Five “W” Framework for ABM Success
ABM/ABX 01.12.2024

Five “W” Framework for ABM Success

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In this episode of Sunny Side Up, Tara Quehl interviews Harsha Chachadi on all things ABM. Harsha emphasises the role of strategy over technology in ABM, introduces the 5 “W” Framework, and shares insights from his journey with FM Global. He discusses the importance of understanding your audience, tailoring content, choosing the proper communication channels, and timing. Addressing the challenges of recent market volatility, Harsha champions a customer-centric approach in our current information-saturated era, suggesting that businesses must pivot from product promotion to genuinely addressing customer needs.

About the Guest

Harsha leads Global Marketing Campaigns and ABM at FM Global, to support retention, renewal, growth, and profitability goals. With close to 20 years of experience across ABM, large deals, digital, social, industry and product marketing, demand generation, business analysis, presales, and account management he rolls with ‘Customer is the center of our universe’, ‘focus on audience journeys and integrated experiences’ and ‘here is your cherry on the top’. 

Harsha along with his telecom engineer wife and two fast-growing kids, is based in Northern Virginia. He holds a master’s degree in management, and a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

Connect with Harsha Chachadi

Key Takeaways

  • Experience in various marketing aspects can provide a holistic view and better preparedness for specialised fields like ABM.
  • While technology plays a role in ABM, it should include the strategy and execution components.
  • Before scaling any strategy, demonstrate its efficacy with a few significant changes to ensure it’s effective.
  • Applying ABM principles should evolve based on experience and market trends.
  • Choosing the right company environment is pivotal for successful ABM implementation.
  • The 5 “W” Framework focuses on the questions: Why, Who, What, Where, and When.
  • Always prioritise the customer’s perspective, ensuring your strategies are relevant and timely to their needs.
  • Continuously question the purpose behind your actions, ensuring alignment with company and customer goals.
  • Clearly define and understand your target audience, stakeholders, and decision-makers.
  • Establish a strong value proposition and ensure your message aligns with it.
  • Identify the best platforms and touchpoints to communicate your message and reach your audience effectively.
  • Engage and educate the sales team to ensure a consistent approach towards customer-centricity.
  • Traditional marketing methods might need to be unlearned when adopting ABM, which focuses on customer-first approaches.


“When you start with the customer’s challenges; their wants, their needs and what they are trying to solve for, it becomes so much more meaningful to them.” – Harsha Chachadi 

Highlights from the Episode

How did you get started with ABM? 

When diving into Account-Based Marketing (ABM), one can often need to emphasise more on the technological aspects. However, as learned from Harsha’s experience, it’s vital to understand that technology is merely a component. To genuinely harness ABM’s potential, one should target significant opportunities and refine and scale the approach for broader audiences.

Can you discuss how your journey with ABM has evolved since you started?

As ABM matures, it’s crucial to understand its evolution and how best to apply its principles. Harsha provides a glimpse into this journey, sharing insights from his time at FM Global, a property insurance company with a unique engineering-driven approach. He also introduces the 5W/5Y framework, offering a potential guide for effectively navigating ABM challenges.

Tell us more about the 5 “W” framework.

The 5 “W” framework centres around five pivotal questions: Why, Who, What, Where, and When. Harsha underscored the significance of starting with a strong ‘Why,’ delving deep into the purpose and importance of the marketing initiative for both the company and the target audience. He stressed the need to thoroughly understand ‘Who’ the target audience is, aligning the ‘What,’ or the content and messaging, accordingly. Harsha also highlighted the importance of choosing the right channels (‘Where’) and timing (‘When’) to communicate the marketing message effectively. His customer-centric approach ensures that the marketing strategy is not just about promoting products or services but about creating meaningful and relevant communication for the audience.

How did you effectively implement and maintain focus on the ABM strategy within your organisation, especially given the challenges of periodic distractions and the need for re-education?

When implementing an ABM strategy, it’s crucial to revisit the foundational goals and objectives frequently. This helps maintain focus amidst evolving challenges and ensures alignment with the sales team. A shift towards customer-centricity can sometimes require unlearning traditional marketing approaches, emphasising the importance of continuous education and advocacy.

Given the market’s volatility and the challenges faced over the past two years, how do you perceive these principles’ value to customers? 

In today’s information-saturated era, time has become a premium commodity. With an overwhelming array of choices available to consumers, businesses need to pivot their strategies. Instead of merely promoting product features, understanding the customer’s unique challenges and needs becomes pivotal. Adopting a customer-centric approach, like ABM, can simplify the decision-making process for consumers and present more value-oriented solutions.

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Sunny Side Up

B2B podcast for, Smarter GTM™

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