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Sales Basics
  •   5 min read

How to Start Account Based Marketing [All-in-one Guide]

ByMonika Jahnavi

Published Feburary 10, 2023

account based marketing

Did you know that up to 87% marketers said that their ABM initiatives outperformed everything else? 

Simply put, Account based marketing (ABM) is a method of targeting key accounts with precision and personalization. It helps businesses to identify and engage their prospects with more precision and convert them faster. To successfully launch an ABM campaign, it’s important to understand the principles that go behind it and the steps involved in setting it up. 

In this blog, we’ll cover all the basics of Account Based Marketing strategy, including the process of finding your ideal accounts, crafting personalized messages for each stage of the customer journey, and tracking metrics to measure success. Get ready to learn how you can use ABM to grow your business!

What is Account Based Marketing?

Account based marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach that focuses on key accounts instead of leads or prospects. The goal of ABM is to generate more revenue from fewer, bigger deals by tailoring your marketing efforts to specific accounts.

With an account based marketing strategy, you align your sales and marketing teams around common goals, target key decision-makers at specific accounts, and customize your messages and offerings to fit each account. ABM can be used at any stage of the customer journey, from awareness to advocacy.

ABM is different from traditional lead-based marketing because it requires a more targeted and personalized approach. With lead-based marketing, you cast a wide net and hope that some of your leads will turn into customers. With ABM, you identify and focus on high-value accounts that are most likely to convert.

Benefits of ABM

The Benefits of Account Based Marketing

There are many benefits to account based marketing (ABM), but three of the most important are that it helps you focus your resources, allows for more personalized campaigns, and provides better data for decision-making.

  • Resource efficiency - Account Based Marketing strategies help you focus your resources by identifying and targeting high-value accounts. It ensures that you're not wasting time and money on leads that aren't likely to convert.
  • Deeper personalization - ABM also allows for more personalized campaigns. Because you're targeting specific accounts, you can create tailor-made messages and offers that are relevant to their needs and pain points. This makes your campaigns more effective and increases the likelihood of conversion.
  • Smarter decision-making -  ABM provides better data for decision-making. By tracking the results of your ABM campaigns, you can constantly optimize and improve your strategy. This data-driven approach leads to better ROI and a stronger competitive advantage.

Data, Data, Data

Good, clean data means everything for the success of an ABM campaign. Here’s a quick infographic to show you the types of data that are relevant in this context.

Data in ABM

The ABC of Account Based Marketing

ABMs are deeply focused and targeted, as we said before. Let’s break it down into 6 simple steps to get you started.

  • Identify Target Accounts: The first step is to identify the accounts or companies you want to target with your marketing efforts. This involves researching and analyzing your ideal customer profile (ICP) to identify the companies that match your criteria.
  • Understand the Buyer Persona: Once you have identified the target accounts, you need to understand the buyer personas within those accounts. This involves researching and analyzing the decision-makers and influencers within each account, their needs, pain points, and motivations.
  • Develop Account-Specific Content: Based on the information you have gathered about the target accounts and buyer personas, you can develop account-specific content that addresses their specific needs and challenges. This could include blog posts, case studies, whitepapers, videos, and other content formats.
  • Personalize Your Outreach: Use personalized outreach strategies such as targeted ads, personalized email campaigns, and social media outreach to engage with the decision-makers and influencers within your target accounts.
  • Measure and Optimize: Measure the success of your ABM efforts using metrics such as engagement rates, conversion rates, and pipeline growth. Analyze the data and optimize your strategy based on the results.
  • Align Sales and Marketing: ABM is most effective when sales and marketing teams work together to identify and engage with target accounts. Align your sales and marketing teams to ensure that they are working towards the same goals and objectives.

Best Practices for Account Based Marketing

Account based marketing can be an extremely effective way to target and win new business, but it’s important to make sure you’re doing it right. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

1. Define your Ideal Customer Profile correctly

Start by identifying the type of company and contact you’d like to target. Consider factors like size, industry, location, and any other relevant criteria to create an ICP checklist.

2. Get personal

Remember that account based marketing is all about developing relationships with key decision-makers at specific companies. So don’t be afraid to get personal in your interactions – share a little bit about yourself and your own interests as well. This will help build trust and rapport over time.

3. Customize

Customization goes beyond content personalization. It could be in the tools that allow you to customize your website or mobile app based on the user’s location, device type (e.g., mobile vs desktop), browser version and operating system. Or it could be creating customized landing pages for each lead’s stage in the sales funnel so they can see exactly where they stand within the process.

4. Be patient

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are successful account based marketing campaigns! Keep at it and keep testing!

Measuring the success of your ABM campaign

Your work doesn’t end with execution. Tracking and analyzing key metrics will demonstrate the impact of your efforts on target accounts and revenue growth. Here are some common metrics to consider when measuring your Account Based Marketing campaign’s success:

  1. Account Engagement: Measure the level of engagement from target accounts with your content, such as email open rates, click-through rates, and website visits.
  2. Pipeline Growth: Track the impact of your ABM efforts on your sales pipeline, such as the number of leads generated, the size of the opportunities created, and the percentage of opportunities that progress through the sales funnel.
  3. Deal Velocity: Measure how quickly target accounts move through the sales funnel from lead to close.
  4. Deal Size: Measure the size of deals closed through Account Based Marketing efforts compared to deals closed through other marketing channels.
  5. Customer Retention: ABM can also help you retain and upsell existing customers. Measure the impact of your ABM efforts on customer retention rates and upsell revenue.
  6. ROI: Calculate the return on investment (ROI) of your ABM campaign by comparing the revenue generated through ABM efforts to the costs of the campaign.
  7. Customer Satisfaction: Finally, track customer satisfaction levels to measure the impact of your ABM efforts on customer experience and loyalty.

And that’s it! You have the tools to get started. Take them and make them your own! Leverage a tool like Outplay to personalize your Account Based Marketing at scale with intelligent automation and track your success with advanced analytics. Book a personalized demo today, or start your free trial