The new research from Foundry also found that most marketers use intent data to optimize and identify what content should be served within ABM campaigns
Foundry (an IDG, Inc. company), the global leader in media, martech and data for the tech community, today released its second annual 2022 ABM & Intent Benchmarking Study which dives deep into the workings of account-based marketing (ABM) and its evolution and adoption compared to traditional marketing approaches. The study also looks at how intent data is used to fuel ABM programs, and the success and challenges marketers see with intent.
ABM is a strategy where marketing and sales teams collaborate to create personalized buying experiences for a mutually identified set of high-value accounts. It has gained popularity over traditional marketing approaches – Foundry found that 96% of marketers have a documented ABM strategy. In addition, they study shows that 94% rate ABM as extremely or very important to their overall marketing objectives, and 84% feel their ABM efforts have been either extremely or very successful.
“We conducted this study with the hopes of gaining a better understanding of the evolution and adoption of account-based marketing, including how it compares to traditional marketing approaches in the eyes of marketers,” said Stacey Raap, Marketing and Research Manager at Foundry. “In addition, we thought it would be useful and relevant to examine the uses, successes and challenges that marketers are seeing when it comes to intent data, given its critical role within ABM.”
Marketing Technology News: SOCi Earns ISO 27001 Certification, Solidifies Platform Security to Protect Customer Information
Here is a closer look at the survey’s findings:
Why are companies using account-based marketing?
Organizations have many reasons for adopting ABM programs as there are a variety of business objectives driving these ABM investments. According to the study, some of the goals expected to drive future ABM investments include new account acquisition (69%), improving win-rates (63%), upsell and cross-sell to existing customers (61%) and accelerating pipeline (59%). To achieve these goals, marketers are utilizing different tactics within ABM, including content marketing (63%), paid digital advertising (61%), organic social media (57%) and SEO (46%).
When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of their ABM programs, 60% focused on deal size, while 59% looked at content engagement length. Other measurements of success include: deal close rate (56%), influenced pipeline (51%) and pipeline velocity (46%).
A significant 87% of respondents said their ABM investment increased over the past 12 months, with the majority saying their budget increased by 26-50% (38%). This shows that companies are taking ABM more seriously and find it a worthwhile investment.
“According to our research, most organizations have in place a documented account-based marketing strategy and have been running such programs for at least a year now,” said Raap. “The results found that ABM is in place to become a mainstream marketing discipline that could even take the place of traditional methods moving forward.”
In addition, ABM’s focus on collaboration may help strengthen the dynamic between marketing and sales teams. Foundry’s research found that 76% of marketers believe sales and marketing alignment at their company is strong, a figure that was consistent with last year’s research.
Intent data is critical for ABM campaigns
The study also looked at marketers’ use of intent data, which is information collected about web content consumption that provides insights into buyers’ interests. The study found that 91% of marketers use intent data to identify which content should be served within ABM campaigns. In addition, 95% of marketers use more than one intent data source, 41% use four or more, and 90% are increasing their number of data sources.
One of the major attractions of intent-based marketing is its measurability since outcomes can be tied directly to observed behavior. Ninety-five percent of marketers said they can track the ROI specific to their intent-based programs. Further, 93% said they use it across more than one channel and 92% said they’re confident in the validity of their data sources.
Potential challenges ABM marketers face
While the benefits are plentiful, there still remain some challenges within ABM. Eighty-one percent of marketers said that quantifying ABM program results is one of their biggest challenges. Some other obstacles cited in the study include prioritizing accounts (46%), gaining C-level involvement (34%), engaging target accounts (32%), acquiring opt-in contacts (31%) and creating a target account list (30%).
When it comes to using intent data in ABM campaigns, Foundry found that marketers struggle with efficiently converting data to insights (62%) and verifying validity of intent signals/insights (61%). The survey also found that measuring the impact of intent data (55%), creating a strategy (55%) and acting on intent signals/insights (23%) were among the biggest challenges.
Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview with Laura Ritchey, EVP and COO at Radial