Account-based marketing can get you top-notch leads. But how do you determine which ABM type is best fitted for your brand?

B2B businesses don’t have time and resources to waste. Let’s face it- if you don’t strategize and target the right audience, your competitors may beat you to it. Turning to ABM can make it easier for you to attract quality leads. Once you have that in your kitty, you can drive more traffic to your websites and establish strong relationships with prospects.

This can be accomplished by introducing buyer information into the go-to-market and excelling in personalized communication. There are three ABM approaches you can choose from: Strategic ABM, ABM Lite, and Programmatic ABM. Before diving into their details, let’s understand the core foundation of this inbound strategy.

Principles of ABM

Five key components form the foundation of successful ABM platforms. If you can master each of these, you are likely to succeed in your program.

Customer centricity 

Implementing account-based marketing solutions allows you to focus on solving the buyer’s problem. Its main focus lies in crafting personalized content as per client challenges and improving audience interactions.


When you emphasize strengthening brand-consumer relationships rather than generating tonnes of revenue, you prefer a different style of outreach. ABM instills a mindset to research the audience, know them and their pain points, so you can deliver the offerings that they are seeking. In other words, you go beyond lead generation and revenue based on client lifetime value.

Sales & Marketing Alignment

A striking feature of ABM programs is that it unifies the sales and marketing teams toward a shared goal. When they work in sync this way, your business can reach its highest potential as you envisioned. Plus, you save on the resources and achieve a better output.

Customized campaigns

Different types of account-based marketing utilize a combination of these insights: market, account, and individual buyer. The strategy incorporates these into personalized content to drive consumer interest and engagement.


You can leverage ABM to showcase brand expertise on various channels like emails, social media, events, blogs, and more. The motto is to engage prospect accounts across multiple touchpoints. A better brand exposure can result in more high-value clients wanting to opt for your offerings.

Three Types of Account-Based Marketing

Let’s visualize them as a pyramid, with strategic ABM at the top, followed by ABM Lite, and programmatic ABM. Your business objectives and pain points of prospects will determine which of these is best suited to your case:

Strategic ABM

You can utilize this ABM type to create and execute marketing plans for existing high-value clients. These are typically customers who have demonstrated their value through significant revenue generation or strong relationships.

Strategic ABM will help you build strong relationships with a company’s valued customers and prospects. It implements highly targeted interactions demonstrating a thorough understanding of the audience’s business challenges. You may find this ABM type resource-intensive and time-consuming because it focuses on individual accounts for extended periods.

It offers a perfect blend of personalization and precision that narrows down a few top-notch clients. Through personalized emails, you can develop a strong buyer persona, providing insights into customer goals and buying journeys. If you have a large budget, sufficient time, tools, team capacity, and high-value customers, then strategic ABM is your best bet. 

Example: Arrange one-on-one meetings between the executives of a company and target accounts. Such high-level engagement would showcase your commitment to the account’s success.

Marketing ABM/ABM Lite

This inbound marketing program is also known as a one-to-few model, applicable to groups of second-tier named accounts. It offers you the opportunity to focus on small groups of accounts sharing business attributes, challenges, or initiatives. If you integrate an ABM Lite approach within your marketing plan, you would be surprised to cover many more accounts with the same level of marketing resources. ABM Lite enables businesses to create and group ideal customer personas, profiles, and segments. These are followed by generating customized content for the targeted group. 

It is ideal for your B2B business if you have flexible budgets and the bandwidth to add extra resources when needed. With ABM Lite, you can provide a distinct way to deliver customized marketing experiences for select clients. You can also apply this tactic to develop tailored marketing campaigns for a specific cluster of accounts. If you want to excel with this strategy, use your knowledge of customer personas, profiles, and segments. 

Example: Organize webinar events and create content addressing industry-specific pain points. 

Programmatic ABM /One-to-many approach

You can leverage it to gather customer insights, serve targeted accounts, and link lead nurturing to overall progress through the buying cycle. The one-to-many approach is feasible due to the latest technologies that enable specific targeting, analytics, and personalization across a pool of accounts. It categorizes several prospects based on their business needs, goals, and challenges. Although programmatic ABM incorporates personalization, it does not consume much time or financial resources. This is best fitted for your business if the budget is limited.

If you are going for the programmatic ABM, you will need to classify clients based on shared characteristics like size, industry type, location, or challenges. Such accounts may not represent high value individually but collectively offer substantial revenue potential. The secret ingredient here is the application of cutting-edge technology. Automation tools such as email marketing and CRM systems can further streamline programmatic ABM campaigns. 

Example: Run automated email campaigns using marketing automation tools for a large client niche. Incorporate personalized subject lines, content, and call-to-actions (CTAs).

Summing up

All three types of the ABM strategy offer a robust framework to forge brand-customer relationships. These tools can be utilized to their fullest potential through personalization, requiring fine-tuning now and then. While selecting the type, make sure it aligns with your brand goals, resources, and customer pain points.


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