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Building ABM Orchestrations and Marketing Teams from Scratch with Brandon Redlinger

Building ABM Orchestrations and Marketing Teams from Scratch with Brandon Redlinger

In today’s fast-paced digital age, many businesses and constantly looking for innovative ways to reach their target audience with the aim of growing their revenue and the business at large. Among the common department with the mandate of increasing the company’s sales are the ABM (Account-Based Marketing) and Demand Gen. But do many businesses understand the actual difference and relevance of the two departments? 

Brandon is a skilled product marketer and exceptional leader with a deep understanding of driving growth and building a brand. He currently serves as the VP of Marketing at Crosschq and previously worked as the Senior Director of Product Marketing at and also as the Head of Demand Gen at Demandbase. 

In today’s new episode, we are joined by Brandon Redlinger to discuss in depth the differences, similarities, and reliance of ABM and Demand Gen in relation to their impact on the company. The episode further explores emerging marketing techniques such as the use of LinkedIn and Podcast channels. 

This episode will not only teach you the right way of creating marketing campaigns, but it will also enlighten you on how to identify the best candidate when hiring. Tune in to enjoy the episode. 


  • The Superiority of Sales and Marketing Skills 
  • Working in the ABM Roles
  • Difference between ABM and Demand gen 
  • Running a Successful ABM Campaign
  • Beyond the Sales and Marketing Stage
  • The Winning Strategy in ABM Campaigns 
  • Evaluating the Various ABM Tools 
  • Building a New from Scratch 
  • How to Identify the Right Person to Hire
  • The Real Value of LinkedIn
  • Is Podcast the New Blog?

Show Links 

Listen to the podcast:

Key Takeaways:

[09:15] The Superiority of Sales and Marketing Skills 

The sales and marketing skills are more essential in building a business than just certifications 

“So back back when I was building my own business, again, got my certifications, I thought it was going to be easy. And all I needed that was the credential, but then realize I needed to learn the sales and marketing side and just really dove headfirst into that. And I was getting so many clients that I was actually given giving referrals away to other people that I graduated with my colleagues. And and they’re like, Okay, you figured something out here? Can you teach me how to do business development? And then I really transitioned over to the yeah, let me let me actually teach other people how to do sales and marketing, mainly the marketing side and sales development.”

[15:15] Working in the ABM Roles

Constant curiosity promotes career growth in marketing roles 

“I think it really was born out of kind of two things. One, just curiosity. I think of myself as a pretty curious guy. I think that has really gotten me to where I helped get me to where I am today. But also another part of it was just the challenge. I love a good challenge. And part of the challenge back at the time was, it was helping define the space. So a lot of people talk about category creation, right? I’m less interested in category creation, and more interested in like category design, and like, how do I help shape how people think about this category? To me, that was really exciting. And to me, that’s what that’s what engage EO was really good at doing. That’s what we focus a lot on. ABM was around long before any of the tech vendors were, but the tech vendors were just the best at actually taking the idea and promoted it. And then it was us really trying to shape how people thought about it so that they when they were ready to do ABM Of course, they would buy our software, not the other guy software. So it was a lot about how do I shape how people think about this” 

[17:56] Difference between ABM and Demand gen 

There is no significant difference between ABM and Demand gen

“You know, I I’ve actually changed my thoughts a little bit on this. Yeah, I told you I do almost think these days it’s the same thing. It’s the same day it’s just like ABM is kind of a just another flavor of, of demand. Gen. And I don’t even necessarily need I think you need your own ABM managers and your own. Oh, okay. No, it’s just part of yeah, it’s just part of it just part of good smart demand gen these days. Of course, you got to make sure it fits with the the go to market strategy of your company, right. And like everyone these days, wants to move up market, there’s no surprise there. And ABM is a great way to help you do that. But you just have to make sure that your company is really set up to do it. And just by buying ABM tech doesn’t mean you’re actually doing ABM and I think tech just amplifies just more of what you’re doing. So if you’re doing crappy marketing, you buy tech, you’re just going to be doing more crappy marketing, you know”

