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Let’s talk ABM: 6 ways ABM builds a community of loyal customers

In a recent episode of Let's talk ABM, we spoke with Katrine Rasmussen, Chief Marketing Officer at Pixelz, about how ABM builds a community of loyal customers. Here we summarize the key takeaways.

Strategy   |   ABM

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Declan Mulkeen

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Feb 20 2024 - 11min Read Date published: Date modified: 2024-02-20


How do you build loyal customers? Customers that support you, value you, and refer you to their peers? Customers for life?

It all starts with investing time. 

It all starts with investing energy.

It all starts with building the first two ‘Rs’ - Reputation and Relationships. 

For a recent episode of Let’s talk ABM, I spoke to Katrine Rasmussen, Chief Marketing Officer at Pixelz. Even more fascinating than the company’s focus – image retouching for fashion websites – is how it works at relationship-building with its online retail clients.

A dedicated ABMer, Katrine shared a lot of advice that also applies to businesses across very different sectors. ABM is clearly a style that’s here to stay!

In the interview (full recording here) we explored:

  • Secrets of the fashion e-shopping industry
  • Taking an ABM approach with large retail clients
  • The role of technology – and the human factor
  • Event and experience marketing in ABM

ABM Lunch and Learn

Let’s look at 6 key tips covered in our discussion:

6 tips on building ABM client relationships

1. Evaluate your current client base

Three years ago when Katrine started at Pixelz, the plan was to go for growth – and that meant taking a deep dive into where the business was, in terms of clients.

The process must involve everyone, Katrine stresses: “We sat down and did some in-depth strategy sessions – the executive team, everyone, our CEO, COO, CFO, C-level. The first thing we did was just take a look at the data.”

At that time over 10 years old, Pixelz had a lot of data and a lot of clients. And as Katrine says, it’s pretty common for companies that are no longer startups to find there’s an imbalance there: “We realized about 60% of our revenue came from just 1% of our clients.”

Moving the business forward meant shifting focus towards best-fit clients. That’s the starting point for working at building those client relationships that matter.

Narrowing your focus might seem risky – abandoning the ‘volume game’, as Katrine calls it. But remember, you’re placing your bets on customers that don't churn: “The ones that are happy – and which bring in the majority of your revenue.” 

“That's where you’ve got to start: Who are your best customers? Based on that realization, we were like, ‘All right, let's go all in on landing those big whales!’ And I think it is a difficult decision to make because it gets very binary.” Katrine Rasmussen, Chief Marketing Officer at Pixelz

2. Nail your ideal customer profile

For any organization taking an Account-based approach, defining your ideal customer profile (ICP) is key. This will become the cornerstone of your efforts to forge important, profitable relationships.

“That's very important, right? You've got to nail your ICP – make it very, very concrete,” says Katrine. And every company’s ICP will be unique – to its business model, product offering, and ways of working.

Methods for determining your ICP vary, but what’s essential, again, is thorough internal research. Access all your data, and make sure everyone in your organization with an understanding of your current clients is involved in the conversation.


Photography is all-important in the world of e-shopping. “For Pixelz, one of the most important things is that the brands we work with have got to have a photo studio, and they've got to churn out more than 25,000 images per year,” says Katrine.

So in this case, the ICP is a large retailer producing a set number of images. It’s not a definite cut-off point, Katrine admits, but there’s a reason Pixelz is the market leader – it retouches 40,000 to 50,000 images per day!

“There's a lot of whales in the sea… anything smaller, hmm! We might take it, but they're not the ones we're going after, because it just doesn't make sense for our business model.”Katrine Rasmussen, Chief Marketing Officer at Pixelz

ABM Case Study

3. Define your positioning and messaging

Now you’ve dotted the ‘i’s and crossed the ‘t’s of your ICP – defined who you’re going after, and selected the proportion of your client base that fits (and doesn’t look anything like a churn risk)… what now?

“The next thing we did was a positioning workshop,” says Katrine. “We worked with April Dunford – obviously, awesome! – and we went through the brand script, the Donald Miller brand script.”

Call it a script, manifesto, or whatever you like – this is the messaging you’re going to take to those select customers and prospects. Miller’s StoryBrand Brandscript and the 7-part framework behind it are well known in Marketing circles; you can check that out here.


For Katrine, building out account lists meant working closely with Sales: “And then trying to figure out how we get in front of those large companies – and how do we close these deals?

“We interviewed a lot of these clients,” she continues, “to try to understand their pain points… and who’s the decision-maker.” The secret to messaging that’s going to resonate with target customers – and start the right conversations – is talking in, not your brand language, but theirs. 

