Account-based marketing (ABM), also known as key account marketing, is a strategic approach to business marketing in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one. Account based marketing is typically employed in enterprise level sales organizations.
Account-based marketing has grown since the mid-1990s as a demonstration of the trend away from mass marketing towards more targeted approaches. It parallels the movement in business-to-consumer marketing away from mass marketing where organizations try to sell individual products to as many new prospects as possible to 1:1 marketing where they concentrate on selling as many products as possible to one customer at a time.
Account based marketing can help companies to:
- Increase account relevance
- Engage earlier and higher with deals
- Align marketing activity with account strategies
- Get the best value out of marketing
- Inspire customers with compelling content
While business marketing is typically organized by industry, product/solution or channel (direct/social/PR), account-based marketing brings all of these together to focus on individual companies. As markets become increasingly commoditized, customers see little or no difference between suppliers and their competitors, with price as the only obvious differentiators. ABM is increasingly adopted by companies in markets under pressure from commoditization.