What personalities work best for the different types of ABM?

Like it all not, we can’t all be good at everything. But that’s the beauty of a team: chances are, you’ve got different personalities at play who can thrive in different areas… like the three different types of account-based marketing strategies, for example.

  • Strategic ABM: One-to-one
  • ABM Lite: One-to-few
  • Programmatic ABM: One-to-many

If you’re looking to bolster the skills of your team to account for the different types of ABM strategies, read on to understand and characterise the different skillsets and personality types best suited to succeeding in ABM.

The Super fan: Strategic ABM | One-to-one

Being a strategic ABMer is like being a super fan. You need to know everything possible about one icon – or in this case, account. My daughter, for instance, is a mad supporter of reigning pop queens, Little Mix. She even has their collector annual, filled with behind-the-scenes gossip, photos of the fierce female foursome and exhaustive trivia about each member. Whether it’s Jade’s preferred breakfast or Jesy’s childhood nickname: she knows it.

This is similar to strategic ABM. When you’re only marketing to one company, you need to know them inside out, across their different offerings, their structure and their staff – ideally better than they do. But it’s important to err on the side of caution, as you don’t want to seem like a stalker. Super-fans will wax lyrical about the thing they love, which is a great and harmless mindset to have. Doing this in an ABM context can align sales and marketing objectives and keep everyone informed on other people’s workloads. But sending targeted direct mail based on too many consumer interests can appear creepy. Think more posters on your bedroom walls than locked file on your laptop.

Ideally, you want to build a collaborative relationship between marketer and consumer. If in doubt, think back and channel last year’s Glastonbury, when British rapper Dave brought audience member Alex on-stage to sing his song, Thiago Silva, together.

Alex knew that Dave has history of bringing super fans on stage, so he dressed for the occasion.


The Mastermind: ABM Lite |One-to-few


ABM Lite requires marketers to focus on the primary verticals they sell into. Like contestants on Mastermind, the aim here is to know your specialist subject well, but also be a fairly savvy generalist.

This skit from British sitcom The Two Ronnies perfectly exemplifies this. Relating it to an ABM Lite context, no question should catch you out. Marketers should be aware and able to spot emerging players in the market and anticipate any potential for disruption before their competitors do. This way, you can play to your strengths as a sector champion and make your marketing stand out in an overly-saturated space.  

Magnus Magnusson won’t be able to stump you, but Ronnie Barker might


The Cyborg: Programmatic ABM | One-to-many


Tech’s your friend in programmatic ABM. Analytical and solutions-driven characters will thrive in this strategy. (Even more so if they have a background in development and can wire together a tech stack fit for purpose.)

Though the advent of tech used at scale may seem a bit cyborg-like, it can help to enable greater reach through email marketing, mass direct mail, IP advertising and personalised website offerings. This adoption of direct marketing will improve your ROI. But martech isn’t for everyone. Doing it well means you have to keep oiling the machine; that way you can win sales with high quality structured query language that can be converted quickly.

Consider Elon Musk's Neuralink, which is offering medical solutions rooted in the advancement of technology – though of course, many question whether Musk is pushing the tech too far.


So there you have it: three types of personalities, three types of ABM (and three YouTube clips to enjoy). All that’s left is to figure out who’s who in your team…