“We nailed the positioning, the messaging, and we tried to make it a lot narrower than it's been before because I think if you're trying to be everything to everyone, all of a sudden you're nothing to nobody.”Katrine Rasmussen, Chief Marketing Officer at Pixelz

4. Stay on top of evolving technology

We’ve often said your tech stack isn’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to running ABM programs. There are certain tools you need… and a great many nice-to-haves.

ABM readiness workshop

Pixezl, like many organizations, is implementing AI tools into its workflow – and Katrine says it's been very important recently to talk to clients and prospects about using the technology. We looked into the ABM applications of AI here.

The online shopping world is changing, fast. Site visitors can now try on clothes virtually, “and video and elevated images are coming,” says Katrine. “The content keeps expanding for a better understanding of the product you're buying.” 


Talking to your clients about the tech they have – and how they use it – creates opportunities. Pixelz clients are putting more user-generated content into product detail pages, for example. “So, we focus a lot on upsell, cross-sell, all of that,” says Katrine.

“We also use Dreamdata – an attribution tool. You can go into each deal, each contact, doing tons of different attribution, linear first touch, last touch, all these things.” The company’s biggest initiative around client relationships is, however, far removed from its tech stack…

“One-to-one, true ABM is definitely not a good fit for everyone. Just because you're B2B or sell platforms, tech – or all of that – doesn't mean you're a good fit for an ABM strategy. Because if you're not if your deal sizes aren’t large enough, then ABM is going to be a terrible choice.” – Katrine Rasmussen, Chief Marketing Officer at Pixelz

5. Go big on the human angle!

A big part of how Pixelz instigates conversations and builds trust is through event marketing – but taken a bit further, to become experience marketing. The company’s FLOW program brings people together in person, for networking, on-stage demos – and fun!

From NYC and LA to Berlin and London, the event series gives, not only Sales, but the entire Pixelz team opportunities to get to know clients, prospects, and each other, and work at relationships. 

“There's a welcome party the night before. It's very informal,” Katrine explains. “We have a full day of speakers, breakout sessions where we mingle and get to know each other, then a happy hour, a VIP dinner... and we usually end up somewhere fun at five in the morning!”


Live ABM events have taken a while to pick back up again post-pandemic – and it’s hardly a cheap option. Especially if you’re flying people in to present on stage!

But, provided you run things with a customer-centric focus, Katrine says the ROI is considerable: "Out of our top 25 new clients, 13 or 14 – the majority of the largest we've closed this year – attended a FLOW event.”

She explains the extreme care taken, working very closely with Sales, to arrange interesting sessions from interesting brands – and the perfect mix of existing clients and prospects across the industry.

“But one of the keys to this, especially for target accounts we really want to get face time with, is that it's the Marketing team, not Sales, reaching out and inviting these key decision-makers as our keynote speakers.”

“Who's the better salesman of your product? Obviously, your happy customers – so, they're there at these flagship events. We'll have 100-150 attendees from target accounts and existing clients – photo studio directors, photographers, all part of the decision-making process.” – Katrine Rasmussen, Chief Marketing Officer at Pixelz

ABM playbook

6. Keep the conversation going

Whether it’s in the aftermath of a big experience like FLOW, or a simple conference call, the essential thing is following up. For Pixelz, conversations are abundant. “Usually, we'll get a ton of really good feedback,” enthuses Katrine.

“We're building this community – and they'll have had a great experience, a great day. They'll think Pixelz is very positive; we'll have done tons of brand building.” 

The timing for when Sales will reach out needs careful consideration. “The next day, we'll all sit down with a big spreadsheet and put in all the intel we got from all the different conversations we've had,” says Katrine. “We'll figure out the next steps; who we should try to move forward with.”


ABM relationships are all about maintaining momentum. “We share on LinkedIn – social selling is a big part of this. We get all the attendees and speakers involved, sharing online.” Katrine continues. “Facilitating this community gives us a lot of joy!”

Next, FLOW will evolve into two-day events featuring partners hosting workshops. “So, it's going to be even more hands-on, and we’re going to try and hit a few more cities with what we'll call FLOW Locals.”

One more initiative to consider: Pixelz has opened up an exclusive post-event Slack channel – though Katrine admits it helps that “all our customers have an awful lot in common… so we can facilitate a lot of conversation. It's a place where they'll share campaigns, and talk about tech and new developments."

“So much is happening right now – which is also why, instead of calling this 'event marketing’ it's all about experiences, right? It’s an Account-based engagement program. And facilitating that community in between the events is a big part of it.” – Katrine Rasmussen, Chief Marketing Officer at Pixelz

Want to learn more about all things ABM? Of course, you do! So, don’t miss our Let’s talk ABM podcast series, for lots more tips and tricks from industry-leading ABMers.

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