The second entry of PMG360’s four part series on Account Based Marketing (ABM) -- a B2B strategy that identifies and targets key business accounts with highly personalized campaigns.  This article takes a look at the impact of ABM on today’s marketing landscape as well as its likely role in the future.

A Look at Today. A Look Ahead.

Thirty-four percent of marketers said they are practicing ABM and that number is expected to grow.[1] “As more organizations begin to see the value in an account-centric approach, we expect to see this number significantly increase over the next few years. Some organizations will focus solely on ABM, while others may use a blend of both broad-based and account-based marketing in their mix,” Marketo stated in its 2017 Marketing Benchmark Report — North America.

A separate study from 2017 had similar findings with 71 percent of ABM-ers planning to scale ABM within the next 12 months. Many of which (67 percent) were looking to adopt a blended approach to do so.[2]

In discussing the benefits of ABM it is important to also note the challenges that can accompany the strategy. As outlined in the 2017 ITSMA and ABM Leadership Alliance Account-Based Marketing Benchmarking Survey,[3] some of the most commonly cited challenges include:

  • Developing campaign assets that are mass customizable to allow scale (42 percent).
  • Personalizing and tailoring marketing to the key contacts at each account (40 percent).
  • Educating sales and marketing on what ABM is and how it is done (35 percent).
  • Getting adequate budget to support programs and resources (28 percent).
  • Justifying the program costs/proving ROI (28 percent).
  • Selecting and implementing technology to enhance and scale the program (25 percent).

What’s also interesting is that today three types of ABM have emerged — one-to-one, one-to-few, and one-to-many — and all three are generating impressive results.[4]

Here’s a closer look:

One-to-one ABM (five to 50 accounts): This focuses on existing key accounts. Companies will take a deep dive into account research to develop highly customized programs for each high-value client. The reported success rate stands at an impressive 91 percent.

One-to-few ABM (Clusters of 5 to 15 accounts each): This type focuses on both new and existing key accounts that have similar issues. Leveraging cluster research, marketers will develop highly focused programs with modest personalization. The reported success rate also is 91 percent.

One-to-many ABM (100s of accounts): This method focuses on relevant new accounts. Leveraging market and account intelligence, as well as technology for scale, this method delivers broader programs with light personalization. The reported success rate is a solid 76 percent.

While many companies have implemented just one type of ABM, a growing number are expected to migrate to a blended approach, as noted earlier.

 

Click Here to download the complete whitepaper:  The ABC's of ABM: 8 Steps to Achieving Winning Results

 

[1] Marketo. “2017 Marketing Benchmark Report: North America.” Marketo.com, 23 Jan. 2017, www.marketo.com/analyst-and-other-reports/2017-marketing-benchmark-report-north-america/.

[2] Leavitt, Rob, and Jessica Fewless. Optimizing ABM: Moving to a Blended Approach. ITSMA and ABM Leadership Alliance, 2017, www.abmleadershipalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/Optimizing_ABM_Event_ABMLA_ITSMA_2017.pdf

[3] Leavitt, Rob, and Jessica Fewless. Optimizing ABM: Moving to a Blended Approach. ITSMA and ABM Leadership Alliance, 2017, www.abmleadershipalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/Optimizing_ABM_Event_ABMLA_ITSMA_2017.pdf

[4] Leavitt, Rob, and Jessica Fewless. Optimizing ABM: Moving to a Blended Approach. ITSMA and ABM Leadership Alliance, 2017, www.abmleadershipalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/Optimizing_ABM_Event_ABMLA_ITSMA_2017.pdf