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What is account-based marketing (ABM) and why your business needs it

today 08/20/2022
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In today's world, the struggle for customer interest in your product is becoming more and more difficult. A variety of marketing tools come to the rescue here. One of its most effective types is account-based marketing.

What is account-based marketing (ABM) and why your business needs it


In its research, ITSMA reports that companies that practice ABM now allocate 29% of their total marketing budgets to these programs, while generating positive results across a wide range of business metrics. We also note that the company included the use of ABM in several categories of the 2022 Marketing Excellence Awards

Our editors decided to figure out what account-based marketing is and how it can be useful for business.

Account based marketing, which in translation sounds like “key account marketing”, is a B2B marketing strategy that is built around working with key customers. It can also be said that its basis is personalized customer acquisition.

In other words, ABM is a type of B2B marketing that is aimed at attracting personalized leads.

This type of marketing has a number of advantages, thanks to which the development of your business is possible with the most favorable ratio of investments and customers received.

Why your business should use ABM

Преимущества ABM, упомянутые опрошенными маркетологами

ABM has a number of advantages over other marketing approaches:


The essence of ABM is centered almost entirely around the focus on target customers. All means of this type of marketing should be aimed at covering the pains of leads (who may later become your customers).

Increase in sales

Unlike many other types of marketing, ABM reduces the number of communications with untargeted appeals to your services. You can pay more attention to those customers who are most interested in using your services.

Maximum business relevance

At first glance, it might seem that ABM, due to its high lead focus, costs a lot more. In fact, price is relevant to quality because you don't waste resources on reaching customers who won't make a purchase even if they're interested.

Ease of measuring ROI

Marketers and other professionals who are in one way or another involved in setting up advertising are well aware of how important it is not only to decide on a strategy and correctly reach the target audience (don't worry, this is still very important), but also to analyze the success of an advertising campaign.

It is ROI that helps to show whether the marketing activity of a business is effective based on the indicators of the resources spent, time and the audience covered at the same time.

In order to carry out this calculation without unnecessary difficulties, our editors recommend that you use the convenient ROI calculator.

Sales cycle optimization

If the sales cycle in most cases looks like this (may vary slightly depending on the type of business and other features):

  1. Search for potential clients
  2. contact attempt
  3. Determining the needs of potential customers
  4. Demonstration of the offer
  5. Closing (or handling objections)
  6. Maintaining an attitude

ABM allows you to direct the main efforts to target customers, which allows you to increase business profitability. The sales cycle in this case looks like this:

That is, you can save time and resources searching for potential leads. With those clients you reach, you can immediately move on to building relationships, which, in most cases, means effective long-term cooperation.

  1. Relationship maintenance
  2. Closing with targeted accounts
  3. Demonstration of the offer to valuable customers
  4. Identification of key customers

To understand that your business needs account-based marketing is already 50% of success, it remains to understand what is needed to implement the strategy in your activities.

Stages of effective implementation of account-based marketing


Define your target customers

As we wrote above, this type of marketing is as personalized as possible. Therefore, it is especially important to clearly understand who your key customers are.

In order to do this most effectively, we recommend that you follow these steps:

  • Analyze your product in as much detail as possible, study large companies and their customers with a similar product. Select the so-called "reference" clients, which can be guided by in the further selection of clients.
  • Analyze where your customers are and what product they are interested in. How best and clearer for this type of client to submit it.
  • Segment the audience, form target groups of customers.
  • Draw up a portrait of the client with the most specific description of his characteristics and pains.
  • Divide clients between managers, optimally no more than 10 key clients per specialist.
  • Use workflow processes to effectively categorize potential leads.
  1. Create a personalized marketing message

    At this stage, be sure to clearly understand what your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is. Based on this, it is necessary to create content that will interest key customers. What is important here is not the format of the message, but the focus on the “right” addressee.

  2. Determine the best place to "send" these messages

    This stage is aimed at finding such communication channels where your key customer will definitely see an advertisement for your products.

    We recommend: do not focus only on the popularity of the communication channel. The option: “everyone now uses Tik-Tok, so you need to set up ads there” does not fit here. You must be clear about how the target customer will accurately see the marketing message. To put it bluntly, you shouldn't set up ads on Instagram if your target audience is men 45+ and more likely to see outdoor banners along the way to work.

  3. Directly advertising

    Create advertising campaigns and send a marketing message to those communication channels where your key customer is located. It is important to properly process incoming responses, to clearly understand how further communication with the client will take place.

  4. Analysis of the effectiveness of an advertising campaign

    At this stage, as already indicated above, ROI will help. Understand how effective the campaigns were, how much resources you invested and how many customers you got.

    If you are not happy with the result, it may be worth changing the message or communication channel, or perhaps completely changing the focus of the business

Web personalization

ABM campaigns aren't just for search engine marketing (SEM) and inbound marketing. For example, you can personalize your site for every possible key client.

In particular, Marketo, a software developer, has resorted to personalizing the site by area. When a potential client from the education sector visits a web resource, he sees the first or second offer. If this is a representative from the financial sector - the third or fourth.

Примеры предложений от компании Marketo

Let's summarize

Account-based marketing is a great way to promote your business due to its personalization. This type of marketing is great for building relationships with corporate customers and helping to promote their commitment to your company.

By following simple recommendations, it helps to focus efforts on key customers and form long-term relationships with them, which will allow you not to waste resources on inappropriate requests.

When using these tools, it is worth remembering that, first of all, you are dealing with people. Regardless of whether your customers are B2B businesses or retail consumers, you are in any case selling your product (goods or services) to other people.

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