What Is Account Based Marketing?

Account-based marketing is a specialized business-to-business marketing tactic that involves a combination of marketing and sales strategy to gain specific new clients. Rather than casting a wide net in a marketing campaign, an account-based marketing plan is focused on a small group or even one specific account. This is done by responding to a potential client’s unique needs, rather than using neutral language that is palatable to a range of companies. The effectiveness of the strategy is measured through results like increased ROI or even more abstract goals like number of in-person meetings taken. Here are four account-based tactics to try in B2B accounts to increase their effectiveness.

  1. Work with your own sales team to personalize their offerings. Marketing and sales are powerful when working together in an account-based marketing context. Developing language for the sales team to incorporate is one way to collaborate, as is packaging sales resources or knowledge to offer it as free B2B consultations or services in the interests of getting clients in the door.

  2. Use emails and social handles to specifically target company employees with paid media. Services like Google Customer Match will target users of certain Gmail accounts with specific sets of ads. Likewise, you can create custom audiences on Twitter and Facebook using a variety of factors, mainly through imputing the accounts’ handles or email addresses. Using paid media in this way allows you to speak to specific issues these users might be facing that would not connect to a wide audience.

  3. Engage on social with key business leaders. Use blog content or mentions of the company in industry press as an opportunity to tag / congratulate them on social media, or to start conversations about topics they’ve mentioned in the past. It may be a good idea to create a reference doc of key leaders in the targeted company, so you can see what the industry-specific trends or issues are that are relevant to its employees. Of course, do not respond to everything a potential client does on social — this could come off as transparent — but rather choose specific moments to show that you are running in similar circles and share mutual goals and interests.

  4. Host local events with thought leaders of mutual interest. Creating a regular networking night, speaker series, or even a one-off event can help you connect with potential clients face-to-face. Ensuring that the event is of quality will be essential in this strategy — you want to provide entertainment that will make the attendees spread word of the event. Invite your target company and then impress them with knowledge and resources.

No matter which of these strategies you eventually use, tailoring the marketing to speak to specifics is a must for any of the above — and done effectively Account-based marketing is a strong way to both acquire and keep B2B accounts, and can instill confidence in new business partnerships.


Daniel Meek