Account-based marketing is here to stay. It’s no longer a new strategy and marketers realize it can supplement traditional demand generation, not just replace it.
As Allison Snow said in a recent Forrester blog post, “Smart marketers are using ABM to support the goals they already had, not to change the game and achieve different outcomes.”
In the 2017 State of Pipeline Marketing Report, over 350 marketers responded to questions about how they’re driving growth at their organizations. In this post, we focus on marketers who responded that 50% or more of their marketing is account based.
Of those, almost 95% gave a 3-out-of-5 or higher ranking when asked if they consider their ABM efforts to be effective, meaning that marketers who are spending time on ABM are seeing positive results.
Interestingly, when asked about Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) technology, marketers doing 50% or more ABM are almost 4 times as likely to be using Hubspot (32.4%) than Marketo (8.5%). Marketo was actually the third most used MAP behind Pardot (11.3%).
Not surprisingly, since sales and marketing alignment is often stated as a benefit of account-based marketing, marketers doing 50% or more ABM see strong alignment with their sales teams.
With 5 being the top response of “tightly aligned,” 55.7% rated their alignment with Sales as a 4 or 5. For those who aren’t doing any form of ABM, that number fell 15.9 percentage points to 39.8%.
For account-based marketing to be effective, sales and marketing teams must work together to find target accounts, create personalized content and engage contacts at the right time. So it makes sense that the teams would be strongly aligned.
In the same realm, for organizations as a whole to be successful, departments need to have aligned goals. For this reason, marketers are increasingly aligning their goals to broader business objectives.
Account-based marketing exists to identify the accounts most likely to close, become customers and provide revenue to the company. Naturally, marketers doing 50% or more ABM are 7.4% more likely to have strong alignment to greater business objectives (revenue/customers) than those who do not do any ABM.
Top Marketing Priority
Extending organizational goals to marketing priorities, the revenue goal remains. Marketers who responded that half, or more, of their marketing was account-based are committed to converting leads to customers and revenue. It came in as the number one marketing priority with just over 50% responding it was in fact their top priority.
We’re excited to see this continued shift toward prioritizing driving customers and revenue. More and more, marketers are joining the rest of the organization and being held accountable to a revenue number.
On the other hand, marketers who don’t do any account-based marketing are primarily focused on driving more leads. In fact, 48.2% said it was their top priority, followed by 35.2% who said their top priority was converting leads to revenue/customers.
What Metric do you use for Marketing Planning?
In this year’s State of Pipeline Marketing Report, for the first time, we included questions on planning. One of those questions was, “What Metric do you Use for Marketing Planning?” Meaning, when you’re planning your marketing, what is your end goal?
At Bizible, we believe all channels should plan to revenue. So it’s great to see that for those doing 50% or more ABM, the second highest response (24%) for metric used for marketing planning, was revenue.
Combining the responses of opportunities, pipeline and revenue, that number jumps to 53.5% of respondents, with the rest of the responses scattered over various other metrics like MQLs and leads. It’s exciting to see bottom-of-the-funnel metrics as the primary metrics used for planning and we look forward to the day when revenue takes over as number one.
Notably, if you’re not doing ABM you’re twice as likely to plan for leads than those doing 50% or more ABM. It seems that, because account-based marketers have strong sales alignment and prioritize driving customers, they think more about the entire sales cycle, not just lead generation.
Confidence in Ability to Hit Marketing Revenue Goals
Additionally, marketers who do 50% or more ABM are more likely to report they are “extremely confident” in hitting their marketing revenue goals. It’s clear that prioritizing and planning for revenue, like we’ve seen throughout this post by the 50+% ABM group, builds marketers confidence in actually hitting those goals.
Those where half of their marketing, or more, is account-based are plus 10.9 percentage points in their level of confidence in hitting marketing revenue goals. While those doing no form of ABM, are plus 10.1 percentage points in a response of NOT feeling confident.
In summary, account-based marketers are more aligned with their sales team and broader business goals, more likely to prioritize and plan for BOFU metrics, and more confident they will hit their revenue goals.
If you’d like more data from the 2017 State of Pipeline Marketing Report, you can download the full report below.