A new study has found that the use of Account-Based Marketing by marketing teams is on the rise. And while marketers are seeing positive results with it, the strategy still has its own obstacles to overcome.
Positioned as the trendsetters of Account-Based Marketing, ITSMA and Demandbase released a benchmark study on November 28th, 2018, about ABM.
Together, they carried the study out through quantitative methods (via survey) and qualitative ones (via interview). Ultimately, the study concluded that the vast majority of marketers believe that ABM is (still) a successful and upcoming marketing tactic.
Being the relatively recent marketing phenomenon ABM is, B2B marketers across the spectrum are pushing onward with increasingly complex ABM strategies. These complicated strategies branch throughout all the ways to practice ABM.
It would follow that if new strategies to practice ABM are still being uncovered, ABM itself is probably far from becoming marketing mainstream. However this study is evidence to anything but.
ABM, although new, is quickly becoming normalized, as 28% of marketing budgets are being allotted to ABM. In short, companies invest more in ABM if they see it works— seems logical.
The study also found that levels of experience when it comes to practicing ABM enhance its benefits. One half of novice marketers and three-quarters of experienced marketers say that ABM doubles their returns. In this instance, “novice” refers to marketers with less than three years of practicing ABM. “Experienced” means marketers with three or more years of ABM under their belt.
Further confirming existing ABM trends is the fact that companies that practiced it generally saw a heavy uptick in brand referrals. Customer advocacy is one of the driving forces of ABM. And because ABM is still new, companies have massive potential for driving their growth.
But while ABM clearly works, what doesn’t work as well is determining how to conduct it the way it should be. For instance, in the study, participants were asked what obstacles they face when carrying out an ABM strategy. Cited among the top reasons were the lack of proper data, as well as account personalization to targets in the account. Clearly, limitations for adopting ABM still fully exist.
The study’s authors, recognizing that marketers face challenges to carrying out ABM successfully, provided recommendations on how to proceed with the information they gathered:
- Use technology to support and increase the impact of all types of ABM.
- Use ABM for all new and existing accounts by balancing coverage using more than one type of ABM.
- Being sure ABM metrics are accurate while further ensuring the team has the skills to handle ABM.
- Increase collaboration between departments to maximize the effect of storytelling.
It is abundantly clear that companies and marketers alike believe wholeheartedly the results ABM puts forth. What is needed now is the cross-departmental collaboration ABM requires to bring that promise closer to fulfillment.
Original article from ITSMA on 28 November 2018.