ABM Is A Team Sport: How Leaders Outpace the Competition

September 14, 2021 | Blog, Resources

New research study from MRP and Demand Metric pinpoints exactly what leading ABM organizations do differently to earn higher ROI  – and provides a roadmap for success

By now, account-based marketing (ABM) is a proven revenue driver for B2B marketers  — but some companies realize more benefits than others. And as new primary research from MRP and Demand Metric reveals, there are specific best practices that set ABM leaders apart from the pack – ones that any marketer can replicate in their own organization to boost ROI. 

The new report, The State of Account-Based Marketing Maturity: A B2B Marketer’s Guide To Sustainable Revenue Impact, finds that the revenue impact of ABM has been unmeasured or negative for a third of marketers – but an elite group (23%) say that ABM has significantly impacted the bottom line. 

These revenue leaders were more likely than other survey respondents to have started their ABM programs more than 4 years ago, and were more likely to rate their initiatives as “mature,” meaning that they’ve completely implemented their ABM processes and plans. 

The connection to ABM maturity suggests organizations have iterated and honed in on best practices — which means that organizations at earlier stages in the ABM journey can speed their time to success by adopting the veterans’ winning strategies. 

In a webinar last month previewing the results, founder and CEO of the ABM Consortium, Mark Ogne said ABM is a team sport — that is, leading companies differentiate themselves by taking a unified approach to how people, processes, and technologies interact. All three work in concert to deliver the most relevant information to customers and ease the buying process.  

Specifically, ABM leaders:

Create multi-disciplinary teams with on-the-ground expertise.
More than 3 in 10 ABM leaders in the survey reported that multiple teams collaborate to execute ABM across their organizations — far outpacing the survey average of 18% of companies reporting extensive collaboration. Moreover, leaders tended to incorporate a wider variety of roles within their ABM initiatives, averaging 5.6 compared with 4.1 for those reporting unmeasured or negative ABM revenue impact. 

Expertise is crucial, Ogne said during the webinar: those who can best understand the needs of customers, such as product managers, field marketers, and regional specialists should have a seat at the table along with ABM leads, sales and campaign managers.

Adopt all-encompassing data integration processes to create a unified customer profile.

A third of ABM leaders tend to use 5 or more marketing platforms to track prospect and customer data, whereas among those seeing uncertain or negative impact, just 18% use 5 or more platforms, the survey revealed. 

But the inter-operability of the data is just as important as the quantity, Ogne said; it’s crucial for marketers to be empowered with visibility into how customers are being messaged by teams across the organization, and to coordinate to avoid over-marketing or making a big push with the wrong message. Nearly half of ABM leaders said they had full visibility into campaigns being sent by teams across the company, compared with 7% of those realizing unmeasured or negative ABM impact.

Leverage technology to manage content for maximum impact.

Delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time is crucial, and sophisticated technologies now exist to ease personalization for ABM campaigns, down to managing versioning of whitepaper downloads to accommodate different title pages to appeal to different audiences, Ogne said. The ability to target and deliver content based on the customer’s buying journey was also crucial for ABM leaders, with 46% saying their platform automatically adjusts content offerings based on stages of engagement.

With these three elements working in concert, ABM leaders have a deeply integrated view of customers. Ogne said, while laggards struggle with a siloed approach. Combining this organization-wide teamwork with obsessive attention to the needs of the customer produces the results that earn further investment and expansion in ABM initiatives in the future. 

To view a collection of best practices and research recordings from MRP’s “Summer of ABM” series, visit https://mrpfd.com/the-summer-of-abm/. And to see how MRP’s Prelytix platform can help unify people, processes, and technologies within your business, schedule a demo at https://mrpfd.com/request-a-demo/

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