5 Account-Based Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

It’s been a big year for Account-Based Marketing (ABM): with more and more B2B marketers adopting ABM, dedicating more of their budgets and resources and reporting high ROI from their efforts.

As ABM adoption has soared, there’s a need to go beyond a high-level understanding of what it actually is and better understand what really goes into building a successful, revenue-driving ABM strategy.

That’s why over the next few blog posts, we’ll be sharing our own experiences with ABM—starting with mistakes we’ve made and seen, technology preferences, usage and what is needed, innovative campaigns we’ve run and detailed “how to’s” on each stage of the strategy.

For this week’s column, we’ve compiled five of the most common pitfalls B2B marketers face as they build out their ABM strategies:

Mistake #1: Working in silos 

A lot of B2B marketers approach ABM solely as a marketing endeavor, but in reality it takes collaboration and 100% buy in from multiple teams. At a high level, you’ll need to sit down with key stakeholders from Sales to identify target accounts, agree upon a set of metrics and determine what success looks like for both teams.

 Mistake #2: Focusing exclusively on digital programs 

A lot of B2B marketers think that their ABM program can only extend to their digital efforts—such as online advertising, webinars and content. But with an ABM approach, you’ll be able to use your target account list to guide both your digital and analog programs.

Here at Demandbase, our field marketing team relies on our target account list to plan their quarterly activities. By identifying which cities have high volumes of target accounts, you can determine which regions require the most marketing investment and focus. You can also use your list to identify events that have the highest concentration of your target accounts.

Mistake #3: Measuring what’s easy  

When it comes to measurement, a lot of us turn to metrics that are easy to measure, like impressions, CPMs and CTRs—which provide insight into how our campaigns are performing, but don’t really help us determine the impact we’re having on the broader organization, and more importantly, revenue.

To be successful with ABM, you’ll need to grade your marketing performance on metrics that are tied closely to revenue:

• Target Account Activity

• Lift

• Opportunities

• Pipeline

• Closed Revenue

• Available to Close

• Win/Loss Rates


• Funnel Velocity

• Retention and Upsell

Mistake #4: Creating content for the sake of content 

Many B2B marketers think that they need to create a new set of assets for each one of their target accounts, but instead the idea is to leverage the content you already have.

You probably already have a relevant white paper, case study or eBook. You just need to tweak the copy that introduces the piece, craft a more compelling call-to-action or add relevant imagery to the landing page.

For example, you can take the latest eBook your content team just produced and tailor it to serve the healthcare industry. By adding healthcare terminology, highlighting your current healthcare customers and swapping out graphics for relevant industry imagery, you can transition the piece to fit the needs of your healthcare website visitors.

Mistake #5: Running one-off advertising campaigns 

Unlike B2C buyers, who can be driven to make a purchase by a promotional ad campaign in a short period of time, B2B buyers require engagement for an extended period of time. Always-on advertising ensures that you’re consistently getting your message in front of key decision makers at your target accounts.

ABM can look very different from company to company, but successful strategies all share a common foundation. By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.