By Jeff Kalter
In 2015, a CMO.com headline declared, “Days of ‘Spray and Pray’ Marketing Are Done.”
While we may not yet have heard the death rattle for marketing campaigns that blast out generic messages far and wide in the hopes that someone will notice, more than one nail is in the coffin.
Since the 1990s, B2B marketers have recognized the potential for taking a more targeted, one-on-one approach that emphasized a personalized interaction with each customer. The challenge, however, was implementation. We lacked the tools to scale the operation effectively.
Today, with access to Big Data, marketing automation, robust CRM systems, personalization, content management, predictive analytics, social listening and artificial intelligence, the opportunity is within reach. These tools empower marketers to support sales and target key accounts with tailored messaging.
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is the realization of one-to-one marketing.
It’s been nearly 15 years since ITSMA coined the term Account Based Marketing, making this the perfect time to ask: What is the state of ABM today? Where is it going? And is it really changing the way we sell?
So, Is ABM Working?
We reviewed several benchmark reports on the state of ABM, and while the numbers differ slightly in each depending on the phraseology of the questions, the trends are clear.
The majority of companies today have implemented some form of ABM, with roughly 10% or fewer admitting that they have no current plans to adopt ABM.
But while most companies are doing something, ABM is still in its infancy. ITSMA’s 2018 ABM Benchmark Study finds that 52% of companies have had ABM in place for a year or less. Another 32% say they have been doing ABM for one to two years. Engagio and Salesforce Pardot’s 2019 ABM Market Research Report shows only 4.6% have had an ABM program in place for more than two years.
But there’s good news that should encourage companies to press forward. ITSMA ‘s 2018 ABM Benchmark Study states:
- 45% of companies that have had ABM in place for less than three years report significantly higher ROI.
- And of the 17% of companies with three or more years of experience with ABM, 80% are seeing significantly higher ROI.
Given these results, it’s not surprising that companies are devoting a significant and increasing portion of their budgets to ABM. The 2019 ABM Market Research Report reveals:
- On average, 29% of marketing budget dollars are devoted to ABM
- The amount budgeted for ABM is expected to rise by 8% this year
Demand Gen vs. ABM
As companies continue to gear up their ABM, marketing is understandably slow to move away from existing programs, most notably demand gen.
According to the 2018 ABM Benchmark Survey Report, 45% of respondents still prioritize their demand gen efforts over ABM, and just 15% of companies are focused on ABM almost exclusively.
Read more here:: B2CMarketingInsider