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It’s no secret that marketing evolves drastically year after year with the increasing needs of buyers and sellers; but at the core of every marketing strategy, there’s one common thread that always remains the same—people.

Account-based marketing strategies hone in on the people on the buying side of the B2B marketing equation, and focus on creating a VIP-level experience through personalization. In this article, I'll share some great ABM ideas and examples, but first, let's put a magnifying glass up to exact what ABM is.

What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?

At its core, account-based marketing flips the traditional marketing funnel on its head by identifying high-value accounts first, then tailoring marketing strategies to the specific needs and pain points of those accounts.

The targeted approach of the account-based marketing funnel allows SaaS companies to build stronger relationships with key decision-makers, shorten sales cycles, and maximize their return on investment.

The Goal of Account-Based Marketing

The primary goal of ABM campaigns is to align marketing efforts with sales team initiatives to generate higher-quality leads, better conversion rates, and foster deeper connections with key accounts. 

One of the best ways to achieve these goals is by utilizing a tried and true account-based marketing software. You’ll also want to maintain strategic creativity in the way you approach your targeted accounts, to ensure you’re creating a positive customer experience and standing out among competitors.

There are several marketing avenues where ABM tactics can come into play in B2B businesses, so let’s explore some account-based marketing ideas for 2024:

Traditional ABM Ideas

1. Customized Direct Mail

The idea: Send personalized, high-quality direct mail packages to key decision-makers within target accounts.

For example: LiveRamp, a data collaboration company, adopted an account-based marketing approach, with a goal to pursue a targeted list of Fortune 500 companies. They used a combination of display advertising, email marketing, outbound calling, and you guessed it, direct mail. The result? LiveRamp drove over $50M in annual revenue from 15 target accounts.

Image of the Lattice Predictive Insights Platform
LiveRamp used the Lattice Predictive Insights Platform to gather relevant intelligence on aspects for their ABM campaigns.
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2. Print Newsletters or Reports

The idea: Keep your top accounts in the know with a brief but personal newsletter. This can be created monthly or seasonally to outline past successes and future opportunities for your accounts. You can also get more creative by formatting your print document directly around the interests of your target account, as shown in the example below.

For example: GumGum, a contextual intelligence platform, targeted the CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere, with a comic book where they positioned Legere as a Batman-esque superhero with themselves as his sidekick to promote their potential partnership. GumGum knew he was a fan of comic books, and this creativity landed them the account.

T-Man and GumGum comic book
GumGum’s comic book made for T-Mobile CEO John Legere

3. Custom Merchandise and Personalized Gifts

The idea: Create custom merchandise that will be both valuable and memorable for the leads of your target account. When done right, there are several benefits, and the more creative and strategic you are, the more memorable your brand will be. Look to your brand values, key messaging, and mission statement for inspiration, and consider the one to one marketing approach to really resonate with your target customer.

For example: A company specializing in digital clean-up and file management gives their top customers a way to stay clean and stress-free in their everyday lives as well, using something like SkipTheDishes’ GameTime Tarp.

Skip GameTime Tarp campaign
Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers® sporting the Skip GameTime Tarp (CNW Group/SkipTheDishes)

4. Interactive Events

The idea: Sponsor or host industry-specific events to directly engage with target accounts. This could include hosting a roundtable discussion or sponsoring a panel at a relevant industry or CMO conference to provide a platform for meaningful interactions with decision-makers.

For example: Adobe is just one of many companies hosting a networking summit in 2024. The summit is set to include in-depth workshops led by industry experts, keynote speakers highlighting the latest advancements in Adobe technology, and exclusive previews of what’s to come in their solutions.

Adobe Summit poster for 2024
Adobe hosts an industry-specific event to directly engage with target accounts.

Digital ABM Ideas

5. Account-Specific Landing Pages

The idea: Develop personalized ABM landing pages that address the specific needs of target accounts. Now I don’t mean simply changing out the branding on each page, but creating an actual tailored experience to resonate with each of your target audiences.

For example: Factors.ai offers a great example of how Procurify, a company specializing in spend management, saw a 38% jump in their demo rate after creating 50 hyper-personalized landing pages to combat the pain points they’ve seen in the industry. To ensure the right people saw these landing pages, they paired this ABM personalization strategy with account-based advertising.

Procurify image
Procurify landing page dedicated to tech teams

6. Account-Based Advertising

The idea: Design digital ad campaigns, personalizing every detail from the ad copy to the visuals, to appeal to specific personas. We’ve all been served a relevant targeted ad online, and they generally provide a solution to a problem you’re facing because they use remarketing to follow up on something you’ve already searched for.

Try Google display or native ads to build brand awareness, attract new customers, and even build loyalty among current ones. Just pay attention to what type of ad performs best on the platform you’ll be advertising on.

