Account Based Marketing (ABM) using Digital Marketing

ITSMA, one of the originators of this technique relevant for B2B organizations defined ABM as

“More than a sales or marketing approach; it is a collaborative strategy that engages sales, marketing, subject matter experts and delivery professionals, as well as key executives in the chosen client account to determine where and how to best meet the client’s unique business challenges. With deep insight into the client’s business and key goals, this collaborative team creates a well-orchestrated marketing and sales campaign for a single account.”

B2B analyst SiriusDecisions defines ABM as:

“The strategic approach marketers use to support a defined universe of accounts, including strategic accounts and named accounts.”

ABM has existed since before the advent of digital marketing, yet digital marketing provides new options to automate ABM. ITSMA defines these as Programmatic ABM.

How can digital marketing support ABM?

Engagio summarizes ABM by considering the degree to which content can be personalized. Clearly digital media gives great options for personalized ads and content on a website.

Within the Smart Insights RACE planning framework, these are specific digital marketing techniques that can be used to automate ABM

Reach – create awareness

“Lookalike targeting” (Google Customer Match, Facebook Custom and Lookalike Audiences, LinkedIn Company/Account Targeting )

Act – demand and lead generation through content

  • Content structured around Personas for lead-gen
  • Lookalike targeting inc LinkedIn Company/Account Targeting

Convert – nurturing towards sale (often online)

  • Email nurture to encourage content sharing to DMU – ideally customised by sales or offering webinars for accounts
  • Content recommendation personalisation – by business?
  • Remarketing and Lookalike targeting including LinkedIn Company Targeting

Engage – ongoing customer engagement

  • Lookalike targeting
  • Remarketing and Lookalike targeting inc LinkedIn Company Targeting


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Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice
8th edition

Digital Marketing Excellence
6th edition

About Smart Insights

Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

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