James Kessinger (CMO at Hushly) Discusses the State of ABM in Cybersecurity

Account-based marketing and selling became a must for cybersecurity firms and others looking to drive higher-value deals in an undifferentiated, crowded market. In fact, 92% of B2B marketers have some kind of ABM strategy or program in place as companies dove into ABM tech and other platforms that promised a path to greater growth with more focus and partnership with sales leaders. However, ITSMA, Tech Target and others report that only 17% have a mature program and 69% of ABM programs underperform when it comes to revenue growth.

In this podcast, James Kessinger (CMO of Hushly) and Eric Gruber (CEO of Personal ABM) discuss the current state of ABM in cybersecurity, what’s working and what’s not. You’ll hear the good, the bad and the ugly.


Here Are Some of the Key Points to Remember From This Podcast with James and Eric:


  • Most cybersecurity firms are in the experimentation stage when it comes to ABM as they have not figured out how to orchestrate ABM across the organization to impact more than just the pipeline. They are doing ABM lite or targeted demand gen vs. what ABM is supposed to be which is about creating the right experiences and having the right interactions across the buyer’s journey and customer lifecycle.


  • Teams are missing the mark with their ABM content and the experiences that are delivered to the buyers in the accounts teams want to win, protect and expand.


  • Many cybersecurity GTM teams jumped into ABM before they built out the foundation. In ABM, you want to come to each interaction with a perspective about your prospect’s business but this cannot happen because many cybersecurity firms and others do not have a POV about their own business, so GTM teams are pushing out the same content and messaging, just making it more targeted. Teams jumped into ABM without looking across the buyer’s journey and customer lifecycle to find the “red” in the business and see where ABM should be applied. It was automatically used to fix the pipeline when the pipeline is not the key issue for many cybersecurity firms. And they didn’t use any data to make ABM decisions including who they’d target.


  • Many ABM programs especially in cybersecurity are half-assed as there is no orchestration and they did not think about the complete digital, social, email and live experience. They are retrofitting ABM and doing marketing as usual vs. making the necessary changes that need to happen to drive desired outcomes from ABM.


  • GTM teams will face greater challenges with ABM in 2023 as buyers are becoming savvier where sales and marketing alignment is not enough. We need the teams to work in lockstep and to integrate to land and expand key strategic accounts. Marketing needs to shift from pre-sales support to helping teams to protect and expand accounts – a key priority for cybersecurity firms and others.


Additional Resources for Cybersecurity Marketers and IT Marketers That Are Starting or Doing ABM:


  • Click the image below to get access to the ABM Webinar with James Kessinger to follow-up on this podcast.

  • Podcast on the 17+ ABM data sources that cybersecurity teams should use to make ABM decisions.
  • Podcast on how a cybersecurity firm crafted its POV to strengthen its ABM program.

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