How to avoid failure in account-based marketing

Did you know that B2B marketers who are most successful in reporting their digital activities in 2021 are more likely to be involved account-based marketing (ABM)? Only 16 percent of B2B marketers who describe digital marketing as “somewhat successful” have a measurable ABM program. The number has been reduced to 6% for those who say that their digital strategy will not succeed in achieving the goals set for the program. Check out this and our other trends B2B Digital Marketing Status Report.

What sets successful ABM strategies apart from failed ones?

ABM initially requires a different design method than the more traditional one B2B marketing methods. The focus shifts away from increasing the number of leads and is based on a multi-channel content strategy for key accounts aimed at influencers and decision makers for a more personal experience. The ABM is based on a variety of performance indicators that favor the review of high quality engagement indicators. The goal of these engagement indicators is to accelerate the speed of the pipeline and increase the total value of the account in terms of volume and lead-specific costs.

To avoid account-based marketing failure, start your ABM plan by first defining your target accounts and audience segments:


If you want to develop a short list of valuable accounts, look at your customer data and develop your own version of the 360-degree view of features that include, for example, industry, organization size, growth stage, revenue, etc.

Find out which features add the most value to your business. Analyze this list for other data that measures your interest and commitment to your product, including website visits, account management, search engine intent information, and other relevant relationship health conditions.

Don’t try to boil the sea – there’s no reason to turn an entire organization into an ABM model.

Once you have identified the most suitable customers, you can compile a list of potential organizations with similar characteristics. Don’t try to boil the sea – there’s no reason to turn an entire organization into an ABM model. Most successful teams are able to identify a few key prospects for the ABM strategy. Some focus on larger contracts with more complex and influential internal stakeholders.

Audience segmentation:

ABM goals usually consist of a few audience segments which take into account both the role of the industry and the individual in the target organization as well as the purchasing process. The goal is to provide unique content that talks about that person’s pain points in order to foster meaningful engagement that can lead to sales.

For example, if your company provides IT infrastructure support for small and medium-sized businesses, someone in a day-to-day role would be interested in a downloadable e-book with instructions on how to protect your server from new security threats against the CFO. However, a White Paper on managing the cost of ongoing security threats may prove more effective for the C-Suite program or for individuals with a higher-level financial role.

With a short list of destination accounts with audience segmentation, you can build a content strategy with multi-channel campaigns. Consider incorporating tactics into the following: website personalization, email, direct mail, direct sales, digital ads, sponsored content, etc. With activation phrases that show when and how the customer is promoted in the sales process.

Sales and marketing: Successful ABM marketers are in line with their sales organizations. Since the invention of email marketing in the early 2000s, increasing the number of leads has been easy, but the quality of lead has suffered. ABM is forcing strategic alignment between marketing and sales to shorten the sales cycle and increase quality beyond the amount of Leads.

How to avoid failure in ABM

  • Pay special attention to the triggers that take the customer forward in the sales cycle and how well the marketing engagement metrics match both sales activity and business results.
  • Provide ongoing training to sales teams on available content, how it works, and how to solicit feedback.
  • Understand which accounts your sales teams care about most constantly.
  • Use a test and learning method that includes part of your marketing budget in your ABM target account list.
  • Activate sales teams by telling you which account you need to take next, what engagement signals the account displays, and what actions to take to implement those signals.
  • Give up the traditional marketing funnel for measurement purposes. By using the same lead analytics related to lead quantity and lead quality, ABM actions can appear ineffective when they work well.
  • Focus on the conversion data of your ABM process compared to other sales pipes in your organization, including the duration of the sales cycle. For most teams, this means you have access to management and your own resources to generate new reports on ABM performance.

Focus on your high quality destination accounts

Earlier this year, 43% of B2B marketers said they had a measurable ABM strategy – how many succeed? ABM strategies typically require investment in content creation and new reporting perspectives to create multi-channel campaigns for each audience segment in the target accounts. If you want to justify your investment of resources and make your team succeed, focus your team’s efforts on a short list of valuable accounts.


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