How to Budget for Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

By Shauna Ward

Account-based marketing doesn’t have to be expensive.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need to increase your marketing budget to succeed with account-based marketing (ABM). Whether you’re pivoting to an entirely account-based approach or you’re layering ABM on top of your current inbound strategy, chances are you’ll find that your budget actually goes further when you hone in on a list of target accounts.

On top of that, 84% of marketers have found that ABM yields a higher ROI than lead-based marketing (ITSMA).

For the most part, ABM spend goes toward four main categories: technology, media spend, events and experiences, and direct mail. Let’s take a closer look at each of these buckets.


Account-based marketing flipped funnelIf you want your ABM program to be scalable (in other words, to focus on more than a few dozen target accounts), there’s no way around it. Account-based marketing requires investing in new tools and technology.

As we discussed in our post explaining How to Build an Account-Based Marketing Technology Stack, you most likely already have most of the basic ABM tools at your disposal, such as a CRM, a marketing automation platform, and a CMS.

On top of these fundamental tools, you should consider adding technology from the five stages of the #FlipMyFunnel model for ABM (left): identify, expand, engage, advocate, and measure.

That being said, you don’t immediately need to purchase ABM software for each stage — especially if you’re doing 1:1 account-based marketing (versus Programmatic). Start with the basics — including at least one account-based engagement tool — and build from there. As your account-based marketing program grows and matures, you can build out your technology stack with additional tools.

Advertising/Media Spend

Thanks to its targeted nature, account-based advertising is much more effective than “spray and pray” tactics. By focusing solely on target accounts, your ad dollars will go a lot further with ABM than with a lead-based program. That being said, many teams that do ABM also use retargeting and paid search ads to complement their account-based advertising campaigns.

Traditional digital advertising versus account-based advertising for ABM

How much money you’ll spend on account-based advertising depends on your audience and your goals. There are three major factors that will impact your media budget:

  • Target Account Size – How many employees work at your target accounts? You’ll need to allocate more ad dollars to large accounts to ensure you’re getting optimal reach within each company.
  • Number of Target Accounts & Buyer Personas – As with any advertising campaign, the more companies and individuals you want your account-based ads to reach, the more you’ll need to increase your advertising budget.
  • Level of Desired Impact – Lower impact campaigns (such as brand awareness/”air cover” campaigns that are intended to run for a long period of time) generally require lower budgets per day than high impact campaigns (such as pipeline acceleration campaigns).

Tip: When you’re selecting an account-based advertising vendor, make sure to choose one Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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