5th Annual Terminus State of ABM Report uncovers significant budget resiliency amid widespread cuts during Covid-19 and a broadening of ABM programs to include customer retention and expansion efforts
Terminus, the leading account-based marketing platform, released its fifth annual State of ABM Report. The 2020 report uncovered that Covid-19 spurred rapid ABM adoption, an increase in scope and investment in existing account-based programs, and that ABM is critical to customer retention and expansion efforts, among other key findings.
This year’s State of ABM Report surveyed more than 310 respondents with over 76 percent representing marketing practitioners. The report found a groundswell in early maturity ABM programs, suggesting the effects of COVID have accelerated adoption, and compares new programs to more mature ones.
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Key findings from the 2020 Terminus State of ABM Report include:
- Mature ABM programs are resilient. Findings indicate companies with sophisticated ABM programs increased ABM-specific budgets, even amid overall marketing budget reductions. This indicates that account-based programs are resilient, even to global pandemics, as a strategy to drive efficient growth. According to Gartner’s 2020 CMO Spend Survey, marketing budgets decreased by about 40 percent due to Covid-19. With fewer dollars to spend, no live events, and a remote workforce, 63 percent of teams indicated their account-based program either became more important or absolutely critical to their business goals.
- Current world challenges spurred a rapid increase in ABM adoption. In the 2019 State of ABM Report, 23 percent of respondents had no active ABM program. This year, an overwhelming majority of more than 94 percent of respondents currently indicate having an ABM program. Of those with an active ABM program, almost eight percent were in an experimental pilot phase and 43 percent rated their experience with ABM as “early.” This represents a large swell in new ABM practitioners indicating that in a work-from-home world with tighter budgets, focused, efficient marketing became the top priority for CMOs.
- Key goals of ABM continue to shift from leads to revenue. While lead generation is a component of an account-based marketing program, it’s only a small part. Revenue teams should focus on target account engagement and building opportunity pipeline over lead metrics. Companies early in their ABM journey don’t seem to have reached that conclusion yet, with 42 percent of respondents looking to ABM as a lead generation strategy. Mature companies are generating 78 percent of opportunities and 73 percent of revenue from ABM – only 10 percent pay attention to leads.
- Retention is the new acquisition. In 2019, 38 percent of respondents stated that cross-sell/upsell was a goal of their ABM program. This year, 61 percent said that customer retention and expansion was a part of their strategy with another 31 percent planning on including it as a priority in the future. Among respondents who said their ABM program was “mature,” 80 percent indicated that they have dedicated programs to customer initiatives.
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“No doubt, 2020 has been a dumpster fire, and B2B marketing as we know it changed forever. But, I think for the better,” said Justin Keller, Terminus VP of Marketing. “Not only are we seeing an incredible increase in ABM adoption across industries, but we’re also realizing mature ABM programs are increasingly ubiquitous and synonymous with overall revenue generation strategies. Simply put: full-funnel ABM is one of the best investments companies could make for retaining customers and driving efficient revenue growth.”
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