Over the past decade, inbound marketing has become one of the most important forms of B2B demand generation. But as inbound marketing approaches middle age in Internet years, some wrinkles are appearing. Is account-based marketing (ABM) a better alternative, at least for some B2B companies?

The inbound approach has many good things going for it, which is why it has become very popular. It maps well with how people research and buy today: they search on Google for information, share useful or entertaining content via social media, and search for online reviews—all often before talking with sales reps.

Moreover, a vendor is in a psychologically stronger position with a prospective customer if the interactions start with the customer approaching the vendor rather than the vendor "interrupting" the customer's regular activities with presumably unwelcome advertising, spam emails, and unsolicited cold calls.

An Alternative to Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing, however, has run into problems as it has grown in popularity.

Although inbound promises to generate lots of new contacts and leads, it can be lonely and frustrating to wait for the bigger companies (with budgets to do larger deals and provide a high lifetime value) to stumble upon your content and raise their hand.

Over the past decade, there has been a growing alternative approach especially focused on engaging with and eventually closing and growing the largest, most valuable B2B accounts: ABM.

Benefits of ABM

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image of Louis Gudema

Louis Gudema is the president of revenue + associates, which helps companies significantly increase revenue through measurable improvements in sales and marketing.

LinkedIn: Louis Gudema 

Twitter: @LouisGudema