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The ABM stats that show how it's being used – and how powerful it can be

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Feroze Engineer

Every year, ABM seems to take on new levels of importance to B2B marketing.

It’s easy to see why – we have the technology to facilitate it, the pandemic has altogether removed in-person sales and marketing activity from the mix (freeing up time and resources), and, as the stats show, it can be incredibly effective.

 

In addition, Gartner’s latest research shows that pandemic-driven cuts have put marketing budgets in the doldrums – in fact marketing expenditure as a percentage of revenue is at its lowest point in over a decade. This illustrates the need to do more with less, putting your resources where they count the most, rather than spending it on mass media or less targeted digital strategies.

We’ve been looking around for some of the most interesting and eye-grabbing stats around ABM marketing. Numbers that show how many are using it, how they’re using it, and why.

Here’s what stood out during our research.

How popular is ABM marketing?

It’s very popular, and its uptake keeps increasing.

In this wide-ranging report from 2020, which surveyed more than 300 B2B professionals, a whopping 93% of respondents said they currently have an active ABM program, compared to 77% the year before.

That said, for many B2B sales and marketing teams it’s still early days when it comes to ABM. Also from this report, 7.9% of respondents claimed to be in an experimental “pilot” phase, and 43% in an “early” phase.

From a survey of 300 B2B professionals, 93% said they have an active ABM program

So while ABM has been taken up widely, comparatively few are using mature strategies. Later on we’ll have some stats showing how much it pays to invest in a long-term ABM strategy – the longer it’s part of the marketing mix, the more it comes to dominate, with the numbers suggesting it tends to eventually become a primary source of opportunities.

What it means for you

It means it’s time to start thinking ABM if you haven’t – but we’re sure you already knew this.

It’s not only time to bring ABM to the table, but to start thinking of it as a multi-year, complex strategy. How will you manage resources? What tools will you use? Getting ahead of the curve now will place you in front of competitors. It’s clearer now than ever that ABM will only become more important as time goes on.

Below, we have created an infographic that features the latest stats and trends in the world of ABM.

View the infographic in full here.

How are people using ABM?

So we know what the uptake of ABM looks like. How about its implementation?

Interestingly, there appears to be differences here based on where you are in your ABM journey.

ABM can be used towards several KPIs. Indeed, here at Cyance, we find that our customers use our platform for lead generation, customer retention, and new business generation.

Companies starting with ABM typically focus to a higher degree on lead generation. 42% of respondents in the early stage of ABM (also in the report cited above) said they were utilising ABM within a lead generation strategy, compared to only 10% underway with mature programs.

This is an important observation, as it gets at how ABM might best be used. The progression here suggests that account engagement, new business generation and customer retention are goals to which ABM can be applied more effectively, and that teams might be learning about this application as they go.

Secret sauce?

Of course, it’s important to note that our customers don’t just use ABM. Many have realised that the secret sauce to a successful campaign is the intent data that drives it. This data helps to identify your best-fit prospects and their buying stage based on signals from online behaviour across thousands of local-language data sources, giving sales and marketing the insights they need to create effective content, messaging and advertising.

Cyance makes it easy to engage prospects by automatically triggering campaigns based on their changing interests. Our platform also measures the impact of these campaigns to help with ongoing refinement, making the whole ABM process smooth, centralised and precise.

Finally aligning marketing and sales

It’s one of the most talked about features of ABM – the way it brings sales and  marketing together, working towards a unified goal and even talking the same language.

In 2020 LinkedIn surveyed 800 B2B marketers from around the world – 82% said that “ABM greatly improves the alignment between marketing and sales at their company”.

ABM reduces the friction between sales and marketing by increasing lead quality and adding efficiency to the lead generation process. In this eBook from Marketo it was found that ABM results in a 50% reduction in time wasted by sales teams on prospecting.

The age-old split isn’t fully resolved though – 70% of ABM users report marketing-sales alignment, so while this is better than the 50% of non-ABM users reporting alignment, there’s still some way to go.

And now… the results

OK, now it’s the really juicy stuff. How well does ABM actually work?

Compared to other marketing investments – in terms of ROI 87% of B2B marketers surveyed by ITSMA reported that ABM initiatives outperform other strategies.

What about deal size? 91% of companies using ABM increase their average deal size, with 25% reporting an increase of +50% (SiriusDecisions).

Contract value also benefits, with some companies seeing a 171% increase ($195,294 vs. $71,941)

In terms of ROI 87% of B2B marketers surveyed by ITSMA reported that ABM initiatives outperform other strategies.

And does it impact revenue? 60% of companies report at least a 10% increase in revenue in the first year of a new ABM program, with a 208% increase in marketing revenue witnessed by some companies, according to MarketingProf.

It’s not only revenue that is impacted, with ABM affecting all of the “three Rs”: Revenue, Relationships and Reputation. ABM is an incredibly powerful tool for customer retention, a key market for the latter two “Rs”, and 80% of marketers report improved customer lifetime values as a result of ABM.

Internally, at Cyance we have observed a x3 increase in overall marketing ROI among customers using our ABM platform. However, specific customers have recently reported:

Visit Cyance’s Case Studies for more details on our customers’ success.