ABM and Demand Gen in a new virtual era: Q&A with Autum Molay - Ascent Conference

ABM and Demand Gen in a new virtual era: Q&A with Autum Molay

Ascent will be opening the virtual doors to over 150 senior CMOs and VPs of Marketing for interactive panels, ten sessions and three industry keynotes from leading SaaS superstars. 

One key topic on the agenda for marketers in the wake of the pandemic is how to continue to drive success with lead generation and account-based marketing in a virtual workplace. Our panel event session, ABM in an Increasingly Virtual World: How Has it Changed, and How Will it Look in the Future, on May 19th, will examine best practice and the future of ABM in a post-pandemic world. 

One speaker set to take a seat on that virtual panel is Autum Molay, Director of Demand Generation at SurveyMonkey Market Research. 

Focusing on lead generation for the leading cloud-based survey development software business, Autum spoke to us for a spotlight preview Q&A to discuss all things ABM. 

Q. So what is your primary source of news, specifically on industry trends in marketing?

For market research on our side of the business, primarily, it’s Green Book, Quirk’s, Research World or Research Live. I’m also a big fan of keeping track of The Drum and Axios, in addition to subscribing to several blogs and newsletters from various players within the industry, like Gamesight or Outreach or Gong. They often post really great content just on their company blogs.

Q. Who’s a figure in the marketing industry that you admire? 

Well, I would be remiss if I didn’t name my own CMO, Leela Srinivasan, who is fantastic. She is going to lead SurveyMonkey’s marketing efforts into a crazy 2021 for us. 

Also, Udi Ledergor is amazing. His LinkedIn game is on point. I also, coming from the world of product marketing myself, really like April Dunford. She wrote a great book called Obviously Awesome on product positioning that I think everyone should read. Those are my top three currently. 

Q. Can you give us kind of a little bit of a background on how you ended up at Survey Monkey? 

Sure. I took a fairly interesting path here. I actually started in journalism. I got my Masters in broadcast journalism and started my career as a promotions producer at a tiny ABC affiliate. 

From there, I went to work for Rentrak, which was a TV ratings and audience measurement company, who later merged with Comscore. 

I worked my way up within both companies to become the head of product and insights marketing, which essentially was all product marketing, all demand generation, all content marketing. 

I made it through this crazy last year and, in the course of keeping track of folks on LinkedIn, was made aware of a great position at Survey Monkey on the Demand Generation side. SurveyMonkey has a great reputation in the industry as just an amazing place to work. I knew right away as soon as I talked to the folks over here that it was going to be a collaborative, fun, fast-growing pillar of the company to be involved in. 

Q. So ABM is a big part of what you guys focus on. Can you give us your thoughts on how it’s changed this last year and how it might look in the future? 

Yeah, I mean, I’ve heard from several different people that if you ask ten different people what ABM is, you’re going to get ten different answers. And that’s certainly true. 

To me, it’s about trying to get that level of personalization, speaking to these accounts in these contexts as people. Then understanding what they need and speaking to that at scale as much as possible. 

So, in terms of how this past year has impacted that, I mean, obviously, everyone is virtual, so you can’t rely on the field events like you used to. Everyone also being on Zoom all day long is an additional challenge. So, when you’re trying to get the attention of these accounts to book demos or have conversations, everyone’s on Zoom all the time; it’s a little bit more of a struggle to get their attention.

I think that the future of ABM, and what’s so exciting about it, is that it’s going to be creative. 100% creative. You’re going to have to look at all of these accounts, dive deep into what matters to them and figure out a way to get your message across in a way that’s eye-catching and fun in new and interesting ways, and have these virtual events that are full of entertainment. I think it’s a matter of just how you can speak to them in a way that drives that engagement and that consideration. 

To get more expert insights from Autum Molay, as well as a number of key industry thought leaders, make sure you save your spot at our Marketing Spotlight event.

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