I’ve attended two B2B conferences in the past few months – B2B Sales and Marketing Exchange in Boston, and MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Washington DC – and at both, account-based marketing was unmistakably top-of-mind. A majority of sessions and conversations evoked the term in some fashion, matching the trend I’ve noticed online and in client interactions.
A look at the Google Trends trajectory for “account based marketing” over the past five years reminds me a bit of the trajectory for “content marketing” in the five years prior.
Account-Based Marketing Google Trends Data
Content Marketing Google Trends Data
It’s only natural that B2B organizations everywhere are either adopting or taking an interest in ABM, because the strategy is founded on so many key pillars of effective marketing today: personalization, organizational alignment, and the focused pursuit of high-value customers.
Understanding the state of ABM and where it’s heading is critical for any B2B marketing practitioner today. Based on what I’ve been picking up at these events, along with data shared in the newly released 2019 ABM Benchmark Survey Report from 工作职能邮件数据库Demand Gen Report, here are five trends to focus on as we move into 2020.
5 Key ABM Trends to Plan Around in 2020
The fourth annual ABM benchmark study from Demand Gen Report, which surveyed more than 100 B2B business executives from various industries, ranging across several roles, serves to confirm and reinforce a number of trends we’re seeing in the world of account-based marketing.
1. ABM is B2B Marketing
Only 6% of respondents in the survey said they are not doing ABM yet in any form. Meanwhile, 50% said they’ve had their ABM initiatives in place for more than a year, while another 25% gotten started within the past six to 12 months.
When we covered Demand Gen Report’s 2016 survey on ABM benchmarks, only 47% of respondents said they had an ABM strategy, so clearly the practice has grown substantially in a span of three years.
For me, this growth not only signals that B2B brands are increasingly conscious of creating content and experiences for specific buying audiences, but that those efforts are aimed beyond a singular buyer. After all, one of the major premises of ABM is acknowledging that different people with different viewpoints make up a buying committee, something that every B2B marketer needs to pay attention to on the go-forward.
2. Sales and Marketing Alignment is the Biggest ABM Challenge
Most companies report being in the earlier stages of ABM maturity, and it’s evident that sales and marketing alignment is a common barrier to progress, with a leading 46% of survey respondents citing it as their biggest ABM-related challenge.