Designing the Right ABM Approach

Most B2B marketers are either piloting ABM or have fully operational programs.  The major challenge in executing a successful ABM, which most marketers agree, is in structuring the ABM program. While there are many reasons why 66% of ABM programs fail or underperform, one of the biggest reasons is the marketers not approaching it right.

An essential part of ABM is the understanding that not every prospect account on your target list is made equal. There will always be higher and lower priority accounts, and it is critical to distinguish between them so that you invest the appropriate resources and treat them appropriately.

Account-based marketing (ABM) strategists - Sales and marketing experts across industries stress how critical it is to create micro Segments of your target accounts and drive engagements.

Here are some ideas for segmenting your Target Account List.


As you know, the fundamental step to initiating ABM in your company is drafting the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). It is essential to identify your target audience. Read more about ICP here.Fit refers to how closely a target account matches your ICP; it's determined by how many firmographic data points align with the recommended ranges. The account's potential value can also specify this concerning the ease of sale.

  • Which regions or industries do I have the most accounts with?
  • In terms of company size, where do I find my sweet spot?
  • Is there a technology stack that my solution works better with?


Intent data tells when buyers are actively researching online for a product or solution and the type of products and services they are interested in, based on the web content they consume.


All previous communication with your target accounts can be referred to as engagement. These are frequently a mix of website visitors, previous webinar attendees, content downloaders, and information from lead generation forms. Accounts that have gone to the Opportunity stage can also be considered in the list.

Understanding the types of ABM approach

Account tiers are groups of accounts that influence the level of resourcing and personalization of each touchpoint. But it's not just about customization. By prioritizing limited resources and people, an excellent tiering plan allows organizations of any size to punch much above their weight. It enables larger firms to use their marketing and sales personnel better. It also allows businesses to reach out to more clients more quickly and with better results.

One-to-one approach

This approach is also known as the strategic ABM approach. In this approach, every member of an account's buying committee who comes into contact with your organization receives a message personalized precisely to them. This requires a large amount of accurate data and multiple collaterals. This hyper-targeted technique in which sales and marketing work together to provide a unique experience for each customer.

However, personalization isn't just about adding a prospect's first name or company name to an email greeting. Personalization in an ABM program implies taking into account an account's issues and adapting your messaging to meet those specific pain points. Therefore, personalization should be a priority in one-to-one ABM efforts. The goal of one-on-one ABM is to start a conversation or modify an account's perception of your brand.

One-to-few approach

It is also known as ABM Lite, a strategy in which sales and marketing build tailored experiences for groups of accounts with comparable characteristics. One-to-few ABM is still a personalized strategy, but these aren't necessarily the most valuable accounts.

You might not be able to market to every account you wish to do business with personally, but you might be able to target specific segments with your marketing. 1 to few, like one-to-one, is more individualized than most marketers think. This targeted outreach should be focused on something clearly defined to the accounts in this tier, rather than a problem particular to one account. If you're looking for a quick way to think about this group, think of it as everything you'd do for 1:1 accounts sans the creation of a full suite of company-specific collateral. Consider the phrase "curation rather than creation."

One-to-many approach

Also known as programmatic ABM, the one-to-many strategy is a less targeted variation of ABM. Marketing employs programmatic personalization to personalize content at scale using data points in your CRM. The primary purpose of programmatic ABM is usually to increase engagement. Once an account has shown sufficient attention, it may be promoted to other tiers. Most engagement-generating activities utilized in programmatic ABM should also be present in ABM Lite and Strategic ABM.

If you have the data and the ability to customize at scale, go for it, but don't waste resources on this tier to make it more personal than you can.

ABM can prove to be effective when done right. Do you have plans to implement ABM  or understand if it would be a right fit for your organization? Connect with us, and we'll be happy to take you through.

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