According to the the ITSMA & ABM Leadership Alliance 2019 ABM Benchmark Study, Account Based Marketing is transitioning from a niche b2b Marketing discipline to a maturing practise.
ABM adoption is rapidly increasing
Almost of half of the marketers and their organisations have moved from exploration and experimentation phase to expansion phase.
ABM is adopted for both strategic and tactical use cases
There is a misconception that ABM is for landing new deals. This can't be more wrong as ABM is great for use cases like expansion - from one unit to enterprise wide, one geography to worldwide, pre-targeting, waking the dead etc. Clearly this is evident from the report that marketers are using ABM the most for account growths.
Types of ABM and its adoption
Some key themes for maturing ABM programs in 2020
Practice patience: ABM can generate substantial results but takes time to develop fully; the most mature and carefully executed programs drive far greater business impact.
From proper account selection to establishing a targeting and personalisation strategy, it takes significant time and effort to establish a winnable playbook.
Strengthens Sales & Marketing alignment: ABM programs do a good job in establishing the marketing-sales co-ordination. According to the report, there’s a substantial room for greater collaboration across the range of approaches and programs.
Companies can benefit even more if marketing can move from handover-to-sales after qualification thinking to working alongside sales during and post acquisition of a customer/Account. We call it as Marketing assisted Sales.
Invest in insight: The best ABM programs are customer-centric and executed based on deep insights; marketers are still early in tapping the full benefits of tools and data for sustained and high impact success.
The ability to harvest insights across channels and touch-points is a key in reaping full benefits from the ABM programs.
Master multichannel: The most effective ABM programs use a cross-channel approach in targeting their named accounts.
It requires an integrated view for tracking engagement across channels and orchestrating campaigns.
Build a blended strategy: Most companies are still relying on just one type of #ABM but the most effective programs use two or three: One-to-One, One-to-Few, and One-to-Many.
While this could entirely apply for larger, it becomes complex for mid-sized organisations to run parallel programs that don't necessarily scale.