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Account Based Marketing

Set up a strategic account plan with unique multichannel campaigns

What is Account Based Marketing?

Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a framework for targeting specific accounts or account segments, usually by purchase history, firmographics, product need, or strategic value.ABM uses demand generation techniques for account specific marketing. Traditionally, demand gen is thought of as a lead-based framework that’s focused on producing large quantities of leads. The basic assumption is that more leads is always better.

In contrast, account-based demand gen operates in a target account strategy. The objective is to win new accounts or grow revenue in existing accounts. How do you measure marketing impact, if not in lead quantity? After implementing an ABM strategy, you’ll notice an increase in lead quality, which boosts the likelihood of booking meetings, and so on. Lift in lead quality is just the first of many indicators of a successful ABM program.

Full-scale account-based marketing programs influence the purchase journey every step of the way. For new logos, ABM helps guide key decision makers from discovery to proposal to closed-won. Beyond customer acquisition, ABM can foster upsell, cross-sell, retention and advocacy opportunities.

Furthermore, account-based marketing embraces 360 marketing. It’s not enough to follow buyers through the purchase journey across one or two channels. ABM strategies aim to reach and engage all stakeholders within a target buying group across as many touchpoints as possible. ABM uses both inbound and outbound tactics to nurture each stakeholder with relevant messaging. It’s a multichannel, multistep approach to revenue growth under a unified funnel that brings together multiple teams like sales, marketing, and client success.

Who needs Account Based Marketing?

ABM is no longer a martech buzzword or short-lived trend. TOPO reports that over 80% of organizations that have launched ABM campaigns for a year or more have met or exceeded expectations. As account-based marketing strategies prove to generate long-lasting business impact, more and more organizations are moving to account-based frameworks. Growing ABM adoption has driven research advisory firms such as SiriusDecisions and TOPO to debut new demand funnels constructed around the core principles and strengths of ABM.

This new, unified funnel brings together diverse functions in B2B organizations. ABM is not just for your marketing team. ABM is not solely for your sales team either. ABM is a strategy that your entire organization needs to adopt. From your sales reps and marketing managers all the way to client success, adopting and adapting to a complete account-based approach centralizes your organization.

Over 80% of organizations that have launched ABM campaigns for a year or more have met or exceeded expectations.

TOPO Report

Account based marketing is for:

Marketers that want to deliver pipeline and revenue results, not empty promises

Sales development representatives that only want to outbound to in-target contacts and book qualified meetings

Account executives that don’t want to waste their time talking to out-of-target accounts

Organizations that want to reduce waste, maximize revenue, and take advantage of the latest innovations in marketing technology

Client success managers that want to renew their clients and expand product usage

Getting Started

One of the most important success factors in any ABM program is to choose the right style of ABM for your target accounts. Develop a strategic account plan and select the account targeting strategy that best fits your organization’s needs. New ABM programs start by focusing on one style, while mature programs will segment their target accounts by multiple styles.

ABM for Large Accounts (1:1)

Large accounts often require a unique solution for their complex needs. ABM strategies for large accounts personalize the contact strategy and campaigns for each account to guide dozens of stakeholders throughout a long purchase journey. Whether a stakeholder is researching on the web, talking to sales, attending an event, or viewing and ad, they see relevant and consistent messaging unique for every buying group wherever they are in the purchase journey.

Due to the complexity of 1:1 account marketing for large accounts, organizations should target no more than 100 accounts at a time. Learn more about ABM for large accounts in our Essential Guide to ABM..

ABM for Named Accounts (1:few)

Named accounts require semi-custom solutions for their needs. Accounts can be grouped by common needs, while each account can require slight modifications. At the beginning of the purchase journey, groups of target accounts receive similar account-based marketing campaigns. As target accounts show more purchase intent, each account receives specific ABM multichannel campaigns.

ABM for named accounts targets lists of 100-10,000 accounts. Learn more about ABM for named accounts in our Essential Guide to ABM.

Industry ABM (1:many)

Industry ABM groups accounts by a firmographic characteristic, most typically industry. Industry segmentation is a convenient way to group target accounts by unique needs. Each industry segment receives specific ABM campaigns throughout their entire purchase journey with personalization for each account completed by the sales person.

Industry ABM is used when targeting over 10,000 accounts.

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