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ABM – Is It Really Reaching A Tipping Point?

Whilst Account Based Marketing (ABM) first came onto the marketing scene in the early 2000s, it’s only in recent years that it’s really disrupted the game. It’s quickly becoming a key mainstream marketing strategy rather than the “nice addition” it once was.

ITSMA who pioneered ABM and are considered thought leaders on the topic, define ABM as; “A strategic approach to designing and executing highly targeted, personalized marketing programs and initiatives to drive business growth and impact with specific, named accounts.”

So why has it made such an impact? Simply put, the results!

According to the 2018 ABM Benchmark Study by ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance, 99 percent of marketers that are using ABM achieve a greater ROI from their Account Based Marketing programs than all other types of marketing.

FlipMyFunnel also found that companies who use ABM generate 208 percent more revenue from their campaigns than those that don’t. And SiriusDecisions report that 91 percent of marketers that use ABM see a larger average deal size. In fact, over a quarter of respondents reported more than a 50 percent increase in deal size.

B2B Marketing campaigns were traditionally designed to support the B2B sales team. Be it inbound or outbound campaigns, the aim was always to ensure that anyone who might be interested in your product or service, was aware of your company and offering.

ABM flips that model on its head entirely and allows for a much more strategic approach to targeting specific named accounts with personalised content.

Marketing can no longer work only at the top of the funnel focussing on generating qualified leads. In order to drive growth and profitability, Marketing and Sales teams must work together to build strong relationships with key customer accounts and continue that throughout the entire buyer journey.

As the concept of ABM has matured, the nature and depth of targeting and personalising content has developed. And that means allocating more budget to researching your key accounts and what they care about – what specific pain points can you address for them and how do you keep them engaged? And it doesn’t end there, ABM is particularly successful in companies where there are multiple stakeholders in the buying decision and it’s important to target each of those stakeholders with a relevant message for their role.

Companies who invest in ABM programs take a substantial share of marketing budgets. The ITSMA benchmark study reported that those using it as part of their strategy say that it accounts for 28 percent of their Marketing budget. Not surprising considering the reported ROI.

The strategy is certainly more mainstream than it used to be but not all companies are there yet. For some, Account Based Marketing still seems like a fairly new concept. And that is usually due to a lack of alignment between Marketing and Sales. An airtight connection between the two is a must for ABM and whilst it is improving, only 22 per cent of companies consider their sales and marketing teams are aligned.

According to ITSMA, of those using ABM, 52% have been running their programmes for less than one year. So, if you’re not yet using ABM, it’s certainly not too late. It may well be time to re-assess your Sales and Marketing strategy to find out how you can reap the benefits. But you don’t need to be concerned that your competitors have an insurmountable lead! Whilst ABM has received a lot of attention (and rightly so) we believe that for most companies, it’s still in its infancy.


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