How To Choose The Best ABM Agency

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a business marketing strategy that focuses on creating personalized buying experiences for a pre-identified set of high-value accounts. But perhaps the most crucial benefit of full-service ABM is its ability to ensure that decision-makers see your brand and the solutions you present across key interaction channels. When done right, studies have shown that a well-conceived ABM strategy significantly impacts ROI and drives revenue growth.

But what about selecting an agency for your ABM? How do you determine the right agency to work with? What should you consider when speaking with agencies? This blog will answer those questions, so whether you chose to work with us or a different agency, you are choosing the one that will provide the service you are looking for.

Value To Expect From An ABM Agency

Today, only 17% of the buying committee's journey involves meeting directly with you. A large majority of their time is spent researching online and offline for the solution they need. On average, this research happens across at least six digital channels and there are typically six to ten decision-makers within the buying committee. In addition, it takes users 5 to 7 impressions to recognize a brand. 

ABM targets buyers with solution-related content across those key channels continuously to build brand recognition and create an efficient opportunity-to-sale process. But to do this well, the agency you partner with should provide several crucial services:

  • One of the foundational skills of any ABM agency should be proven experience in campaign management because understanding the pathway from ideation to execution is critical to any strategy creation.
  • A data-driven mindset is key, whether that means analyzing marketing ROI to prove your campaign’s impact or analyzing click data to implement A/B tests, the agency should have proper knowledge of data analysis tech and how to clean data.
  • An omnichannel approach is also critical. You can’t reach your ICP where they are if you don’t know or aren’t attempting to do so. You need an agency that uses specific targeting activities and can create the content necessary.

It is crucial to find an agency that offers an ABM service that works within the entire sales funnel. Agencies embracing omnichannel marketing will orchestrate coordinated campaigns to target accounts on the right channel at the right time. If they aren’t, they aren’t an agency that will drive results.

What Makes A Great ABM Agency?

When looking for an agency to work with, look for one that won’t just take your goals and run with them, but one that will work with you to determine the best choices for your business and how to leverage your existing resources to maximize the benefits of ABM. Your goals and desired outcomes should be a major guiding light, but they should also help you determine how best to prioritize in order to most effectively reach those goals within budget.

A good ABM agency should manage an ABM campaign through these basic steps:

1. Campaign strategy
  • Define campaign goals and success metrics
  • Select target account groups and personas
  • Select the marketing channels and tactics for the campaign

2. Campaign flow and orchestration roadmap

  • Design the flow of the campaign – how accounts can interact with campaign activations, the systems involved, and actions triggered
  • Build out an orchestration roadmap

3. Account prioritization

  • Review CRM data to ensure all required data points are available 
  • Based on the target account group, build lists of the target accounts and identify the personas within each of the accounts for targeting

4. Campaign setup and management

  • Set up the campaign for each of the marketing channels in the mix
  • Actively manage the campaign after launch
  • Optimize paid channels to increase performance and decrease cost

5. Analytics and reporting

  • Identify, track, measure, and report the right KPIs 
  • Streamline the reporting process with data collection and visualization tools
  • Provide market research and industry insights to help you stay ahead of the competition

Your agency should work with your internal team to create an ABM campaign tailored to your specific needs and keep you updated every step of the way. They will determine the areas where you need help and will advise in the areas of their expertise. They will not only help your ABM strategy to be successful but also make sure you understand the process. In other words, they should provide a highly personalized level of service that seamlessly integrates into your current structure.

Work With An Industry Expert

If your goal is to target desirable accounts, track their progress through the funnel, and bring them to a sale, investing in a full-service account-based marketing agency that actually does this is critical. The agency’s objective should be to find your best opportunity to win by segmenting and targeting key accounts within your ICP, personalize against the core buying committee as well as monitor their progress through the sales funnel, assign account scores/values based on interactions, and target buyers with 1:1 campaigns. This method continues to produce the highest ROI for companies.

You will also want to find an agency up-to-date on industry trends and that will evolve with new technology and capabilities. They should not only know how to incorporate tech to maximize their efforts but also know when new or alternate tech may be a better option. Furthermore, the agency should be a true B2B agency. While search and paid media are likely part of both B2C and B2B strategies, there are specific B2B marketing channels that operate very differently. You need an agency that knows B2B in order to drive revenue.

Look For A Partner In ABM

As ABM grows and the number of agencies increases, a wide variety of services and disparate quality of service have emerged. Many agencies may call themselves full-service ABM, but when you investigate further, it turns out they work primarily with Pilot and 1:Many campaigns but do very little for 1:Few or 1:1 campaigns. Yet 1:Few and 1:1 are what you are looking for when searching for account-based marketing.

Many agencies also advertise based on ROI. This can range from anywhere from 3x ROI to 9x or more ROI. But the fact of the matter is not all ABM campaigns will have the same ROI. This is going to vary based on a lot of different factors. It is more important to find an agency that will work with you as a partner, that will respect your needs, desires, and budget, and that is going to make sure you are updated regularly and understand the process - alignment and re-alignment. If an agency is not willing or offering to do those things, even if they have 50x ROI, they will likely not be the ABM agency for you.

When working with a full-service account-based marketing agency like us, you are benefiting from years of experience with campaigns, a team of experts in their respective fields, lower overhead costs, as well as a top-to-bottom funnel approach to drive more opportunity-to-sales. While an in-house team can certainly accomplish aspects of ABM and can provide results, working with an ABM agency with documented experience in your market, who will partner with you to achieve goals, can guarantee results.

Whether you have questions or are looking for an agency now, we are happy to answer your questions and help you decide what ABM campaigns are right for you and your budget. Seriously, challenge us. We’d love to geek out with you and provide some complimentary guidance.

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