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When done right, account-based marketing (ABM) is one of the most impactful strategies for B2B marketing. This is because ABM is a personalized and highly targeted marketing play, engaging only with prospects you’ve identified as “high-potential.” 

The key word here is personalized. 

Forrester (2019) shows that 56% of marketers strongly agree that personalization is necessary for success of your ABM strategy. However, B2B marketers often have to deal with multiple decision-makers. So, the challenge of ABM personalization lies in understanding the individual needs of each stakeholder and creating content and offers to match. 

That’s exactly what we’ll be exploring in this article—how to get it right with ABM personalization. We’ll look into tried-and-true techniques for personalizing your campaigns and break down the steps required to build lucrative connections with your target accounts. 

What Does ABM Personalization Mean?

ABM personalization leverages customer data and ideal customer profiles (ICPs) to create individualized content and offers for target accounts. 

A personalization strategy considers the needs and challenges of individual companies, decision-makers, or groups of decision-makers as they progress through the buyer’s journey. 

For example, personalized account-based marketing might involve creating a landing page for a specific company or even an individual at that company. It can also look like: 

  • Crafting customized email campaigns addressing the target account's specific pain points or interests.
  • Developing personalized content such as whitepapers, case studies, or webinars.
  • Creating personalized ads that are displayed to individuals within the target account when they visit relevant websites or social media platforms.
  • Sending personalized direct mail packages containing relevant materials or gifts to key decision-makers.

It may sound like a lot of work, but personalization pays off big time, especially given how noisy B2B marketing has become. With a million solutions knocking at your digital door, personalization can be the key to standing out and building meaningful connections with your prospects.

Why is ABM Personalization Important? 

As many as three out of four B2B consumers state that businesses must deeply understand their needs to engage in a deal. In addition, 66% expect all their interactions with brands to be personalized. 

Personalized content and experiences attract prospects early, boosting deal closure rates. A dedicated focus on personalization in ABM also supports the following:

  1. Building stronger relationships with target accounts by demonstrating a deep understanding of their challenges and objectives.
  2. Differentiation in competitive markets through experiences and solutions that feel “one of a kind.”
  3. Enhanced engagement from target accounts due to messaging and offers that resonate with key decision-makers.
  4. Improved conversion rates by delivering targeted messages to accounts at the right time.

Now more than ever, its best practice in ABM to consider a personalized approach. It enables you to drive a competitive advantage and position your brand as a leader in your industry – but the benefits don’t stop there.  

What are the Benefits of ABM Personalization?

When it comes to personalization, benefits like improved ROI, increased efficiency, and a smoother buyers’ journey are the perks that make your efforts worthwhile. Let’s take a deeper look at the role personalization plays in improving your account-based marketing strategy. 

Improves ROI of ABM Campaigns

Investing in personalized ABM campaigns not only boosts revenue but also maximizes the ROI of your marketing budget. By focusing resources on high-potential accounts and delivering tailored messaging, you can achieve greater results with less expenditure.

“We experienced a significant boost in the ROI of our ABM strategy when we shifted our focus to personalizing messaging and campaigns,” shares Abhishek Shah, founder, and CEO of Testlify, a talent assessment platform. “The tailored approach increased engagement and improved conversion rates, demonstrating a clear correlation between personalization and enhanced ROI.”

Increases Efficiency Across the Team

One of the primary benefits of account-based marketing tactics is improved alignment between marketing and sales. We know 87% of sales and marketing leaders say collaboration is critical to business growth, but inefficiencies with marketing qualified leads (MQL) often create friction between these teams.

Personalization improves efficiency by ensuring leads are properly nurtured prior to engagement by your sales team. Your team can tailor messaging and content to address prospects' specific pain points by leveraging data and insights, such as intent data. This increases engagement and improves the quality of MQLs entering your sales funnel.

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Improves the Prospect’s Buyer Journey

As much as 77% of B2B buyers say their latest purchase was very complex. This gives power to personalized experiences in B2B marketing because they improve and support an otherwise difficult buying process. 

A personalized touch makes it much easier for target accounts to locate their ideal solution. Like any of us, B2B buyers want to find solutions as easily as possible, and the more empathetic and personalized your approach, the more competitive your organization will be.

How to Personalize Your ABM Campaigns

Personalization is indeed much easier said than done. But given the benefits to your ROI, efficiency, and competitive standing, the effort is worth it. Now begins the real work, so let's walk through the steps of creating a hyper-personalized ABM approach.

Step One: Research Your ICP and Customer Personas

Your first step is identifying your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and creating customer personas. In this stage, your marketing teams are looking to identify:

  • Demographic details (industry, company size, location)
  • Firmographic data (revenue, employee count, growth rate)
  • Pain points and challenges faced by the target audience
  • Key decision-makers and influencers within target accounts
  • Buying behavior and decision-making criteria
  • Preferred communication channels and content formats
  • Common objections and barriers to purchase

Without this foundational understanding, your personalized campaigns will stall before they can pick up steam because your target account list is off the mark. Understanding your target accounts fully is necessary before you can move on to building personalized experiences. 

