How to execute Account Based Marketing (ABM) with Hubspot

Jayakumar Muthusamy
February 9, 2024
How to execute Account Based Marketing (ABM) with Hubspot


94% of marketers say personalization significantly boosts sales!

That’s where Account-Based Marketing (ABM) comes in, offering hyper-personalization at scale.

With ABM, you target and personalize messaging to key accounts rather than casting a wide net to prospects.

This leads to deeper engagement, improved sales and marketing alignment, efficient use of marketing resources, higher conversion rates, and increased ROI.

In this post, we’ll explore Account-Based Marketing (ABM) in detail, know when to use it, and learn how to execute it with HubSpot. Let’s dive in!

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What Is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a focused strategy where a business filters out high-potential customers (accounts) from a broad market, aligns marketing and sales teams, and creates personalized campaigns tailored to the needs and preferences of each account.

For instance, let's say you sell a project management tool. You identify a rapidly scaling software development company as a high-potential account for your solution.

Now, with an enterprise ABM strategy, you align your sales and marketing teams, find out the pain points of the buying committee, and create personalized marketing campaigns.

This hyper-targeted, personalized approach increases the likelihood of convincing the software development company to buy your project management tool.

When to Use Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

You use Account-Based Marketing (ABM) when

  • Your product or service has a high annual contract value (ACV), meaning each customer agreement or contract brings in a significant amount of money each year.
  • There are not many potential customers or opportunities in your market, making it more effective to concentrate on a smaller, more defined group of high-value prospects.

In simple words, the hyper-targeted nature of ABM pays off most when deals are large and opportunities are scarce.

Now that we've covered what account-based marketing is and when it's most applicable, let's shift our focus to execution.

HubSpot, with its robust features, is the perfect fit for executing ABM campaigns. You can identify key accounts, create tailored messaging, and track engagement at the account level.

But before we dive into crafting ABM campaigns with HubSpot, let’s learn how to set up ABM in HubSpot and its key properties.

How to Enable ABM in HubSpot

Setting up ABM in HubSpot is simple but there are a few things to note before getting started:

  • Only Super Admins plus users with Account access permission can activate ABM tools in HubSpot.
  • You'll need to add at least one company before enabling ABM, though you can remove it afterward.
  • Once activated, you cannot deactivate ABM tools.

Now, it’s time we jump into the process of enabling ABM in HubSpot:

  1. In your HubSpot portal, navigate to Contacts > Target Accounts.
  2. Click Get Started.

That's all it takes! Your HubSpot ABM tools are activated.

Now, let's look at the key ABM properties you'll want to use within HubSpot.

Key ABM Properties in HubSpot

The data populated in the following default ABM properties will be leveraged across your HubSpot portal to power account-based experiences:

Contact Properties

Buying Role

Identifies the role a contact plays during the sales process. Roles include Decision Maker, Budget Holder, Influencer, Champion, Blocker, and End User.

Contacts can have multiple roles and share roles with other contacts. Plus, you can add custom roles but cannot delete the defaults.

Company Properties

1. Target Account

Indicates if a company is part of your ABM strategy or not. Unlike Buying Role, this is a single option property—either True or False.

When set to True, the company appears in your Target Accounts home for tailored campaigns.

2. Ideal Customer Profile Tier

Categorizes how well each company matches your ideal customer criteria into one of three tiers:

  • Tier 1: Excellent fit, primary focus
  • Tier 2: Good fit, secondary focus
  • Tier 3: Qualifies but low priority

You can customize these tiers to align with your business strategy.

By leveraging these properties, you can segment and track target accounts as you execute your ABM strategy in HubSpot.

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How to Execute ABM in HubSpot

You’ve learned how to enable ABM in HubSpot and utilize its properties. Now, let’s dive into executing ABM in HubSpot.

Step 1: Identify Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Start by determining your ideal customer profile (ICP). Then, tier your accounts using the Ideal Customer Profile Tier property. Here’s how you do it:

  • Assign your target accounts to Tier 1, 2, or 3 based on how closely they match your ICP.
  • Segment your database by these tiers.
  • Weed out accounts that don't meet your ICP criteria.

If necessary, work closely with your sales team to analyze your current client base and define the attributes for each tier.

Step 2: Add Target Accounts

You can add Target accounts manually as well as automatically.

Manual Methods

  1. Import ABM list: Upload a CSV or other file containing your target accounts. This method is efficient for bulk addition of accounts identified outside of HubSpot.
  2. Use “Companies” database: This is a straightforward approach for adding known targets. Navigate to Contacts > Target Accounts and click the Choose Target Accounts button. Then, search the company you want to target and select its checkbox.
  1. Use HubSpot’s AI recommendations: Go to Prospects > Recommendation. Click Choose As Target Account for preferred leads. This method leverages your existing customer base and HubSpot's AI to identify promising opportunities.

