ABM is Not Enough for Your Go-To-Market Strategy. Here is Why.

Developing a holistic, omnichannel, intent-focused and behaviour-driven strategy will serve the go-to-market goals better than solely ABM.

Go-to-market strategies help companies deliver products to the market. A solid strategy will ensure companies can navigate new product launches or penetrate new territories more easily. Its purpose is to align the internal departments under the same goal — to gain new customers.

So what makes a go-to-market strategy a helpful ally in 2022? Its adaptability and agility. Regardless of the market, customer type or territory, enabling a smooth iteration of marketing tactics based on consumers’ receptivity will ensure a successful product or service launch. In the end, it’s all about the customer.

Account-based Marketing (ABM) is a beloved B2B marketing strategy. In this approach, marketers identify the accounts they want to target and then prepare a plan to interact with the account members. This is performed with a laser focus on each account member’s specific needs, challenges, circumstances, and receptivity to your service or product.

With an ABM-focused approach, marketers aim to engage each decision-maker (or influencer) in the targeted account. ABM puts the account at the centre of attention, collecting insight, delivering personalised offers, and engaging buyer personas based on their unique preferences.

ABM, if executed correctly, tends to be a successful B2B marketing method, evident in its widespread adoption — in 2021, 70% of marketers used ABM, up 15% from 2020.

Why ABM-only focus needs a rethink

While ABM worked well in the past, the B2B buyer is not the same as a few years ago. In the past couple of years, B2B buyers have become much more comfortable making large purchase tickets using digital-only channels. Marketers and sales teams are now left to reevaluate their approaches.

ABM for B2B

While bringing waves of digital-first habits, the market is also still fluctuating. Due to its uncertainty, the B2B environment is experiencing challenges such as:

  • Investment anxiety
  • Intensified negotiation practice
  • Decreasing sales numbers
  • Longer sales cycles

ABM strategy can help B2B sellers increase their marketing effectiveness, but it also requires internal restructuring and a sizable investment. For this reason, it might not be the best used as an isolated solution when talking about go-to-market strategies in 2022. Today, successful B2B marketing strategies require more than just a proactive ABM approach; they need a data-driven inbound tactic that ties into the ABM to ensure adaptability based on the changing buyers’ behaviour.

Change is the only constant

In the past couple of years, many companies have gone through a form of internal restructuring, whether it’s because the workforce has gone remote or the business has been transformed digitally. In parallel, the buyers’ behaviour was changing, as they are now increasingly empowered to do research on their own and take the time to browse their purchase options. As a result of a longer sales cycle, marketers face stronger competition because the increased number of points during the buyers’ journey can steer the buyer away. B2B marketers now realise that real-time behavioural data combined with inbound marketing strategies like demand and lead generation campaigns can help engage buyers and build a stronger pipeline.

3 reasons why the ABM-only approach might not work


Market shifts

Businesses that decide to launch products or services to a new market segment or territory need to keep an open mind and observe the market receptiveness, which can be tricky when taking an ABM-only approach. When launching new services or products, marketers are mostly focused on finding what resonates best with the target audience. While ABM can help uncover a lot about a specific account, its laser-focused execution can prevent marketers from recognising other market trends that might be influencing the buyers’ receptivity to your product.

Inbound marketing

Traditional ABM mainly was executed as an outbound tactic, having both marketing and sales teams work in alignment to win targeted accounts. For a go-to-market strategy to be effective, companies should consider creating an inbound marketing strategy to drive new leads and build demand. Inbound marketing can be a worthwhile addendum to an ABM strategy when focused on adding value to customer-relevant conversations.


Go-to-market strategies must remain agile. With ABM, marketers are limited to addressing only the target accounts, while other audience segments could be resonating with the product better. During the ABM execution, marketers can tune to the consumers’ behavioural patterns to understand if the consumers’ reactions tell a different story than what was assumed. Some target segments may be engaging more with the company than others. Or some of the content pieces are working better than others. It’s important to stay alert and iterate based on the observed behaviour. For this, having a more holistic, omnichannel, intent-focused and behaviour-driven strategy will serve the go-to-market goals better than solely ABM.

The solution? Mix ABM with other data-driven marketing tactics

ABM can bring great results, but it rarely fills its full potential as a standalone technique. For best go-to-market strategies, companies should consider unifying their entire endeavour into a cross-departmental effort, where the whole company is welcoming purchase-ready behaviour with the proper response.

One of the successful techniques we use here at Behavioural Response is Omnichannel Behavioural Campaigns. OBCs allow you to: 

  • Create highly contextualised and personalised omnichannel campaigns for your Demand and Lead Generation programs
  • Reduce your ABM investment while increasing your success 

Interested in knowing more about how Omnichannel Behavioural Campaigns can help you improve your sales enablement? Download our report The Future Of B2B Marketing — B2B Omnichannel Behavioural Campaigns or get in touch to find out how they could work for you. 

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