Step Two: Use Your Research Data to Build Personalized Experiences

Now that you deeply understand your target accounts, it’s time to apply that data to your ABM plan. According to Joe Kevens, Founder of B2B SaaS Reviews and the Director of Demand Generation at PartnerStack, breaking accounts into different tiers is beneficial for this step. 

“I’ve found there’s a ‘sweet spot’ for the amount of personalization in ABM,” shares Kevens. “In practice, it can become inefficient to over-personalize messages to accounts with low or no probability to buy and to under-personalize accounts with a high probability to buy. That’s why tiering accounts is so important in ABM.”

Target accounts and their correlating level of personalization can be broken into the following tiers:

  • Tier 1: High-Value Accounts - These are accounts that represent the highest potential value for your business. They often have a high probability of conversion and warrant personalized, high-touch engagement.
  • Tier 2: Medium-Value Accounts - These accounts have significant potential but may not be as high-priority as Tier 1 accounts. They require moderate personalization and engagement to nurture them towards conversion.
  • Tier 3: Low-Value or Standard Accounts - These accounts have lower potential value or may not fit your ideal customer profile as closely. They receive standardized marketing efforts or minimal personalization, allowing resources to be allocated more efficiently towards higher-value opportunities.

By implementing tiered personalization, you optimize resources and strike the right balance between personalization and efficiency in your ABM engagement strategy.

Step Three: Select Relevant Marketing Channels and Create Targeted Ad Campaigns

At this stage, it’s important to consider where and how your target audience engages with content. Keep in mind that more than three-quarters of B2B buyers now prefer digital self-serve and remote communication over in-person meetings.
It’s best to start by analyzing your target audience's behavior to determine where they are most active. Use tools like Google Analytics, social media marketing software, and intent data to understand their online activities and preferences. 

Once you've identified the optimal channels, tailor your ad campaigns to resonate with your audience. Leverage dynamic ad creative, personalized messaging, and precise targeting to ensure your ads capture attention and drive action. This way, you end up with creative ABM campaigns that drive results.

Step Four: Support Your Marketing Efforts with ABM Personalization Software

AI and machine learning have launched us into a data-analysis renaissance, and this is great news for ABM! ABM personalization software takes the guesswork out of personalization by improving your ability to process data. 

Our top picks for ABM marketing automation include: 

  1. Vainu - Best for account intelligence on European companies
  2. 6sense - Best platform for AI modeling based on intent data
  3. DemandBase - Best ABM advertising 

For in-depth reviews on these tools (and more), check out our guide 20 Best Account-Based Marketing Software: Reviewed for 2024. Once you’ve selected the best ABM software for your needs, you’re ready for the final step in your strategy: execution and refinement.

Step Five: Execute, Measure Results, and Optimize

Now it’s time for the fun part: execution. Your ABM strategy is primed for specific accounts, but you must be prepared to measure and optimize your ABM campaigns for continued results. Through the ABM personalization software you selected above, it’s best to track the following success metrics: 

  • Engagement metrics such as click-through rates (CTR), website traffic, and time spent on the website or specific pages.
  • Conversion metrics like leads generated, opportunity creation rate, and closed-won deals attributed to ABM efforts.
  • ROI metrics like cost per acquisition (CPA), marketing-attributed revenue and customer acquisition cost (CAC).

Personalization is not a set-it-and-forget-it approach: you must adapt your strategies based on insights gained to support ongoing improvement and success.

5 ABM Personalization Tactics Guaranteed to Work

You should now have a hyper-personalized ABM strategy primed to resonate with target accounts. But hold your horses—there are a few more tactics that we need to cover before you become a certified ABM personalization expert.

Optimizing Websites and Landing Pages 

Landing page and website personalization is like rolling out the red carpet for your target accounts. 

This means adjusting the content, layout, images and calls to action to speak to their needs and interests. A great approach is to use dynamic content, which updates your ABM landing page content in real-time based on data from visitors' previous interactions. 

Look into user behavior tools, like Mouseflow, to map out visitor behavior on your website. This supports your team's understanding of where visitors are dropping off and where you can make improvements to your content and customer experience.

Personalizing Lead Magnets and CTAs

Lead magnets, such as ebooks, whitepapers, or guides, should be tailored to address your audience's specific pain points or challenges. 

For example, if your target accounts are struggling with improving lead generation, offer a comprehensive guide on effective lead generation strategies. 

Similarly, CTAs should be customized to prompt action that aligns with the recipient's current stage in the buyer's journey. 

Whether downloading a resource, scheduling a demo, or requesting more information, the CTA should be clear, compelling, and relevant to the recipient's needs.

