Account-Based Marketing. What it is and how to use it.

What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?

Account-Based Marketing is a Business-to-Business (B2B) strategy that focuses resources on a set of clearly defined targets within a vertical. It uses personalised campaigns to engage each account and bases the marketing messages on the targeted account’s particular needs and specific attributes.

Businesses can also use ABM more holistically; it is not limited to lead generation activities only. It is often used to market to existing accounts to cross-sell and upsell and inform them of new developments within the marketing organisation.

Benefits of Account-Based Marketing

ABM is a practical approach when targeting larger accounts – this, of course, is a relative term, and the ‘size of the prize’ should be considered. When developing trust with organisations that generally have a longer sales cycle and large deal sizes, account-based marketing offers several clear benefits over a more general marketing approach:

Personalised Marketing Approach that boosts the chances of conversion

Rather than sending a generic message, assets are developed for specific targets that consider everything known about the prospective customer and the particular attributes and needs. Better relevance leads to higher conversions.

Sales and Marketing Alignment

Business intelligence is critical. Marketing and sales must work together to identify target accounts, craft custom campaigns and work as one to move target accounts through the sales pipeline both before and after the leads have been converted.

Shorter Sales Cycles

Major purchase decisions involve multiple stakeholders. Starting the process at the lower levels of the organisation and moving slowly through to the key decision-maker can slow down the sales process. Using an ABM approach can shorten the sales cycle’s length as it allows you to nurture all stakeholders simultaneously.

Clearer ROI

Account-based marketing is precise and measurable, providing the highest ROI of all B2B marketing tactics. 85% of marketers who measure ROI describe account-based marketing as delivering higher returns than any other marketing approach.

Fewer Wasted Resources

Automation equals freedom. An ABM approach focuses on a small number of accounts that are more likely to convert, freeing up time and resources for other purposes that would otherwise have been wasted.

Account-Based Marketing Examples

Account-based marketing depends on the accurate segmentation within clearly identified vertices and the identification of marketing programs that can be personalised to these segments through channels that will deliver the most impact, such as events, websites, email marketing and direct response digital advertising. Each opportunity will require its tactical mix.

The way you target individual accounts will depend on the attributes and particulars of that account, meaningful segmentation for that account the channel mix deemed most suited to reach the identified type and combination of targets.

Following are some real-world examples of how B2B marketers can use to develop account-based marketing programs:


Historically, events have presented sales teams with one of the most effective opportunities to engage with and persuade key decision-makers. An ABM approach to events should include personalised invitations to key prospects, special VIP dinners, personalised branded gifts and a planned, personal follow-up program.


The digital equivalent to events is webinars; these can and should be specific and relevant to the specified target account. Tailor the event and its follow up activities to the target company and create unique content for the target audience.

Direct Mail

When prospects potentially overloaded with email, direct mail is still an effective method of creating cut-through. Dimensional, relevant and highly personalised works best. With ABM being highly targeted, the numbers sent are low; therefore, gifts and marketing can be of a higher unit cost as the potential returns are much higher.

Email Campaigns

Email is still one of the most efficient and effective ways to reach your audience and is a valuable channel for ABM. Volume-based email marketing relies upon templates and database driven marketing automation; account-based marketing relies upon highly crafted, personal emails for each company and individual.

Paid Advertising

Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Digital Display and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are common ways of reaching out to target accounts on the web. Social platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook allow for precision targeting of specific companies and personas. Using technology such as IP targeting and retargeting can be tailored to focus on detailed accounts rather than a general audience.

Web Personalisation

ABM campaigns on the web don’t end with driving traffic through personalised Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and inbound marketing campaigns.

Once visitors reach your website, website personalisation technology can be used to create an account-specific experience for target prospects.  A targeted experience differs from the generic website experience by surfacing information content relevant to the prospective client and aids in moving them through each specific sales funnel stage.

Is Account-Based Marketing for you?

If you’d like to know more about ABM or to discuss your specific needs please give us a call or drop us a line at [email protected]

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