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Is Account Based Marketing The Holy Grail Of B2B Marketing?

Stuart Thompson | 4 January 2017


Every few years, there seems to be a new marketing methodology on the horizon that’s predicted to revolutionise how marketers do their jobs. At the moment, it’s account based marketing that’s being heralded as the Holy Grail that’ll make it easier to gather data about prospects and generate leads that convert to customers. As wonderful as that sounds, it’s not quite as simple. Rather than being the Holy Grail, account based marketing is more of a metamorphosis from the status quo of targeting personas, to targeting specific companies and individuals within that company. In this blog, I’m going to discuss account based marketing, and how it fits in with other marketing methodologies.


Spray and pray has been the default approach to marketing for decades

First of all, how is account based marketing (ABM) different to other types of marketing that came before it? In the past, most marketing relied on a ‘spray and pray’ approach – market to as many people as possible, and you’re bound to catch a few leads. The problem with this tactic is that you invest time and energy marketing to prospects that might not generate that much revenue. With ABM, you ensure that the right accounts and businesses with the largest potential to increase revenue see your marketing.

Personalised marketing is far more effective than one-size-fits-all

Why is ABM so effective? Because thanks to the market research you carried out before launching your campaign, you’re a lot more certain about a prospect’s need for your product and how your brand can add value to them. What’s more, you’re able to personalise every bit of marketing content to that individual and the business they belong to. No prizes for guessing which kind of marketing (that is, generic or personalised) a prospect would prefer to receive. And within ABM both outbound and inbound marketing methodologies still apply – the only difference is they’re laser focused on each account.

Timing is everything in ABM

Account based marketing isn’t only about targeting individual accounts or key decision makers within that account. ABM is all about timing, knowing when to approach your prospects – when tenders are up for renewal, for example. There’s little use trying to sell an accounting software package to a company a month into the new financial year – instead, approach them during the final few months when they’re starting to think about overhauls.


Use ABM to cross or upsell within target accounts

You can break ABM into two parts. The first is about drawing up a list of accounts you want to target, and getting to know key decision makers within that account. Devise marketing material specifically for these people. The second part happens once your foot is through the door: upselling or cross-selling products within an account, or to other areas of the organisation. However, for everything we’ve covered in the blog to work, there needs to be seamless alignment between sales and marketing – read our previous blog to learn why.

If you think that ABM and lead generation services could help your business map new accounts and drive more sales, download our guide to find out more about how it works:

ABM guide