Terminus and the Account-Based Marketing Revolution

May16, 2017

If you take a look back on the waves of innovation in marketing cloud technology, you will notice that a big category seems to emerge every four to five years. Dating back to the dotcom era, it was the emergence of CRM platforms, then email marketing platforms, followed by social, and marketing automation. In these categories, we’ve seen many $500M exits and a handful of billion dollar outcomes as well.

So what’s next? It’s been years since the emergence of Marketo, Eloqua, and Pardot, who all thrived in marketing automation. The next big wave in marketing tech will be revolutionary, not just evolutionary. The worlds of B2B and B2C are converging like never before, and it requires a different playbook. My money is firmly placed on Account-Based Marketing to lead the revolution in the next wave of marketing innovation. It’s already happening.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is the shift that the world of marketing needs. Instead of emphasizing quantity (more leads, more prospects, more likes, more vanity metrics), the script has officially been flipped. It’s about quality, not quantity. ABM serves customers on their terms as a mechanism to be helpful, not just be annoying. The emphasis isn’t just about filling TOFU to drive revenue, it’s focused on filling the funnel with the right prospects and driving sales velocity and efficiency.

ABM is forever changing the way marketers engage with customers and consumers. I believe people actually want to be marketed to… because people want to be helped. ABM is revolutionary because it is empowering marketers to be helpful and engage in a meaningful and personal way on the customer’s terms.

Is Account-Based Marketing Even New?

In early 2015, I met with an Atlanta-based company with an enthusiastic team, a lofty vision, and extremely unclear messaging. I couldn’t cohesively explain what they were doing exactly, but I knew it mattered. I knew it was game-changing. I had just joined Hyde Park Venture Partners, and my conviction to partner with this company, even at the seed stage, was sky high. It has only continued to grow… enter Terminus.

If you haven’t heard of Terminus yet, you have them to thank for the infusion of energy behind the Account-Based Marketing movement. Their team has turned a scattered dialogue into a united conversation, creating a tidal wave of energy and excitement. As category creators, the Terminus team has done something immensely challenging. They have balanced the essential need for driving demand as a startup with the brand building efforts of building a category.

Through the #FlipMyFunnel movement, Terminus has built a big tent strategy to invite their “competition” to educate enterprises about the shift to better rather than more. Sangram Vajre, CMO of Terminus, birthed the idea of “flipping the funnel” on an airplane ride giving the category a cohesive message to articulate.

The result is what we see today – ABM is the hottest category in marketing tech, and one of the hottest categories in software across the board. Sangram even wrote the first book (ever) on ABM when he published Account-Based Marketing For Dummies in 2016.

Terminus and other ABM companies are now top of mind for inside buyers at key companies. In a recent survey, SiriusDecisions found that 92% of B2B marketers worldwide consider ABM “extremely” or “very” important to their overall marketing efforts. Two years ago, ABM didn’t even exist as we now know it.

When I was CMO of ExactTarget, we called our equivalent of ABM our “targeted accounts” strategy. Only, we didn’t have the software or the platform to drive ABM at scale. It was a very manual effort that had significant impact. Now, marketers can leverage software to automate reaching these targeted accounts, it is game changing. Marketers don’t want to do more work and have less impact, but they haven’t had the tools to leverage a targeted approach at scale. ABM provides this.

Terminus is Building the ABM Revolution

If you hadn’t heard, Terminus just announced another $10M in funding to continue its mission of making marketers the heroes of their organizations.

This hungry team has the X-Factor to succeed: a world class team. They’ve won multiple awards for having an amazing culture and being a “best” company. These are the by-products of something bigger… winning and intentional leadership.

The “Terminators,” as they’re affectionately called, are not stopping. With the vision of building a billion dollar business, the company is allowing marketers to engage with targeted accounts through digital ad serving. Today, Terminus is empowering marketers through their digital advertising platform and has built the fastest growing company I’ve ever partnered with. Since their Series A milestone last year, Terminus has filled in the white space of a nonexistent category, while growing its revenue 600 percent, increasing its customer base, and quadrupling its employee base. However, we’re just getting started, and our team at Hyde Park Venture Partners is honored to be part of this journey.

Being involved with Terminus is not only fun because of their skyrocketing growth, but it’s also a blast to invest alongside some of the best in the business. Some of our coinvesting partners include Edison Partners, Atlanta Ventures, Arthur Ventures, and new strategic investors like High Alpha, HubSpot, Jill Rowley, and Jay Baer.

If you want to be a part of the marketing revolution, you need to get serious about Account-Based Marketing. If you want to be a part of the company leading the charge, you already know where I am placing my bet.

Join us in the next marketing revolution.


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