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As a publisher, you know that many advertisers have recently pulled back on spending. To give your advertising sales strategy a boost, take a page from the account based marketing (ABM) sales playbook, used widely in the B2B space.

The ABM model enables media organizations to sell directly to targeted, high value advertisers, rather than spending time and money marketing to brands who aren’t the right fit for their audiences. 

In this article, we’ll explore how you can use ABM in your business to achieve greater alignment between your marketing and sales teams, while also improving customer experience and increasing advertising revenue.

What is account based marketing?

The ABM strategy involves creating personalized content targeted to specific advertisers, which your media organization can share via multiple touchpoints to develop strong connections with your prospects. These target accounts are defined by a specific set of criteria that you establish prior to building your campaign.

ABM produces a higher ROI than other marketing strategies, according to 97% of B2B marketers surveyed by the Altera Group. The method is also becoming more cost effective thanks to evolutions in marketing technology.

How media organizations can target specific advertisers

It’s essential for marketing and sales teams to work together to create the target account list for each ABM campaign. Both teams can contribute unique and valuable insights into your company’s buyer personas to determine how to best reach and engage those prospects.

“A general rule of thumb for creating target account lists is that the closer you get to revenue, the more you should invest in personalization and outreach,” according to this article by Drift.

The next step is for marketing and sales to agree on how many audience segments to target within a single account, then define the messaging for each group and establish when in the campaign cycle the sales team will make contact with prospects.

In addition to various inbound marketing efforts that we’ll discuss later on, it’s critical to engage business development representatives (BDRs) to execute outbound marketing tactics such as phone calls and email correspondence.

BDR outreach was listed as the most important ABM activity according to 88% of respondents in TOPO’s 2019 Account Based Benchmarks Report.

5 key account based marketing tactics

Personalization has become increasingly essential to marketing and customer experience in 2020. Among consumers, 51% expect brands to provide them with relevant suggestions at the outset of any communication. Media organizations should keep this in mind when crafting campaigns to attract new advertisers.

Deploying highly personalized ABM campaigns allows publishers to drive brand awareness in a relevant way. Here are 5 key tactics to include in your campaigns: 

  • Custom landing pages: develop web assets with content targeted to specific accounts that provides valuable information, addresses questions and demonstrates how your media organization can solve the advertiser’s unique challenges.
  • Content marketing: create blogs and case studies that showcase your expertise as a publisher and highlight the results your media organization has helped other advertisers achieve.
  • Social media: engage in two-way conversations with your prospects by cultivating a presence on the social networks that they frequent most. Ask questions to show interest in their business, contribute helpful commentary, share useful content and join industry groups.
  • Referrals: having a current customer sing your media organization’s praises will have a greater impact on a target account than any amount of self-promotion. Reach out to your customers and ask if they’d be willing to refer your services to others.
  • Events: ensure your company has a presence at virtual and face-to-face events to increase brand awareness among your target audience. Explore options such as speaking at events or sponsoring them.

“Once you’ve attracted high-value accounts, it’s time to forge strong relationships with their buying committees,” suggests this article by HubSpot.

Remember that the process of nurturing leads is often a long game. Luckily, in the case of ABM, your efforts can result in a significant payoff.

Account based marketing mistakes to avoid

Don’t fall into the trap of reaching too high up the corporate ladder too soon and targeting solely senior executives when developing your account list. It’s important to target mid-level decision makers and even entry-level influencers because they are often the people involved in laying the groundwork for the purchasing process. 

In addition, you should ensure that your media organization has robust target account lists for your ABM campaigns. This will help you prevent hitting the same decision makers repeatedly with your tactics and paying for those tactics multiple times.

Getting started

The best ABM starts with a carefully crafted account list. Adpoint’s Lead Generator tool can help you narrow down your prospects and determine which accounts should be your priority for the quickest results.


Lineup Systems is the world's leading provider of media sales technology, representing over 6,800 media brands globally, including Gannett/USA Today, New York Times and News Corp. Amplio is Lineup's multi- channel audience monetization solution that helps media companies realize their full reader revenue potential, using data-driven intelligence to engage, nurture and monetize readers with personalized offers that increase reader revenue and reduce churn. Adpoint is Lineup's end-to-end multi-channel media advertising sales solution that helps media companies streamline operations, make better use of data, increase efficiency and boost revenue.