In my recent vlog, I spoke about Account Based Marketing (ABM) approaches as I feel that people are trying to cut corners and take a mass marketing type approach. Now, this is fine, but don’t call it ABM and don’t expect ABM type results.

When it comes to ABM there is no one-size-fits-all. It really depends on your business, industry, goals and team. The ABM approaches shown below each have their own part to play in an overall marketing strategy, and a more sophisticated combination will increase the breadth and depth of your campaign.

1:1 ABM

This is my preferred choice of ABM. Why? Because it truly is specific, tailored, personalized and targeted. You could call it intimate marketing because you take a deep dive when it comes to research the accounts and key decision makers within those accounts.

Selecting the right accounts and people is a combination of rationale, logic, intuition and science. For me this is the most important stage of ABM, the groundwork, make sure it’s right and invest the right amount of time to get it done. Don’t rush or ‘wing it’ because you will not only waste time but effectively you will be throwing your cash away which is the opposite of what you want.

Remember this approach means that you’re literally developing a campaign for a single account, but it’s worth it because of the value of the account.

1:1 ABM should be the foundation for you to build your ABM journey on. By this I mean, if you take the diagram above into consideration you start at the top and work your way down as you gain more insight and understanding.

1: Few

This approach is focused on taking the key research and insight from 1:1 ABM and then apply the principles to a larger group of accounts. The larger group are around 20+ with similar pain points and often within the same industry.

The focus is here being broader but not as deep. But, as mentioned earlier if you are taking a one-to-few approach off the back of a 1:1 ABM approach you should have a solid enough foundation to build upon.

Now one to few is more appealing to business as you can go after a larger group. This has been reinforced with the technology now available to support ABM campaigns which these types of ABM more affordable and scalable.

1: Many

This approach is supported largely by technology so you can do personalisation at scale whilst addressing a list of accounts within the 100+.

At the one-to-many level, you are content by stage of the buying cycle, looking at job-role level personalisation. However, the trick is in making the one-to-many as personalised, tailored, relevant and specific to your list of accounts as possible.

This ABM approach should in my view be based on your previous experience and insight from past ABM campaigns. If you are considering an ABM approach for the first time and you choose this approach due to costs and scalability please bear in mind you are in essence ‘going in blind’. By this I mean you will be limited in terms of your research and insight which needs to be reflected in your expectations. Ideally, I would take this approach after previous 1:1 ABM campaigns as you will have a foundation for you to build your ABM journey on.

Again, technology and automation will have a massive part to play with this approach.

Final Word

The ABM approach you choose is ultimately down to you. I created this post to not only share my insight but more importantly manage expectations. ABM is increasing in popularity which is great but please don’t dilute your ABM approach and expect 1:1 ABM results.

I know a programmatic approach will be more appealing to marketers and businesses as its broader and offers less risk. But isn’t this just mass marketing with some personalization then? Personalisation becomes automated, content will be more generic, will be volume based, all this will result in a loss of relevance and value.

If you truly want ABM results then do it right!

If you pitch an ABM approach be honest and manage the client’s expectations. Don’t sell the dream of 1:1 ABM results from a 1: to many ABM approach.

If you’re considering ABM or would like to know more about it contact me and I’m always happy to help.