Account Based Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing

Author: Alanah Author Alanah
Published: 25 March 2021
2 Minute Read

According to HubSpot, there are now 41 (!) different types of marketing and counting. With this in mind, you could easily be forgiven for wondering if you’re following the right approach.

 A common debate among B2B companies is whether to focus predominantly on Account Based Marketing (ABM) or Inbound Marketing. Hunt down leads or let them come to you? Whatever your current approach, good quality leads are derived from a successful marketing strategy.

Key Differences 

Firstly, let’s run through the key differences between ABM and Inbound Marketing.   ABM is a marketing approach that directly targets the decision makers within specific, chosen organisations. On the other hand, Inbound Marketing is a broad approach which utilises content creation to attract consumers to products or services.

Traditionally, outbound marketing ‘disturbs’ your audience when they may or may not be in the market. ABM is a highly-targeted outbound strategy. You are contacting and to a degree interrupting them (helpfully) with a perfectly surmised proposition or valuable communication.

ABM thinks of specific prospects and companies as individual opportunities. With ABM, content, events, and entire campaigns are dedicated to the individuals at the heart of their target company as opposed to the industry as a whole.

In contrast, Inbound marketing is more foundational. A typical inbound marketing strategy allows you to organically approach your audience with content that you already know is relevant to them.

Typically an inbound customer journey would look like the following: a potential buyer finds you through the creation of valuable content or SEO, then stays with you throughout the sales journey. Throughout the sales journey, you are supplying valuable content and helpful expertise, thus creating a positive overall experience.

Using Both Strategies Together

While these strategies are often thought of as entirely different entities, they can be quite complementary when used together. In fact, you may find you will be missing out by only using one of the strategies by itself.

If you only use ABM, you may decrease your audience so much that you miss out on leads that are a great fit for your business. Similarly, if you only utilise inbound marketing then you may miss the chance to attract important clients as you won’t connect with them on a personal level.

At their core, both ABM and Inbound Marketing aim to target specific audiences with valuable content that ultimately leads to conversion. Ergo, using both strategies together can ensure you’re maximising your conversion potential as you’re essentially covering both your push and pull marketing strategies.

A blended approach offers the opportunity to hone in on your key target audience and gain an understanding of their specific thought processes while simultaneously providing them with valuable content. Inbound marketing can be used as the perfect basis for your ABM strategy as it allows for targeted distribution of resources.

Here are our top reasons why you should implement both ABM and inbound marketing:
  • Inbound marketing helps you attract target accounts and ABM then accelerates the flywheel so you can win and delight those target accounts with a remarkable customer experience (and as a result, you’ll grow better).
  • Inbound marketing lays the foundation for a strong ABM strategy — ABM builds off of inbound by allowing for targeted and efficient resource allocation of high-value accounts.
  • With this combined approach, you attract a broader group of prospects than you would while using just one method and catch any opportunities the other strategy may have missed.
  • Your content has a two-for-one value — you can create and use content that serves both an ABM and inbound strategy (e.g. create a personalised case study for a target account that you also share on your website).
  • Software options, like HubSpot’s account-based marketing software, are available and make it easy to implement ABM and inbound strategies in a complementary way.

 At EnquiryLab we help complex technology businesses grow profitably using Inbound and Account-Based marketing strategies. We work as an extension to your marketing and sales teams ensuring that you meet the targets you set. If this sounds like something we can help you with then please get in touch with or 01327 368378.


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