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LivePerson CMO Amber Armstrong on Building a Robust ABM Strategy to Target the Right Clients to Make the Biggest Impact

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What are your three words? It’s a question Amber Armstrong, CMO of LivePerson, loves to ask her team members. Those three words can be anything — they can be a personal mantra, a list of questions, or even a grocery list. But regardless what your three words are, the key is to make them count, make them relatable, but, most importantly, to let those three words be the driving force of your end goal.

“When I was getting to know my team, I asked everyone for their three words. It all originates back to my time at IBM, and working for Ginni Rometty, who was our CEO. And it was a well-known fact that when you talk to Ginni, you gave her three things and that’s it. And when she talks, she gives three things and that’s it. And it’s a number that you can remember, and when you can remember things they can become meaningful. They can really have a deeper association. If I told you my 10 words, you wouldn’t believe half of them.”

Armstrong’s three words are “focused, passionate, and kind,” and those three words are the backbone of how she hopes to continue building LivePerson’s marketing strategy. On this episode of Marketing Trends, Amber joined me for an insightful conversation about how LivePerson is building a robust ABM strategy to target not just the right clients, but the ones for whom LivePerson can have the most impact. Amber and I also took a trip down memory lane, as she reminisced about how her past experiences — including a transformative trip to Hong Kong and a 15-year career at IBM — shaped how she plans to push LivePerson forward. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did.

Main Takeaways

  • Can I Get Some Help?: ABM has traditionally been used by sales teams to build awareness on potential prospects and better target the prospects that are real opportunities for the business. But ABM can also function as a key building block to align marketing and sales. For example, when a sales team is able to identify key prospects, the marketing team can then target those potential customers, by honing in its efforts on certain ad placement to meet those areas.
  • Can You Meet Me Halfway?: We hear all the time how important it is for marketers to meet their customers where they are. This can mean having active responses to customer questions through mobile channels and customer service, but there are more opportunities to explore. Marketers should begin using conversational intelligence in all channels as an opportunity to answer pressing questions, gain valuable customer insights, and build first-party data sources.
  • Global Means Local: When you’re a global organization, your messaging still must be localized to resonate with specific audiences. This can be as simple as having a national message, but altering it to include things such as local pictures or restaurants.

Key Quotes

“​​My dad used to say all the time, ‘What’s impossible?’ and the only answer was nothing. And it’s been a mantra that I’ve used for my entire life and has worked out pretty darn well.”

“We’re going to globalize and localize [our marketing message]. But even more than that, you have to talk to them about the customers that are in their geography, because that’s who they want to hear from. It’s great for them to hear from a U.S.-based reference and that’s interesting. But when they hear a story of a company that’s like them locally, it resonates better than if it was someone that was far away.”

“People are interacting differently. There are things that we are appreciating about our more digital world, and there are things that we are missing from the connectivity side in our pre-pandemic world. We’re really focused on how we can help people connect in meaningful ways, but that is still going to give them all the great benefits of living in this digital world.”

“We have to understand that this person, instead of sitting there with us and being captive for an hour, is maybe going to give us 15 minutes. And they’re also going to be doing something else at the same time. How do we rethink the content? That was a big, big change that we had to go through to really rethink our content in those events.” 

“Why should we apply the old ways of interacting with consumers to this new model? When you talk about people in crypto, they’re talking about discord. They’re talking in different ways other than just on a website, as we tend to think about it in a B2B or B2C type of environment. So let’s go where they are, and let’s help them with messaging in the environments where they are and give them a way to interact with their consumers.”

“When people want to connect digitally, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to connect. There’s a method out there of commerce today. Give me what I want, when I want it, as quickly as you can. To really understand what people really want in this world where cookies are going away, we’re going to have to figure out how to get to know consumers, web visitors, whatever context you want to put them in, [and] how can we get to know these audiences and help them along their journey in a way that’s not intrusive?”

“One of the ways we [build intent] is through messaging and conversational A.I. When someone starts a conversation with you, it’s naturally intentful because I’m telling you what I want. It’s also consentful because I’ve chosen to speak to you. With those two things, it’s a huge way to innovate around not having cookies and not having all this third-party data. So you get your first-party data, and you create experiences on your website, and on your app that are really interactive and that put the user in control of what they’re sharing and how they’re sharing it. As a marketer, we get to be so much smarter in how we serve them and how we create this digital environment that feels more personal than what it would be in a world with no cookies and no choice for consumers or for brands.”

Bio

Amber Armstrong is the CMO at LivePerson and leads LivePerson’s global marketing strategy — including brand, product marketing, demand generation, communications, and content — with a focus on accelerating the company’s ongoing expansion of sales and marketing use cases for conversational commerce. 

Prior to joining LivePerson, Armstrong led marketing for several A.I.-infused SaaS businesses of IBM, including operations, commerce, and marketing solutions. Most recently, she was CMO of the AI Applications and Blockchain organization, one of IBM’s fastest-growing divisions. Her career at IBM spanned 15 years across all functional areas of marketing. Armstrong earned her MBA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and her B.S. from Winthrop University.

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Episode 246