6 Common Account-Based Marketing Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Olin Hyde
January 12, 2017

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) had a pretty big year, with an increasing number of B2B marketers dedicating their attention to campaigns that appealed directly to high yield prospects. Still, for most, it proved to be quite a challenge to wrangle.

With so many moving parts, it can be easy for you to drop the ball on ABM. The good news is, with some focus and direction, you can mend your ABM effort and get your campaigns up and running quickly.

But if you’re one of those B2B managers that discovered your ABM strategy failed them, you’re not alone. Here are six common mistakes that brands make, and how to fix them:


  • Insufficient Customer Research

Your work with targeted audiences doesn’t just end with putting them on a list. Comprehensive research is the best way for businesses to develop an understanding of their target market.

Begin your ABM process with an extensive look into your customer base. Go as deep as possible. Even with the right B2B targeting and information, if you don’t have enough, your customer profiles will be inaccurate or misleading.

Once you’ve collected your data, build a customer profile for the segment. Revisit the information and buying habits you’ve noticed, and make sure there are no loose ends or head-scratching discrepancies.

If you’re intent on growing your brand quickly and reliably, bring in a third-party analyzer to ensure that you are targeting the right leads.

  • Lack of Concise Target Understanding

Now that you have your customer profiles, you get to dive head first into account based marketing by targeting your actual accounts. Make sure you document your efforts, and quantify why some things work and some things do not. By doing this, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the actual people you’re serving.

Also, double check that your behavioral and demographic data is correct, which ensures that each account has a better experience with each new campaign.

And don’t forget to Investigate the intricacies of not only who is buying from you, but also why. Understanding their motives enables you to anticipate changes in the future.

Having a clear understanding of ideal accounts and their profiles goes a long way here. Make sure you understand who your audience is and what they want. Once you know that, you will find it easier to unearth more high quality leads.

  • Spending Too Much Time With Digital

Hundreds of sources have probably told you that any marketing strategy that isn’t about digital is dead. Well, that’s not necessarily true. Social media and paid search marketing are all vital, but marketing is about the holistic experience, not just the online one.

Brands and marketing professionals who insist that there’s no room for anything but digital have overlooked the value of tangible relationships – and this benefit applies to your business clients as well. Whether the decision- makers you’re appealing to are seniors or millennials, there is power in direct objects and face-to-face interaction.

  • Failing to Align Marketing With Sales

Successful ABM campaigns need the combined efforts of a sales and marketing team. Too often, marketing managers make the mistake of excluding one or the other.

Instead, think of your campaign as a physical structure. The strongest ones will have two pillars: marketing and sales. One could stand for a while without the other, but the lack of fortification could send the whole effort crumbling.

But a well run ABM campaign facilitates meetings with both marketing and sales teams present, ensures that communication between the teams is healthy, and prevents both teams from losing sight of the common goal: identifying your target accounts and desired outcomes, and discovering how to most effectively market to them.

The most productive ABM marketing and sales meetings will meet on a regular basis for the sake of staying up to date. Continual communication that keeps everyone in the loop will be key.

  • Not Personalizing Content

Recycling content will always have its risks. Failing to personalize content for targeted accounts could be your biggest pitfall yet. ABM campaigns in particular should zero in on the solutions your business can provide to a specific target. 

One-size-fits all concepts have very little legroom in the marketing sphere. Rather than attempting to use previous concepts, customize your web presence by utilizing tailored “hero” images or CTA messages for each target account.

And add value to ABM campaigns by delivering unique content to social media, email, and landing pages. It’s a surefire way to please target accounts and guarantee success.

  • Turning To Easy Metrics

It’s easy to allow flattering metrics, like impressions and CTRs, to fog up your glasses. While these metrics can provide insight into campaign performance, they won’t accurately reveal impact of revenue.

A successful ABM effort measures marketing performance on metrics closely connected to revenue. It’s imperative that you carefully examine how and why different fields have succeeded and failed. Analysts should also consider important ABM metrics such as coverage, impact and awareness.

Last Word—Serving Your Clients Directly

Committing these six common mistakes can derail an ABM campaign. Avoid them. Doing so helps you pinpoint key accounts you should be pursuing.

Account-based marketing is about serving your best clients directly, and finding more companies that are just like them. Focusing on doing those things will boost sales and revenues.

Further Reading

Lainey Mebust
June 15, 2020
Lainey Mebust
May 29, 2020
Olin Hyde
April 8, 2020
. 5 min read