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Does your ABM strategy follow these 6 steps?

Gone are the days of spray-and-pray marketing tactics. B2B audiences are now more discerning, more informed, and frankly, less tolerant of the generic wares of yesteryear. Account based marketing strategy is your tailored response—a direct and personalized approach to winning over prospects. What’s more, it's tried and tested to boost both ROI and customer lifetime value.

Is ABM right for your organization?

Account Based Marketing (ABM) isn’t necessarily a good fit for every company. If you’re selling to highly specific industries and/or have a sales cycle that’s 6 months+ long with multiple decision makers involved, then you will have a lot to gain by adopting the ABM route. It will also help greatly in improving the alignment between your sales and marketing teams, ensuring everyone is focusing on the same target accounts for success.  

We’ve written up these 6 steps to building a successful and effective ABM strategy; we hope you find them useful.

Importance of ABM in B2B

ABM focuses on identifying and targeting specific high-value accounts rather than a broad (and let’s face it, often random) audience. This personalized approach focuses on building stronger relationships with key decision makers and results (if done right) in higher conversion rates and more impactful ROI.

This isn’t an either/or approach. Implementing Account Based Marketing strategies doesn’t necessarily mean ditching more conventional LeadGen, the two can and do often go hand in hand.  We’ve actually written another blog about the differences between ABM vs. Lead Generation.

6 steps to building a strong ABM strategy


In order to plan a well thought-out, effective, and successful ABM campaign, B2B marketers need to consider these 6 key steps:

Step 1: Build a team

Your initial step–which is often the most difficult one–is to align the marketing, sales, and C-level executives. The alignment goes well beyond quarterly meetings that serve to summarize the achievements (or lack thereof) and is more about collaborating throughout the process to identify high value accounts and deliver the most personalized messaging possible together through establishing thought processes and action plans. These tasks should not be owned by either marketing or sales teams individually, but achieved through cooperation.

Keep this team to a maximum of 5 people to be able to keep things agile. Promote constructive feedback and open communication, and define responsibilities to keep the alignment going.

Step 2: Decide on ABM tech stack

In ABM, the right tools can be a make it or break it for the campaign. You'll be using these tools to plan, create and measure your ABM campaign throughout every step. You’ll need…

A communication tool

One thing that's never said enough–the better communication flow between your team, the higher chances for success. Whether you communicate through Slack, emails, project management tools like ClickUp or Asana, make sure everyone's on the same page from the start.

One tool we love? Loom. When working in different time zones or unable to jump on a quick call with everyone–we record Looms and send them across to each other.

A powerful CRM

A platform like HubSpot (we're HubSpot Diamond Partner, so we might be biased!) will help you move your leads through all stages of the funnel smoothly. We personally use HubSpot's:

  • ABM workflow templates (that sort companies by Ideal Customer Profile fit) to spot appropriate leads for the campaign,
  • Messaging to send personalized messages to contacts inside and outside of our database without losing track of engagement metrics
  • ABM dashboard and report template to track progress and make sure we're on the right track.

Website visit analytics

Data is crucial in building a successful Account Based Marketing strategy. You need an analytics tool that can automatically track who visits your website and send you employee contacts. You can integrate a tool like LeadFeeder with your CRM, so that whenever someone from a new company is on your website, their details will automatically be added to your ABM list of target accounts and an SDR will be assigned to take it from there and work on moving the contact through the funnel.

Person-based advertising platform

For a successful ABM campaign, you want your target accounts to see content designed just for them–and you'll also want to know how and when they interacted with it. We use tools like Influ2 to target specific individuals (not just companies) by their IP address and see all their engagements with our content. That way, we know what to use (or not to use) to engage further. 

Data mining tool

Want to grow your database? Not a problem. Tools like ZoomInfo gather details like detailed company profiles, contact information for key decision-makers, insights from their industry, current market trends, prospecting, and sales data. Sure you can search for those details yourself, or you can have them all in one place with one click–quite an expensive click, mind you.

Social media platforms

Finally, you’ll need a platform to interact with your target accounts on–and in most B2B cases, that’ll be LinkedIn . With its ability to target specific job titles or industries, it's a great tool for reaching your key decision makers. X and Reddit are also becoming significant channels.

