Study indicates that ABM budgets are rising, and early adopters show strong results
Demandbase, the leader in Account-Based Marketing (ABM), announced the results of its 2020 ABM Market Research Study. Conducted in collaboration with Outreach, PFL, Uberflip, Metadata.io, Drift, and Bombora, almost 900 employees from companies of all sizes were surveyed about their experiences with ABM. The study took a holistic view of ABM trends to identify the keys to ABM success, as well as the biggest challenges that hinder it. The insights will help B2B revenue teams maximize the impact of their ABM strategies and transform how they manage and invest in programs.
“We’re always eager to hear directly from marketers and learn from their experiences,” says Peter Isaacson, Chief Marketing Officer, Demandbase. “This research reveals a lot about how ABM is fueling growth in the B2B world. It reinforced what we’ve believed for a long time now, that the companies that have the proper ABM foundations in place and have been dedicated to the strategy for the long haul enjoy very high levels of success. It also proves the value of such an approach for companies of all sizes.”
With the understanding that COVID-19 has continued to have a significant impact on businesses and budgets Demandbase is releasing the original study findings as they were collected prior to the rise of the global pandemic. The results give powerful insight into the state of account-based engagement and the impact on business growth.
As Christy Ferguson, Vice President and Analyst, on Gartner’s Technology and Service Provider Product Marketer Team, said: “ABM programs have been shown to result in significant improvements in pipeline growth. If economic uncertainty continues, these programs should remain a core element of a B2B marketing strategy.”
The 2020 ABM Market Research Study digs further into what separates the leading companies from the less successful ABM practitioners. See below for some of the key takeaways from the research:
- The highest performing companies reported involving more of their Marketing team in the unifying efforts, channels, and tactics.
- 43% of companies named Sales & Marketing alignment as their top priority for ABM in 2020.
- B2B companies see a 40% year-over-year increase in ABM budgets from 2019 to 2020.
- Data quality issues were cited as the top challenge for executing ABM in 2020.
- Software, IT, and marketing/advertising companies lead the pack in ABM adoption and execution.
The research further uncovered key traits that the highest performing companies shared, including:
- Higher budget investment into ABM programs
- Expertise across all dimensions of ABM, from measurement to marketing
- A dedicated ABM leader with ABM in their title
- Measurement of account-related metrics, rather than relying only on lead-based metrics
- Running full ABM plays
Based on the data, Demandbase forecasts an increase in the ROI that ABM delivers in subsequent years. This is because of the length of time a company practices the discipline, coupled with the size of the investment into it, commensurately amplifies the ROI achieved. The company also predicts that it will be increasingly important for businesses to have a dedicated head of ABM and that increases in specific channel investments will also take place once foundational ABM measures are set.