The Many Faces of Account-Based Marketing

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is becoming one of the more noteworthy trends in B2B marketing, perhaps because with the help of the right technology, it’s finally becoming more accessible and actionable. Many big enterprise companies have been doing some form of key account marketing for years. Typically, this is a high-touch, expensive, siloed process that really only targets a few standout accounts. Today, ABM has the potential to be much bigger than that, thanks to technology that helps us automate and scale.

What is Account-Based Marketing?

At a basic level, ABM is the practice of identifying the accounts most important to your business, marketing to those companies and finally measuring success by account. At every phase in the funnel, there are a number of smaller processes and activities involved, but they all ladder up to those three big buckets.

Not every company is using the same tools and tactics to execute on ABM, and some companies even have strategies that differ depending on their marketing operations, sales and marketing alignment or tech stack.

Crawl, Walk, Run

For example, depending on your organization, you’ll build your list in different ways. You might have any number of the following:

  • A named account list
  • A target segment (defined by attributes such as industry or revenue)
  • A list of strategic accounts
  • A customer list
  • A list of customers up for renewal

While it’s ideal to adopt a complete ABM strategy, you can also start with one segment and build your program out from there. The success of smaller ABM initiatives can drive conversations about broader ABM programs.

We see those nuances all the time at Demandbase, because we work with lots of companies in different stages of ABM adoption. It’s exciting to see how many B2B marketers are shifting their approach to a more targeted one, and to learn about the ways they’re doing it.

Along those lines, Megan Heuer at SiriusDecisions is currently conducting a survey on ABM to formally capture these thoughts and experiences. If you’re interested in learning how the ABM trend is spreading, take the 5-10 minute survey and you’ll the get the data and her report when it’s complete.

And of course, wherever you are in the process, we’re always available to chat, whether it’s over email, on Twitter or at an event.