“A new study reveals the growing popularity and effectiveness of account-based marketing, as well as the need to harness the right expertise to realise the activity’s full potential" says JPC’s David Gray.
Compared to all other forms of marketing, ABM remains the number one priority for B2B marketers with the majority planning to increase their ABM spend during 2023. This is according to the recently published Elevating ABM report, which canvassed the opinions of 279 marketers in August 2022, based mainly in North America and Europe.
ABM’s continued popularity is not surprising given its effectiveness to grow business and provide value for money. Over three-quarters of those surveyed confirmed ABM delivers both pipeline and revenue growth, while 72% said the technique produces a higher return on investment than any other type of marketing. It was also seen as a great way to maintain active customer engagement among nearly all respondents (90%), which is key to strengthening and developing business relationships.
Despite the effectiveness of ABM programmes, the activity remains at an early stage of development among marketers. Less than a quarter of marketing teams have solidified key elements of their approach, with most still experimenting or expanding, and only a small number programmes fully embedded into businesses.
This lack of maturity means few ABM teams can boast mastery of the technique, with marketers struggling in areas key to campaign success. These include tracking and measuring results, customising and personalising content and campaigns, and educating sales. Failure to harness the necessary experience and expertise to overcome these challenges can significantly impact the effectiveness of ABM programmes.
The survey also revealed three key facets shared by the most successful ABM programmes that mark them out from the rest, pinpointing priority tactics to optimise effectiveness. The first was developing an integrated account-based strategy across the business, embracing ABM as a pillar of corporate growth, rather treating it as just being another marketing function or tactic, and focusing on a more personalised one-to-one approach with major accounts and large bid opportunities.
The second prevalent factor was developing an extended ABM team to tap into a wide range of skills and capabilities, as well as nurturing an ecosystem of supporters and contributors across the business. This included prioritising ABM skill and team development, along with aligning programmes with sales and standardising processes to enable effective collaboration.
A third common thread was driving insight and relevance, creating tailored value propositions and thought leadership informed by thorough research into the customer, their offer and their market, to optimise engagement and cut through.
MUCH MORE TO COME
The report shows that ABM has quickly grown into an essential tool for the modern B2B marketer, driving growth and ongoing customer relationship building, while generating key value by delivering a higher return on investment than any other marketing activity.
However, there are clear signs that ABM can be even more effective if marketers develop or tap into greater expertise in the field, while also solidifying their approach and embedding programmes within their businesses. What’s more, with only 21% of marketers using ABM to support major deals and bids through deal-based marketing (DBM), most businesses can further accelerate growth by deploying the technique to secure lucrative contract opportunities.
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.