What is Account-Based Marketing?

Upsail team


Account-based marketing (ABM) is a type of B2B marketing that helps you generate leads in a personalized way. In translation, the term sounds like “key account marketing.” ABM combines marketing and sales to bring a potential customer to a purchase.

“Key account marketing” has become an increasingly popular approach for B2B companies that target large customers in recent years. And if traditional marketing is aimed at specific market segments, products/solutions, or channels, ABM combines all these elements, focuses on particular customers, and treats them as one market.

ABM has the following advantages over other marketing approaches:

  • Personalization

Marketing communications are personalized. This means that the content will be as relevant as possible to the business needs of the lead, and he is more likely to become your client.

  • Profitability

Because Account-based marketing is more personalized than traditional marketing, it seems to cost more to implement. But the opposite is true: ABM cuts up to 50% of wasted time on leads who will never buy your product.

  • Faster sales

By using Account-based marketing definition methods, companies shorten the sales cycle. Marketers and salespeople can focus solely on those leads most likely to generate revenue.

AVM vs. lead generation

Unlike traditional lead generation, marketing of key clients is immediately “tailored” to the needs of a particular client. Instead of hypotheses, testing creatives, and trying to “warm up” as many leads as possible, exploration and development (adaptation) of value propositions for a specific target client are used here. Let’s consider both approaches in more detail.

Traditional lead generation

Marketing is focused on leads, not on customers and their needs. Marketing and sales departments work asynchronously and practically do not interact with each other.

What is ABM Marketing

It is a coordinated B2B strategy of personalized multi-channel activities across all vendor departments to create new sales opportunities for new and existing customers. Marketing and sales work together to create an offer for the target customer. Thanks to the intelligence carried out; it is possible to make a relevant offer that is right on target.

Types of ABM programs

Potential or existing customers can be divided into 3 main groups, for which a specific budget and resources will be allocated.

Strategic ABM

These are the most critical and significant clients with a large check (or annual contract amount). For such clients, a long-term program is developed to attract/develop: the business of the target client itself, its structure of stakeholders, their interests and needs, the company’s financial performance, their competitors, their customer base, etc., are being studied. Stakeholders of the target client are assigned to responsible employees; as a rule, the company’s top management is involved in the transaction.

Benefits of ABM

For successful account marketing, customer needs should ideally match the company’s existing products. And here there are two options. Or the company is looking for customers, focusing on its existing product. Or she changes it to the needs of found, convenient and promising clients.

Benefits of account marketing:

Benefits of account marketing:

  • Coordinated work of sales and marketing departments.
  • Expanding business through new contacts obtained from existing clients.
  • Sales cycle optimization.
  • Business becomes relevant, and valuable in the eyes of key, valuable accounts.

Potential difficulties with ABM

  1. Management problems

For ABM to work, you need to appoint a leader who will be responsible for connecting the sales and marketing teams and acting on customer interaction opportunities. Assigning customers to sellers is not enough. A designated leader should be responsible for keeping the teams working together.

  1. Too much and too soon

Sure, ABM can be a key success factor, but that doesn’t mean you have to deploy ABM across hundreds of accounts at the same time. This will not only overload your teams, but the lack of proper control can lead to severe errors and potential losses. It’s best to start small and scale up gradually.

  1. Efforts must be sustained

ABM is not a one-time deal. You can’t build a relationship simultaneously; it takes time and a few contact points. Once you have established contact with a key customer, you must constantly allocate resources to support him.

  1. Progress Tracking

As with any other strategy, you need metrics to measure the success of your actions. For ABM to work, you need to track and compare your efforts to calculate its value to the organization. You need to develop your tracking system with your metrics and goals to achieve.

Development of ABM programs

Various offline events, webinars, and mailing lists, including souvenirs and gifts with delivery, work well as effective tactics. The focus should be on personalization in communication. Content should be relevant and benefit the customer. To do this, you need to study the industry in which the target customers work very well.

The focus should be on personalization in communication. Content should be relevant and benefit the customer. To do this, you need to study the industry in which the target customers work very well.


85% of companies that have implemented ABM say that key account marketing is the investment with the best return. ABM marketing can and should be done: personalize, stand out and win deals. ABM marketing allows sales and marketing departments to work seamlessly with target customers and accurately measure promotional investments.

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