Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Account Based Marketing and Inbound Marketing: How They Work Together

For years, I've been advocating targeting a smaller, more highly qualified audience vs the "let's see what sticks" approach. I call it the sniper vs shotgun approach. What can I say? I'm a redneck from way back. Anyway, over the past few years Account Based Marketing (ABM) has been making its way to the head of the class and I'm thrilled beyond belief. I'm not saying traditional marketing no longer has it's place, but it's nice to see the advent of this particular philosophy.
So what is Account Based Marketing? It is, as you may have guessed, a strategy wherein valuable or desired accounts are selected and targeted rather than a more general audience. Content is then designed specifically for that account and delivered in hopes of building a relationship. It's pretty much the opposite of more traditional inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing, in the most general terms, is creating an audience, putting content out that's a fit to that audience, and then pursuing the leads acquired from that effort.

Working Together

Now, all that said...ABM is probably the more efficient marketing model as it aims for zero waste, but if you consider the two models, ABM can pick up right were inbound leaves off. With inbound, you've got this pool of leads that you want to follow up on, but in that pool, perhaps there are one or more accounts that fall within your ABM strategy. They're all warmed up and ready for you to send them the appropriate ABM-based content.

The Benefits of Account Based Marketing

Sales and Marketing Alignment

There are multiple benefits to implementing an ABM strategy. The first is better alignment between sales and marketing. We all know this is a common issue. If you look at ABM, it puts both marketing and sales focusing on the valuable accounts. In a more traditional strategy, the sales teams will be focused on the accounts while marketing will be focused on verticals and buyer personas.

Zero Waste Marketing

Account Based Marketing aspires to be highly efficient and optimized. Because ABM is so targeted you don't wind up wasting your time on chaff. All your time and efforts are focused on the customers most likely to buy.

Better Customer Experience

Your targets are now receiving content that has been personalize for them. They're not being hit with content that's targeted to a general industry or audience profile. Suddenly they are looking forward to receiving your content instead of rolling their eyes and hitting delete.


A 2014 ITSMA survey showed that companies focusing on an ABM marketing strategy consistently reported a higher ROI than what was achieved using more traditional marketing methods. This bodes the question of "Why aren't more companies investing in Account Based Marketing?"

Things to Think About

So...what are you going to do about ABM in your company? Have you implemented it and how is it comparing to traditional marketing methods? Share your thoughts!


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