September 13, 2017 by Ashwini Murthy

With marketing becoming more fast-paced, it’s very easy for marketers to feel an overwhelming sense of urgency in deploying new tactics. Let’s take one aspect of it: Account-Based Marketing (ABM). ABM is a fairly old concept that resurfaced recently and became a buzzword. The need for personalization in every field is indicative of how ABM is not going away for the foreseeable future. Hey, there’s even an ABM 2.0! Well, let’s get the 1.0 right first, shall we?

This onset of ABM has triggered the demand for industry-specific data. The importance of the right data for your account-based marketing strategy can’t be stressed enough. The right data lays the foundation for your efforts. Without the right data, you might end up trying to sell flip-flops to Eskimos. The success rate of your marketing strategy depends on the accuracy and reliability of your data.

Since ABM deals with a lot of data, it is very easy to undo months of efforts, thanks to one misjudged move.

Here are a few ways to scale your Account-based marketing strategy and make it effective:

1. Identify high-value accounts

Group the companies you’ve already identified into logical tiers. This is a ‘must-do’ activity before you hop on the ABM bandwagon. By definition, ABM is ‘account based’, which means you need to ‘name’ the accounts that you want to target. The lesser the count the better (because you can ‘target’ all 150,000 of them. You need to go deep and map the top accounts and when you convert them, you’d sit pretty on 100s of 1000s of dollars of annual contract value, if not more. So, choose your accounts wisely. Ruthlessly prioritize.

2. Segment the right way

If you don’t do segmenting right, one-on-one conversations/email campaigns or event-based marketing will all fail to make an impact. While you can segment and prioritize accounts using firmographic-data like revenue, it’s often a lazy and shallow approach.

Dig deep. Look for new initiatives or contexts that open windows of opportunities. Not every information is public. You ought to be on the street with your peers and prospects’ partners and competitors. ABM is not about fleeting relationships. It’s about the careful orchestration of deliberate touch-points each leading to a better relationship and eventually a closure.

Once you know the contexts that have an impact on your top prospects, segment them and give your marketing team a way to cross-utilize marketing assets. Remember, you still personalize one-to-one but allow some room for re-usability.

3. Cut creepy cadences

ABM means hyper-personalization. Hyper-personalization can be overwhelming and can suffocate the very prospect that you want to warm up with. The only way you can balance between being a pest and being resourceful is by being sincere and courteous. This is way ABM is a team game. Even if marketing discovers the best of contexts for a conversation to start with the prospect executive, it has to be the sales rep’s call whether to do it or not and if the timing is right.

Marketing assets in ABM are created and owned by the marketing team but execution/delivery is still with the sales rep (or at least with his/her approval).

Done right, your sales rep and you would come across as immensely resourceful partners.

If any content-asset doesn’t work for your target market, drop it and try something else. Hyper-personalization

4. Focus on the right metrics

Spray and pray as a habit can be very hard to get out of. It is very easy to focus on vanity metrics like click rates and open rates to boost your ego. But in the long run, these metrics throw you off the track from the ultimate goal of growing your business.

The right metrics to focus on would be the quality metrics instead of the quantity ones. Engagement, reach, active discussions, lead velocity rate, proposals, pilots, contract value etc. would be the right ones to track across the prospect lifecycle.

Got questions on how PipeCandy runs its own ABM initiatives? Have you got your own techniques that you swear by? Drop a comment below and we might quote you in our next ABM article!


Ashwini Murthy

Content marketer @ PipeCandy

A writer by day. Illustrator by night. Currently trying to conquer the B2B marketing world one baby step at a time. Loves everything outside her comfort zone.