A Quick Reference Guide for All Things Account-Based Marketing

by | Oct 27, 2016 | Act-On

Account-based marketing (ABM) is one of the most buzzed-about topics in the modern marketing conversation, for good reason. Marketers today see incredible results from customer-centric strategies that focus on personalized, targeted communications to multiple users, influencers, and decision-makers within a single high-value account.

However: In a recent study, just 31% of respondents say that their company is practicing ABM, and only 20.4% say they have a clear understanding of what it is!

Let’s clear up some of the confusion:

What is Account-based Marketing?

As Demandbase defines ABM: “It’s a set of principles that range from…

  • trying to engage large, named customers at a deeper level,
  • to pursuing new, high-value accounts that share similar size, industry or geographical characteristics with existing top-tier customers.”

It’s also a logical response to the growing number of people involved in a B2B buying decision. The main idea is the focus on accounts, instead of individual job titles or job descriptions.

ABM Adoption

It’s on the rise. According to DMNews, in 2015 52% of companies said that they currently had ABM pilot programs in place.

In the past, ABM has been an expensive strategy used dominantly by enterprise companies, but that’s changing. Marketing automation has made ABM more accessible to mid-market and smaller companies. In fact, while large companies are currently the heaviest users of ABM, small companies are the most aggressive testers at this time.

And they are getting results; 83% of ABM testers plan to increase their usage over the next year.


ABM has shown to have an impact on revenue.

  • Over 80% of marketers that measure ROI say that ABM initiatives outperform other marketing investments
  • 66% of companies report more pipeline opportunities
  • Contract value for ABM-targeted accounts increases an average of 40% for mid-market accounts and 35% for enterprise

In short, companies using ABM generate a whopping 208% more revenue for their marketing effort.

Acquisition + Retention

According to FlipMyFunnel, 84% of companies believe that ABM provides significant benefits for retaining and expanding current client relationships – which is incredibly important for maintaining a healthy business. Research from Harvard Business School indicates that increasing customer retention rates by 5 percent increases profits by 25 to 95 percent.


There’s a proven strong connection between alignment and the health of a company. Organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions experience 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates.

The requirements of ABM force marketers to work with sales to recognize and prioritize higher-value accounts, and to develop messaging specific to the range of personas found in a targeted account. This creates alignment and fosters sale’s confidence in marketing. Almost 70% of ABM users report that their sales and marketing organizations are mostly or completely aligned. How often do you hear that?


A well-coordinated ABM strategy can help you improve your brand awareness, demand generation, and customer retention and expansion. To learn more about account-based marketing, download your free eBook from our partner Act-On here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: McKenzie Ingram is a marketing journalist for Act-On Software. She received
a B.A. in Advertising and a B.S. in German from the University of Oregon in 2011 and has since worked as a copywriter, content creationist, and digital marketer.