(This month’s Research Round-Up features two recent studies that examine the state of account-based marketing. One is the 2022 ABM Benchmark Survey by Momentum ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance, and the second is the ABM Census 2022 survey by B2B Marketing. Both studies provide valuable insights regarding the attitudes and practices of ABM marketers, and the findings point to the ongoing growth and development of account-based marketing.)
Elevating ABM: Building Blocks for Long-Term Growth (2022 ABM Benchmark Study) by Momentum ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance
|Source: Momentum ITSMA/ABM Leadership Alliance|
- A web-based survey of Momentum ITSMA member companies and ABM Leadership Alliance contacts
- 279 respondents – marketers at B2B technology and business services companies
- 61% of the respondents were from North America/Caribbean; 31% were from Europe
- Survey conducted in August 2022
This is the 6th annual ABM benchmark survey conducted by Momentum ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance. As with earlier editions of the research, the 2022 study provides a window into the current state of ABM investments, strategies, and tactics, and reveals what companies with high-performing ABM programs do differently from others.
Here are some of the major findings from the 2022 study regarding the current state of ABM:
- Survey respondents said they are devoting (on average) 28% of their total marketing budget to ABM.
- 71% of the respondents said they will increase ABM spending in fiscal year 2023.
- Nearly half of the respondents (47%) said they are using at least two types of ABM.
- When it comes to the objectives of their ABM programs, these survey respondents place equivalent importance on winning new accounts and growing business with existing accounts.
- Over half of these survey respondents (56%) said their ABM programs are in the early stages of development – either “exploring” or “experimenting.”
The 2022 study also provides important insights regarding the practices of high-performing ABM programs. The survey found that “ABM Leaders” (defined on page 25 of the survey report) are significantly more likely than “All Others” to:
- Position ABM as a company-wide growth initiative (page 27)
- Practice “one-to-one ABM” (page 29)
- Invest in technologies to enable deeper market and account insights and to optimize performance (page 36)
- Tailor customer value propositions and content for individual accounts (page 38)
|Source: B2B Marketing|
This study was based on a survey of “over 100 client-side marketers across all industries.” The report does not include a demographic profile of the survey respondents or indicate when the survey was conducted.
This survey covered some of the same issues that were addressed in the ITSMA research described above. Some of the findings of the two studies are quite similar, and some are notably different.
ABM Objectives – In the ITSMA study, survey respondents placed near-equal importance on winning new accounts (47%) and growing business with existing accounts (44%). The findings of the Census survey were almost identical. Forty-seven percent of the respondents said their primary ABM objective is winning new accounts, and 43% said growth in existing accounts.
ABM Spending – Respondents to the ITSMA survey said they are spending (on average) 28% of their total marketing budget on ABM. In the Census survey, 76% of the respondents said they are spending 10%-30% of their marketing budget on ABM activities.
Increase in ABM Spending – In the ITSMA survey, 71% of the respondents said they expect to increase spending on ABM in fiscal year 2023. The findings of the Census survey on this issue are interesting. Eighty-four percent of the respondents said they expect to increase their ABM activities moderately or significantly in the next 12 months. But, only 41% said they expect to increase their ABM spending over the next 12 months. It’s difficult to see how both of these expectations can be achieved.
The ABM Census 2022 study also addresses several other topics. For example, the report discusses the types of ABM that are being used, the challenges marketers face in implementing account-based marketing, and the state of ABM maturity.
Both of these studies are worthwhile, but it’s important to note that neither claims that it uses a representative sample of B2B marketers. I keep hoping that one day someone will conduct an ABM survey that is based on a representative sample of B2B companies. That would enable us to gain a much clearer understanding of the current state of account-based marketing.