abm trends

In January 2018, Engagio conducted a comprehensive survey of more than 1,260 companies to assess trends in B2B marketing. We recently released the results in our ABM Outlook Survey 2018 report.

This is an inside look at the state of Account Based Marketing. More specifically, our research examined:

  • How companies are utilizing ABM as a strategy
  • How organizations are structuring their teams to support ABM
  • How ABM can be measured at different stages
  • The challenges most organizations are facing regarding ABM

In this survey, 37% of responses were from small companies (100 employees or less), 44% of responses were mid-market companies (between 250-2,500 employees), and 19% of responses were from enterprise companies (2,500 and up employees).

Along with showing the results, we included our interpretation of the data to help you draw insights and apply them as you continue down your ABM journey. The research underscores where companies are at with their ABM programs and the key challenges they are facing.

In this post, we’ll examine 3 key takeaways and their implications. For other takeaways and insights, download the full report here.

64.8% of companies are currently using a mix of ABM and traditional demand generation programs.

ABM and traditional demand generation programs

We asked, “What marketing strategies do you currently use? 1) Demand generation, 2) Account Based Marketing, or 3) A mix of both.”

Fewer than 10% of companies are using ABM exclusively while about 27% report using only demand generation – a hybrid approach is common for most B2B organizations.

There’s no hard and fast rule about what percent of your programs should be dedicated to ABM and what percent should be dedicated to demand generation. Think of it as a spectrum. On one end, you have companies selling to the Future 100. The vast majority of their efforts are going to be focused on ABM. On the other end, you have companies selling into the SMB market. The majority of their efforts are going to be focused on demand generation. Most likely, you’re somewhere in the middle, so you’ll want to balance the two strategies.

Here’s an example of how you can think about which type of strategy to apply to a particular segment of your business:

abm strategy

On average, 29% percent of the total marketing budget will be dedicated to ABM in 2018

29%25 of marketing budget will be dedicated to abm

We asked “What % of your total marketing budget do you plan to dedicated to ABM in 2018?

Many marketing teams reported a 45% increase in ABM budget from 2017 to 2018. In many cases, teams need to invest in ABM to drive the business outcomes they are responsible for (growth, retention, higher ASPs, cross-sell).

Furthermore, the previously mentioned study by ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance supports this finding as well – 72% of companies surveyed increased their ABM budgets in 2017.

One question that remains is “where do you get the budget for ABM?” Here are a few ideas to try:

  • Use dollars from lower performing marketing programs
  • If you have some budget set aside for testing, use that to try a pilot
  • Partner with other teams to fund program or pilot
  • Bucket this under another initiative

On average, roughly 40% of the marketing team is involved in their ABM strategy.

40%25 of the marketing team is involved in ABMWe asked, “What % of your overall marketing team is involved in ABM?

With this new go-to-market strategy comes new roles and responsibilities. Integrating ABM into your current go-to-market strategy doesn’t necessarily require a wholesale change of your marketing organization. You can leverage your existing team to support and execute ABM. It’s a matter of identifying the required roles, properly structuring your team, and aligning with sales.

The reality is that you can get started with ABM right away. In fact, integrating an ABM strategy into your current strategy doesn’t require a wholesale change. Call upon your current marketing team to spin up a pilot program to prove ABM success before fully investing.

Here is one simple example of how to leverage people you already have:

leverage your current team for abm

Read the rest of the findings in our ABM Outlook Survey 2018 report.

Account Based Marketing has disrupted the marketing game, raising the stakes for both Marketing and Sales. Marketing can no longer live by the generation of qualified leads alone; ABM now engages this organization throughout the buyer journey and with other customer-facing teams more than ever before.

The results from companies who got on board early are already in: faster business acquisition, successful expansion into existing accounts, smarter marketing spend and customers who feel understood—and for your company, that means less churn due to better quality deals.