How to start your ABM Journey: A Guide for B2B Marketing and Sales Leaders

There’s no escaping it as a B2B marketer: Account-Based Marketing (ABM) seems to be everywhere these days. And it has been for quite some time. Here’s how to start your own ABM journey in a creative and fun way.

How do I get all internal stakeholders aligned? Most people interested in ABM struggle with the same questions. As a B2B agency, we’ve used the past 10 years to set up a structured, efficient and creative approach to kickstart your ABM journey. This practical guide gathers our key learnings, so you can get cracking on ABM in no time.

Why is Account-Based Marketing so popular?

ABM is a strategy that targets marketing and sales resources on a specific account or set of accounts, engaging them with highly personalized content. By focusing on key accounts with the highest potential, companies can cultivate stronger relationships and foster more effective growth. 

This is a huge difference with the traditional broad-based marketing strategies that B2B companies have been applying for years – and still are. With ABM, both sales and key accounts win. The accounts receive relevant and useful information, while sales can conduct research, communicate with and follow up on their key accounts in an online environment. Time to let those high-quality leads roll in.

How do I start with ABM?

Don’t dive in headfirst. Give your organization the opportunity to test ABM and learn from it on a small scale, without commercial goals in mind. Through a pilot project, you can figure out whether ABM is the right fit for you and how you can efficiently implement it on a global scale.

The best approach is to start at least three pilot projects: two clustered ABM projects (with prospects and known accounts) and one strategic one-to-one project (with an existing customer). Spread the projects geographically and involve multiple sales teams to collect as many insights as possible.

Here’s a 5-step approach to safely get through your first ABM efforts.

1. Define your account(s) and objective(s)

Your target accounts should not only have a lot of business potential, they should also match your business culture and strategic ambitions. Try to define clear objectives for the pilot, such as generating strategic meetings, figuring out if your organization can scale ABM in the future, and how you might do that.

2. Put some research into it

3. Create your own playbook

This is where all your research evolves into a concise plan, consisting of the campaign concept, the messaging, the strategy, a timeline with initiatives and the key contact list. This is ‘the Holy Bible’ of your ABM project.

Really want to stand out? Adopt a creative approach with a playbook full of assets that captivate your key target audience.

4. Roll-out your initiatives

Time to execute all the initiatives you’ve planned and mapped out in the playbook. Discuss the progress of the campaign bi-weekly with the core team and adjust your strategy based on new insights.

5. Scale up your efforts

Start your ABM pilot today!

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