[20:12] Running a Successful ABM Campaign

Aligning strategically and tactically gives a successful ABM campaign

“Yeah, totally. Okay, so a few thoughts around this. There’s, there’s heavy there’s doing ABM campaigns, which are more like one off things, but there’s having a really full ABM strategy. And like, I see people on social that are like, it took me one week to stand up this ABM campaign to actually do ABM and I selected my target accounts and then build some landing pages and then have my reps go after these these specific accounts. Cool, that’s good. Like, I’m never gonna say that bad. But that’s not a full strategy. Right? That’s, that’s a cool campaign that you did. And that probably got you decent results. If you’re if you’re doing it right, it probably got you better results than your regular demand gen. Or it might have taken you a little bit longer, but you’re closing bigger deals. Great. But when I think about a full ABM strategy, it’s like, Okay, do I have all the things in place that I need to make ABM successful? So what are those things? It’s it’s of course sales and marketing alignment. Everyone talks about sales, marketing alignment these days. But it I mean, it’s actually kind of funny, like a lot of people still don’t know how to actually align. Like, we’re still talking. I remember writing blogs about this in 2000, like 16… So when I think about what is sales and marketing alignment, there’s, there’s like, aligning strategically, and then there’s aligning, like, like, tactically. And when, when I’m talking about like, aligning strategically, it’s like having the same KPIs and having having the same goals speaking the same language, like, I’m meeting with my head of sales regularly. And it’s like, it’s to the point where we’ve, we’ve got such a rhythm, we’ve got such a good relationship where it’s like, I can text him, or I’m calling him. And, and that, like, that’s how, you know, you actually have alignment. It’s when you when you don’t have alignment. It’s like, well, we only talk when where you have our scheduled like, weekly one on one. And that’s it, you know, like, but then yeah, we’re looking at the same dashboards, we’re reviewing the same things, he comes to my campaign planning meetings, I go to his meetings, so that like, we know exactly what each other is doing all the time, right. Like, I don’t expect him to help me be part of the planning of the campaigns, but he needs to know exactly what those campaigns are. So he can go back to his team, and communicate, alright, here’s what’s coming down the pipe, here’s where to go to find it, here’s how to talk about it, here are the personas, etc, etc. So that when we launch our campaigns, we drive the leads in and we have the accounts in, then they can actually pick it up from there and go, right like a lot of the times people like marketers will launch their ABM, send the leads over, send the accounts over and then sales goes, Wait, I don’t know how to fish, like effectively talk about this piece of content that you put out. Or it’s like a really high level thing like the top 50 marketer, b2b marketers that you should know. Okay, how does that actually translate into a conversation about what we do? Right? Like, it’s got to be very explicit. And the sales team really has to know how to do that. So anyway, that’s a quick aside on sales and marketing alignment. But then the other thing that you really have to make sure that you have nailed down when you’re thinking about ABM is like, Okay, say that hypothetically, you’re this big account closes, do you actually have the right team to implement? Do you have the right team to onboard?”

[24:03] Beyond the Sales and Marketing Stage

Proper onboarding resources helps meet the organization’s expectations after sealing the deal 

“So implementing an enterprise company is a lot different than implementing in an SMB company. Right? So it takes a lot longer, it’s going to be a lot more complex, you’re most often dealing with multiple instances of the same platform like Salesforce, right? Like some of these big companies have six, seven different versions of Salesforce, or Marketo, or whatever it is, if you’ve never done that before, again, speaking from experience, they might never actually get implemented. We have a company I won’t say what, which company this was or what company I was at at the time. We close this the biggest deal in history. And it was a keylogger, a marquee logo that we wanted to put all of our website. We they never got implemented six months into the implementation there. They’re still paying us multiple six figures. They’re like we’re done. Like, we’re not even going to try to implement you anymore. Sorry. So the best thing that we got out of it was we could throw their logo On our website for the one year contract, and that’s it. That’s the only thing we got out of that contract. So like, you need to make sure that you can implement and that you can support these enterprise organizations before you actually go out and start doing ABM. I think that is one overlooked piece.”

