Account-Based Marketing (ABM) =
Focused B2B Marketing
2016 was the year of category creation for account-based marketing. ABM was added as a category on TrustRadius and the very first book on ABM, Account-Based Marketing For Dummies, was published. ABM was one of the biggest buzzwords in our industry. Just look at the rise in Google searches for “account-based marketing.”
Now that 2017 is here, there will be an increasing number of B2B marketing teams putting ABM into practice. ABM is now a well-established practice, and research shows that an increasing number of organizations are investing in marketing technology (martech) to support their ABM efforts. Just look at how much the martech landscape has changed in 2016!
There are nearly 4,000 tech vendors out there to support B2B marketers in their endeavors. But candidly, all of this technology is useless without a holistic marketing strategy. This is where account based marketing benchmarks come into play.
Why? Because a comprehensive ABM strategy is proven
to increase revenue for B2B organizations!
Here are 17 statistics showing why 2017 will be another big year for account-based marketing.
1. B2B marketers invested more heavily in account-based marketing in 2016…
This research from SiriusDecisions was led by Megan Heuer. Their goal was “to find out just how far (ABM) has come in terms of execution.” 27% of survey respondents said they were devoting between 11% and 30% of their total marketing budget to ABM. This metric was up from 19% in 2015.
Source: SiriusDecisions’ 2016 State of Account Based Marketing (ABM) Study
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2. …and that pattern is expected to continue in 2017.
Over 70% of the survey respondents said they spent more of their budgets on ABM in 2016. “It’s likely that these spending patterns will continue in 2017,” the research states. This is an important indicator that there’s an increasing number of early adopters investing in martech to execute ABM programs at scale.
Source: SiriusDecisions’ 2016 State of Account Based Marketing (ABM) Study
3. Marketing technology is a fast-growing industry in 2017.
More than 70% of survey respondents said they expect their marketing technology budget to increase slightly (50%) or greatly (20%) in 2017, and only 2% expect a decrease. Per the previous statistics, it can be inferred that an increasing number of B2B marketers are investing in tech solutions to do #MarTech and #ABM at scale.
Source: The State of Marketing Technology 2017 study by Walker Sands Communications & chiefmartec.com
4. B2B marketing budgets as a whole are also increasing in 2017.
From the marketers surveyed, 57% of respondents said they expect their marketing budget to increase in 2017. Comparatively, only 14% of marketers surveyed said they expected their marketing budgets to decrease.
Source: Gartner 2016-2017 CMO Spend Survey
[Tweet “57% of @Gartner_Inc survey respondents expect their #marketing budgets to increase in 2017.”]
5. ABM gives marketers a serious return on their investment.
Almost 85% of marketers who measure ROI describe account-based marketing as delivering higher returns than any other marketing approach, with half of those marketers citing significantly higher returns.
[Tweet “~85% of marketers tell @ITSMA_B2B that #ABM delivers higher ROI than any other #marketing approach.”]
6. The current marketing landscape puts buyers in charge…
“Presented with copious information available digitally, business buyers have learned to use technology to make more informed choices. Sellers once controlled information, price, and location — now buyers, empowered with mobile devices and cloud-based apps, have taken that control.”
Source: Forrester’s Winning In The Age Of The Customer
7. …but account-based marketing gives vendors a bigger advantage.
“ABM helps shift the advantage away from digitally empowered buyers by reapplying fundamental marketing principles like segmenting, targeting, developing rich customer insights, testing, aligning across channels, and acting in response to results.”
Source: Forrester’s Retro Yet Revolutionary: Demystifying Account-Based Marketing
8. Account-based marketing is a strategy, not a technology.
David Raab is one of the top thought leaders in the ABM space, and his first-ever ABM vendor report is chock-full of insights and analysis. “ABM is a strategy, not a technology,” Raab writes. “But ABM requires many tools, including data and predictive modeling to identify target accounts; campaign engines to orchestrate messages; execution systems to deliver those messages; and analytical systems to evaluate results.”
Source: David Raab’s Account Based Marketing Vendor Report
[Tweet ““#ABM is a strategy, not a technology.” – @draab #b2bmarketing”]
9. Predictive analytics are on the rise in B2B marketing.
Gartner has “Predictive B2B Marketing Analytics” at the peak of inflated expectations, noting that this type of tech has a huge ROI and can be instrumental for account-based marketing.
Source: Gartner 2016 Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising
10. Most marketers have already built a content marketing foundation for ABM.
When asked, “Does your organization use content marketing?” nearly 90% replied “Yes” from more than 1,100 respondents. Content marketing is the essence of ABM, as content will need to be aligned to personas and industries in target accounts.
Source: Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America
11. Even AdWeek is getting on the ABM bandwagon!
This is a great article discussing how in 2017 even more B2B marketers “will adopt techniques including account based marketing.”
“…we believe ROI pressure will lead marketers to seize ownership of the overall customer experience and create strategic alignment across marketing, communications, sales and IT.”
Source: 6 Digital Trends in 2017 That Will Redefine Influence and Interaction for Marketers
12. Companies that do account-based marketing are more tightly aligned.
A survey from Bizible found that “marketers doing ABM are about 40% more likely to report alignment with their sales team compared to marketers not doing ABM.”
Source: Bizible’s State of Pipeline Marketing Report 2016
13. In fact, B2B companies that do ABM are more successful in a lot of ways!
This report from Bizible and TOPO found “ABM outperforms a traditional marketing approach across a number of categories, including sales and marketing alignment, overall customer LTV, contract value, close rate, and ROI.”
Source: Bizible and TOPO’s ABM Insights & Recommendations
14. Account-based marketing isn’t just successful; it’s measurable.
“ABM’s ability to drive revenue creates benefits for the marketing organization. The ultimate goal for a marketing organization is to not just influence revenue, but to attribute a measurable contribution to revenue.”
Source: ABM Adoption Report
Hang tight! We’re almost done!
Lastly, we have two customer case studies with awesome proof points that highlight the importance of account-based marketing.
15. ABM works to generate more opportunities.
Our ABM superheroes at WP Engine used the Terminus account-based advertising platform to generate 28% more new opportunities from target accounts. As a result of their ABM campaign, WP Engine saw:
- Engagement from 93% of the accounts on their target list.
- A 59% increase in open rates (from 27% to 43%).
- A 29% increase in reply rates (from 4.9% to 6.3%).
16. Innovative companies use account-based marketing to revive dead opps.
In this video testimonial from Vidyard, hear from CMO Tyler Lessard on how his team was able to revive more than $1 million in lost opportunities by taking an account-based approach.
And the most important thing to remember about ABM…
17. The martech landscape will only continue to grow.
If there were nearly 4,000 software vendors included in the chiefmartec.com landscape in March of 2016, imagine how many Scott Brinker will include in the 2017 supergraphic. We look forward to seeing it debut at the MarTech Conference in San Francisco this May!
Want to explore account-based marketing technology?
Four thousand software vendors is a little much for the typical busy marketer to sort through, but we’re here to help. Use our new interactive tool, the ABM Stack Grader, to visualize your B2B technology stack, identify gaps and overlap in your tools, and build your ideal account-based marketing tech stack.