Account-Based Marketing: Definition, Strategies & Example

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Account-based marketing could be called marketing to an audience of one. In this lesson, you'll learn more about using account-based marketing as a strategy and how to implement it.


Photographers use a variety of lenses for their cameras to achieve different results. Some lenses are created to enhance an image visually through lighting while other lenses are used to fit the type of photography, such as shooting landscapes versus shooting portraits.

Account-based marketing is a focused strategy directed toward specific accounts.
Account-based marketing is a focused strategy directed toward specific accounts.

A third type of lens, one used for focusing on a specific item in a given photograph, is also used. This type of lens allows the photographer to put the focus on one given area, giving it the attention it deserves.

Account-Based Marketing is similar in that it is a focusing of marketing efforts. Let's learn more about it.

What is Account-Based Marketing?

Account-Based Marketing is a ''strategy that focuses marketing and sales resources on a defined set of targeted accounts and employs personalized campaigns designed to resonate with each individual account.'' It is seen most frequently in a business-to-business (B2B) setting, where one business is targeting another rather than a business-to-consumer (B2C) setting, where businesses are marketing broadly to all consumers.

The benefits of an account-based marketing strategy are numerous, and include:

  • Increased return on investment, the amount of money you make relative to your marketing expenditure.
  • Better engagement. Using a personalized marketing strategy means you are delivering more relevant communications to your target, which means they are more likely to act.
  • More coordination between sales and marketing efforts. A sales department focuses on accounts and converting to revenue. With account-based marketing, the marketing department is working toward the same goal.
  • Customer retention strengthens. Because you are focused on satisfying the wants and needs of very specific accounts, being able to retain customers becomes both a priority and simpler. It also provides a better, more personalized experience for your customers as well.

Account-based marketing strategy is a way in which you focus your marketing efforts on a targeted selection of clients or accounts, and reach out to them with specific and personalized marketing created for each account. It's as if you're marketing to an audience of one each time.

There are many examples of companies and businesses focusing on marketing from an account-based strategy perspective. Let's look at a few examples:

  • A marketing agency that has 30 clients, but focuses their own marketing efforts on the top five who provide 80 percent of their revenue
  • A product packaging company that turns its marketing efforts to Fortune 500 companies
  • A technology manufacturer that concentrates its marketing efforts on colleges and universities rather than individual buyers
  • An office supply store that creates targeted marketing efforts toward large businesses rather than students going back to school

How Do I Do It?

Implementing an account-based marketing strategy requires a few considerations.

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