The State of Account Based Marketing

If it feels like we’ve been talking about account based marketing (ABM) forever at this point, well, it’s because WE HAVE. You have vague memories of your 4th grade teacher going over the concept in class. You and your fellow classmates had confused looks on your faces as you turned to each other and whispered “If demand generation tactics have been successful for so long, then why do we need ABM? Oh, by the way, want to trade lunches?”

We could go over the definition of ABM again but come on you should know these things by know. I expect better from you. Besides it’s almost the 4th of July, we don’t have time to be going back over things we covered months ago! We have to get to the beach! Or if you’re in a landlocked state then I’m not really sure what you do, but I’m sure it’s still fun. And if you don’t live in America, then just know I’m sorry. About everything. All of it.

Anyway, if you do need a quick refresher on account based marketing here are some resources for you to peruse:

Alright, got all that? Good. Now we can get on with the whole point of this blog! Wait, I haven’t gotten to the point of the blog yet? That seems irresponsible of me as a writer. They always teach you to hook the writer right away and present the thesis upfront. Meandering on and on about nonsense is generally considered poor form. My English teacher would be disappointed. But you know what? I don’t care! School’s out forever!

The real point of this blog is that Engagio recently released their 2018 ABM Outlook Survey. This survey is full of great information about the state of account based marketing. Getting concrete data on how organizations are implementing ABM, what kind of resources they are dedicating to their efforts, and the challenges these organizations face is critical for understanding overall ABM trends.

Adoption of ABM

So how many organizations are actively using this strategy? Is this just something that overeager bloggers talk about to hit their blog quota? How dare you! Plenty of organizations are fully invested in ABM and I have the data to prove it!

Engagio asked their survey participants “How would you describe your company’s maturity with ABM?” 23.9% of respondents indicated that their programs were either well underway or advanced. That statistic alone proves that ABM is something being taken very seriously by organizations across the world.

Resources Dedicated to Account Based Marketing

One of the basic tenets of ABM is that it is not some isolated strategy meant to be carried out by your least favorite coworker in the solitude of some long-deserted musty basement. No, it’s a full team effort that rethinks how marketing activities can be used in new, exciting ways.

Once again, the Engagio report bears out this hypothesis. When Engagio asked “What % of your overall marketing team is involved in ABM?” the average response was that 40% of their marketing team is involved in ABM efforts. That shows that this strategy really is all about the team you build and everyone putting their full weight behind the effort.

Biggest Challenge for Account Based Marketing

Of course, everything isn’t all dandelions and roses for ABM. Is that a saying? I don’t know, we’re almost done here let’s just get on with it. There are of course serious challenges that this strategy faces. But you will see that even the biggest challenge to ABM represents an opportunity for growth.

The respondents to Engagio’s survey indicated their biggest challenge in 2018 will be getting more buy-in for the strategy. If the biggest hurdle for ABM is that people don’t believe in it yet, not that organizations aren’t seeing good results, or they can’t get the strategy launched, then that only portends good things.

Account based marketing is here to stay for the long haul. This recent Engagio report only proves that any organization not considering adopting the strategy is doing a disservice to themselves.


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