Back to Blog

Account Based Marketing in 2020

Image of Jonathan Elder
Jonathan Elder

Whatever you call it; Key Account Planning, ABM, Target Account Selling, etc., an Account Based Marketing campaign targets important decision makers and individuals within a company in precise ways.


Account Based Marketing

ABM workflows

HubSpot Account Based Marketing

HubSpot Salesforce integration

HubSpot or Salesforce?

Are you looking to incorporate LinkedIn Ads into your ABM?

Campaign Manager

A great example of an Ad Campaign is CocaCola
LinkedIn Marketing
How to optimise Ad Campaigns on LinkedIn




Account Based Marketing

Have you ever considered improving your Account Based Marketing using HubSpot?

Are you coordinating your marketing and your business development teams well enough?

ABM is a structured approach to planning and personalising many aspects of the sales and marketing process.

Using a marketing automation platform and CRM enables you to operate at a scale which was not possible a few years ago. Remember, your competitors will be adopting ABM so don't get left behind.

HubSpot simplify the approach with an Account Overview screen and new features.


Hubspot account based marketing


The holistic approach is creative and uses tried-and-tested techniques. This is to capture the attention of your target account buying group through various communication on channels including:

  • Email (& LinkedIn direct messaging)
  • Social media (LinkedIn) advertising and organic engagement
  • Telephone calling.

    The tech stack that supports ABM workflows can be simple:

  • LinkedIn (Sales Navigator Team version is recommended)
  • CRM (such as Salesforce or HubSpot)

The messaging and content you use to engage with your contacts through these communication channels is critical. However, if you find yourself stuck in limbo, consider the following questions...


What is interesting for your account contacts?

What do your account contacts engage with?

Do you understand your engagement with your account contacts well enough?

Is engagement something you measure?

Is your CRM set up to help you track your engagement?


The new Hubspot Account Based Marketing features launched in their Marketing Hub Professional and Sales Hub Professional, will help marketing and sales teams to come together to deliver more consistent and personalised buying experiences.

The pictures below show the new feature released last week from HubSpot. Which now automatically connects every customer interaction to revenue, so you can make decisions based on value rather than vanity metrics.

hubspot account based marketing chart

hubspot revenue attribution

The Target Accounts home is the new command centre for your sales and marketing teams to come together to monitor progress on your target accounts with views of high level metrics and views of account actions on drop down tabs.

There is a new Target Account overview in Sales Hub Professional on each company record.

If you use Salesforce as your CRM then there is an Account Overview Visualforce window available with the HubSpot Salesforce integration!

The account overview gives you a snapshot of engagement with a specific account, the activities, deals and contacts associated with the company as well as the internal stakeholders involved with those activities.

A personal highlight is the Account Based Advertising Lists which can based on the HubSpot LinkedIn integration, be used to build segmented lists and create more personalised company based LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Ad audiences.

The 6th State of Marketing Report by Salesforce last week uncovered trends to navigate change:


  1. Innovation is the number one priority
  2. Marketers’ use of AI has skyrocketed
  3. Account-based marketing (ABM) is a cornerstone in B2B
  4. A new set of emerging technologies will guide an uncertain future


This echoes HubSpot's 2020 State of Marketing Report from global survey of 3,400 marketers Nov - Dec 2019:

61% of marketers say their company currently uses ABM according to HubSpot vs 92% according to Salesforce - see their chart of the adoption curve.

salesforce account based marketing program

The most common measurement of success for ABM is... Revenue won!

The top two tactics used by marketers within an ABM model from findings in additional HubSpot research, in North American, Jan - Feb 2020 are:

  • “Researching Accounts”
  • “Identifying Target Contacts”

Also, the most common challenge with ABM is delivering a "Personalised Experience".

HubSpot or Salesforce?

Starting in 2006 and 1999 respectively as a Content Management System (CMS) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system both now position themselves as platforms integrating with many 3rd party applications.

Of course a direct comparison is not simple.

