Define ABM: Account Based Marketing
Define ABM: Account Based Marketing.
Account Based Marketing. No presentation or sales pitch at a marketing conference is complete these days without at least 6 references to Account Based Marketing. When people talk about ABM, you nod your head, like you know what they’re talking about. Oh, yeah, we’re totally doing ABM you nod.
But what the hell is Account Based Marketing (ABM)?
Account Based Marketing Definition:
Account Based Marketing is an explicit strategy where marketing and sales focus on multiple individuals within a single account in a coordinated effort. It is typically paired with a strategy of pursuing a specific list of most desirable accounts.
Account Based Marketing is most often used for enterprise B2B marketing.
So how does account based marketing differ from, you know, “marketing” ?
Like most hot new things, account based marketing is not that new. It’s just more focused on specific accounts and hitting multiple stake-holders within any given account.
Account Based Marketing is really just the marketing equivalent of Account Based Sales… a long-term mainstay of enterprise sales teams. Marketers have long known they needed to communicate with multiple influencers within a single organization to close a sale. Account based marketing is more about the explicit acknowledgement of this than anything “new”.
So why the sudden fuss?
I think it has a lot to do with two big trends:
1. The blurring of sales and marketing functions at B2B accounts.
As marketing becomes responsible for more and more of the buyer’s journey, marketing’s reporting metrics have accordingly moved down the funnel:
- Brand Awareness / Clicks / Traffic
- Marketing Qualified Leads
- Sales Qualified Leads
Progressive marketers now see their departments as responsible for revenue and, at least in large B2B transactions, revenue comes from organizations (accounts) not individual people
2. Digital marketing is becoming more efficient and transparent.
The technology for effectively targeting and tracking multiple prospects within a single organization has improved rapidly in recent years with the emergence of better databases, more effective marketing automation, and ubiquitous cloud-based CRM systems.
This means that while your marketing department has probably always had the goal of implementing account based marketing, it’s now becoming much more achievable and measureable.
Not there yet? Don’t Despair.
A wise man (Ash Alhashim) recently wrote:
“Account-Based Marketing is a lot like teenage sex: Everyone’s talking about it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, but hardly anyone is actually doing it. And those few that are doing it are probably doing it wrong.”
So there’s plenty of time to practice and improve your technique.
Additional Information on Account based Marketing (ABM):
- Account-based Marketing resources from Sirius Decisions
- Understanding Account Based Marketing from DMN
- What is Account-Based Marketing and How Does Content Fit In? from UberFlip
- What Is ABM?: A Global Perspective Beyond The Hype And Hyperbole by Mark Ogne
- An Introduction to Account Based Marketing (ABM) from Xen
- 10 Definitions of ABM from various experts
- What Wikipedia has to say on ABM
Rich founded glassCanopy in 2001.
Latest posts by Rich Quarles (see all)
- Marketing to Doctors, Part 5: Measuring and Optimizing Results - December 6, 2019
- B2B newsletter best practices: Even your mother doesn’t want to read your company newsletter - September 18, 2019
- Marketing IT Infrastructure, Part 2: Messaging & Segmentation - December 17, 2018