The Explosion of interest in ABM, and the growing number of intended rollouts of the strategy have been validated by a number of different research reports. How- ever, a new survey from Aberdeen Group, Account-Based Marketing Fact and Fiction: What Really Works?, has shed some interesting light on the different factors influencing the success of ABM adoption, as well as the potential payoffs of getting your ABM strategy right.
Despite all the hype around ABM, Aberdeen found investment in applications to support ABM initiatives are still relatively low—42% of companies said they have begun tactical adoption of ABM, but only 13% said they deployed technology to support the initiative.
A lot of the applications available today are still relatively new, so that number may not be a surprise. Andrew Moravick, Aberdeen Group’s Senior Research Associate, pointed out that organizations are correctly focusing on getting their processes and goals in place before they deploy technology.
“What has many marketers so excited today is the potential in ABM technology to scale and optimize the strategy’s impact,” Moravick says. “If you want to be successful with ABM, you need to be able to implement it in a way that is right for your business.”
Some of the factors in getting ABM “right” were also highlighted in the survey, including:
Proving content’s key role, the survey found:
- Company revenue increases were 16.4% per year for firms with buyer-aligned content, versus 9.4% for those without; and
- Marketing’s contribution to revenue for companies with aligned content was 12.3% versus 8.9% without alignment.
INTEGRATION OF SYSTEMS IS INTEGRAL
Tight alignment and integration between marketing and sales systems is key across all marketing initiatives but again becomes even more imperative with an ABM focus. The Aberdeen study found a steady staircase of increases in the percent of companies achieving their revenue goals, correlating with the level of their degree of integration between sales and marketing. Highlighting this trend, the study found 80% of companies with highly integrated systems were reaching revenue goals, ver- sus 44% with ineffective integration.
SETTING GOALS AROUND METRICS & PAYOFFS
The Aberdeen Group research also pointed to some of the key metrics and payoffs organizations should focus on as they build their ABM strategies.
- The effectiveness in marketing activities that engage existing leads was more than 20% higher for ABM practitioners;
- Managing, scoring and prioritizing leads was rated as 30% more effective for ABM practitioners;
- The number of marketing campaigns completed was significantly higher for ABM practitioners versus non-practitioners; and
- The number of marketing-qualified leads delivered to sales was higher.