Using Google AdWords for ABM (That's Account-Based Marketing and You Ought to Do It)

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has become a big buzz word recently — especially since we've been able to digitally track and analyze solid metrics around customer interests and engagement. But ABM is more than just a buzz word - it's an actual solid marketing tool you can use to significantly grow your revenue. But with so many guides and strategies out there for ABM the question becomes: what's actually the best way to do it? 

B2B companies, especially B2B technology companies (like SaaS or VAR/MSP) are trying to crack big deals. These are the large organizations that, if you win them as clients, will change your entire business model. As a VAR/MSP, winning a client with many more seats will dramatically improve your monthly recurring revenue (MRR). But these clients aren't just going to fall into your lap. Getting them is possible, but it does take a lot of effort, and, often, resources. One of the best ways to do it is through account-based marketing. 

What is ABM? 

In short, account-based marketing is hyper-targeted marketing in which your business is trying to win a specific list of customers. With ABM for B2B companies, that specific list would be other companies. Essentially, you chose your target companies, and you personalise and target your marketing efforts to be directed towards them. You might even send direct mail.

What's the Deal with Google for ABM?

Companies are willing to invest heavily on ABM platforms — like Demandbase, 6Sense, and Terminus — that let them customize messages and content. But, most marketers haven’t considered using Google as part of their ABM strategy.

Why? Because there can be a lot of perceived limitations when it comes to using Google AdWords. The most common include: 

  • We can't customise the message based on the persona
  • We can't personalise a message based on pain points.
  • Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram it's almost impossible to narrow down the targeting to very specific Google users.

While these limitations are real - they aren't necessarily a hard stop for using Google to conduct ABM activities. The truth is, there is no "catch-all" solution for doing ABM for technology companies — with targeting specific accounts, predicting analytics and behavioural analysis — what works for one account may not work for another one.

When you're conducing hyper-targeted ABM for B2B organizations, you might realize that, despite all the hours or labour, media-buy budgets, etc. your efforts are hitting a wall. The thing is, while you might be doing all the right things in targeting your big-win accounts, if the decision makers in those accounts don't have any high-level awareness of your product, service, or company, they aren't going to convert. 

How Can Google Help?

This is where marketers like to introduce Google ads — to create engagement and to bring brands and companies to the surface to generate curiosity about the products, services, and solutions.

Related: 7 Tips For Improving the Performance of Google Ads

When a user/visitor comes to the website from Google, it lets us capture what got them to our website. What they have been looking for. With this information, we can make changes to the future strategy and even make internal recommendations. 

Fuelling Web Traffic through Google Ads for ABM

The first big purpose of Google Ads for B2B ABM is fuelling web traffic — just increasing the number of sessions and visits to the website. Having relevant, targeted, intriguing ads will make sure the people coming on the website are interested and likely want to sign up for more information.

Once a company on your ABM target list clicks on the Google ad, we can see: 

  • the query,
  • pages visited,
  • conversions,
  • content interactions,
  • engagement triggers, etc. 

All of this helps you create more personalized messaging in your more targeted, specific ABM campaigning. With all of this information covered, you can adjust and edit the rest of your campaign to hyper-personalise messaging for your biggest target accounts. This also feeds into sales enablement for closing the deal.

Using Google Retargeting for B2B ABM

The final important aspect of account-based marketing for B2Bs is using Google retargeting. With re-targeting ads you can provide a target/prospect with multiple touch points to interact with and see your organization. We know that for B2B technology organizations like VAR/MSPs, it takes 8-12 touch-points before a prospective lead converts into a customer and the more expensive the product or service the longer it takes.

With retargeting, you can ensure that your prospect is consistently being reminded of your company or solution because your ad is following them all over the internet. Plus, you can hyper-target the content those prospects are seeing if they happen to click on the ad, improving conversion rates. 


If you're interested in learning more about how we've used ABM (and a variety of other Inbound marketing strategies) to help VAR/MSPs double their MRR - you definitely want to check out our June 27 webinar. If you have more questions about ABM - don't hesitate to reach out by contacting us, or by submitting your questions to our monthly (anonymous) advice column Dear Flawless.