ABM or Channel or Vertical or Agency

Blaine Phelps
2 min readSep 13, 2021

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The other day, I was asked if I do “ABM” (account based marketing).

I said “Yes, of course. I also do Channel, a larger part of ABM, and Vertical, also a larger part of ABM.”

In other words, the way I view the world of marketing, ABM is a subset of Channel or Vertical marketing.

How did I get to an “account” if I didn’t know what my Channel or Vertical or even TAM (total available market) was?

So, yes, I know tech (my vertical), SAAS (my channel), and Microsoft Office (my hypothetical account).

I then asked them, “Where is your marketing agency? Why aren’t they helping you manage the account?”

“We hired them to manage us, not one of our clients.”

Okay, I get that. To a degree. But, I have to tell you, I have had some of my greatest successes in marketing when I brought my agency(s) into my tactical sessions with an account. (Back to ABM). They were able to see things that I never thought of, point out areas that were an accounts weaknesses, and strengthen areas that needed some bolstering.

Did I pay them to do this? Some I did, some I didn’t. Did I lose my agency to them? Never. My agency(s) were part of the process, be it tactical or strategic, and they benefited when we did well because our accounts did well (and our channels and verticals).

ABM is more hype than actuality. I have been doing ABM my whole life, but, just recently, someone who had a little more time on their hands said “Let’s put an acronym together for what we have been doing for decades.” And they did, and now everyone that doesn’t know marketing thinks they have to have an ABM expert on board.

Don’t be shortsighted and ignore all the acronyms out there, but, be aware of them for what they are — nothing too exciting if you have been doing marketing for a few years — their just another name for what you already are doing and know.

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Blaine Phelps

Love marketing. Enjoy trance. Past-Volunteer fire fighter. Lucky enough to have traveled the world and gained experiences that I like to share.