Step 3: Account Selection & ICP

The first step is identifying your target accounts. This should be a collaborative effort between marketing,  sales and your management team, as you’ll need a mix of firmographic data, business intelligence and strategic outlook to help you define, discover, and prioritize your high-value accounts. There’s no point in targeting an audience that your C-level management does not count as strategically important. 

To create a successful Account Based Marketing plan, define your Ideal Customer Profile. These are the accounts and the titles/people that your product has an almost perfect product market fit with. For example, companies that match current profitable customer profiles that you’d love to replicate. You’ll need to consider revenue potential, along with market influence, ease of sale or potential for higher-than-average profit margins.

It often makes sense to target ABM on companies that are already in your CRM and you have interacted with decision makers in that company before. 

This step also includes mapping accounts and pinpoint key internal players in your target accounts. Gaining deep insights into your target accounts is essential for crafting personalized messages that resonate with their specific needs. Understanding their pain points, challenges, and preferences allows you to tailor your approach effectively.
Identify how your target accounts are structured, how decisions are made and who the decision makers and influencers are, and then come up with marketing plans to help you achieve specific objectives.

Step 4: Define ABM success metrics

As always, you’ll need to test, measure and optimize – but since ABM is a long game, you’ll want to decide on what the indicators of your campaign’s success are upfront.That’s the only way to ensure that your campaigns are effective, and improve your results over time. Here are some of the important metrics to track in ABM campaigns:

  • Engagement rates - in ABM, engagement will be your most important KPI to track. When focusing on sending target accounts to your website, you’ll want to measure page views per target and per ICP, and the time they spend on your page. Same will go for emails you send–you’ll want to look at the opening rate and response rate to be able to learn. This will show you which content performs best, so that you know what direction you want to take when creating new assets;
  • Lead generation - tracking lead generation allows you to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns in attracting potential customers. By monitoring lead generation, you can identify which tactics and channels are driving the most high-quality leads for your target accounts, which later enables you to optimize your strategies and allocate resources effectively, ensuring that you are consistently generating a steady stream of qualified leads;
  • Conversion rates - another one of ABM success metrics tells you how well your efforts are converting leads into actual opportunities and eventually customers. You’ll be able to identify any bottlenecks or areas for improvement in your sales and marketing funnel, optimize your messaging and targeting to maximize conversions;
  • Revenue impact - According to Momentum ITSMA’s annual ABM Benchmarking study, 72% say ABM delivers higher ROI than other types of marketing. This metric allows you to make better, informed decisions on resource allocation, and strategically adjust your approach to maximize revenue growth;
  • Sales KPIs - the further down the funnel you go, the more your KPIs shift from marketing to sales. At the bottom of the funnel, measure things like opportunities generated or the length of the sales cycle. A shortening sales cycle, growing revenue and of course opportunities mean your ABM campaign is a success.  

Run descriptive analytics based on account level activity, and use the data this provides for a more accurate picture of your overall ABM campaign performance, but don’t forget that yor KPIs might be quite different depending on which stage of the funnel you’re currently targeting (we’ve written more about this here).

Step 5: Build campaigns & content

No inbound content, no ABM campaigns. It’s really that simple. 

Account Based marketing campaigns rely on nurturing with tons of content in multiple formats. Once you know who your key players are within each account and what their pain points are, you can start creating high-quality compelling content that’s just for them. Think about how your messaging can address each target account’s specific needs and business challenges. Provide them with something they can gain from you; how do you solve their problem? For example, how does your product shorten their time to delivery, increase their customers satisfaction, etc. 

A few more things to consider are:

  • The role of SEO in ABM strategies - If your content isn’t crafted to be easily found and “accidentally” discovered through search engines, then you’re missing out on a potentially huge number of clients who could find and engage with your brand. Optimize your website and content for relevant keywords and topics to increase the visibility of your website in search results; 
  • Providing your audience with what they need through assets, assets, assets - knowledge is power and ABM is all about sharing that knowledge – but with the right people and at the right time. High-quality assets such as guides, whitepapers, and case studies can help you position your business as an industry authority that people will remember, and sharing these assets with your target accounts helps build trust and credibility, influencing their purchasing decisions.

Step 6: Create engagement

At this point, you’ve selected your targets and created captivating and customized content for them. It’s time to determine the best way to communicate and execute!
It’s critical to ensure your messaging is coordinated across organic and sales channels, and that the sales and marketing teams’ efforts are fully aligned to deliver a cohesive and personalized experience across multiple touchpoints. ABM encourages collaboration and alignment to maximize the impact of your campaigns.

