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3 Types of ABM: What Scale is Best for My Company

By BrandGen Team

Account-based marketing is a sustainable approach to growing business, especially in the B2B world. Although it can seem difficult to put into practice, innovations in marketing technology have made it more accessible than ever to companies of all size.

If you know who your best customers are, you can create lists of similar companies who then become your target accounts for your ABM campaigns. Similarly, if you already have a few contacts within a target company, you can expand your reach within that account by using ABM strategies to increase the close rate of that account. But here’s the kicker: you must align your marketing and sales efforts to make it work effectively.

If you’re not sure where to begin, create your ideal client profile (ICP) to determine best-fit accounts based on your current customer base and input from the sales team.

3 Types of ABM Campaigns

As ABM gains popularity, it’s important to understand the types of ABM campaigns and decide which is best for your company to implement.

1: 1 or Strategic ABM

The first type of ABM is very individualized. 1:1 / Strategic ABM is very relationship-centered, and it includes highly targeted marketing interactions with specific sales touches throughout the process.

Typically, this type focuses on a small number of accounts, averaging around 15. In this engagement, campaigns are customized for each account to individuals who are key influencers in the buying decision.

2: Few or ABM Lite

This type takes a different approach by initially gathering more accounts and then clustering them by similar pain points and needs (averaging about ten accounts per cluster). These accounts may be second-tier targets or a way to reach more without the need to individually personalize messaging and design.

Each cluster is grouped for a specific reason, so marketing interactions would direct messaging that applies to that cluster, such as business attributes or initiatives. Here, the collaboration with sales involves ongoing communication on how the accounts are interacting with the marketing initiatives so that they will know the ideal time to reach out.

3: Many or Programmatic ABM

The final, and newest, approach to ABM shifts the mindset to include a larger number of targets, which could include hundreds (or even thousands!) of accounts. The 1: many / programmatic approach is made possible only by the latest and greatest technology that enables marketers to access more data, thus more accounts and contacts.

Programmatic ABM should be developed to align marketing efforts with sales reach, using ABM to target specific segments within the overall market or industry. This allows marketers to create larger account lists and scale campaigns with broader reach and still use enough personalization to collect more information and boost sales efforts.

Investment and ROI

Now that you understand the types, let’s talk dollars and sense.

The smaller the number of accounts in your ABM campaign, the more you will spend on each one. Does that seem backward? The more targeted and individualized the approach, the more time and money you’ll spend on getting the account to close. So, the greater number of accounts in a campaign, the less you will spend per account.

  • Smaller number of accounts = spend more per account

  • Greater number of accounts = spend less per account

Spend is based on time, money, and resources. Refer to the triangle above if you’re a visual thinker.

Return on investment is typically based on the cost per acquisition, which you can figure out through marketing attribution and other metrics. From there, your team can decide if the cost is worth the reward of the closed sales revenue.

If you’re deciding which scale ABM campaign is best for your company (as a marketer) or client (as a marketing agency), take the time to research best-fit accounts, and then break them down into tiers based on probability of closing and other variables.

From there, it should become more clear which type of ABM you should pursue. If you’re not sure how to get the data, we can help with that.

You know the basics of ABM, so you’re ready to make it happen – and we’re here to help.

Put ABM into practice with our eBook Demystifying Account-Based Marketing: Yes, You Can Make It Happen.

Tags: ABM