. What’s the biggest thing businesses need to keep in mind when they embark on Account-Based Everything? 

They need to keep in mind the importance of coordination and orchestration across all departments. What I mean by that is, if all you’re doing in marketing is buying ads, holding dinners, and sending direct mailers—that’s not enough on its own to engage someone at a target account. You also need sales to sell into these accounts by sending them a personalized email, calling them, or sending them a social touch.

In places where sales has an account-based approach without any coordination with marketing, there’s a bunch of unguided reps inventing their own marketing and strategy. Many companies forget this, but the most efficient way of closing deals is doing coordinated outreach together.

4. OK, so it’s no surprise that you do a lot of speaking! What are some things you always take with you on the road? 

Besides my phone? I always bring melatonin for when I travel east and I bring a refillable water bottle.

5.  What’s a book or TV show that has piqued your interest lately?

I’m re-watching The Wire (an HBO series). It’s a really good show and I’m re-watching it on my iPad with the subtitles on to catch all of the slang they use, which is the best part of the show.

6. Favorite place to grab a bite to eat in the Bay Area?

Big fan of Pancho Villa taqueria.

6 for 6 profile: Jon Miller is a marketing entrepreneur and thought leader. He is currently the CEO and co-founder of Engagio, an account-centric platform to orchestrate and measure Account Based Marketing and Sales Development efforts at named accounts. Previously, Jon was a co-founder at Marketo, a leader in marketing automation.

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