Tailoring Your Social Media and Email Campaigns

Tailored content in an email campaign or social media can take various forms, depending on the preferences and interests of the target accounts. Here are some examples:

  • Personalized Subject Lines: Address the recipient by name and include specific details related to their company or pain points. For example: “[Name], Here's How [Company Name] Can Solve [Specific Pain Point]."
  • Customized Messaging: Craft the body of the email to address the target account's challenges or goals. Include relevant case studies, testimonials, or success stories that resonate with their situation.
  • Targeted Offers: Tailor the offers or incentives included in the email based on the recipient's past interactions or preferences. For example, if they've shown interest in a particular product or service, offer them a special discount or free trial related to that offering.
  • Personalized Ads: Create social media ads that use language and imagery that resonates with their industry or specific challenges.
  • Customized Content: Share articles, blog posts, or videos that address topics relevant to the target account's industry or job role. Consider curating content from industry experts or thought leaders that align with their interests.
  • Engagement Campaigns: Launch engagement campaigns on social media platforms that encourage interaction and conversation with the target accounts. This could include polls, quizzes, or interactive content designed to capture their attention and encourage participation.

By tailoring content in these ways, you can make your email campaigns and social media efforts more relevant and impactful.

Personalizing Your Sales Outreach

Early engagement is crucial in ABM. Research from 6sense shows that if you haven't connected with B2B buyers earlier in the buying process, your chances of winning their business drop to just 16%. 

This highlights the need for proactive and personalized outreach beyond content and website visits. 

Let’s say you notice a prospect's LinkedIn post sharing their team's upcoming sustainable initiatives in 2024. 

This information can be used to send a thoughtful, tailored message or perhaps a sustainable gift, such as a reusable coffee mug with your company logo. This tailored approach aligns with the prospect's values and fosters a genuine connection that encourages further dialogue.

Customizing Your Customer Events and Experiences

To personalize customer events for ABM, align event types with your target accounts' position in the sales funnel. Consider these four event types for engaging target accounts in ABM: 

  • Thought Leadership Series: Showcase industry expertise by engaging target accounts with relevant topics and speakers.
  • Webinars: Deliver value through online sessions, nurturing leads with tailored content and fostering engagement.
  • Conferences or Summits: Foster community and demonstrate company value through in-person or digital events.
  • VIP or Field Events: Accelerate deals with curated experiences for decision-makers, building trust and relationships.

Each event type offers unique opportunities to engage target accounts in person or virtual. Quality over quantity is key in attendee selection, ensuring meaningful engagement at every event.

ABM Personalization Best Practices

This guide covers a lot of ground. So before you go, let's review some of the best practices for your ABM personalization - because not doing personalization right is one of the common ABM mistakes marketers make.

From prioritizing customer needs to continuous testing and team alignment, here's how to excel in your ABM efforts.

Focus on What Matters to Your Prospects

We are currently seeing a shift away from product-led go-to-market strategies, with customer-first GTM now leading the charge. 

This is a response to shifting buyer behavior in B2B, with 77% of B2B buyers now expecting sales content to be personalized.

A customer-first go-to-market strategy prioritizes the buyer's needs, preferences, and challenges over the features and specifications of the offered product or service. This enhances the relevance and impact of your messaging and builds trust and credibility with potential buyers.

Test, Optimize, and Test Again

Continuous testing and optimization are essential to maximize the results of your personalized ABM strategy. 

A/B testing different messaging, offers, and content formats helps you identify what resonates most with your target audience, which supports ongoing refinement of your account-based marketing.

Embrace a culture of experimentation and iteration within your ABM strategy. By testing and refining your approaches, you uncover insights, identify areas for improvement, and achieve greater success for your company as a whole. Use an ABM campaign template to optimize your ABM strategy.

Ensure Teamwide Alignment

Alignment across your marketing, sales, and customer success teams is the secret driving force of a successful ABM strategy. 

Collaboration ensures that everyone is working towards the same goals, thus maximizing the impact of your personalization efforts.

Encourage open communication between teams to keep everyone aligned on target accounts, messaging strategies, and campaign objectives. This cohesive approach is required to deliver a seamless and personalized experience for your target accounts.

Are You Ready to Get Personal?

Together, we’ve navigated the world of account-based marketing (ABM) personalization, uncovering the strategies and tactics essential for success in today's B2B landscape.

By adopting a customer-first go-to-market strategy, your business can build stronger relationships, differentiate itself in competitive markets, and drive higher engagement and conversion rates. However, success requires a commitment to testing, optimization, and teamwide alignment to ensure that every interaction with target accounts is meaningful and impactful.

Whether your business is just beginning its ABM journey or looking to refine an existing strategy, remember to focus on what matters to your prospects.

And to keep yourself one step ahead of the competition, subscribe to our newsletter for more insights and tips on mastering the art of B2B marketing.

By Michelle Leighton

Michelle Leighton is a seasoned content writer and social media specialist with a remarkable track record in building thriving online communities. Michelle excels at translating customer insights and market trends into compelling content strategies that spark engagement and foster meaningful discussions. Michelle's work has been featured by The Indie Media Club, The CMO, The Ecomm Manager, Narcity Canada, Input Magazine and more.