[25:49] The Winning Strategy in ABM Campaigns 

The winning formula in ABM Campaigns is personalization, relevance, and timing

“I think there’s, there’s so much focus on personalization these days. And if personalization is not enough, in fact, I think personalization is overrated. Like everyone talks about, like personalization, in ABM  wins, but the truth is, like, that’s only part of the game. And it’s like, oh, we root for the same hockey team or the same football team. Okay, cool. I’m not gonna buy your six figure software, because of that, alone. That like, to me the winning formula is personalization, and relevance, and timing. So again, we all know personalization, most people understand the timing piece of it. But those two matter, a lot less if you get the relevance piece, right. So relevance is about delivering commercial insights to the business to help them solve a real business problem, right? It SMA put out some some data that that shows 92% of executives will pay attention to unsolicited messages from companies they’ve never heard of, if it contains ideas that are relevant to them. So in other words, you really got to show up with an understanding and knowledge of their business and their unique business issues and their industry. And then you have to give them fresh ideas to hopefully help your buyers look good. And help your buyers meet their goals. And that’s really hard to do so. So you can deliver the most personalized message in the world. But if it’s actually not relevant to them, and you don’t show that you actually understand them and their business, it doesn’t matter.”

[30:55] Evaluating the Various ABM Tools 

Spend more than in performing the tasks with the tools you have than in evaluating the many available tools in the market

“Okay, good question. So, I will say, as long as you are really selecting your target accounts correctly in the beginning, that that goes a long way, it almost doesn’t really matter the the, the tactic, or that the channel that much like I’m okay, more recently, I’m of the thought of this applies more to just, you know, maybe smaller age companies, not the big enterprise organizations, because I still do a lot of consulting for these smaller companies. But what I’m, what I’m realizing is that, like, if you’re doing the account selection process, good in the beginning, and you’re doing, you’re doing some good research, it doesn’t matter the actual channel, they spend to your point, they spend so much time building the playbook, and thinking through okay, day one, I do this day two, I do this and they build it out, it’s like, it actually doesn’t matter. Just go do stuff, go go go like actually go do stuff, if it’s a relevant message. And you can show up with some personalization and some timing. Like that, they will, they’ll reply in whatever channel that they usually communicate in. So if it is email, cool, great, go send some emails, but also go send LinkedIn messages. Also go send some direct mail, like, do as much as you can, because if it’s personalized, and it’s relevant, they’re gonna reply. So don’t spend so much time like focusing on one channel or getting the most out of one tactic. It’s just like, go do as much stuff as you can to get in front of that account. And then when you hit the channel that they like communicated in, then they’ll reply, and also just like, one buyer at one company might have one preference, or is the same exact title and the same exact, elated, they look same on paper, he just has a different personal preference on how he wants to communicate. So again, this is like don’t do stuff. It just drives me crazy. Sometimes that people over plan and overcomplicate the actual orchestration side. But again, if you’re doing your account selection process, right in the beginning, you’re using your you have a very thoughtful process on how you do that you’re working with your sales team, you’re using historicals. And then, okay, great. We have we have our buyers, or we have our ICP, we have our buyers now go, just go.”

[35:53] Building a New from Scratch 

Identify the gaps from the buyers perspective when structuring and restructuring a new at the company 

