Account Based Everything Strategy Guide

Will Spurgin
Aug 23, 2017 · 3 min read

A lot of buzz is around Account Based Marketing (ABM). In one of LeadMD’s recent articles, they’ve created a new “practical guide” to creating an ABM Martech Stack. I thought it was incredibly well written, and a great source of what the key pillars of ABM are. However, I had one disagreement with it. Before I jump into my thoughts, here’s a high level summary of the 5 requirements/pillars they use:

1. Database

You need data to do ABM. Most of all, you need to relate all your data (Leads, Opportunities, etc.) to Accounts. In other words, you need Account Based Everything (ABE).

2. Account Planning

Create a business process and enforce it. Even if you’re using “miles of Excel”, it’s paramount to have planned process.

3. Content

With ABM, you have 4 basic (but not always easy) rules with content.

Organization: In order to keep your marketing effort cohesive and not random, you need to keep your content creative genius organized.

Diversity: You need a diverse set of content that enable different journeys for your potential customers (digital, interactive, swag, etc.).

Quality: Focus on providing quality, individualized content. A 15-email sequence blast won’t work.

Intelligence: Create intelligent (and ideally automated) methods of identifying new prospects to send through your funnel.

4. Execution

Put very simply, you need to create campaigns, threaded playbooks, personalized messaging, and very well placed targeted ads. In ABM, you need to surround a target account with dead-to-rights accurate messaging at exactly the right moment. Anything less is a waste of resource.

5. Measurement

Measuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts can be difficult, but without measuring it, your throwing money at the dirt expecting revenue to grow.

ABM costs a lot. There is no way to get around that. It’s an incredibly intelligent, ever-hungry money eater. That’s the biggest reason you need to have KPI measurement processes in place to determine the success of all your engagements. Your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) will go up, but so will the Life Time Value (LTV) of your customers.

My Thoughts

LeadMD is a great leader in ABM, and they have great insight into the Martech world. My biggest caveat to their article is this:

Measurement of success is solely a product of revenue. Using any other metric is garbage.

Too often in the marketing technology world do I see articles saying things like “marketing’s relationship to revenue is foggy” to provide an excuse for using just KPIs to measure “success”.

That’s utter bullshit. Just because there’s fog on your drive home doesn’t prevent you from getting there. You just drive cautiously and more methodically. I’ve wrote about the difficulties of calculating return on investment (ROI) before, so I completely get that it’s not easy. Yet, accepting that as an excuse is a cop out. Worst of all, it’s a gateway for spending way more than you need for marginal (to no) returns in revenue.

Put simply, measuring your “success” with anything other than ROI is a recipe for benefiting the tools taking your money above your business’ returns.

Wrap Up

LeadMD offers an Account Based Everything guideline that not only is a “quality” over “quantity” marketing strategy, but is the perfect set up for attributing everything you do in marketing to revenue too. Next time you think about how you’re going to measure success in your ABM efforts, use revenue as your single source of truth.

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