“A skills gap could be holding businesses back from reaping the full rewards of account-based marketing programmes, according to a new study" says JPC’s David Gray.
There aren’t many things – if any – you can do well without practice, and practising takes time. In today’s increasingly competitive business landscape, time is a rare commodity. This is particularly the case in marketing and sales, where the latest and best strategies need to be up and running fast, so that the benefits can be reaped in terms of revenue growth as quickly as possible – ideally before the competition. This is the dilemma B2B marketers are facing with account-based approaches to marketing (ABM).
Studies over the past year have shown that ABM drives a greater return on investment (ROI) than any other form of B2B marketing, so is essentially better value and more effective. This was confirmed by 72% of marketers surveyed in the newly published Elevating ABM report. Drilling down deeper, the recent State of ABM 2022 study found that three-quarters of marketers generated a 10% ROI or more from their ABM campaigns, one in five an impressive 200%, with 53% saying the tactic generated more revenue than any other technique.
However, adoption of ABM remains at a relatively early stage for most businesses. This means the majority are still experimenting, with only a small number having fully embedded programmes into their strategies, according to Elevating ABM. This means few B2B marketers can boast ABM mastery. So, what effect is this skills gap having on businesses? The 2022 ABM Benchmark Survey provides results that could set alarm bells ringing among CEOs and may even keep them awake at night.
The difference in performance between campaigns run by more experienced ABM marketers compared with novices is marked. For starters, ABM campaigns exceeded the expectations of just under half (45%) of those less experienced in the discipline in contrast to 59% of those with greater expertise.
In terms of direct business benefits, ABM drove faster sales cycles for 31% of more experienced practitioners, but only 24% of novices. The technique delivered stronger, more trustworthy account relationships for 48% of more seasoned ABM marketers, compared to 39% of those new to the field, while 70% of the former gained sales and marketing alignment, a benefit only enjoyed by 44% of the latter.
The success of ABM programmes in accelerating sales, building customer trust to drive better retention, and getting sales and marketing teams working together more effectively will delight businesses. However, there’s bound to be frustration over the fact that a lack of ABM maturity is holding marketers back and denying their businesses the potential benefits.
Remember, even the more experienced in-house B2B marketers are still fairly new to the game and admitted to Elevating ABM that they struggle in areas vital to campaign success, including tracking and measuring results, customising and personalising content and programmes, and educating sales.
To help overcome this problem and optimise their account-based activity, the 2022 ABM Benchmark Survey reports that the practice of collaborating with expert partners is growing as marketers realise the benefits of teaming up with specialist agencies and consultants to accelerate the effectiveness of their programmes. And with successful ABM campaigns proven to deliver a strong ROI, it looks like this could be a smart and prudent strategy to accelerate growth.
At JPC, we’ll help you raise your gaze above the sales and marketing parapet, explode the silos and head towards an altogether more holistic company-wide account-based approach. Get in touch if you would like to know more.