Account-based marketing (ABM) generates at least 25% of marketing attributed revenue within organizations — but over 40% of ABM programs produce negative, uncertain or unmeasured revenue impact, new research revealed.
Predictive ABM platform MRP Prelytix partnered with marketing software provider Demand Metric to release “The State Of Account-Based Maturity,” a research report that surveyed more than 1,275 marketers across four continents about their ABM adoption and usage to identify true best ABM practices.
The report focused on identifying the ABM practices that realize the most success, which included comprehensive internal alignment, combining multiple datasets and scaling campaign messaging.
“A lot of the information that’s put out as a ‘best practice’ today is really just a thinly veiled user guide for somebody’s platform,” said Jennifer Golden, Director of Corporate Marketing for MRP, in an interview with Demand Gen Report. “We saw three themes fall out of our research: Collaboration, orchestration and data management. It’s not a matter of setting up a new platform and putting in a bunch of accounts, because for most organizations, they already have relationships with those accounts. It’s about integrating the different technologies and platforms to compose a single view of the target account across all the different sales and marketing platforms.”
ABM Is A Team Sport
For ABM leaders, collaboration goes well beyond handing off leads to sales. A mix of job roles and multiple teams across the organization are involved in ABM execution, as the amount of roles ABM leaders included in their initiatives are 36% higher than last year, averaging 5.6 compared with 4.1 for those reporting unmeasured or negative ABM revenue impact. Among leaders, the variety of roles encompasses generalists, such as ABM leads, and specialists, such as product marketers or business intelligence experts.
As such, 90% of ABM top performers reported close, cross-functional collaboration between marketing and sales to create ABM strategies, compared with 65% of those who indicated unmeasured or negative impact. Two-thirds (66%) of top performers leverage multiple teams to execute ABM across an organization. In contrast, more than half (56%) of low performers rely on a single team.
“The research showed that it’s not just alignment; it’s true collaboration across the organization, multiple lines of business and different departments working together to reach the ideal performance,” explained Golden. “They’re not just aligned on accounts or channels. They’re really working together to reach their goals.”
Top Performers Differentiate On Data & Data Management
ABM leaders wield more data from multiple sources more effectively than other companies. Eighty percent of top performers reported three or more systems contribute data to ABM, but how they use and manage this data sets them apart.
High performers are twice as likely to use intent data and predictive analytics alongside their CRM and MAP data to create account profiles. Additionally, 81% of top performers rely on this type of broad data set (compared with 40% of low performers), while 44% rely on institutional knowledge alone.
“Intent data is somewhat broken because everyone’s buying the same information, so there’s nothing that’s really differentiated,” explained Golden. “When you tie intent with your first-party data — whether it’s your account list, contact list, CRM or MAP — then that intent data starts taking a more trusted form. Most of the top performers in our research said that they are integrating their data to pull all the insights that are driving performance.”
The research found that 84% of ABM top performers have very or completely integrated tech stacks, which is more than double the percentage (30%) of those with negative or unmeasured ABM impact.
Further, more than 41% of ABM leaders said they had full visibility into ABM campaigns being managed by other teams across their company, compared with just 7% of those who are realizing unmeasured or negative ABM impact.
Due to sophisticated data management processes, the research showed that ABM leaders personalize messaging to a higher degree across more touchpoints. Eighty-four percent of ABM leaders use three or more systems to deliver marketing messages, compared with 66% of companies with negative or unmeasured ABM results.
Nearly half of top performers (46%) said their ABM systems automatically adjusted content to match viewers’ stage of engagement within the customer lifecycle, compared to 11% who reported negative or unmeasured ABM impact.
“These are a lot of topics that aren’t normally talked about in ABM,” said Golden. “Organizations need to integrate their systems and build a target account profile using more sources of data. Collaboration is what’s really big here; you can’t just have teams of people that do ABM. Organizations need to work together and have create ABM experts, not generalists.”
For more insights and a step-by-step, interactive guide to assess ABM performance and identify a roadmap to ABM success, check out the full findings.