Here’s How Account Based Marketing Works

You’ve probably heard of spray-and-pray marketing, the method of casting far and wide to attract any and all potential customers. And that might work for some businesses. But for most, a targeted approach is much more effective. That’s why personalization has become such a trend in marketing, in both B2C (business-to-customer) and B2B (business-to-business).

Even for smaller companies and startups, where brand awareness and reach are infinitely important, a more strategic approach can make a big impact. If a B2B business has to choose between keeping a large number of small accounts or a few key high-value accounts, the latter is the clear choice. Account Based Marketing (ABM) helps B2B businesses of all sizes achieve just that.

For some companies, getting—and keeping—that one big account could make all the difference for their business. ABM is all about finding those pivotal accounts and personalizing your marketing efforts to them. And it can only happen through a close alignment of sales and marketing and with the infusion of inbound marketing practices.

account based marketing planning

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Account-Based Marketing, Step by Step

Let’s look at exactly how to plan and execute an account based marketing program for any business.

Who to Target


This step is a lot like developing personas for a B2C business, but you’re looking at organizations and corporations rather than individual people. You’ll need to get your sales and marketing teams together to think about your ideal potential accounts. Consider things like company size, industry, annual revenue, market influence, and even your expected profit margins. You should come out with some specific organizations in mind and a couple different account types you want to target.


Take one company from each target account type and do some research. Your sales team might already have information about them on hand. Get familiar with the companies’ structures and search LinkedIn for the key decision makers at each company. Getting to know these companies will help you learn how to reach them and other companies like them.

Addressing your Audience

Account based marketing audience

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Develop Messaging

This is where the marketing team really gets to work. Think about all the pain points each target account type likely has, and how your product or service can help. Then think about how you can best communicate this to them: aim for messaging approaches that will catch their attention and make them want to inquire further.

Create Content

Now mix in some inbound marketing. Use content both to reach existing leads and to gain new ones. With the right content and a gated content approach, you can bring in exactly the kind of leads you want.

Create articles, white papers, or e-books that give your targets valuable information. And while you can mention your products or services in this content, you don’t want to be too salesy here. Providing truly valuable content helps build trust and credibility with your target account types, and keeps them coming back for more.

How to Reach your Audience

Social Media Marketing

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Choose the Right Channels

Your spot-on content won’t mean a thing if your targets never see it. Find out where they “live” online. If you’re selling software to small businesses, there might be an opportunity to join relevant conversations that are already happening on Twitter. If you’re selling beauty products to salons, you’ll probably be better off getting your message out on Pinterest, Instagram, or even Facebook.

But social media shouldn’t be the only place you’re talking to your targets. Think about what they’re searching for on Google and what professional websites they’re visiting. This knowledge can help you figure out which keywords to hit in Google text ads and where to place digital banners.

Plan and Execute your Campaigns

Now it’s time to map out your campaign flows. Where will your business show up first? Maybe it’s in a Google search. And then again in a Facebook ad. Think about the call-to-action for each appearance and the content that will accompany it. Run a different campaign for each target account type with messaging and content that speak directly to them, all with the underlying goal of leading them to exactly the deal you want to make with them.

Be Accessible

More important than anything else, your potential clients need to be able to find you and interact with you. Nowadays, this means quality websites are imperative to legitimizing any business. Your target audience needs to be able to see your product, mission, and contact information without hindrance. Even better, make sure people can also find you on their mobile devices, anywhere, at any time. This may mean a quality mobile version, or even an intuitive mobile app.

How to Know if your Campaign is Working (and Make it Work Even Better)

account based marketing metrics

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Track Key Metrics

This type of highly targeted marketing should result in higher click-through and download rates, and ultimately more of the kinds of high value accounts you want for your business. Don’t just set it and forget it—bring in experts on your team to take a look at the numbers daily and weekly to see how it’s going.


And rely on your analytics experts to look for patterns and areas that could use improvement. Have them make observations and draw conclusions—and be ready to act on their recommendations at any time to continually improve your program.

B2C and B2B Marketers

B2C marketers have been using personalized marketing for a long time, and now B2B marketers can use it in their own custom way to gain the high value accounts they need. For a company just starting out, this can be a smart way to get rolling. For a large corporation, this can be a great way to making marketing efforts go further. A lot goes into creating a fully thought-out account-based marketing program, with even more to gain from it.

If all this sounds great, but you need a kick-start, contact us to launch your next endeavor.