Episode topic: Executing Account-Based Marketing Campaigns at Dicker Data
In this episode, host Shahin Hoda chats with Roshantha Pillay, Citrix Marketing Lead at Dicker Data, about Dicker Data's ABM initiatives and the kind of ROI she has seen from them.
During the conversation, Rosh talks passionately about mindfulness and shares why it became the theme of Dicker Data’s next cyber-security ABM campaign.
Roshantha then concludes the discussion by advising marketers to listen to themselves while making decisions and emphasises the importance of culture within an organisation.
This episode’s guest:
Roshantha Pillay, Senior Marketing Lead at Dicker Data
Roshantha is a seasoned marketing leader with more than 20 years of industry experience.
She has been associated with several global technology companies such as Hewlett Packard, Sophos, Aspect Communications and Applied IT across multiple geographies in Australia, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, UK and Europe.
Roshantha is currently the Citrix marketing lead for Dicker Data and is the go-to for market strategy and program development. Apart from being an accomplished marketer, Roshantha is passionate about practising mindfulness and teaching Yoga.
Connect with her on LinkedIn
Conversation segments on this episode:
- [01:26] ABM campaigns at Dicker Data
- [03:56] Better ROI was the primary reason for focusing on ABM at Dicker Data
- [07:17] “Zen Security” - Theme for the next campaign
- [08:53] Rosh’s passion for mindfulness and yoga
- [11:00] Harvard study on the benefits of mindfulness
- [16:30] Advice to B2B marketers - Listen to yourself and your key stakeholders
- [18:00] Exciting thing about B2B - Technology, People and Culture
- [18:20] People in an organisation are its most significant assets
Resources mentioned on this episode:
- About Dicker Data
- About xGrowth
- What is mindfulness?
- Learning not to fear - Harvard and MGH study on the benefits of mindfulness
- About TLEX Institute
- Mind Matters for Agility & Resilience Program
- Culture eats Strategy for breakfast
About the Growth Colony Podcast
On this podcast, you'll be hearing from B2B founders, CMOs, marketing & sales leaders about their successes, failures, what is working for them today in the B2B marketing world and everything in between.
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Episode Full Transcript:
[00:00] Shahin Hoda Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode. I'm Shahin Hoda with xGrowth and today I'm talking to Rosh Pillay, Citrix Marketing lead at Dicker Data about how Rosh and her team are rolling out ABM campaigns to Dicker Data, both internally and for their partners, to success they're seeing with these initiatives, and some of the more granular details of the campaigns. On that note, let's dive in. Rosh, thanks for joining us.
[00:24] Rosh Pillay Thank you so much Shahin. I am honored to be here and thank you so much for having me.
[00:28] Shahin Hoda No, absolute pleasure. I'm super excited. I mean, you know, we're geeks about ABM here. So I'm really looking forward to our chat about it. So let's dive in. Let you know you recently you've been doing some ABM campaigns and running ABM, give us an overview of what these ABM campaigns look like.
[00:51] Rosh Pillay Okay, sure. So these ABM campaigns, so the company's marketing campaigns have really been two-pronged. So we've been running them through our partners from Dicker data and Citrix. And so what we actually do is we work directly with our partners. We work closely with them in developing the messaging and you know, work with yourselves, yourselves, obviously an expert to do that. And we develop these, the messaging and the art, right outreach activities, to enable them to explore and qualify these opportunities. So we actually have the partners logo on all the outreach information and their unique value proposition and the key messaging.
[01:27] Rosh Pillay So we really have them facing the customer. The other way, as a sole distributor for Citrix, Dicker is also tasked with building pipes for our vendor. In fact, that's one of my key objectives, as you know. So on the one hand, and you know, we're tasked with doing this, and on the other, we actually are tasked from our partners, our partners are constantly asking us for good qualified leads. And so with ABM, it actually allows us to manage both of this, where on the one hand, we're building pipes, and keeping the vendor happy, which is Citrix. And then you know, we're also fulfilling these for our partners. And so we satisfy our partners, providing them with good quality leads. So it really ends up being a great collaborative effort for all of us. And it, you know, it becomes a win-win situation.
[02:17] Shahin Hoda I love it. I love it. And, you know, just like you said, I know that you and the team run a lot of different marketing and sales initiatives. What kind of, you know, why the shift to ABM? Why did that happen?
