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Top Five Account-based Marketing (ABM) Pillars.


If you’re a B2B marketer, you would no doubt have come across Account-based Marketing (ABM). In Australia, interest in ABM has surged, with 56% of marketers polled saying that they are running ABM in 2020 compared to 40% in 2019.

This is no surprise as B2B marketers are getting more sophisticated and looking at marketing activities aligned with the nature of their field of marketing. ABM is a ‘next level’ way of approaching marketing, moving beyond the usual ‘spray and pray’ approach.

Are you really ABM ready though?

However, ABM isn’t for everyone. Before starting your ABM journey, have you looked into the following parameters to determine whether it’s for you?

  • Deal size ($100k upwards)

In order for ABM to provide value and ROI at scale, we generally recommend that average deal sizes sit in the $100k and up range. Why? The cost of acquisition increases as you enable more resources for larger deals. If you typically deal in smaller value accounts, you may struggle to get ROI. 

  • Deal cycle (90 days or longer)

Longer sales cycles require multi-stakeholder outreach, with deal conversations going forward and backwards, sideways. ABM provides enough aircover and nurture to keep the momentum going. Make sure you do have enough content to nurture all personas in the buying party through the full deal cycle.

  • Number of accounts (minimum 100)

We recommend identifying at least 100 accounts (up to 1000) at a minimum in order to get good scale and traction from an ABM program. These accounts should have a multi-persona buying party, and not just a single decision maker.

The top five ABM Pillars you need to build

If you’ve ticked all the boxes above, great, you’re ABM-ready. As you embark on your ABM strategy and execution, there are broadly five pillars you need to build your foundations on. 

  • Build your Target Account List (TAL)

You need to have a very clear idea of the companies you are going after. This usually involves taking your ‘ideal customer profile’ parameters and identifying a list of companies that match that profile.

Sales and marketing will be working closely together on any ABM program so the first port of call for building out a TAL will be your sales team.

If the list is coming in too small, don’t forget to expand our to lookalikes. There are also services out there such as Dun & Bradstreet and Zoominfo that can enrich and expand on your TAL.

  • Work out your Data Strategy

With the TAL in hand, it’s time to lay out the parameters that will help you structure the data linked to each of those accounts.

We typically define data required across firmographic (about the company), demographic (about the buying party), technographic (if applicable, what technology do they use), psychographic (behavioural and intent dimensions).

Having all this mapped out will allow you to determine ‘FIT” scores for each account. The higher the score, the more ‘ready’ signals the account is showing.

  • Hyper-Personalisation

A key differentiator between ABM and regular channel marketing is personalisation. You will already have mapped out your content across the funnel required to nurture different members of the buying party.

Look at how you can personalise your messaging in your media, communications and channels to your TAL. For example, you could build a custom campaign page for a specific segment – all content there would be tailor to said segment. There are tools and platforms that allow you to personalise down to the details of a company. For example, you can specific pieces of content and company logos based on a visitor’s IP address. Advertising partners such as Demandbase can also personalise display ads for specific companies. 

  • Team Orchestration

Aligning sales (inside sales and field execs) and marketing teams is paramount for any ABM program. This takes the form of regular account huddles where both marketing and sales go over ABM activity in order to progress key accounts.

Marketing can help sales with crucial assets such as playbooks, content, writing sales sequences etc. These are helpful, structured assets to help further the engaged members of the buying party through the funnel.

  • An Account View for insights

Once the program is live, you will need to track and measure your progress across your TAL. Having a ‘single source of truth’ for account insights will ensure that everyone is aligned and agreed during the aforementioned account orchestration huddles.

Make sure you’ve got a platform set up to give you a ‘view’ of your ABM accounts. There are ABM platforms such as Terminus and 6Sense to help with this. Otherwise, you could leverage existing BI tools or even your CRM (Salesforce etc). Make sure that your TAL and data parameters are in sync with your tool of choice.

Ideally, the dashboard should showcase a high level summary for accounts showing or spiking activity. It should also let you drill down into buying party level detail – who is in your ecosystem, what content have they consumed/downloaded, what’s their FIT score etc.

How many of the five pillars have you set up for our ABM program?

ABM provides B2B marketers a structured program for highly targeted and effective marketing, with the ultimate goal of building a good pipeline, improving conversion rates and  winning more customers.

If you’d like to find out more about ABM, watch our recent ABM Case Study with Mimecast here.

In the webinar, we go through some ABM theory before having a conversation with Dan McDermott, Marketing Director at Mimecast. Dan talks about how his team went about implementing ABM at their global cyber security company.

We’ve also set up the ABM Baseline, a virtual assessment hour to review your current status and provide recommendations for moving forward.

If you’re interested, drop me a line

Happy ABM-ing!


Andrew Haussegger

Andrew is the CEO and a co-founder of Green Hat. He is passionate about customer lifecycle marketing, sales/marketing alignment, and automated operational effectiveness. He developed the 3C3P strategic marketing methodology that has been adopted by many bluechip B2B brands, and is a co-author of the annual B2B Marketing Research report.