So, if you need to choose you need to consider your requirements in detail and being both a HubSpot and Salesforce partner, I thought I could help. If you need to choose you need to consider your requirements in detail.

As a general guide:

HubSpot is cheaper, ready out of the box, has the better user interface and more free training and support.

Content Management Systems like HubSpot help organise content, improve the efficiency of processes and track engagement, but a strong marketing strategy built around an understanding of your target audience throughout the buying cycle is what really creates an integrated experience.

If you are looking for a CRM system but you aren’t sure where to start - HubSpot’s marketing or sales software is a great option for a newbie. It is straightforward and easy to grasp, covering contact management, deal and task management with social and email to track interactions with leads.

A small start-up company would be looking to have this free software for their sales and marketing teams. 

Salesforce is more adaptable, scalable with greater functionality and a wider choice of integrations.

Salesforce is an incredibly popular system within the business industry, having been the fastest revenue generated CRM system. They have a certification program which means you have the opportunity to continuously develop, along with customer support and training teams. 

They also host an event called Dreamforce in San Francisco every year where you have the chance to meet the ever growing team and community.

If you still aren't sure what CRM system you want then it might be worth thinking about incorporating LinkedIn Ads into you ABM, this will enable you to do the following...

Are you looking to incorporate LinkedIn Ads into your ABM?

How could Paid Ads help you generate leads for sales follow up?

Paid Ads complement and enhance the organic, social activity of your sales team.

While sales reps are busy building awareness, educating their contacts and developing personal relationships with target accounts, by:

linkedin ads for account based marketing

  • Connecting with key decision-makers, getting to know their priorities and interacting with their content


  • Using tools such as Sales Navigator and its CRM integrations to keep tabs on social activity, engagement and opportunities across accounts


  • Sharing content to help sales prospects with understanding their challenges and solution options,
  • Paid Ads support the sales team with branding and conversion by reminding potential leads of their challenges, goals and/or an action they’re considering but haven’t yet taken. And because LinkedIn enables you to target specific Companies with Ads, you can ensure your Ads are only shown to priority accounts which are likely to generate the most revenue: critical in a time when spend and ROI are under close scrutiny.

Ads are expensive, but can be an effective strategy for marketers looking to generate high quality leads.

Here are some points to think about when setting up a campaign.

Target Accounts

Make sure you've got a list of target accounts to load into Campaign Manager. You can upload up to 300,000 companies.

Target Audience

Narrow down targeting and focus on specific factors such as: Location, Job Title, Job Function, Job Seniority and Years of Experience.

Type of Ad

Ad options are as diverse as your target audience, you can choose from: Sponsored content, Carousel images, Text Ads, InMails, Display Ads, Dynamic Ads and Video Ads.


While a link to your company’s bottom-of-the-funnel offer might be right for some ads, it’s not always the best option. Ebooks, guides and whitepapers can be perfect for getting your target personas attention.


Getting results takes time, keep checking in on how Ads are performing to determine what tweaks you should make.

Consider optimising your landing page by limiting the number of actions your visitor makes on their path to conversion.

You might be getting more clicks and engagement for your money than you think with LinkedIn Ad Campaigns…

Campaign Manager

Campaign Manager shows the number of clicks by default in Performance results tables. But these aren’t necessarily all of the clicks and engagement generated by your ads.

The clicks measured in Performance tables are clicks through to your specified destination: a landing page on your website for example.

When you switch to a different type of results table, the Engagement table, Campaign Manager gives a breakdown of other engagements with your ads:

- Clicks through to your company page, as well as your specified destination

- New company page followers gained

- Social actions including reactions, comments, shares and ‘other’ actions

‘Other’ actions include undetected new company page followers, clicks on the ‘see more description’, and more…

So the next time you measure the performance of your LinkedIn Ad Campaigns, take a look at the Engagement table. You might have double the number of clicks or engagement than you initially thought!