For example: When Ignitium was finding it difficult to manage how their clients’ ad budgets were being spent, they used Demandbase to create an ABM ad strategy focused on one of their key clients. The result? 92% of opportunities clicked on the ads (only 33% prior to one-to-one program) and there was a 200-300% overall lift across impressions, clicks, and high-intent users reached.

Results from Ignitium's ABM ad campaign
Results from Ignitium's ABM ad campaign.

7. Virtual Events and Webinars

The idea: Host virtual ABM events or webinars specifically tailored to the challenges of your target accounts. To take full advantage of this medium, conduct a webinar series featuring industry experts who discuss trends and solutions relevant to the pain points of your target accounts. Try using interactive elements like Q&A sessions to engage decision-makers directly.

For example: Later Media is just one example of a SaaS brand who does this in their annual Later Con social media conference, which I’ve personally attended numerous times and thoroughly enjoy virtually, even though I’d love to meet their marketing team at the real deal someday.

LaterCon social media conference poster
LaterCon is a free digital conference that can be attended virtually for anyone who wants to grow on social media.

8. Free Downloads

The idea: Use web content personalization and create a free digital product that your target audience can download and get value from in their daily lives. This can include reports, templates, checklists, or a simple list of tips and tricks they can utilize when needed.

For example: Companies like SocialBee offer a free downloadable social media holiday calendar for their target audience. The strategy behind it is two-fold — to build brand loyalty and grow their email marketing list.

Socialbee social media holiday calendar
SocialBee offers a free social media holiday calendar as a download

Social Media ABM Ideas

9. Targeted Social Media Ads

The idea: Craft a strategic sequence of ads on platforms like LinkedIn, META, and Instagram to tell a compelling story that resonates with the journey of your target accounts.

For example: You could start with an awareness-building ad, followed by educational content that offers direct value to your audience, and conclude with a promotional ad with a strategic call to action that gets the right people into your sales pipeline.

TIP: You can use this same sequence in your organic content marketing as well to build brand trust, but I also recommend adding social proof, like testimonials, to really seal the deal.

Bambu Earth's targeted social media ads
Bambu Earth's targeted social media ad campaign uses a sequence of ads to drive traffic to the same quiz.

10. Social Listening and Engagement Strategy

The idea: Monitor social media channels for mentions and discussions related to target accounts. Good social listening software will help tap you into online conversations about your brand, competitors, and industry in general. It’s important to remember that the more personal your engagement, the more positively you’ll be remembered.

For example: I follow a 7-figure business owner on Instagram who has 219K followers. I’ve wanted to buy her online course for some time, but it’s a large investment, so I sent her a direct message asking questions about it first.

Based on her status, I didn’t have high expectations for a quick or elaborate response but I was pleasantly surprised when she messaged me back within 24 hours with a voice note answering every question. I can imagine Telejah, in the example below, was also pleased by Spectrum's response to her tweet.

Spectrum social listening
Spectrum uses social listening to respond to and engage with customers having problems with their product.

11. Instagram Takeovers

The idea: Collaborate with industry experts or influencers your account leads look up to, and have them do an Instagram takeover on your business account to share insights and expertise for a day.

Along with sharing valuable insights, this person can engage directly with decision-makers from your target accounts to give them a VIP social media experience! As a bonus, it’s a great way to optimize your own page’s reach and engagement, too.

For example: When Trustpilot wanted to target specific accounts in Chicago and Houston, they ran an account-based B2B campaign that piggybacked off of a larger consumer-focused outdoor ad takeover of those two geos. The result? Trustpilot reached 84% of its target accounts, 53% of accounts targeted visited Trustpilot.com, and 45% of those that visited were engaged.

TrustPilot Instagram takeover
TrustPilot ran an account-based B2B campaign that piggybacked off of a larger consumer-focused ad takeover.

Account-Based Marketing Software

Of course, in order to run any new campaigns based off of these ideas, you need to use the right account-based marketing software. Here I've included The CMO's top solution recommendations, so you can peruse at your leisure.

It’s Time To Get Personal!

Now that you know the incredible opportunities that account-based marketing vs traditional marketing can bring you, it’s time to take action.

By seamlessly integrating the trifecta of account-based traditional, digital, and social media marketing, you’ll unlock new and profound ways to connect with high-value accounts, experience a positive change in metrics, and establish a lasting competitive advantage.

If you found this article useful for your ABM journey, be sure to subscribe to The CMO newsletter to get more tips and advice straight to your inbox!

Kristi Nikkel
By Kristi Nikkel

Kristi (KJ) is the founder of KJ Social Inc. She is a social media manager and coach, whose clients work with her because of her “breath of fresh air,” non-overwhelming approach to Instagram marketing. Whether she’s streamlining her own business practices or teaching clients how to drive results with less overwhelm, SaaS is always playing a role in her success, and now she’s passing her experience and knowledge on to you.