5 ABM Statistics Every Marketer Needs to Know for 2021
In 2020, everything we knew about B2B marketing was turned on its head. So, armed with lots of feedback from marketers and some interesting ABM statistics, we can be ready to charge into 2021 prepared for…well, anything.
Here’s what marketers did (and didn’t) do in 2020, and how the craziness of the year spurred some big changes from years past.
Stat 1: Only 5.8% of Marketers Say They Don’t Have an Active ABM Program
Yup, ABM is still a thing. But odds are, it won’t be called “ABM” for much longer. Last year, 23% of marketers said they didn’t have active ABM programs. But this year? Only 5.8% said they didn’t. That’s a huge jump! So, why the leap in 2020? Well, as with most things, we predict COVID had something to do with it.
With COVID stripping away in-person events and conferences (which marketers typically set aside up to 10% of their budget for), marketers had to get savvy. Not much was left over in their budgets. Consequently, this meant they had to get creative. This was especially true since big lead-generating events like conferences and trade shows weren’t possible.
Previously, many marketers utilized a “spray and pray” approach. This is the approach of trying to gather a massive amount of leads and passing them off to sales to see if they qualified. For instance this year, smart marketers realized the time had come to start thinking about a more targeted approach to outreach. And that’s exactly what ABM is. It’s just smart, targeted marketing.
ABM strategies are based on creating relationships with the accounts that you actually want in your customer base. In fact, marketers were working with limited budgets and a major need to keep their sales pipelines full in tough times. Thus, ABM was the near foolproof solution for a world ravaged by the effects of COVID. Moreover, marketers finally realized that if they wanted to change the way they were doing marketing, this was the year to do it.
What this means for you:
Now is the time to start thinking about how to implement ABM if you haven’t been doing so already. This doesn’t mean you have to dive in head-first, though. You can easily start small, and build up from there.
Stat 2: New Business Generation Is a Top Priority for 90% of Marketers
Finally, marketers are getting it: It’s not about leads. It’s about new business. Leads are useless if they don’t lead to new business. And 90% of marketers with mature ABM programs (AKA, marketing rockstars) said that their absolute top priority was a new business generation.
Compare this to marketers with early account-based marketing programs who are just starting to shift to that mindset. 42% of them still say lead generation is a top priority for them. We predict that as they’re early on in their ABM journeys, they’ll learn very quickly that leads are not the end-goal of a successful ABM program.
Instead, a successful ABM strategy yields customers that are happy because their needs fit the solution that you could offer them. It’s as simple as that. In other words, the customers you want are the customers who need your services to achieve their business objectives. So, why would you waste precious marketing dollars and resources on any account that doesn’t fit that standard?
What this means for you:
If you’re still focusing on leads: stop. Instead, take some time to sit down with your sales and customer success counterparts and re-examine your ideal customer profile (ICP). Then, identify target accounts that fit perfectly into that ICP description. Finally, come up with a strategy to reach out to them in the most relevant and personal way possible. This will completely change your mindset when it comes to your marketing strategy, and that’s a really good thing.
Stat 3: 75% of Marketers Have a Customer Marketing Program in Place or the Works
Our ABM statistics showed that new business took a hit in 2020. It was unexpected, it was unfair, it was unavoidable. But, the most resilient companies were the ones who knew this fundamental truth: customer retention is the new acquisition. Furthermore, marketers put a major focus on building relationships with their customers for retention and upsell opportunities. And in many cases, that allowed them to keep steady in tumultuous times.
As of last year, 75% of marketers had a customer marketing program in place or in the works. What does a customer marketing program look like (and what makes one good enough to stand up with new business as the main revenue generator)?
For starters, it’s a team sport. By that we mean, successful customer marketing programs involve marketing, sales, and customer success working in tandem throughout the entire customer journey. Yes–customer success begins well before that contract is signed.
Marketing and sales work together to make sure the accounts they’re targeting are ones that will truly benefit from your products. Subsequently, the sales team closes the deal and kicks off the relationship.
Customer success and marketing ensure that the phenomenal brand experience they had as a prospect continues throughout their time as a customer. Therefore, customer success and sales should work together to add value to the customer with new products and services as they learn more about their business needs…you get the picture.
What this means for you:
You need to implement a customer marketing program ASAP if you do not have one already. A great place to start is asking your customer success colleagues: what can we provide to make our customer’s experience as good as (or better than) their experience as a prospect? Swag gifts in the mail? Customer-exclusive events and webinars? A virtual customer community with perks? Start building a phenomenal, branded customer experience, and your program will grow from there.
Stat 4: 48% of Marketers’ Budgets Were Decreased in 2020
The tumultuous nature of 2020 dealt blows to almost every industry this year. Additionally, many marketing teams have headed into 2021 with slashed budgets, meaning they’ll have to focus on building lean and high-ROI programs. But, something surprising also came out of 2020; 80% of marketers with mature ABM programs in place said that their budgets remained the same or even increased last year.
Let’s look at the overall budgetary impact of the beast that was 2020 for comparison. According to Gartner’s mid-year CMO Spend Survey, 40% of CMOs said that their budgets were cut due to COVID. This is a massive indicator of the revenue impact of ABM on an organization. In a year where nothing was normal, mature ABM programs remained resilient–and, more importantly, revenue-driving.
What this means for you:
You should make quality > quantity your ABM 2021 mantra if your budget was cut. In addition to that, you should identify your target accounts (AKA dream customers) and get your sales and customer success teams together to brainstorm how to best reach out to them.
Not enough money left over to pump out as many infographics and ebooks as you normally do? Nevertheless, you should focus on scaling back in quantity but scaling up in quality.
Consider spending more time and resources on building an incredible interactive piece of content than multiple static pieces of content. (45% of B2B buyers say they prefer interactive content).
Want examples of B2B and B2C brands rocking interactive content and seeing results? This case study should do the trick.
Stat 5: Mature ABM Programs Drove an Average of 73% Of Their Companies’ Total Revenue
2020 was the year that marketing changed forever. Marketers had to take a long, hard look at their programs and decide what was working and what wasn’t because of less budget, less in-person marketing (bye-bye events and conferences), and less certainty about what the future holds. And now they realized that the numbers don’t lie: ABM works.
Marketers with mature ABM programs cited 73% of their companies’ total revenue being attributed back to their ABM programs.
What does this mean for you:
Make it your 2021 resolution to end the year with a mature ABM program. Even if you’re just getting started, it’s doable.
There are so many ways in which 2020 changed the way we look at and practice marketing. This blog has taken a look at how marketers like you have handled and adapted to all of the changes.
Looking towards 2021, marketers should be ready to adopt these ABM statistics and best practices, create lean strategies, generate leads with interactive content, and make customer retention a top priority. Every mature ABM program started somewhere! Make this the year that changes it all–for the better, this time.
Jillian MacNulty, Content Marketing Manager.
Jillian creates fun, engaging, and educational content experiences that elevate the Terminus brand. When she’s not pitching crazy new content ideas to her Terminus colleagues, you’ll find her laughing too loudly or dancing to the music of ABBA.