[02:31] Rosh Pillay So we have definitely been doing a fair amount of traditional and not so traditional marketing. But I've always been a fan of ABM because I've actually worked with that in the past. So for me, it's, you know, had proven results. And it's now definitely part of our go-to-market strategy. Because one of our key objectives is really around demand generation and a big focus on ROI. So as much as ABM is more of a relationship cell, the reality is the ROI that comes with ABM is a lot more tangible. And especially with a pandemic last year, we found that, you know, the cold calling campaigns that we were doing were, yeah, they were at an all time high, but they weren't as effective. And even though we had segmented and targeted the sectors that we're going after, and that we wanted to focus on, realistically, ABM actually gave us a better ROI overall.
[03:25] Shahin Hoda Got it. So I mean, it sounds like the ROI was the key component there. Let's talk about that. Like what, you know, what were some of the results and in, I know, again, there's some ongoing stuff that are happening, there were some stuff that they were finalised, what are some of the results you were seeing from the campaigns, that ABM campaigns?
[03:45] Rosh Pillay So yes, I'd love to share that with you. And one of our partners that we've worked really closely with conducted this last ABM campaign that we just did. So we spent around $20,000. And the return on investment that we have to date is around 1.4 million and ongoing. So realistically, that's about 560 odd percent, which is fantastic. And as you said, the reality is, you know, that's a key metric for us. So that's one of the key reasons for us to go and further investigate how we can deepen our strategy with ABM.
[04:21] Shahin Hoda Got it. I mean, that sounds like awesome results, right? That's, and that's, and that's also hard to kind of come by, especially that high ticket, complex sales environment aware where you'd have maybe these traditional marketing and advertising campaigns that it's really hard to get that kind of ROI from. Tell us a little bit about some of the recent ones. What do we, what's in store with some of the recent campaigns.
[04:50] Rosh Pillay So you're right. I mean, when I said to you initially that the campaign's two-pronged. I think I mentioned that, you know, we work with our partners directly and we sell through to the end user of the customer? So we do ABM campaigns with that. And we also actually work with the account execs at Citrix. So as a sole distributor for Citrix, Dicker Data, you know, has that unique capability. And so what we do is we work directly with the account execs where we're focused on a set of targeted accounts that we really want to extend our reach within. And for this next campaign, we're going to focus on security, because as you know, most of us are in lockdown in and out of lockdown.
[05:29] Rosh Pillay And you thought Wales was actually back on lockdown. So, you know, security is a huge concern today for most organisations, because a lot of the employees are working remotely, you know, they have lots of different things on their computers. And it's a computer so rightly so organisations have that need to have their employees be more secure. And so we've worked closely with xGrowth, who's helped us to develop some key messaging to address these concerns targeting these key personas within these accounts. And so the focus is really going to be around security. And you know, how Citrix can actually help you with that.
[06:06] Shahin Hoda I love it. And, you know, you talked about messaging quite a lot. And that's such an important component. I feel like there, there are certain very important pieces when running an ABM campaign and the messaging piece is quite critical, because it's not, as you know, this is all this is our message to the whole market, it's you know, it's a lot more granular, it could be at a persona specific focus, or it could be, you know, down to down to the account. And I love that you brought that out. So tell us a little bit, let's dig in and talk a little bit about the themes that we're looking at.
[06:41] Rosh Pillay So that's a, that's a good way of a good introduction, really, because the theme is a little bit different to what we normally would do. And I think considering this current situation that we're all in, we've gone for Zen security theme. And what that relates to, in some ways, in a lot of ways really is around mindfulness. So one of the key things that we've done is because you know, one of the captions, so you as an organization can rest easy because Citrix is going to help you to manage your security better. And at the end of the day, we want to focus on mindfulness, where, you know, a lot of organizations are probably having a lot closer to what they know they ever used to be. And so mindfulness has become a big part of most organisations these days.
[07:29] Shahin Hoda Yeah, I agree with you. And I think it's, it's the, in the, in the age of zoom fatigue, and back to back video calls. And especially from a security perspective, like you hear these, you know, the news popping up, every day of this company got compromised, and that company got compromised, and that database was breached, and so on, so forth. It's like, it feels quite intense when it comes to the security team. But I also know that the whole concept of mindfulness and, and meditative work and all that that's, that's pretty close to heart for you as well. Is that right?
