Smarter marketing doesn’t just come from smarter ideas. It comes from having a well defined strategy, alignment with your sales team and an understanding of your customers. And smarter prospecting comes from all of this – better understanding leads to better marketing, which leads to higher conversion rates, and ultimately making you smarter at prospecting. 


Where account based marketing (ABM) comes into the mix is simple: you’re marketing to a specific set of accounts – that have been determined as best-fit accounts – in the hopes of reducing your overall cost of acquisition, increasing personalisation and enhancing your conversion rate.


Let’s Introduce the 3 Approaches to ABM Strategy


ABM comes in many forms – but the principles throughout these are the same. What changes is the number of accounts you want to reach in any given campaign. It’s important to note that cost doesn’t differ too much between these. ABM is highly personalised and data-driven so whether it’s time, resources or marketing funds, it’s intensive. Lucky for you though, you reap what you sow. Actually, you probably reap more than what you sow if done properly. 


That’s why it’s crucial to fully comprehend which approach is best for you given the power of ABM – it’s said to deliver 97% MORE ROI than traditional marketing tactics for B2B businesses.


Which type of ABM you choose rides heavily on:


  • Your sales and marketing teams’ relationship
  • Your sales and marketing strategy
  • How much data you have at your fingertips

Here’s each approach in a little detail:


  • 1:1


You’re delivering hyper-bespoke content to specific accounts, treating every one of them as a market of one. Examples of where you conduct a 1:1 campaign include accounts where your salespeople have no relationships, targeting contacts who’re at the bottom of the funnel to push them into making that jump, or simply changing perceptions of your brand after a relationship has soured. 


  • 1:few


This concept recognises that there are many decision makers within a single account, or several contacts you wish to go after within a specific segment. You’d use 1:few in cases such as: wanting to go after a niche market, or targeting middle-of-the-funnel accounts where there’s multiple people in the sales process.


  • 1:many

This one’s a little different. You’re doing ABM at scale here, which means you want to base your marketing campaign targets off of intent data or accounts which you’ve identified as having a high propensity to buy. For example, Zint identifies that there are 100 accounts that have a high propensity to buy new software because they’re currently using legacy solutions, so you can predict their intent to buy new and improved software, or be ready to try something new.

How to Decide Which ABM Approach to Take


The bottom line is: how much is the deal worth, what do you know of the market and how much do you know about them?


1:1 is also classified as strategic ABM so you would have narrowed down accounts to sell to with highly personalised marketing and events that are moulded to that account in a way that makes them incredibly likely to convert as personalisation is specific and niche. 


Activities include:


  • One-to-one meetings
  • Tailored events
  • Email marketing
  • Account-specific thought leadership or sales/marketing collateral


1:few is termed ABM Lite as it still offers personalisation but at a lower degree. It centres on customisation for clusters of accounts so it relies on personalisation at a wider level.


Activities include: 


  • Market customised sales/marketing collateral 
  • One-to-one meetings
  • Email marketing
  • Retargeting & advertising 


1:many is also known as Programmatic ABM which is true ABM at scale. This leverages technology or ABM tools to determine which accounts demonstrate similar levels of intent through web engagement, business needs and demographics. It’s recommended that smaller teams with small budgets executive 1:many as this gets to the most people effectively. 


Activities include:


  • Blogs
  • Social media
  • Email Marketing
  • Direct Mail 


Not sure which ABM approach is right for you? It all starts with your insight. Playing the ABM game sure is easier once you visualise the market you’re going after. That’s why we’ve set Zint up – for marketing and sales teams looking to build their insight into existing and potential customers. 


Drop us a line to book a hassle-free, no obligation demo today, or check out our checklist for ranking companies (+ editable Google sheets template). Just fill out the form below to get an instant download.



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