• At the SiriusDecisions 2015 Summit, five organizations that exemplify best-in-class ABM or customer experience programs were recognized
  • This blog post follows one winner, Medidata, from its challenges to solutions
  • Through best practices, Medidata saw tangible results, like increased target senior executive engagement by 714 percent

At SiriusDecisions Summit 2015 in Nashville, our account-based marketing (ABM) practice recognized five organizations that exemplify best-in-class ABM or customer experience programs. Recipients of our second annual ABM Program of the Year awards were (in alphabetical order) Citrix, Imprivata, Medidata, SAP and Xerox EMEA. This post showcases why Medidata was a winner.

With a singular focus on the clinical development process in life sciences, Medidata provides a cloud-based platform of applications, data analytics and platform services designed to make the clinical trial process run more effectively and efficiently. Medidata is committed to enhancing the value of its clients’ research and development investments by providing the tools that optimize the work of all members of the clinical trial team – including managers, researchers, physicians and patients – to plan, execute and report on trials that run faster, with fewer resources and less risk.

Top-tier biopharmaceutical companies account for a large portion of Medidata’s attainable market. Accordingly, share of wallet and product density are critical growth factors for the company. While Medidata has penetrated many of the world’s top life sciences companies with a portion of its product portfolio, it is also growing its platform to more deeply embed within the pharmaceutical research and development process, with additional applications for newly addressable operational areas. 

Accordingly, the Medidata field marketing team, along with its sales counterparts, realized that deeper account penetration and pronounced relationship building with the senior management teams of these accounts would enable mutual business benefit.

Medidata needed a systematic approach to up-level the internal perception of field marketing from largely tactical and reactive to an organization responsible for business outcomes. Marketing also needed to partner with sales to gain commitment and alignment in order to streamline their efforts and maximize opportunities within strategic accounts.  

Medidata developed an ABM program that focused on strategic accounts, with the aim of growing their footprint within them.  Here’s what they initiated:

  • Customer insights. Using a data science approach blending quantitative and qualitative target account attribution and analysis, Medidata integrated prospect and customer data from internal systems. The approach aligned the customer journey, purchasing centers and relevant personas with marketing receptivity, engagement levels and relationship indexes to maximize engagement throughout the customer lifecycle. Marketing tradecraft and budget, as well as specific KPIs/KPEs, were aligned with each strategic account.
  • ABM tradecraft. To support transitioning from one-size-fits-all to targeted provocation, differentiation and commercial insight, new elements and approaches were implemented. The prevailing standard became providing cost-effective support while furthering a client’s ability to make the easiest and best decision.  Integration of assets and cadence into a “decision assistance package” gave clients what they needed, when they needed it, in the form they needed it, from the source they needed, and at the pace at which they needed it.
  • ABM concierge service. Tactically, the service provided content and events initiated by request, trigger or social trending. A digital footprint listening platform to crawl Web sites and blogs was implemented to foster higher account fidelity in terms of persona movement (e.g. job changes, conference attendance, speaking appearances). This service identified key relationships, influencers, watering holes, and business interests and needs.
  • Value team. The ABM team structured a comprehensive assessment during the sales process to establish baseline ROI and total cost of ownership measurements. Identification of value attainment and KPI progress was monitored throughout the solutions deployment. Attainment of agreed-upon goals – along with industry benchmarking scorecards – served as the basis of continuous improvement.
  • Strategic account governance team. The team established an executive oversight and relationship management framework to ensure strategic and business alignment. The framework created a client environment that fostered mutual business understanding, identified areas for joint innovation and uncovered potential new opportunities. This governance mechanism also implemented defined points of escalation along the customer journey to drive improved client experience at every touchpoint. 

Best Practices Exemplified

  • Joint sales and marketing commitment for alignment, synchronicity and precision
  • Implementation and continuous enhancement of technology for strategic planning, execution and measurement
  • Trained marketers on ABM, establishing consistent process and terminology across the team
  • Insistence that ABM marketing tradecraft and communications channels are aligned with client goals and support “decision assistance” needs
  • Established a governance process holding each stakeholder accountable for their strategic account plan execution and for facilitating executional best-practice sharing


  • Increased target senior executive engagement by 714 percent
  • Increased target account marketing inquiries by 210 percent
  • Increased marketing sourced demand by 159 percent

Congratulations to John Seaner, Vice President, Global Field Marketing and the entire field marketing team at Medidata for being selected as a 2015 ABM Program Winner!

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