By Ray Schultz
ABM. Sounds like an anti-ballistic missile, doesn’t it?
In B2B, though, ABM means account-based marketing. And too few firms are ready for it, according to a new survey by Avention.
Of the 100 companies polled, 75% “can’t find the right contacts at companies matching target profile,” Aveniton writes. And “50% have limited or no ability to gather real-time intelligence on target accounts.”
That’s bad news, whether you call your marketing program ABM or not. And here’s another depressing finding: That only 24% have access to the right data for marketing.
Granted, there are ways around it. We’ll get to them. But
First let’s remember that Avention is selling something here: ABM. Here’s the definition, from SiriusDecisions:
“Account-based marketing is the strategic approach marketers use to support a defined universe of accounts. It includes support for the post-sale customer lifecycle using marketing’s toolkit to contribute to the overall customer experience.
Avention adds that ABM “helps to evolve the role of marketing to reflect a stronger alignment with sales objectives and customer needs to deliver better execution and revenue outcomes.”
Don’t be daunted: You may already be doing some of that, but not calling it ABM.
That said, here are some additional stats from the survey. Of the companies polled:
- 38% have at least one ABM program in play
- 15% are piloting an ABM program
- 21% are planning one within the next 6-12 months
- 26% no/not applicable
Their biggest hurdle in pursuing ABM? Lack of data. In fact, most firms are “building” their data capability: they’re not there yet. The proof is in these survey findings:
- 76% are building toward having the right data for marketing
- 69% are building toward having the right data for sales
- 24% have access to the right data for remarking
- 31% have access to the right data for sales
Here’s one more insight, the top indicators used to define best customers
- Annual spends–62%
- Length of relationship—52%
- Estimated lifetime value—23%
- Frequency of purchase—21%
- Frequency of engagement—20%
- Produces held 11%
Given all that, how to you achieve ABM? Avention suggests the following. I quote:
- Build a deep understanding of target accounts and the market in which they operate so that you have data as deep, rich and current as possible.
- Identify relevant contacts and create an account map.
- Craft compelling messages, offers and content specific to each account or contact.
- Time message delivery well based on real-time insights and activity triggers.
- In addition to surveying 100 companies, Avention conducted interviews with marketing practitioners.