As a marketer, one of your primary goals is to fill the top of the funnel with prospect engagements.  You will look to many channels to reach this goal but if you are focused on highly targeted marketing and aligning to your company sales goals, you are likely talking about an Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy.

We know ABM is the direction that most marketing is moving towards and they are doing so at a rapid pace.  One thing is for certain when it comes to ABM, you need clean accurate account contact information.

What is the best way to build out your data to support a successful ABM strategy?  Should I go out and purchase a list of promised relevant contacts and spend $1K or do I strategically build a list that is specific to my marketing objectives and spend $5K – $10K?  Will risk reward me or should I bite the bullet and invest some marketing spend on building a list that will guarantee me at least some engagement with the right people? Let’s evaluate the options.

Buy It

I am off to buy a list of potentially relevant contacts that will bring me closer to my ABM goals.  A few benefits quickly come to mind:

  1. Fast
  2. Cheap

But lingering in the back of my head is relevancy of the data being provided.   To no fault of list sellers, I wonder how accurate my $1K list really is……A few questions come to mind:

  1. How quickly and often do people update their personal information in the digital world?
  2. If you change jobs do you rush to LinkedIn and make the change? If your marital status changes do you immediately change your Facebook status?
  3. What about calling or updating all those sites you are registered on when something changes in your life?

Think about it….if you are not updating this information, then it is out of date and no longer relevant.  For the most part, this is how list purchases are created – through the big data interconnected worldwide web.  Naturally, to no fault of the Data Vendor, the data is not as current as it could be.

Build It

Rather than hedging your bet with a list purchase in hopes of yielding some account intelligence, many marketing organizations are leveraging account profiling to build out a proper ABM engagement strategy. Simply put, account profiling (which is not new, by the way) is a means of building the right database to garner the most effective and results driven campaign.

A few benefits of list building through account profiling come to mind:

  1. Complete accuracy of the account information
  2. Relevant contacts that likely have challenges my business can solve
  3. Organizational insight into the decision making infrastructure
  4. A sales asset

The beautiful thing about account profiling is that you can take a part of the organization you want to sell to and build out a small piece of the puzzle.  This provides you with a very prescribed approach to engagement, having the intimate knowledge of key decision makers and influencers within your sweet spot.   Although the industry is acknowledging more and more people in the decision making function, it generally looks something like this.


Targeted campaigns win every time. As an example, more recently a division I was working with decided to invest a significant portion of their campaign dollars into list building in order to connect the most relevant account profiles of influencers and decision makers.

The result was swift (even though the sales cycle is long) and measurable with a 1000x uplift in pipeline ready opportunities. 

In short, I suppose if I have limited dollars to invest in my campaign I should be smart in who and how I message my targeted audience.  A list build may take up 50% of my marketing budget but in the end I am guaranteed to be closer to my ABM goal because I am engaging with up-to-date relevant decision makers and influencers.

Time is precious and the digital world is noisy.  A targeted list build of prospects that have business challenges you can solve will be keen to learn and engage with experts to be successful.  You really only have a couple of kicks at the can before they drop you like hot potato by unsubscribing or blocking you from any promotional messaging.  So make it impactful.  Target the right people.

If you’d like to learn more about our list building capabilities, please contact us now.