20+ Account Based Marketing Definitions from the Experts

20+ Account Based Marketing Definitions from the Experts

B2B marketers everywhere in the world are talking about account based marketing and how it can help companies multiply their growth numbers. It seems as though it’s being mentioned on every webinar, at every marketing conference, and in all major marketing strategy discussions. The number of marketers embracing account based marketing as part of their marketing model is increasing year on year. But, along with the increasing popularity comes a need to define & explain what exactly the concept of account based marketing is and how it can be used as a marketing strategy. Despite all of the hype surrounding account-based marketing, only 43% of people polled have a clear definition of what ABM is!

Here’s a roundup of 20+ account based marketing definitions by experienced practitioners, thought leaders, and influencers. So go read on for a definition of account-based marketing and how these experts put it into practice:

  1. “Account Based Marketing is a strategic approach that coordinates personalized marketing and sales efforts to open doors and deepen engagement at specific accounts.” 
    -  Jon Miller, CEO, and Co-Founder, Engagio

  2. “Intentional go-to-market activities that coordinate personalized marketing and sales efforts to open doors and deepen engagement at a specific account.”
    -  Jon Miller, CEO, and Co-Founder, Engagio

  3. “In its purest form, account based marketing has been around forever. Account-based marketing is simply instead of fishing with nets, we’re fishing with spears. You identify exactly the prospects you want to do business with and then you market very precisely and narrowly to them directly. I think we have a renewed interest in ABM now because there’s an advancement in tools and technology that make it a little easier to execute – but the idea of doing target account selling and target account marketing is not new.”
    -  Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing

  4. “Salespeople talk about accounts, they talk about customers…they don’t talk about leads. Salespeople think about how they’re going to win accounts in the first place, then how they’re going to keep and grow those accounts.”
    - Megan Heuer, SiriusDecisions

  5. “Account-based marketing is more targeted and personalized versus spray and pray, where you’re just trying to capture anyone in your net. You’re being very specific about who you want to talk with, and it’s a way for sales and marketing to align on the target.”
    - Meagen Eisenberg, CMO, MongoDB 

  6. “Account-based marketing is focused B2B Smarketing. I say “Smarketing” because ABM is all about focusing on the right accounts in collaboration with sales. ABM is not a solo activity. It's the combination and range of activities from advertising, direct mail, calls, emails, content — all centered around the ideal set of accounts that you believe has the need for your solution. It's quality over quantity in its most basic form.”
    - Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder, and CMO, Terminus

  7. “To break down walls between sales and marketing, ABM is pretty close to a silver bullet in that it aligns programs’ dollars and focus behind the accounts that the sales teams care about. So there's inherent buy-in. That said, ABM is only as good as your visibility into your highest potential accounts and best-fit customer segments, which gets clearer over time. So it’s most effective when deployed as part of a comprehensive set of targeting strategies.”
    - Dave Karel, Head of B2B Marketing, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

  8. “Instead of leveraging a set of broad-reaching programs designed to touch the largest possible number of prospective customers, an ABM strategy focuses marketing and sales resources on a defined set of targeted accounts and employs personalized campaigns designed to resonate with each individual account. With ABM, your marketing message is based on the attributes and needs of the account you’re targeting.”
    - David Cain, GVP, Global Marketing, Marketo

  9. “ABM to me and to CSC is treating a single account as a market of one, and within that marketing of one we’re looking to customize our marketing activities and message in close collaboration with our sales team – and not just down to a buying center or persona but right down to the individual.”
    - Dorothea Gosling, ABM and Pursuit Marketing Center of Excellence Leader, CSC

  10. “Account-based marketing is a comprehensive approach for your marketing programs and activities. To successfully take an account-based approach, you start with deemphasizing the vanity metrics such as the number of new leads created, the number of clicks from an email campaign or the number of forms completed. There’s only one metric which account-based marketing teams truly care about, and that’s revenue.”
    - Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist, Salesforce

