The History and Origins of ABM
The marketing concept that would eventually become known as ABM took shape in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 2003 the Information and Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) began using account-based marketing to describe “… a strategic approach that combines targeted, insight-led marketing with sales to increase mindshare, strengthen relationships, and drive growth in new and specific accounts.” ITSMA identifies four key principles of ABM as:
- Client-centricity and Insight Outside-in problem solving, not sales pitches
- Marketing and Sales Partnership Full collaboration for an integrated approach
- Reputation, Relationships and Growth Objectives beyond just near-term revenue
- Tailored Programs and Campaigns Personalized propositions, content, and “plays” to drive interest and engagement.
In 2004, a year after coining the phrase account-based marketing, the ITSMA published the paper Account-Based Marketing: The New Frontier, and Charles Doyle of Accenture presented the three objectives of client-centric marketing—perception management, establishing a differentiated position, demand generation–at the ITSMA Annual Conference. Interest in ABM took off, and in the years since marketers have both succeeded and struggled with efforts to effectively use it.