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Which ABM approach makes sense for your organization?

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08 November 2016

In my last article, I introduced the most probable reasons for account-based marketing’s new popularity – despite the fact that the discipline has been around for over a decade!

For a concise, helpful refresher on how to marry the concept and execution of ABM, check out Engagio’s  Clear and Complete Guide to Account Based Marketing.

If you’re thinking ABM might be right for your organization, at least in part – take a look at your go-to-market strategy to determine which ABM approach makes sense. Below are some decision criteria to help you decide:

Strategic Key Accounts

  • Number of accounts: 1-100, with a marketer focused on 3-5 accounts.
  • Focus: Sales and Marketing know each account individually. Research is conducted to understand each account and their key business challenges and needs.
  • Value Proposition: Messaging is focused on the client, customized to the key business issues facing the account and tailored to the individual(s) trying to address the challenge. It is truly one-to-one marketing, in which you learn about the client through research to deliver what is important to the client.
  • Offering: Packaged and marketed as tailored to your account’s particular need. It may be customized to meet the unique needs of the account.

ABM Lite

  • Number of accounts: Up to 500, with marketers assigned a particular industry, vertical or sub-segment.
  • Focus: Vertical or sub-industry effort. Industry knowledge.
  • Value Proposition: Industry or vertical messaging using industry terminology with a deep understanding of the issues and challenges facing that industry.
  • Offering: Applied with a vertical or sub-industry customization.


  • Number of accounts: Up to 5,000.
  • Focus: Broad-based marketing directed towards Mid-market or Enterprise segments. Strictly a technology enabled account targeting approach.
  • Value Proposition: Segment messaging highlighting a Mid-market or Enterprise emphasis.
  • Offering: Tailored to segment needs.

The key to success with any market approach is to understand your buyer and their buying process, and let that insight inform the strategy, process and technology. The fundamental design of your marketing has to be patterned on the buyer. This is where the type of ABM you choose comes in.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1.  What are the issues facing the segment or industry or account/buyer?
  2. How will your segment, industry or account/buyer address those challenges?
  3. What are their strategies and initiatives for ensuring they are winners in their marketplace?
  4. What information does your segment, industry or account/buyer need to determine what solutions can help with their challenges/initiatives?
  5. What information does your segment, industry or account/buyer need to evaluate their options?
  6. What information does your segment, industry or account/buyer need to address any concerns they have?
  7. How will your segment, industry or account/buyer make a decision?

With the ABM technology available today, you can deliver information tailored to the issues buyers need addressed at each stage of their journey. For example, Engagio integrates with marketing automation platforms and offers deep engagement analytics that reveal levels of interaction at the account level – something that’s been difficult to see before now. Added visibility begets opportunity: to test, course-correct, and plan.

ABM is an idea whose time has come! Think about where it can fit in your go-to-market strategy, and see how it can make your company more successful in winning deals.

To learn more about account-based marketing check out the upcoming ABM online workshop “Engagio Thought Leadership Series: Featuring Insights from The Clear & Complete Guide to Account-based Marketing.”

Kathy Macchi
By: Kathy Macchi
Executive Vice President
Consulting Services
Kathy considers herself a long-time survivor of the technology industry, bringing over 25 years of sales, marketing and IT experience to her role as Vice President of Consulting at Inverta.

Kathy takes a no-nonsense approach to the role of digital skills, processes and tools in today’s complex sale, and her expertise has supported the digital transformations of enterprises such as Citrix, Microsoft, and HP. Additionally, she’s one of the foremost authorities in account-based marketing. Certified by ITSMA as an ABM practitioner in 2007, Kathy has conducted numerous ABM workshops, webinars, and training sessions, and supported the ABM efforts of over one hundred organizations.

When Kathy isn’t traveling the world, she enjoys a top-shelf vegetarian breakfast taco at her home in Austin, TX.
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Kathy Macchi
By: Kathy Macchi
Executive Vice President
Consulting Services

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