B2B Account Based Marketing (ABM)

B2B Account Based Marketing (ABM)

Account Based Marketing vs Lead GenerationB2B Account Based Marketing (ABM) is about finding the companies that have the highest propensity to purchase before a marketing campaign is ever conceived.  Doing the homework upfront is an intelligent, systematic, logical, rational approach to determining who to connect with, how to connect with them and insight into what content to create for them that is meaningful and relevant.

Account based marketing is like anything else and it is being embraced at a rate that is similar to a technology adoption curve.  Innovators and early adopters have been practicing ABM as they have always been tightly aligned with sales.   In general, technology adoption curves require about 25 years before 80% of the market adopts – the early majority takes quite some time to catch on and the late majority even more time.

To use a Gartner term, Account based marketing is at the peak of inflated expectations.  So why are some marketers saying that ABM is old news while others are claiming it is the Holy Grail?  Those that believe ABM is old news have usually be in a situation where:

  • a sales person turns marketer
  • a marketing function is pulled from marketing and reports to sales
  • a sales leader understands marketing
  • a marketing leader has is a closet sales person

Once you introduce marketing into a sales paradigm, the traditional sales funnel is inverted.  The best sales reps don’t want to generate hundreds or thousands of marketing qualified leads, rank them, route them and nurture them.  The best-in-class sales reps look at their patch and identify the companies they believe they can sell to and create a strategic account plan to penetrate each account.  Strategic sales people strive to concentrate their efforts in a few accounts rather than spray and pray.


B2B Account Based Marketing (ABM) – Research

B2B Account Based Marketing (ABM) AdoptionIn August of 2016, eMarketer reported that more than 50% of B2B marketers had an ABM strategy in place for less than one year.

25% of B2B marketers communicated that they have had in ABM strategy in place for more than 2 years.

Note: the MarTech is changing so quickly that even if a company has an ABM strategy in place, there is almost always an opportunity to convert a manual or point solution to a more holistic solution.

Source: eMarketer

B2B Account Based Marketing (ABM) – Top Priorities

  • 74% – Working with sales to define account goals and plans
  • 67% – gathering account and/or contact data and intelligence
  • 62% – Executing ABM plans for targeted accounts
  • 59% – Selecting accounts for inclusion in ABM
  • 59% – Building plans for all or a segment of targeted accounts
  • 56% – Creating online engagement strategies for targeted accounts
  • 56% – Creating content for ABM programs
  • 52% – Building ABM plans for large, individual targeted accounts
  • 46% – Working with other marketing teams to support ABM programs
  • 38% – Working with outside agencies or service providers on ABM programs
  • Source: CMS Connected

B2B Account Based Marketing (ABM) – Stats

  • CMOs will outspend CIOs by 2017 – Gartner
  • 80% of marketers measuring ROI say that ABM outperforms other marketing investments – ITSMA
  • 89.5% of B2B sales are still completed by a person – Forrester
  • On average, a B2B customer will regularly use 6 different interaction channels throughout the decision journey – McKinsey
  • On average, more than 5 people have to formally sign off on each purchase – CEB
  • 74% of business buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase – Forrester
  • Only 0.75% of leads generated become closed revenue – Forrester
  • Almost 85% of marketers who measure ROI describe ABM as delivering higher returns than any other marketing approach; half of those marketers cite significantly higher returns – ITSMA
  • 80% of marketers measuring ROI say that ABM outperforms other marketing investments.
  • 84% of marketers said that ABM had significant benefits to retaining and expanding existing client relationships.
  • 27% of CMOs were concerned with staying ahead and taking advantage of digital technology trends, such as the marketing technology stack. – Korn Ferry
  • In 2016, more than 70% of B2B companies had staff dedicated to ABM programs
  • In 2015, 20% of B2B companies had staff dedicated to ABM programs
  • 97% of B2B marketers believe ABM delivers higher return than other marketing initiatives
  • 67% of CMOs communicate that they have trouble proving the ROI of their marketing efforts

Additional B2B Account Based Marketing (ABM) Resources

Three B2B Predictive Marketing Use Cases >>

B2B Account Based Marketing (ABM) – Sales & Marketing >>

Demand Generation Plan: The Process – Part 1 >>


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