Boosting engagement, deal volume and marketing value as well as driving internal alignment, account relevance and customer retention are just some of the perks of business-to-business (B2B) account-based marketing (ABM). Due to today’s demand for tailored marketing, B2Bs now view ABM as a must-have, according to April 2015 polling by SiriusDecisions, in which 92% of B2B marketers worldwide said ABM was “extremely” or “very” important to their overall marketing efforts.
Despite the critical factor of ABM, B2B marketers appeared slow in adoption—though results also suggested this was picking up. While just 20% of respondents reported having a full ABM program in place for a year, 26% had one for less than a year. More promising was the fact that 52% had a pilot in place—14% for more than half a year, and 38% for fewer than six months.
Research by ITSMA conducted in January 2015 pointed to growth in ABM investment; 41% of B2B marketers worldwide said they would increase spending on ABM, vs. 8% who intended to decrease dollars.
Once B2B marketers get ABM programs in place, they have their work cut out for them. SiriusDecisions’ respondents listed a multitude of responsibilities of ABM marketers, tops being working with sales to define account goals and plans—emphasizing the collaborative nature of ABM and the need for strong sales-marketing alignment (the good news: 91% of those with an ABM program in place said they were “tightly” or “somewhat or moderately” aligned with sales). B2B marketers had data digging to do, too, as gathering account and/or contact information was the second-biggest responsibility. Further responses highlighted ABM marketers’ role throughout the process, from selecting accounts to building strategies to executing plans.
While B2B marketers and sales teams were well aligned, SiriusDecisions suggested that ABM teams lacked support from other groups—specifically, other marketing teams and outside agencies or service providers. Not only would this help them manage the overwhelming amount of responsibilities, but it could also help identify other areas of opportunity.