[08:07] Rosh Pillay Yeah, it is. And I have a big smile on my face, if you can hear it through my voice. So mindfulness has definitely been close to my heart, it's been something that has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. And, you know, my mission in life has always really been to help people be the best versions of themselves. And as you know, I am a yoga and meditation coach. And I've been practicing for quite some time now. In fact, I first went to India in 96, which is a huge game changer for me. But I actually started practicing yoga in 98, when I lived in the UK, and when I came back home, in 2003, I got pneumonia.
[08:46] Rosh Pillay So I had to do something less active, if you like in saying that yoga is actually very active, but it's different. And to me, yoga is really a way of your life, because it really is the union of your body, your soul and your mind. But you know, one of the key things that I'm grateful for is, India's actually probably shared yoga with the rest of the world. And as a teacher, when you are teaching yoga, seeing the transformation within the people that you're teaching your students is just truly amazing. And it's a whole other dimension.
[09:19] Rosh Pillay So, you know, as we mentioned, mindfulness is definitely something close to my heart. But I feel so privileged and grateful to work at Dicker because mindfulness is part of the DNA of Dicker. You know, they've had yoga classes for quite some time. We do a meditation session that I run for them every week on a Tuesday. And I've noticed these days too, that a lot of corporates do have a plan around wellness, which is great. But I think a lot of corporates are also mindful of the fact that they need to make a profit because the reality is you can't just spend this time on your employees. You want to know what you're getting back from it.
[09:57] Rosh Pillay And I totally agree because the reality is, you know, that's why businesses exist these days. But to me, I think the reality is investing in your own individual teams, arming them with mindful structures and tools actually enable them to be more agile and resilient. And that in turn will benefit your organisations as teams, and individuals more so will be so much happier and productive. And I wanted to share with the listeners, you know, there's a great study that they did at Massachusetts General Hospital, where they showed that only in eight weeks after mindfulness, there was a huge change in the hippocampus and the amygdala, which is really both parts of the limbic system of the brain.
[10:37] Rosh Pillay So the hippocampus is closely aligned to the memory function or formation. And so what they found is, after eight weeks of mindfulness, an increase of the gray matter density of the hippocampus was observed, which indicates that you had an improved learning and memory and so you had better focus and clarity. And simultaneously, there was a decrease in gray matter density, which is the of the amygdala. And so that basically means that you have a decrease of stress, and an increase of compassion, introspection and self awareness.
[11:10] Rosh Pillay So mindfulness is not really, you know, just about meditating. And it's a mind-body situation that you actually, through your breath, you're actually looking after your mind and your body. And you know, mindfulness shouldn't necessarily be something you may do in your spare time, it should be something that you do as part of your daily routine.
[11:34] Shahin Hoda I love this tangent. I mean, I would imagine, like people listening, they're like, hey, hold on, we're talking about ABM, or what's going on. And but, I, you know, first of all, this became clear, when we were working on the theme, right? Like you came back, and we were talking about, hey, we really want to focus on Zen. And then you're like, oh, this is so cool. I can contribute so much to this. And, then it became even a bigger discussion.
[11:58] Shahin Hoda And I love we went on this tangent, because I think, you know, even as marketers, man, we're under stress. It's like, it's stressful to pump out those MQLs. And, generate those pipelines and answer decision-makers who want everything yesterday. And so I'm glad that you brought it up. While we're on this topic, right? Yeah, I also know that you're like you run your own kind of sessions. And you do that both for kind of marketers and non marketers, what do you do kind of like, classes and sessions on this topic?
[12:39] Rosh Pillay Yeah, so I teach yoga and meditation. But I also do that voluntarily. But I also teach with an organisation called TLEX, which stands for transformational leadership for excellence. And I volunteer to help them. So I teach pro bono. And so they really probably emphasise a lot of what I've just mentioned earlier on, where they show you the scientific benefits of mindfulness. And they go primarily to corporates and teach employees and their teams, you know, mindfulness techniques, as well as mind friendly structures. And you can learn the sky technique, which is one of the key things that the mind met is calls for agility, and resilience actually teaches.
[13:23] Rosh Pillay So I am, funny enough you asked to teach a course with the senior trainer from Europe, because the head office is based in Switzerland. And it's all online. It's just a couple of hours in the evenings from the 23rd to the 26th of August. Do we usually try and have courses every month? And so yeah, so you know, you can find me on LinkedIn and just ping me if you like and ask for more information, and I can share it with you guys and share it with the listeners.