There are many moving parts in Account Based Marketing campaigns, and automation is key to streamlining the often complex processes involved in targeting specific high-value accounts, which means you’ll want to set up your ABM campaign on HubSpot or a similar automation tool. This will allow you to easily scale as you add more accounts, set up ABM workflows from ready-made templates and easily measure the success of your campaigns as you go with powerful reports.

It’s equally important to choose the right channels for your campaigns. You may have the best content in the world, but none of it will be effective if you don’t use the right channels to promote it. Just like Jonathan Perelman had said, "Content is king, but distribution is queen”.

As generally with inbound tactics, it’s important to know where your target audience “lives” online. This will give you insight on which communication channels would be most effective in helping you reach out to them, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you should focus on just one channel.  

There’s no point in producing tons of content if you’re not planning on maximizing your distribution efforts as well. If you’re not striving for a balance between content creation and content distribution when allocating your budget, it’s very likely that all the effort invested in creating will simply go to waste - even the best content won’t reach its readers on its own.

A few more things to consider are:

  • The role of PPC in ABM strategies - for your Account Based Marketing strategy to bring results, you’ll need to invest in paid user acquisition. By leveraging targeted ads, you can reach specific accounts throughout their buying journey. Customizing ad content to address the unique challenges and needs of your target accounts enhances engagement and increases the likelihood of conversion - but remember, it’s better to focus on 3-4 pain points than all 20-something;
  • The role of content and email marketing in ABM - the line between valuable content and email marketing and sending out spam is as thin as it gets. Crafting personalized and relevant campaigns for specific accounts helps nurture relationships and move prospects through the sales funnel. Use automation tools to deliver timely and targeted content that’s based on what your recipient’s actions and interactions are to get the best results.

ABM techniques for B2B marketers

Now that we've covered the importance of Account Based Marketing (ABM) and the key steps to a successful ABM campaign, let's dive into some additional ABM techniques for B2B that can take your strategy to the next level:

  • Personalization - personalization is not using someone’s first name in your email messaging (although we cannot say we don’t appreciate it). You need to go so much further than just that. Personalization is all about delivering the right content at the right time to the right accounts, based on their preferences and needs. It can only be done if you know the ICP’s pain points or motivations. For example, A SaaS marketer in Q3 will more than likely be worried about lost conversions on their product page. If your product/service can help salvage some lost opportunities for Q3 and Q4, make sure you add that to your ABM campaign. If you’ve helped similar companies with that, even better, add that as an example.
  • Influencer marketing and online review sites - whether we like it or not, influencers hold significant sway over the opinions and decisions of your target accounts. Identifying thought leaders, industry experts, or influential personalities who align with your brand values and have a strong following among your target audience and collaborating with them to co-create content, host webinars, or participate in events will help you amplify your ABM efforts and gain credibility. Online review sites and Capterra are also invaluable when folks are researching alternatives; make sure your product is being reviewed and you are adding that as part of the ABM content mix.
  • Continuous communication and nurturing -  ABM is a marathon, not a sprint, and it requires regularly engaging with your target accounts and staying proactive in understanding their challenges. Provide ongoing value through emails or targeted campaigns and continue addressing their evolving needs. Building strong relationships and trust over time increases the likelihood of successful conversions;
  • Account based social selling & thought leadership - no matter how personalized and well crafted they are, simply posting ads is not enough. Try engaging with key decision-makers and influencers from your target accounts on social platforms by sharing valuable insights, commenting on their posts, and initiating meaningful conversations. By building and establishing relationships, you can additionally position yourself as a trusted advisor within their industry. Your C-level management can be more instrumental in the ABM process than any other element. Your ICP will often be following them and interested in what their views are on the eco-system. The more their voice is heard, the better your ICP will get familiar with them and understand the faces and voices behind the company. 


Sounds… complicated? Tell us about it! ABM techniques for B2B can be game-changing for all businesses alike looking to make a significant impact in their B2B activities, but it might take time and resources until you master it.

We’re a B2B marketing and RevOps agency specializing in building and implementing successful ABM strategies. Have any questions? Book your free consultation with a B2B expert!


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