Automatic Methods

  1. CRM Lists: Utilize HubSpot's CRM to create dynamic lists based on specific criteria (like industry, size, or engagement level). This is an automated and scalable approach to identify and manage target accounts.
  2. Set up workflows: Go to Automation > Workflows, and click Create workflow. In the right panel, click the Templates tab. In the Type dropdown menu, select companies. Then, select Update company properties based on defined criteria template.

Remember, continuously refine your ABM Target account list as your business evolves.

Step 3: Create Marketing Campaigns for Target Accounts

To create an ABM campaign in HubSpot, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Campaigns tab and click Create Campaign.
  2. In the pop-up, select Account Based Marketing as the campaign type.
  3. Name your campaign and set start/end dates.
  4. Choose the target accounts to include from your defined list.
  5. Configure tracking parameters, assign a budget, etc. using campaign properties.
  6. Click Create to launch your ABM campaign.

Keep in mind that you can always edit and fine-tune your ABM campaign as needed.

Step 4: Create Audiences and Push to Ad Platforms for Targeting

Once you’ve identified target accounts, HubSpot automatically generates several segmented lists by default. 

These lists can be directly pushed to an advertising platform, or alternatively, new lists can be created and then pushed to the advertising platfor

To create new lists in HubSpot:

  1. Go to Contacts > Lists and access the segmentation tool.
  2. Build a new segment by defining criteria like contact properties, engagement history, and lifecycle stage.
  3. Apply filters to hone in on the exact accounts you want to reach.
  4. Preview and save the finalized list with a descriptive name.

You can then leverage HubSpot's integrations with platforms—LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, and Google Ads to push these audiences for ad targeting.

For example, to connect your LinkedIn Ads account:

  1. In HubSpot, go to Settings > Marketing > Ads.
  2. Click Connect Account and select LinkedIn.
  3. Log into your LinkedIn account and grant permissions.
  4. Select the LinkedIn Ads accounts to sync.
  5. To track contacts that interact with your ads, enable auto-tracking.
  6. Choose which accounts will sync leads back to HubSpot.
  7. Save the integration.

Step 5: Create Sales Email Sequencing

You can leverage HubSpot's workflow automation to set up personalized email sequencing for your target accounts.

First, segment your contacts by roles, challenges, interests, or buyer journey stage. This allows you to group similar accounts together.

Then, develop tailored messaging addressing each segment's specific needs and pain points. Hyper-personalized content is key for ABM.

Next, in HubSpot

  • Navigate to Automation > Sequences
  • Click Create Sequence and select to build from scratch or use an existing template.
  • Name your sequence based on the target accounts or campaign goal.
  • Add automated emails by clicking the + icon and choosing Automated Email. Select to continue a thread or start a new one.
  • Insert manual tasks like calls or LinkedIn messages as reminders for one-to-one follow-up.
  • Customize the delays between sequence steps to match your sales cycle cadence.

This creates a tailored email journey automated specifically for each target account segment.

As you monitor engagement, continuously refine your sequences to boost relevance.

Step 6: Create a Workflow to Notify the Sales Team

Using HubSpot, you can create an automated workflow to alert your sales team whenever a high-value target account engages with your ads or website.

Before creating the workflow:

  • Ensure Slack integration is enabled in HubSpot for notifications.
  • Verify website tracking is implemented to detect target account visits.
  • Connect any ad platforms to track ad interactions.
  • Use ABM tools to tag and identify targeted accounts.

Then, build the workflow:

  1. Go to Automation > Workflows in HubSpot.
  2. Click Create Workflow and select a contact-based workflow.
  3. Set up triggers for ad form submissions or page visits by target accounts.
  4. Add a Send Slack Notification action to alert on interactions. Customize the message details.
  5. Include a Create Task action to assign follow-up. Define assignee, due date, etc.
  6. Use personalization to pull account details into the task.

This automated workflow keeps sales in the loop when high-priority accounts show interest based on their digital body language.

Elevate Your Marketing with ABM!

In today's fast-paced digital marketplace, standing out to your key accounts is more crucial than ever. As we've explored the ins and outs of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and its seamless execution via HubSpot, the next step is clear: it's time to take action.

By personalizing your approach and targeting your marketing efforts, you can significantly enhance engagement, alignment, and, ultimately, your return on investment. Working with a specialized SaaS ABM agency can offer the expert guidance needed to optimize these strategies effectively.

Don't let another opportunity pass you by. Start implementing ABM strategies with HubSpot today, and transform the way you connect with your most valuable accounts.

Make every account count!

Jayakumar Muthusamy
Head of Content and Analytics at TripleDart Digital

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