7 key account-based marketing tactics to supercharge a modern ABM strategy

All articles | Strategy
Published Apr 30, 2024 | Written by Osian Barnes

Many years ago, I described the tactics of the emerging discipline of account-based marketing to an old-school sales director. Here’s what he said - and why he was wrong.

"Just sounds like another way of getting your sales s**t together, to me".

A bit crude, perhaps. But his point was that ABM is something that everyone in sales should be doing anyway.

Is the ABM approach anything new?

He argued the smartest B2B salespeople have always focused on identifying the sector and companies with the highest likelihood of conversion.

They researched the landscape, understood the key accounts, took a deep dive into LinkedIn to work out who they needed to target - and devised customised contact strategies for cracking those companies wide open.

So, what's the difference between a lone wolf sales guy carving a bespoke contact strategy for a select bunch of prospects and modern ABM?

Welcome to the world of Account Based Experiences

Well, quite a lot, really. The new world of ABM uses the full range of marketing techniques and digital tools to deliver immersive ABX (Account Based Experiences) that can focus and accelerate the process of selling to high-value customers.

This process requires marketing, customer service and sales teams to all pull together to help identify opportunities to engage and convert with the right, customised content at the right time.

ABM is now a 'system' - a set of tools, rules, and tactics you can use over and over again to turn more leads into customers - faster than ever before.

Strategic ABM is not a one-size fits approach

But that's not to say it's a one-size-fits-all approach. The challenge for modern businesses is creating a process that works for them. It's finding a way to fit the right ABM tools and tactics together to personalise customer journeys across the buyers' cycle in ways that make sense to their specific audience.

Seven next-level account-based marketing tactics

To get to this level of customisation and personalisation, you need to be confident you have the tactics and tools in place to target precisely the right companies and people - while serving the content they need in ways that will continually further their sales journeys with you.

1. Use the power of live data to create and expand your Target Account List

One of the major challenges in account-based marketing has always been the amount of time and energy it takes to work out what companies should make up your target account list (TAL).  

The pain of market sizing and the effort of researching potentially thousands of global companies can easily overwhelm a small team of marketers. But new data offerings present extraordinary opportunities to speed up this initial scoping and investigation process.  

Platforms like Demandbase and ZoomInfo use sophisticated algorithms to help analyse your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and data from your existing client base to identify 'lookalike accounts' worldwide that have the features and growth potential you need.  

With the right resources and platforms in place, they can make what once would be weeks or months of painstaking research available at the touch of a button.  

2. Use intent data to target the right prospects and customers

Your analytics package will help you gather names, email addresses and other visitor details. But how do you know where they really are in their buying cycles and how you should score them?

By combining your own analytics with intent data from the likes of ZoomInfo, you can work out which of your prospects are most likely to convert and score them appropriately in your CRM. The detail of intent data you can extract will help you prioritise resources and create the bespoke email nurturing sequences that will resonate for each target account as they navigate their sales cycle.

3. Personalise experiences AND content

Author Randy Firsch points out that the rise of on-demand media and highly customised user experiences in the B2C sector should set the bar for B2B account experiences. And the technology is there to make this ABM approach a reality.

By leveraging tools like dynamic content and personalisation tokens within platforms like HubSpot, businesses can custom-tailor interactions with their target accounts and optimise conversion opportunities.

This can mean using real-time data to dynamically adjust home page content based on your target's previous interactions, industry type, company role, and even intent data sourced from third parties.

Entertainment streaming sites carefully pick their next music and film offerings based on past choices and interactions - and you should too! Account-based marketers should be able to serve a selection of hyper-relevant content based on their contact's previous interactions and preferences.  Businesses can use AI programmes like ChatGPT to help speed up the process of customising and personalising existing marketing materials to serve these precisely when the contact is ready to progress along their buying journey.

4. Video personalisation

Personalisation of all kinds brings immediacy and power to an ABM strategy.

Video personalisation now offers real potential to cut through with your target accounts. And there are lots of eye-catching editing devices that you can now use to customise video experiences on the fly.  

Vidyard's guide to ABM Video in 2024 shows how you can superimpose a personal message on a whiteboard before cutting into a generic video demo. Other businesses have taken this a step further by adding their target's names to billboards or TV screens within the action of a video clip to further personalise their storytelling.

With the right tech, you can easily cut together video sequences on the fly that are bespoke to the needs of the target account. In the competitive manufacturing industry, for example, OEMs could personalise generic factory tours or create targeted introductions to the new equipment they're bringing online.

Vidyard also allows you to create unique video 'sales rooms', a bespoke space where key stakeholders involved in a sales process can all view a tailored set of marketing and demo videos.  

In these ring-fenced digital spaces, you can escape the distractions of a YouTube channel and choreograph a sequence of video events to direct your customers' next steps.

5. Retargeting

Account-based retargeting (ABR) is a refined marketing tactic that re-engages individuals from specific companies who have previously interacted with your content but did not convert.

This strategy places personalised ads across multiple digital platforms where these decision-makers are most likely to be active. For instance, while they browse social media like LinkedIn or Facebook, search for relevant topics on Google, or read articles on popular blogs, they may see targeted ads that resonate with their previous interactions with your brand.

These ads could also appear as sponsored content on professional networks or within mobile apps they use. Additionally, targeted email campaigns can deliver customised messages directly to their inbox.

By using data analytics to track and understand their online behaviour, account-based retargeting ensures that ads are not only visible but appear in an environment and format that aligns with the users' preferences, significantly increasing the chances of conversion.

6. AI-powered chatbots

AI chatbots are set to enhance user engagement far beyond handling basic customer queries. With the power of advanced machine learning, these chatbots can convert static online content into dynamic, interactive experiences, encouraging users to ask questions and receive personalised responses while they navigate your site.

These intelligent systems can be tailored to grasp the specific needs and challenges of individual users, delivering customised information and support. This capability not only improves user interaction but also allows the chatbots to collect critical data on the interests and preferences of your target accounts.

These smart tactics can scale your relationship-building and data-gathering, without overtaxing your resource.

7. Book ‘em, Dano

We’ve said that print media's demise has been greatly exaggerated. Many companies are now using the novelty and power of direct mail contact to steal a competitive march as they seek to deepen relationships with their target accounts.  

For ABM marketers, the ability to offer a printed book - for example - your CEO's unique guide to navigating a serious pain point in your prospect's world - can have an amazing impact.

More and more businesses are using the speed and convenience of on-demand publishing to bring their ideas to life in concrete form.

Topping off a webinar, podcast listen, or deep social engagement with an offer to ‘send your book’ free of charge can lend you serious credibility as a business and an individual. You can even send personalised messages with the gift highlighting the chapters or sections that are most relevant to the individual.

It’s a direct mail gift that sells you as a serious brand.


For years account-based marketing has been likened to spear fishing rather than fishing with nets. But, as someone once sagely pointed out, who wants to be hit with a spear?

The latest ABM tactics are offering more opportunities to uncover better-fit targets for your messaging and create more immersive ABX at scale.

With these leaps forward in automation and AI, and new, personalised uses of seemingly outdated methods, it’s the limit of imagination rather than resource that will likely restrain the embrace of ABM in many companies.

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Published by Osian Barnes April 30, 2024
Osian Barnes