  11. “Attention to detail matters in Account-Based Marketing. ABM is a highly personalized approach to connecting with your ideal B2B accounts through a variety of marketing and sales channels. In account, an account based strategy, every revenue generating department — marketing, sales, and customer success — works together to close higher value accounts, faster. What differentiates Account Based Marketing from age-old enterprise sales techniques is being able to automate and scale personalized communication at the right time. ABM starts with high-quality customer data.”
    - Prayag Narula, CEO, LeadGenius

  12. “An ABM strategy allows us to bridge the divide between the polar extremes of inbound and outbound by targeting campaigns specifically to the accounts that sales are working, and ‘right-sizing’ the investment depending on potential deal value and likelihood to close.”
    -  Joe Chernov, VP, Marketing, InsightSquared

  13. “An Account Based Strategy is built on the idea of creating many advocates within a company in order to close a sale. Sales and marketing teams use ABS to concentrate their efforts on a discrete list of target accounts.”
    - Tomasz Tunguz, Partner, Redpoint Ventures

  14. “integration of advertising with marketing technology [that] potentially gives salespeople another route for generating their own prospects.”
    - David Raab, Founder at CDP Institute

  15. “ABM " is an evolution from account-based selling that now involves marketing, The idea is to no longer have a massive, wide funnel, but rather to have a highly targeted funnel with very qualified leads. Competition is much bigger due to the proliferation of B2B technology companies, and there is more noise than ever. Hence, getting back to basics — targeting key customers and retaining them — is the name of the game, and we now couple those principles with technology."
    - Jim Williams, vice president of marketing for marketing software developer Influitive. 

  16. “ABM is the growth strategy of choice because it drives the outcomes that really matter to businesses: increased pipeline and revenue.”
    - Peter Isaacson Chief Marketing Officer at Demandbase

  17. “Our definition of account-based marketing is just good marketing. If you only had one prospect to sell and market to, you would treat them with the same principles as outlined in ABM. It’s just aiming at a more well-defined area of that funnel and treating your best buyers in a much more personal way. And we’re focusing on not only the lead but the account as a whole.”
    -  Justin Gray, CMO, LeadMD

  18. “Account-based marketing is thinking of the account as a market of one. It’s about being laser-focused on their needs and deploying the most effective marketing tactics available to nurture value-added, pervasive conversations with key stakeholders. This is the place where marketing and sales are at their closest, brought together by common goals and a crystal clear understanding of what success looks like.”
    -  Nick Panayi, Head of Digital Marketing and Global Brand, CSC

  19. “I define account-based marketing as total marketing and sales alignment around who are target customers and the efforts to go get them. They align with the same outcome in mind: to get a specific account as a customer.”
    - Dave Rigotti, Head of Marketing, Bizible

  20. “ABM isn’t just about knowing which companies to target, but about which decision makers at those accounts to engage, and how to engage them.”
    - Scott Vaughan, CMO, Integrate 

  21. "ABM is a collaborative approach that engages sales, marketing, delivery and key executives toward achieving the client's business goals. "
    -  ITSMA

  22.  “Treating individual accounts as a market in their own right” A structured approach to developing and implementing highly customized marketing campaigns to markets of one, i.e., accounts, partners, or prospects. This approach involves marketing and sales taking a close look at key business issues facing the target, mapping them to individuals, and tailoring campaigns to address those issues. 
    -  ITSMA

  23. "Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach marketer use to support a defined universe of accounts, including strategic accounts and named accounts. It also includes support for the post-sale customer lifecycle using marketing’s toolkit to contribute to the overall customer experience. ABM provides guidance on how to deliver the insights, goal setting, strategy and planning, integrated marketing execution, and sales alignment required to support growth, retention, and loyalty objectives. It also provides guidance on how to measure marketing’s impact beyond demand creation within defined groups of prospect and customer accounts. ABM helps to evolve the role of marketing to reflect a stronger alignment with sales objectives and customer needs to deliver better execution and revenue outcomes."
    - Definition of ABM provided by SiriusDecisions

  24. "Account Based Marketing is a strategic approach that coordinates personalized marketing and sales efforts to open doors and deepen engagement at specific accounts.  "
    - Engagio, an account-based marketing, and sales software company

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