“Yeah, good question. Good question. Um, yeah, I’ve, of course, thought about this one a lot, too, and made a lot of mistakes along the way. And the way that I my most recent thinking about this is, let’s, let’s really look at the buyers journey, you got to start with the buyers journey. Right. And, and too many marketers out there, you know, they have their playbooks. And they like to go from company to company and take the playbook and just run the same playbook. Whereas I don’t think that really like that doesn’t work. That doesn’t work. A lot of the times unless it’s like the exact same company, right, the exact same profile, the exact same stage, the exact same sales cycles, like it hardly ever works, I’ve hardly ever seen it work. So yeah, so so really start with understanding that buyers journey, and and then they’re after that after you’ve mapped out the buyer journey. Now let’s look at your funnel, which should be informed by your buyers journey. By the way, if you can’t, like you can’t just put a funnel together and force buyers down your funnel because that’s how you want them to buy, you have to understand how they actually do buy and how they want to buy. Okay, now that I’m looking at my funnel, I’m actually doing kind of a diagnostic to see where the opportunities are, and looking at. Okay, now we’re really getting into, like measurement and attribution here a little bit, but I think, okay, cool. Like, I’m looking at value, volume and velocity and conversion at every stage along the funnel. And those those are the real metrics that I use at every stage. And specifically, I’m looking at changes, right. So metrics are only good. If they’re, if they’re like, comparative, like if they they are in context, and they can actually tell you how to act. So I’m looking at value volume, velocity and conversion over time. And then I can see if there is a big opportunity if people are getting stuck in this one spot. And then I can I can actually segment from there. Or maybe maybe it’s by vertical or by by, by segment, all of my enterprise deals get stuck here. So once I actually figure out where the big opportunities are, I can and then I take my own strengths into account. What am I really good at? Okay, now, where can I fill in the gaps on my team? And in general, a, like really high level? I look at, like, there’s really three pillars in marketing for me. There’s demand gen, there’s product marketing, and there’s corporate marketing. So under demand gen, I do put ABM under demand and it’s not its own thing now. It’s under demand gen. So it’s demand it’s ABM. It’s Field Marketing, I put partner marketing and under their content, digital, all your paid channels. I do put marketing ops under there. And then the other the other pillar is product marketing. So this is your traditional, go to market your launches your messaging and positioning, market research and insights, competitive intelligence, that sort of thing. I do put enablement in there. sales enablement. I know a lot of people will put that into sales. I think there is a point where it it does move over to sales under larger organizations and they have they’ll have its own discipline under sales, whether it’s under marketing or under sales, I want my product marketer to be heavily involved in your enablement. And then the last piece of Product Marketing is pricing and packaging. And that’s another one that I think sometimes it lives Under sales, sometimes it lives under finance, I think that it’s best served, your company is best served, if you put it under Product Marketing, because they are they’re actually closer to the customer, they have a more objective understanding of the customer. And there’s not misaligned incentives, right? Like, of course, sales is going to want to price it higher so that they can get better commissions or whatever that might be right. And they’re also much better at doing the customer development, the customer interviews, having that willingness to pay conversations, so that they’ll understand pricing and packaging more. Okay, so that’s, that’s product marketing. And the last one is corporate marketing. So that’s a PR PR Media Relations community. I put it under their branding, I like to put under their customer marketing, although I saw a recent, a recent poll from I think it was pavilion, or one of those organizations, where it was actually split almost evenly between customer marketing going under a corporate marketing, product marketing and demand gen. But anyway, I put it in under under corporate marketing. And then so now I’m actually filling out. Okay. Again, we started with the buyer journey, we’re looking at our own sales process and where the gaps are, I’m looking at my own strengths. And then I’m looking at, okay, what are the opportunities? And who do I need to put in place to fill in some of those gaps? And that’s kind of how I think about building the team.”

[41:31] How to Identify the Right Person to Hire

The best candidate is the one with broad skills set and a specialization on one or two areas

“And, and earlier on, I like to hire people that have just a broader skill set and really specialize in one area. You know, I still think it’s great advice. I it’s been slammed up out there a little bit recently, but like the T shaped marketer, right? If you’re familiar, it’s yeah, you have a broad breadth of, of skills, but you go really, really deep on one or two skills. So that that gap that you need, have it be that thing that they go really deep on. But I think there’s so much value in hiring people that have that broad set that broader set of skills, and that they understand different pieces of both marketing and the overall, you know, go to market motion of a business. Because whoever you hire, they’ll understand, okay, if I do this one tactic, which I’m really good at, here’s how it affects everyone else. Whether if you hire someone who’s only really good at one thing, and they don’t have that breadth, they don’t understand that. So they might make suboptimal decisions that will affect other parts of the business that you’re you might have to fix later, or that might just might might not be optimized.”

