After reading the last ABM census where 300 B2B experts were interviewed, and the results were released as part of the 2nd annual B2B marketing ABM Conference and subsequent social media discussions – we drew 3 things telling us something about where ABM might be currently:
- 86% of marketers are struggling to secure data to deliver ABM
- The majority of respondents have yet to deploy ABM properly
- There’s a high risk that ABM is seen as a heavy investment and low ROI
Our perspective is that for those who get ABM right it’s highly valuable. Sadly, for many though there seems to be continuing issues getting the results from ABM. And the advice to overcome it couldn’t be more generic and repetitious from the past 5 years if it tried:
- Alignment between sales and marketing is key
- Need to understand the customer is important
- Being relevant is key
If we really look into the stats flagged in the survey more, they can reveal some interesting issues and spark thinking to look at ABM differently, especially if you just can’t implement ABM in a programmatic way as many advise.
What’s leaping out at us……
- Using ABM for cold prospect marketing – Over 51% of respondents are now using ABM for their new cold account prospecting [only 34% for growing existing accounts] and this is fine but only if you set the ROI to a rate expectant for cold prospect marketing [5%] and not winning from an existing customer [60% more likely].
- Reducing from one-to-many marketing to one-to-few – In 2018 this reduced from 21% to 7%, and this is a positive step for ABM as it should increase the chance that you will have a higher relevancy to engage fewer accounts but if you are adopting this strategy and using it for cold prospect marketing – then you overall ROI will be less as you’re reaching few accounts.
- High-levels of data and insight needed to implement – A remarkable 85% or marketers can’t secure the data they need to deliver ABM. Firstly, data is everywhere and more accessible than ever and ABM done well can get started on very little insight, it can be designed to engage an account, capture intelligence and re-purpose re-use it. In the most basic approach to directly be relevant to a CTO – read her LinkedIn profile, read the company annual report and their CEOs press release and all the information you need is there to start an ABM engagement one-to-one.
- Over-selling and engineering of ABM – With so many people not yet deploying ABM or seeing it as a heavy investment the way in which agencies are selling ABM has to be questioned – start small, start agile, start rapid and build is the best, effective and efficient approach – and be agile. The ROI is quicker, its controllable and you can adapt to what suits you.
For more information on how to improve or approach ABM please take a look at one of our ABM slideshare decks as a starting point.