Work Stories

Graebel: Using ABM to prove you’re un-copycat-able

#ABM, #B2B, #MessagingStrategy, #MarTech

Well beyond a logo or tagline, brand is how a company shows up in the world, how it approaches challenges and how it delivers on its promises.

Graebel, a leading global relocation management company (RMC), has been uniquely living their people-first mobility belief—and brand—for decades. But lately, it seemed like everyone (including a large, key competitor) was jumping on the “customer-centric” bandwagon—and Graebel had something to say about it.

Proving people-first mobility is second to none

Graebel partners with corporations to relocate employees who take on new roles or assignments. Throughout its 70+ year history, Graebel has maintained a reputation for authenticity and high-touch service. Its brand promise, “people-first mobility”, is true through and through. Yet in early 2023, a key competitor was beginning to look and sound a lot like Graebel.

Through the ABM program, we needed to make clear that people-first mobility with Graebel is second to none—and it’s not just something they promise; they deliver on it. Following a thoughtful ramp-up that included an ABM readiness assessment and Sales and Marketing internal alignment and buy-in, we launched a 1:Few program targeting 62 accounts who had existing contracts with or were displaying intent towards this key competitor.

Preparing the roadmap

With multiple decision-makers in the mix, we needed to fire on all cylinders—channel, content, creative and tech strategy—to differentiate Graebel and plant seeds of doubt against our competitor.

Working closely with the Sales team, we identified our target accounts. Contact acquisition work using SalesIntel ensured we adequately covered the buying syndicate. To maximize reach and engagement, we planned online and offline touches coming from both Marketing and Sales. Content and creative would need to be clutter-busting, insightful and resonant. And MarTech would need to undergird everything, helping orchestrate and automate a complex program with ease.

An unwavering creative concept

With competitors evolving towards more customer-centric positioning and messaging, the apparent contrast between them and Graebel was diminishing. But people-first mobility is more than skin deep, and Graebel had a set of values and ways of conducting business that were 100% un-copycat-able.

Our creative needed to affirm our strengths and challenge assumptions without slinging mud at competitors—because that would be so un-Graebel.

The resulting concept was undeniably on brand, but with a proud and polished swagger. The campaign headline that anchored all creative assets (“Often imitated. Never duplicated.”) made clear that while others may waffle or overpromise, Graebel maintains an unwavering focus on people-first mobility.

A people-first program

We developed an ambitious, multi-channel, multi-touch campaign that spanned three phases over several months.

The Awareness phase was about getting on the radar and planting seeds of doubt. Through email, Drift Chat, content syndication and LinkedIn, educational content on global mobility trends and creating exceptional relocation experiences took center stage.

The Engage phase was all about nurturing the relationship. Inbound activity through personalized Demandbase display banners and LinkedIn paid social drew audiences into the campaign story, while outbound email linking to Uberflip-hosted landing pages sent key messages out.

The nexus of activity was an industry expert-led, Zoom-hosted webinar. Contacts were sent a personalized direct mail gift that invited them to attend an insightful discussion on the criticality of people-first mobility—and how to begin making the switch if they’re dissatisfied with their current RMC. Sales and Marketing emails surrounded the event with reminders and branded follow-on content.

The Connect phase aimed to secure Sales conversations with highly engaged contacts. Sales took the lead by sending a personalized video via Drift and LinkedIn InMail. Marketing emails supported the program with bottom-of-funnel, credibility-building content.

An ABM victory

Within 3 months, we achieved 98.4% account engagement and 36% conversion through new contact information acquisition. What’s more, as a direct result of the ABM campaign, active sales opportunities, representing millions in potential revenue, are in motion.

Graebel Work Story Stats

We’ve been on a journey to experiment with ABM. This pilot validated how powerful account-based can be, both externally and internally, when done right. It was a really big deal for us, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with what we’ve achieved together.

– VP, Global Marketing, Graebel

By staying true to their brand and following foundational ABM practices like smart targeting, savvy orchestration and strong creative, Graebel proved that “people-first mobility” belonged to them and them alone.

This campaign was full of heart and hustle. Key teammates who brought their all include Nadia Kybartas, Sarah Harwood, Nicki Munro, Georgia Bullbrook, Gayle Lankowski, Jonha Olmos, Peter Harrington, Alex Hoon, Dave White, Erin McInnis, Erfan Yazdpour, Justin Wong and Natalie Van Der Pas.