Recently, #FlipMyFunnel and the B2B News Network completed the annual State of ABM survey, which received responses from over 250 B2B marketers, with 60% at a director level or higher.
Sangram Vajre, CMO at Terminus and Founder of #FlipMyFunnel, recently sat down with Dave Rigotti, VP of Marketing at Bizible, for a webinar to discuss some findings within the 2017 ABM report.
Of marketers who took the survey, 83% responded that they had an active ABM program in place. That’s a huge jump from 2016, where less than half responded the same way.
It seems that last year B2B marketers were still trying to understand ABM and begin the process of implementing a program, but 2017 has marketers ramped and expanding their strategies.
This is backed by data from the 2017 report. “Revenue Generation” was overwhelming chosen as the main goal of ABM at almost 50% of respondents. As Dave Rigotti mentions on the webinar, when teams are just getting started with ABM they tend to focus on sales and marketing alignment. But once they are up and running, they realize how impactful it can be on revenue.
It makes sense then, that the response of “Sales and Marketing Alignment” was the only one to significantly decline from 2016 to 2017.
Next, data from the 2017 report was pivoted by marketers who considered themselves Advanced, Intermediate and Beginning with account-based marketing. Interestingly, when asked what their biggest challenge was with ABM, the two main areas where Advanced ABM marketers struggled more than Beginners or Intermediate, were “Developing ABM Content” and “Sales and Marketing Alignment.”
Both of those seem like areas where marketers initially invest to kickstart an ABM program, so it’s a bit surprising that Advanced ABM marketers are struggling. But digging deeper, it could be because once an organization is up and running and a majority of marketing is account-based, marketers begin to do too much at once and those initial steps, like content creation, lose focus. Additionally, it could be because as marketers add more advanced ABM strategies and tactics, extremely personalized content becomes increasingly important, which is more challenging and takes more time to develop.
Regarding Sales and Marketing Alignment, the more advanced the ABM, the more the marketing team has to work with individual sales people. The effort to create and keep alignment is greater, which could explain why it’s the challenge with the largest discrepancy between Advanced and Beginner or Intermediate account-based marketers.
If you’d like hear the full webinar with a deep dive into the 2017 State of Account-Based Marketing, watch the recording here.