Curated vs. Creepy: 3 ABM Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

BY: Level Agency
October 20, 2021

Are you considering using an account-based marketing strategy to target your high-value prospects? Read on for some great insight into what ABM is all about, plus three common pitfalls and how to avoid them.  

Rather listen than read? In our latest podcast episode of Test. Learn. Grow., Level Agency’s B2B account manager, Emily Halpern, talks about account-based marketing and some of the tools and strategies you can use to achieve it. 


What is account-based marketing? 

Account-based marketing—commonly referred to as ABM is an approach to marketing wherein a company's marketing and sales team work closely together to create highly targeted, highly personalized content. This content is directed at their highest value prospects, those they’d most like to turn into customers. ABM is a strategy you can use to cut through the noise of all the other marketing a prospect might be seeing in order to speak to them on a more personal level.  


Curated vs. creepy 

But, as Emily explained to us, there’s an art to ABM. When looking at best-practice documentation for an ABM strategy, there’s a line between curated and creepy. Here at Level, when we work with clients using ABM, we stick to personalization that uses, for example, a company name on a landing page, or industry categories and job titles in served ads, but we stay away from using first names or other personally identifiable information. Sometimes personalization doesn’t even need to include a specific name, but instead it’s about getting content specifically meant for that prospect in front of them. Ultimately, ABM is a relationship-building tool. 


Avoiding common ABM mistakes 

To help accelerate your ABM learning, we asked Emily for some common pitfalls to look out for—and how to avoid them—so you’ll be ahead of the game! Here’s her top three: 

  1. Pick the right ABM tool. Sounds easy enough, right? But Google ABM platforms, and you’ll be inundated with choices. Make sure the platform you choose has the right set of tools for your business. CRM integration, for example, is a big part of this—pick a platform that will work well with your existing processes. 

  1. Prioritize accounts within your larger ABM audience. We often encounter a misconception from our clients that they should be using an ABM strategy for their entire priority audience. But even within that list of high-value accounts, be sure to invest your resources properly. Try a one-to-one approach: your dedicated marketing team works in full partnership with a sales team to deliver hyper-individualized messages and content for a select few accounts. Or go with a one-to-many approach, which we sometimes refer to as personalization at scale. You can deploy a campaign that still feels customized to a few hundred accounts, but the same hyper-individualized messaging isn't feasible.  

  1. Understand the tools and implications of usage beforehand. We’ve run into instances of ABM not really being understood from the prospect’s side. For example, if Prospect X sees their company name on a landing page, they want to know if everyone can see it. So, having an understanding of the platform you’re using—even creating some explanatory documentation—can make those conversations much easier.


Build on your foundation 

Now that you’re ready to implement an ABM strategy—wait. Emily imparted a few more pieces of wisdom as we wrapped up our latest episode of Test. Learn. Grow. While account-based marketing can yield some really high-value prospects, take a step back and consider... 

  • your target list. Do you have high-value prospects you can target? If not, you don’t want to deploy ABM tactics across the board. It’s a huge investment of resources and may not yield the results you’re looking for. 
  • your budget. Account-based marketing platforms do take a monetary investment, plus the media spending fees that will accompany the outreach. 
  • your foundational digital strategies. Make sure you already have core digital marketing efforts off the ground before embarking on an ABM journey. 

Ready to jump into the world of account-based marketing and need some help? Reach out any time—we’d love to talk. 

What did we miss? Give us your thoughts in a comment!

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