Whatever they are, you’re not alone. Our own research combined with two recent studies uncover the barriers marketers are coming up against when executing their account-based marketing programmes. Read on to discover the findings, says James Mollard.
Account-based strategies are growing in popularity due to their ability to deliver a higher ROI and revenue growth than any other marketing discipline for 73% (Elevating ABM, 2022) and 53% (2022 State of ABM report) of B2B marketers respectively. This is why a lot of organisations (64%) have made ABM central to their marketing strategy, and why most are planning to increase their spend on the discipline during 2023, as revealed by the B2B Sales and Marketing Data report 2022.
However, planning and executing ABM programmes hasn’t been plain sailing for B2B marketers, with the technique representing unchartered territory for many. As such, it places new demands on sales and marketing. For instance, executing successful ABM means both teams must work more closely together than ever before. Plus, the human and personalised aspect of the discipline, a key element not only for driving stakeholder engagement, but also in differentiating companies from their rivals, can also prove difficult.
Nothing to be afraid of
And the ABM challenges B2B marketers are facing don’t stop there. Always looking for ways we can adjust our services to meet the changing needs of our clients, we carried out a straw poll to find out where they needed most help with ABM. The results, along with the findings of two recent studies, open the lid on the array of issues, which are striking by their sheer number. But before revealing these challenges, it’s important to note that they are nothing to be afraid of. The expertise is out there, and all can be overcome by striking up the right supplier partnerships.
Furthermore, any external investment will be worth it because of ABM’s proven power to deliver a strong return on investment when carried out in the right way. According to the 2022 State of ABM report, nearly three-quarters (73%) of marketers received more than a 10% return on their investment, a third enjoy 50% or higher, with 12% experiencing an impressive 200% or more.
Facing the truth
The important thing is not to shy away from your ABM challenges. In fact, you should do the reverse. It’s vital to take the time and effort to identify the issues you and you team are facing. They are holding you back from optimising your ABM programmes and reaping the full rewards in terms of revenue growth and customer engagement. Only by embracing the challenges can you start to overcome them by training your team, bringing in an ABM partner, or both. Plus, as will be revealed shortly, you are most definitely alone.
So, now you’re prepared for the shock, it’s time to finally divulge what B2B marketers are struggling with when it comes to their ABM programmes. Across our straw poll and the two studies (B2B Annual Sales and Marketing Report 2022 and the State of ABM report 2022), no less than 14 challenges have been identified. Deep breath, so here goes – in order of popularity and grouped by cause. And remember, there’s no need to panic as the help is out there…
- Choosing the right account – 46%
- Transitioning accounts to more targeted strategy – 43%
- Personalisation – 39%
- Choosing the right content/assets – 34%
- Aligning Sales and Marketing – 31%
- Justifying ABM resources – 29%
- Budget – 29%
- Lack of resources/personnel – 24%
- Unclear ABM strategy – 23%
- Difficulty measuring ABM success – 23%
- Lack of understanding about ABM in organisation – 22%
- Having appropriate and sufficient content – 22%
- Too many legacy technologies and processes – 22%
- Lack of executive sponsorship/support – 21%
- Engaging with more hybrid working customers – 9%
Red – Lack of ABM expertise
Blue – Internal communications/resources problems
Green – Budget/resources issues
Orange – Technology problems