Is Account-Based Marketing a new concept? How exactly did it come to be and how different is it from traditional marketing strategies?

In this article:

  • Marketers Don Peppers and Martha Rogers introduced the revolutionary idea of practicing sales and marketing by establishing a one-on-one relationship with clients instead of the traditional one-to-many approach in 1993.
  • Account-Based Marketing was coined in 2003, soon after followed by technological innovation to improve and automate the method.
  • In 2016, N.Rich realized the need for a second-generation ABM platform for better monitoring and intent data gathering
  • B2B enterprises now have full control of their ABM system with N.Rich’s platform.

What is Account-Based Marketing?

Account-based marketing has been gaining traction in the past couple of years. More and more companies found merit in merging their sales and marketing departments to identify and focus on targeted leads instead of blindly advertising their services to a wider audience. 

What many people don’t know is that ABM has been around for decades. And it’s been making significant strides in the sales and marketing industry for quite some time now. 

In the 90s, gathering as many leads as possible was the most favorable method to gain sales traction for B2B companies. However, this method needed a generous budget which sometimes resulted in low sales conversion results. On the other hand, ABM focuses more on-demand generation and gathering reliable intent data. This helps companies save time, effort, and most especially, funds as they pursue a “hotter” candidate to close a deal with.

Instead of paying a huge sum just to get ignored by the majority of people, ABM helps companies narrow down their target leads and create a more personalized buying experience for them. As a result, they get a higher chance of converting them into paying customers. 

Account-Based Marketing History

1993 – 2002

Before being labeled “account-based marketing,” customer experience experts Don Peppers and Martha Rogers co-wrote and published the book “The One to One Future” in 1993. The book discussed a revolutionary idea of practicing sales and marketing by establishing a one-on-one relationship with clients instead of the traditional one-to-many approach. 

Companies tried to understand what they currently need to establish effective initiatives for the future. Instead of appealing to as many people in the market as possible, this approach created a more personalized experience for buyers which would increase the chance of conversion. 

In the years that follow, the one-to-one marketing concept ignited and created significant recognition in the industry. By 2002, the demand for this type of marketing strategy already outgrew the supply.


In 2003, the ITSMA tagged a name to the one-is-to-one sales and marketing approach initially introduced by Peppers and Rogers in their book:  Account-Based Marketing. The method further ignited B2B companies’ interests in the approach. 


In the next six years, ABM gained more popularity, attracting the attention of IT firms and startups. These companies delved more into account-based marketing and adapted it to upgrade their sales and marketing strategies.

ITSMA established a benchmarking system for ABM in 2008  to emphasize and highlight its success rate. By 2009, the group introduced the Collaborative Account Planning Model, which helped B2B companies successfully close deals with high-priority clients. 


BT Global Services, a telecommunication company in the United Kingdom, lead the automation of account insights for ABM. This made the management of highly probable clients easier to do. It helped companies implementing the ABM method save time, effort, and even money. It also opened the doors for more industries to venture into and adapt this revenue-increasing strategy.


At this stage, ABM already gained traction in the sales and marketing industry.

In 2013, ITSMA released another benchmark study recognizing ABM as a strategic business initiative instead of just a simple sales approach. In the same year, the term “accounts based marketing” appeared on Google Trends, according to SiriusDecisions Research Director Matt Senatore. It prompted millions of people to do a Google search on the term in 12 months, proving ABM’s growing popularity among B2B enterprises.


By 2015, ABM became a hot topic in the sales and marketing community. The strategy gained enough heat that it prompted startups to create software dedicated to the ABM method. Venture capitalists also saw merit in investing in SaaS companies like Demandbase and Engagio.

N.Rich also started creating a programmatic ABM solution similar to Demandbase during this period. However, CEO and co-founder Markus Stahlberg realized a deeper need for a new type of ABM platform than the current solutions offered by existing systems.


The team at N.Rich dove headfirst into its pursuit of delivering a second-generation ABM platform that will give companies more control over the data they need. Research and development for a customizable ABM platform started in 2017 and eventually came into initial fruition in 2019. Existing clients were onboarded into the new self-service system in 2020.


By 2021, N.Rich’s second-gen ABM system already attracted some 50+ clients from around the world. 

Now, more and more enterprises are seeing the benefit of this customizable ABM system. Fortune 500 companies to startups alike used the personalized platform to build their pipeline and generate more revenue. 

The Future of ABM

ABM has been providing credible solutions to sales and marketing teams for decades and it is evolving at a fast pace. There’s no telling how technology will change ABM in the future. But what’s sure is the changes it can offer to B2B enterprises. If traditional lead generation marketing has lost its effectiveness in gaining more traction for a company, then it’s probably time to look into a more intimate kind of strategy.