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Scalability, repeatability, flexibility – how to unlock ABM success


By Maria Greaves, Assistant editor - branded content

May 14, 2024 | 5 min read

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Harnessing AI, using tech to accelerate business outcomes, aligning with sales and regularly reviewing quality data are the keys to a successful ABM strategy in 2024, say experts from StackAdapt, Cisco and CopyHouse.

Unlock ABM success with our new webinar in partnership with StackAdapt

Unlock ABM success with our new webinar in partnership with StackAdapt

Watch the full webinar here

Account-based marketing (ABM) is on the rise among B2B marketers. A massive 93% with an active ABM program, compared to 77% the year before. But how are emerging technologies, budget pressures, increased growth targets and a fragmented marketing landscape impacting their strategies? And how can marketers best engage a smaller customer base whose decision making is split across multiple departments, over a long buying cycle?

With 43% of B2B marketers still trialing their ABM approach, The Drum sat down with Kevin Liang, director of solutions consulting at StackAdapt, Kathryn Strachan, chief executive officer at CopyHouse and Tejal Patel, senior director of global digital media at Cisco to take a deep dive into building ABM strategies to deliver a better ROI.

As Patel says, those who get it right reap long term rewards: “If an organization really stays focused on ABM, then you are bringing that revenue in month after month, quarter after quarter in a long term, sustainable way, which is much more predictable as a revenue source.”

So, what are some of the experts’ top tips to build that revenue source?

Leverage AI for scalability

Successful ABM takes people, platform, media and content investment. The larger the company, the more resource intensive ABM programs become. Making sure they’re scalable and repeatable is key. And the best way to do that, Patel advises, is to lean into AI’s predictive analytics and insights to “enable more personalization, at scale,” as, the more personalized the customer experience, the more it will resonate with customers who will then “engage more and be more likely to buy”. Similarly, AI’s ability to analyze reams of behavioral and intent data allows for more precise targeting at speed and at scale.

Don’t use tech for tech’s sake

Tech platforms should only be used to accelerate business outcomes, with partnerships based around the right engagement model that suits the needs of the business. As Liang says: “Work backwards from what you want to deliver,” when it comes to choosing technology. And, striking a balance between off the shelf solutions and customized capabilities is often a “make or break criteria for success,” he adds.

Align marketing with sales

ABM is a great opportunity for marketeers to get on the same page as sales and create a unified strategy which will be more likely to nurture and convert leads more efficiently. Agreeing what success looks like upfront is crucial. As is alignment on time scales: sales teams tend to think more short term, whereas marketers need to have a longer-term perspective for sustained success. It’s worth keeping in mind that only 5% of customers are in-market at any one time. So addressing the other 95% throughout the entire buyer’s cycle needs to be an ongoing, long-term strategy.

Review, adapt, iterate

Using quality data is key for ongoing tracking, measurement and then optimization aligned to business outcomes. Targeting that 95% of addressable customers over their buyer’s journey means sifting through the data signals to recognize moments of intent and then tailoring content to those trigger points. Mapping out the process and realizing it is flexible and organic, not static is key, Strachan explains. She stresses the importance of continual review, regularly asking “what worked, what didn’t and what to do differently next time.”

Tune in to our webinar ‘The ABM Advantage: Crafting Winning B2B strategies’ to hear more best practice advice from StackAdapt, Cisco and CopyHouse experts.

Watch the full webinar here

Artificial Intelligence Account Based Marketing B2B Marketing

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