[13:49] Shahin Hoda I feel like anyone who's interested, there's a wide range of stuff, anyone is interested in ABM and marketing and partner marketing and meditation and or general interests and so we'll definitely include your LinkedIn profile in the show notes so that people can find it as well and and I'll reach out and get a link from the tiller. So yeah, that to tiller Yes, on the course that you talked about as well. And include that in the show notes if anyone's interested, again, on any of those topics, whether it's a VM or something else could could definitely make reach out and make that happen.
[14:26] Rosh Pillay Absolutely. I'm happy to talk about ABM and all the value that it's brought to us so far. So yeah, totally.
[14:33] Shahin Hoda That's awesome. All right. I got some rapid fire questions for you before we wrap up.
[14:37] Rosh Pillay Sure.
[14:38] Shahin Hoda Let's first talk about a resource that you've come across it could be a book a blog, a podcast, a talk, whatever it is that it really has changed your fundamentally change your view to whether work or or life.
[14:54] Rosh Pillay So you know Shahin I've been thinking a lot about this and I have to say that there's probably no one book or podcast or blog that's probably changed my life for the work the way I work and love. I think it's a range of all of that. I think it's also more so the people that I've met during my journey and continue to do so. You know, I'm grateful for my parents, my family, my friends, my work, to you guys to meet you guys and, you know, working with xGrowth and the team and volunteering. Like volunteering has helped me to grow and teaching has taught me so much really. And I think you know, you never stop learning. Like, I have three nieces and a nephew all under the age of six, who I love dearly. And they teach me so much. So constantly learning, just constantly learning.
[15:40] Shahin Hoda Love it. Love it. Yeah, I mean, it's definitely mutual as well. And thank you very much for that awesome note. But let me get to question number two. All right. So if you could give one advice, one piece of advice to B2B marketers, what would it be?
[15:54] Rosh Pillay I would have to say, listen, so listen to all your key stakeholders. But most of all, listen to yourself. And I think sometimes what tends to happen, I told myself, you don't listen to yourself and know that you within yourself actually probably know better than anybody else to an extent. I'm not saying be arrogant about it. But I'm just saying listen to yourself. Don't be afraid to ask the questions. There's never such a thing as a dumb question. Try not to be as reactive. I know, that's, you know, much easier said than done. But take it all in and digest and respond because you'll find that you'll then become a lot more self aware. And you'll understand that going within actually allows you to make much more insightful and better decisions.
[16:39] Shahin Hoda That's an awesome answer. What are some of the influencers in the kind of marketing and sales in the B2B space that you follow?
[16:47] Rosh Pillay Honestly, I'm probably not your regular person here. I follow more of a spiritual path. As to me, this is what really grounds me and helps me and, you know, it helps me to give me purpose. And to me, knowing who you are, what your purpose is, and why you're here is really the greatest gift to mankind.
[17:04] Shahin Hoda Got it. Love it. Okay, last question. Last question is, what's something that excites you about B2B today?
[17:12] Rosh Pillay So there's a lot that excites me about B2B today, especially when you look at life, I think we all are where we need to be. And the universe is actually a great provider. So technology is a key enabler. I've been in it for a number of years, and it's nice to always wonder why I'm here. But I finally know why I'm here. It's pretty much in every single facet of our lives. But humanity is really the key. And without people and human interaction, technology will not work as well as it does.
[17:40] Rosh Pillay If I can share one thing with everyone today. That is to value the people in your team and your organisation, and know that they are actually your biggest asset. A company is just bricks and mortar. It's the people and relationships that make the culture. And as Peter Drucker says, culture eats strategy for breakfast, to focus on your people and their well being as this is what will surely lead you to organisational success. And the profits will definitely follow.
[18:09] Shahin Hoda I love it. That was a solid point that I don't think we can beat that end of the podcast on a higher note. I really appreciate it, Rosh. I think you've shared a lot of really interesting points, whether it was ABM, spirituality, meditation, I think we covered a wide range of topics, which I love, and it's always good to mix it up. So I really appreciate it. And thanks. Thanks again for coming on the podcast.
[18:36] Rosh Pillay Well, you're very kind Shahin, thank you so much for your beautiful comment. And you're very welcome. And as I mentioned, I've learned a lot from working with you and the team and I so look forward to what the future holds for all of us together.
[18:49] Shahin Hoda Absolutely. Same over here. Thanks a lot, Rosh.
[18:51] Rosh Pillay Thank you so much for the opportunity. Take care