The Marketing Strategist:

I’m an ABM-er! Andrea Clatworthy

May 4, 2017

  • Account-based marketing

The rise of account-based marketing in recent years has created a vital new career path for B2B marketers: Becoming an ABM-er and driving growth with key accounts.

As young marketers charge into the ABM future, we’re celebrating the stories and advice of the “magnificent seven” leaders featured in A Practitioner’s Guide to Account-Based Marketing.

In this excerpt from the book, learn from Andrea Clatworthy, Head of Account-Based Marketing, EMEIA, at Fujitsu.

ABM-er Andrea Clatworthy

My route into ABM

I began my marketing career at Logica (now CGI) before moving to Fujitsu in 2010. I had become interested in what we call ABM very early on because we were members when ITSMA was first introducing it. My boss at the time was quite active in ensuring that his team was kept up to speed on new trends in marketing thinking.

What I most remember from my ABM training at ITSMA – which was about 2003, I think – was what I call the onion diagram. In the diagram you have the customer in the middle with two rings of influences around them. The emphasis on thinking about your customers, understanding them, and then understanding how they consume information enthused me about ABM.

Before moving fully into ABM, I worked in all different sorts of countries and on all different sorts of things, mainly in sector-orientated rather than portfolio-orientated marketing, but my passion for understanding the needs of the customer was always there. That has kept me enjoying ABM, because once you understand the customer, everything else is easy. Over the years I have spent a lot of time persuading colleagues not to say ‘buy this service’ but to make it easy for the customer to buy what we want to sell them, because we are talking their language and responding to their business needs.

Advice for new ABM-ers

My number one piece of advice is to select your accounts very carefully. It might be that you currently have a small share and can see potential growth. Perhaps the incumbents aren’t completely entrenched and you believe that you have something that is going to help customers and therefore they might buy from you rather than the incumbent. That’s an important insight.

But the parallel process that you need to go through is to consider the account team that you’re going to work with. ABM is about sales and marketing working together. If the sales team don’t get ABM, for whatever reason – they don’t want to bother, they don’t want the hassle, they don’t want anyone helping them, they think you are taking over, they don’t value marketing, all those things – if there’s any sort of disconnect between the ABM-er and the account team, the sales team, then it won’t work.

Selecting the right account where you’ve got potential for your organization with that customer and knowing you’ve got the right team that you can collaborate with is what counts. Then you are looking at something that could be wonderful. But if either of those doesn’t work, you are going to have a failure on your hands. And nobody wants that.

One last thing: it’s not for the faint-hearted!

*This excerpt from A Practitioner’s Guide to Account-Based Marketing is reproduced by permission of Kogan Page Ltd. Copyright Bev Burgess and Dave Munn, 2017.


Inspired by this ABM-er? Become one yourself by enrolling in our ABM Certification Program. The next program begins with a two-day Kickoff Workshop in Boston on July 12-13, followed by three months of mentoring and deep learning.


Read more ABM-er stories:


Want the latest news from ITSMA?

Subscribe to our newsletters and alerts for ITSMA blog posts, research publications, events, and more.

Further reading