Have you used the Engagement table? See below in the image how to switch to the Engagement results table in Campaign Manager.

linkedin advertising for engagement

A great example of an Ad Campaign is CocaCola

Coke appealed to individuals to appeal to the masses when they personalised bottles and cans with popular names in different countries.

Why bother personalising something that will be used so quickly?

Most people who buy coke buy it regularly, so why not make buying a coke more exciting!

The takeaway from this campaign is that personalising the customer experience at scale encourages more regular buying.

Recognise this ad campaign?

CocaCola advertising campaign

Are you shifting towards Inside Sales and Account Based Marketing?

This is why Elder Digital Marketing have developed Salesflags,  - to give Account Managers all the help they need to research, identify and personalise.

LinkedIn Marketing
LinkedIn Marketing is at least 10 times better than web, for engagements. Our team concluded this after a year of consistent marketing on LinkedIn, continuously learning and improving our tactics.

At best, we expected 1 or 2 engagements every couple of months to come from website visits, based on traffic levels and what we were doing with the site. That’s about half a person taking a desired action, like downloading a whitepaper, every month.

LinkedIn generated at least 10 times more engagements than that, when we were consistently posting every day.

Our LinkedIn posting achieved around 4 or 5 engagements every day (when someone from your external network likes and/or comments on your post).

Likes from your external network are usually signs that your content has been noted, and comments are usually signs that it’s been digested somewhat.

“External commenters” can be seen as similar to website visitors who’ve had a fairly good read of some of your content, but you know more about the new engagers on LinkedIn immediately through their profiles – no CTAs or forms involved.

Once you have incorporated your LinkedIn Ads into your ABM, you will want to know how to optimise Ad Campaigns on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has recently redesigned Campaign Manager to help ensure your objective stays in focus when you’re managing ads.

Keeping the ultimate objective in your sights isn’t always as easy as it sounds though, when there are lots of working components to manage both internally and externally.

Here are a few pointers on ongoing optimisation:

1) Swap low-performing ads with fresh creative.

- This helps improve your ad relevance score which in turn helps you win more bids. It’s also a good way to continuously test new ideas and creative hooks.

2) Adjust target audience settings based on top-performing segments.

- Review campaign demographic data to see which specific audience segments generate the best results and tweak your targeting accordingly.

3) Shift budget to top performers.

- And turn off underperforming creative.

And thanks to LinkedIn Marketing Solutions for their handy checklists on optimising Ad Campaigns!

Link to more tips and advice from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions:

optimising linkedin campaign manager

 Campaign by campaign or region by region it is very difficult to pinpoint which tactics or channels you should invest in from a revenue return point of view, such as:

Website design?

Email nurturing?

Networking events?



By default Google Analytic's attribution model uses the last click.

Despite all your success in creating awareness and engagement via your LinkedIn page for example, it may be your email newsletter that will be attributed to the sale.

google analytics attribution model

Thankfully as you can see, Google also offers a few multi-touch attribution models:

  1. Linear – credit for conversions is divided equally across every touchpoint before conversion.
  2. Position based – fixed amounts of credit are given to first and last touchpoints, and the rest divided equally amongst touchpoints in between.
  1. Time decay – credit is divided across multiple touchpoints with the most recent given higher credit, acknowledging that later touchpoints tend to drive the majority of conversions.

But this is still not Multi-Touch Revenue Attribution.


In order to have successful Account Based Marketing, you need to have a structured approach. This is where your marketing and sales process enables you to operate at scale. Taking a look at both Hubspot and Salesforce CRM, you will find how the content you use to engage with your contacts through communications such as Paid Ads and Campaign Manager will enhance your organic, social activity.

How do you generate leads for sales follow up?

Related Posts

Engaging leads in 2020: a collage of ideas

Image of Jonathan Elder
Jonathan Elder

This blog pulls together content from LinkedIn, providing you with solid information on how to...

Read more

Why and how best to increase "dwell time" on your LinkedIn posts

Image of Jonathan Elder
Jonathan Elder

You can have all your ducks in a row, your inbox empty and your priorities in place, but sometimes,...

Read more