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Account-Based Marketing

How To Define Your Target Audience for ABM

Although account based marketing (ABM) is an effective strategy for many B2B companies, without a clearly defined target audience the marketing method won’t work. So how do you begin to identify the right accounts to target? And what criteria should you use to segment your audience?

To discuss the answers to these questions and many more, Tracy Sestili, Chief Revenue Officer at Intellimize joined  Perryn Olson, Chief Marketing Officer at,  and Kristin Carey, VP of Partner Development at eTrigue, for a webinar held by the Field Marketers Association.

Below are three tips Sestili mentioned during the webinar that can help you define your target audience for ABM. 

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Don’t Take Shortcuts on Segmentation

According to Sestili, segmenting your audience is the single most important thing you need to get right when it comes to your ABM program. She recommends segmenting beyond vertical, job function, and seniority.

Start with those accounts with an existing relationship and who have engaged with your brand before instead of cold outreach to people who have never heard of your brand. From there, you should identify the buying committee and make sure you have contacts for all of them. Because there are seven to 20 people on a B2B SaaS buying committee, you should engage your business development team or an outside agency to help. Gathering this information will enable you to segment more effectively.

Start with Existing Customers

Sestili says the best way to see success with your ABM program is by starting with existing customers and using ABM tactics to upsell those accounts. Because your customers already know who you are and what your product or service can do for them you’ll have an easier time building your partnership with those brands. 

Involve Stakeholders When Identifying Success Metrics

When asked about ABM program KPIs, Sestili shared that measuring engagement is key as well as identifying how many people from a particular account have engaged. But, to run a successful ABM program you’ll need to get into the weeds on engagement metrics. 

To do so, sit down with other program stakeholders and decide if you’ll switch over to a marketing qualified account (MQA) and sales qualified account (SQA) model and abandon the notion of marketing qualified leads (MQL). This model will allow you to show a path to progress of pipeline or annual recurring revenue (ARR). On the other hand, your CFO may still be looking for an MQL number at the end of the quarter. Partner with those who are overseeing the success of your ABM program to decide which engagement metrics make the most sense for your specific business. 

Building a strong ABM program can be tricky, but we hope these three best practices help you better understand how to define your target audience. To watch the full webinar these tips were pulled from, click here.