[46:35] The Real Value of LinkedIn

Using LinkedIn is the best way to share your ideas and build a community for your niche 

“Now, so you how we think about LinkedIn is, I love LinkedIn, because well, one, like I just love helping out other people. So if I can put something valuable out there, and they help someone else, that makes me happy. But it also is one of those things where it really makes me it makes me think, a little bit deeper about how I’m communicating things, right. So if it’s all in my head, great, but if I can’t actually say it, or put it down on paper, like, is it a fully formed thought yet? Like a lot of times I’m sitting down, I’m like, oh, I want to write a piece about XYZ for LinkedIn. And I start writing, I’m like, Oh, maybe I don’t know this as well, as I thought I did. Yeah. And it helps me refine my thinking. But also, kind of going back to what I talked about earlier. It’s a short, it’s a really short and quick feedback loop. So I can I can actually put something out there, test it, get people’s reactions to it, and then refine my thinking. And then it just it just it. Yeah, that that short feedback loop helps me a lot. So it helps me test ideas, test messages and test things. But then, of course, I think there’s so much value in building relationships with a lot of people out there. I think that that has really helped me a lot in my career. So if I, if I put some good stuff out there, I start connecting with other really smart people. And then I’m facing a challenge. I, I need to figure out community here. Well, now I have my own community that I can tap into that says, hey, anyone out there really build a strong, successful, successful community? How are you thinking about it? Yeah, what’s what’s your playbook? Let me talk to you or a lot of times, it’s Hey, can I put someone who works and works for me in touch with you? That sort of thing? Yeah. So so many benefits to actually posting regularly on LinkedIn”

[53:26] Is Podcast the New Blog?

Podcasting is a new marketing trend and has high potential of leading into sales just as blog posts do

“You’re not gonna argue with me on why podcasts are awesome. But like, yeah, even with so many podcasts out there, I still think it’s the early days, the Wild West podcast, podcast is the new blogs back in 20. You know, 2005, or whatever it was, there’s still so much opportunity out there. And it’s just another great way to get your thought leadership out there. But it for me personally, it’s also another way to like, going back to, like you said, relates to LinkedIn, refine my own thinking about this stuff and have good interesting conversations with other people. And, and also helped me network and build relationships with other really smart, talented people. So I actually, I started a podcast back in 2015. Back when back when podcasts was just like, yeah, yeah, like relatively new. And it was in the sales space. And I went out, I interviewed all the big names in the sales space. And then here we are, you know, eight years later, and I’m still in touch with some of those people. And like, these are these are your bigger names in sales like even recently, John Barrows, you know, and then from there, like a few years later, Don and I were still in touch and my wife was running a setting up in RKO for her are companies like Who should I? Who should I have speak at my, my team is archaea. And I was like, How about John? John Barrows introduced them to John Barrows. John Barrows did their RKO. You know, it was a $15,000 deal for him. And now I just helped John barrels bring in $50,000, you know? And he’s, yeah, exactly. And, and now, of course, he’s gonna like if I need to, if I want to reach out to him or anything like that, he’s going to reply to me now. So it’s just a great way to continue to build the build the community, build that network. And also give back. I also think it’s I also think it’s like, it can be an interesting ABM strategy as well. So you invite on industry thought leaders, hopefully, I target accounts. And then you actually get into these companies. Because you had them on your podcast. So in my podcast back in 2015, we actually stumbled on this. So it was we invited some of these industry thought leaders onto the podcast, we had a great conversation. And they were like, hey, Brandon, I really liked you. This was a cool conversation. So so what this process that you actually do, they’ve actually looked at this. And we ended up closing about a deal. Yeah, I was like, Okay, this is this is interesting. I like this. And actually, a little sorry, I actually closed there was one quarter I close more deals myself, only based off of the podcast, then the whole sales team did in one of the quarters. It was just sales to the whole sales team, though all three of them. But yes.”

David Khim

David is co-founder of Omniscient Digital and Head of Growth at He previously served as head of growth at Fishtown Analytics and growth product manager at HubSpot where he worked on new user acquisition initiatives with both the marketing and product teams.