10 Account-Based Marketing Thought Leaders to Follow

By Sangram Vajre

Account-based marketing (ABM) is the culmination of many facets of business-to-business (B2B) marketing, sales, and technology. Across the industry, marketers and salespeople look to social media for guidance on initiating ABM and implementing it successfully at their own companies. The best and brightest B2B thought leaders are active on Twitter, LinkedIn, and their own websites.

This list presents some of the top account-based marketing experts who can help guide you on your way to doing ABM at scale.

Jill Rowley

Jill (@jill_rowley) is more than just the queen of social selling. She’s the master of the #SocialSelling universe. Jill held top positions at Salesforce, Eloqua, and Oracle before launching her own consultancy. Jill says she’s a sales professional trapped in a marketer’s body, and that she eats failure for breakfast so she can dine on success for dinner. Forbes magazine named Jill one of the “Top 30 Social Salespeople In The World,” and she isn’t slowing down.

Jill’s definition of account-based marketing starts by engaging the right contacts on social media. According to Jill, social selling includes using social networks to research and build relationships that drive revenue. Social selling is all about “social proximity,” or degrees of separation based on social networking. Her B2B marketing and sales framework includes metrics to measure the ROI of #SocialSelling. These metrics include size of network, volume of content shared, meetings booked, pipeline, and (most importantly) revenue generated. Jill said, “The modern consumer is digitally driven, socially connected and mobile empowered. Sales reps need to adapt or be replaced.”

David Raab

David (@draab) is a graduate of the Harvard Business School who has spent almost 30 years in the B2B marketing and technology industry. David views account-based marketing as the “Integration of advertising with marketing technology potentially gives salespeople another route for generating their own prospects.”

David has written hundreds of articles on marketing technology for publications, including Information Management, DM Review, DM News, and The Journal of Database Marketing. He’s the author of Guide to Demand Generation Systems, Marketing Performance Measurement Toolkit, B2B Marketing Automation Vendor Selection Tool, and Guide to Customer Data Platforms. His new research appears regularly on his blog, Customer Experience Matrix.

Craig Rosenberg

Craig (@funnelholic) is the brains behind the Funnelholic blog. Craig is the co-founder and Chief Analyst of TOPO, a research and advisory firm that studies the marketing and sales patterns of the fastest growing companies in the world and uses that data to help their customers drive more revenue. One of their chief areas of focus is account-based marketing. Craig is legendary in the B2B world for his insights on best practices for demand generation. Craig believes that sales and marketing work together in account-based marketing, to create an “always-on” series of touches and relationship-building aimed at these accounts.

According to Craig, one meeting with an account is just the beginning — not the end — of an ABM program. “ABM requires a truly coordinated effort between sales, sales development, marketing, and executive staff,” Craig says. His analyst team at TOPO is spending more time than ever before answering client inquiries about ABM, and he anticipates ABM becoming a critical sales and marketing capability for B2B companies.

Jon Miller

Jon (@jonmiller) is the CEO and co-founder of Engagio, an “all-in-one” platform for account-based marketing. Previously, Jon was a co-founder at Marketo (Nasdaq:MKTO), a leader in marketing automation. He is a speaker and writer about marketing best practices, and is the author of multiple marketing books, including Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation, Definitive Guide to Engaging Email Marketing, and Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics & Analytics. Jon has a passion for helping marketers everywhere, and is on the Board of Scripted and is an adviser to Optimizely and Newscred. In 2010, The CMO Institute named Jon a Top 10 CMO for companies under $250 million in revenue. Jon holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard, and an MBA from Stanford.

Chris Engman

Chris (@chrisengman) is the CEO and founder of Vendemore, a global account-based marketing company based in Stockholm, Sweden, and operating in regions around the world. Chris says that his company’s goal is to be the SAP of the account-based marketing world, targeting Fortune 500 companies.

Vendemore has been a pioneer in account-based marketing. Seven years ago, the B2B marketing industry didn’t know the term “account-based marketing.” Chris and his team called it pipeline marketing, as it used targeted advertising to influence the sales cycle. Now, the MarTech industry recognizes the capabilities of account-based marketing to eliminate the process of collecting tons of leads, and align marketing spend with a revenue opportunity. As Chris says, account-based marketing starts with good knowledge about both your existing top accounts and your most wanted new accounts.

Ann Handley

Ann (@MarketingProfs) is the Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs. She’s the author of The Wall Street Journal’s best-seller Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide for Creating Ridiculously Good Content, and the co-author of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business.

Matt Heinz

Matt (@HeinzMarketing) is an expert in B2B revenue acceleration using a combined sales and marketing strategy, demand generation, sales pipeline, and process improvement, with a keen focus on customer retention and renewals. He has more than 15 years of B2B marketing, business development, and sales experience. In 2007, he launched his firm Heinz Marketing to help his clients focus on their business goals for marketing and customer acquisition opportunities.

Matt has published several guides to best practices on such topics as marketing automation, secrets to productivity (work/life balance and success), and sales for startups.

Megan Heuer

Megan (@megheuer) is the Vice President and Group Director at SiriusDecisions, a research analyst firm dedicated to empowering sales, marketing and product leaders to make better business decisions and accelerate growth. With more than 20 years of professional experience in the world of B2B marketing, Megan has seen firsthand the shifts in technology which allow marketing and sales professionals to become laser focused on the best-fit accounts. At SiriusDecisions, she leads the organization’s account-based marketing and marketing operations services.

Megan’s goal is to help her clients bridge the divide between best-practice theory and real-world requirements to deliver exceptional customer experiences. According to Megan, account-based marketing represents the future of the B2B marketing industry. “We have to embrace the reality of how our buyers buy and what our customers want from us,” Megan said at the #FlipMyFunnel 2015 conference. “Salespeople talk about accounts, they talk about customers . . . they don’t talk about leads. Salespeople think about how they’ll win accounts in the first place, then how they’ll keep and grow those accounts.”

Scott Brinker

Scott (@chiefmartec) is the co-founder, president, and CTO of ion interactive for content marketing and software programs. Scott’s a mastermind when it comes to the intersection of marketing and technology, especially when it comes to account-based marketing. His main claim to thought leadership fame is his blog Chief Marketing Technologist.

Since 2008, Scott has kept the B2B marketing and sales industry informed of the latest trends in marketing technology at Chief MarTec and helped to coin the term “marketing technologist” as an essential employee to any successful B2B marketing team. Every year, Scott produces an infographic outlining the marketing technology landscape that examines 40 different categories of software, systems, and applications. He has a B.S. in computer science from Columbia University, and M.B.A. from MIT, and a master’s degree in computer science from Harvard.

Jim Williams

Jim (@jimcwilliams) is the Vice President of Marketing at Influitive , a SaaS platform that makes it easy for B2B marketers to recruit, mobilize, and recognize advocates to support marketing campaigns, refer new clients, and close deals. Over the course of seven years at Eloqua, he held a number of senior marketing positions, including Senior Director of Product Marketing, where he was responsible for product go-to-market strategy and tactics. He’s the go-to-guy on how to turn your customers into advocates using account-based marketing. Customer advocacy is definitely the name of his game.