To help you lay the groundwork for a successful ABM strategy, analyst Selin Paeck has rounded up the top four trends that are shaping programs in 2022
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Before COVID-19 swept the world, many businesses were likely to rely on trade exhibitions, events, or in-person meetings to promote growth and sales.
When everything went digital during the pandemic, sales and marketing had to find new ways to make an impact.
Since then, account-based marketing (ABM) has shown to be the most efficient and popular approach in the recent years as B2B marketers embrace the digital generation. The 2021 State of Modern Marketing report shows 87% of respondents agreed that augmenting traditional lead-based strategies with a stronger focus on account-based strategies is the best way to maximise revenue generation. Momentum ITSMA’s annual ABM Benchmarking Study revealed 72% of companies agree that ABM delivers higher ROI than any other type of marketing.
To help you lay the groundwork for a successful ABM strategy, here are the top four trends that are shaping programs in 2022:
The convergence of demand generation & ABM
B2B marketing organizations are increasingly blending the line between ABM and demand gen – they are discovering new ways to effectively combine these strategies and solidify the account-based engagement plan using the shared datasets. They are also collaborating to keep the messaging consistent across the channels and build content that is suitable for different marketing objectives.
As Danny Nail, Director, Global ABM COE Leader, Salesforce, told Demand Gen Report: “ABM and demand gen can coexist, and they both have a place. If you don’t combine your demand gen, you’re not filling your funnel. But if you don’t focus on your best accounts, you’re not doing the best you can for them. Both need to be there, and as long as the messaging is same, they can definitely work together.”
ABM and demand gen can coexist, and they both have a place […] Both need to be there, and as long as the messaging is same, they can definitely work together.— Danny Nail, Director, Global ABM COE Leader, Salesforce
As the lines between demand gen and ABM are heavily blurred, some companies even combine their ABM, demand generation, and Sales Development Representatives (SDR) or Business Development Representatives (BDR) teams to form “Revenue Growth Teams.” This trend is also reflected in the technology investments of marketing teams. Some ABM vendors now offer an integrated solution that offers both account-based advertising and email marketing automation, which can enable marketers to engage with both anonymous and known contacts throughout the buying cycle.
The demise of third-party cookies
In January 2020, Google announced that Chrome will phase out the third-party cookie for greater privacy by 2022. They said: “Users are demanding greater privacy – including transparency, choice, and control over how their data is used – and it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands.” A recent survey from GetApp discovered that 41% of marketers believe their biggest challenge will be their inability to track the right data; and 44% of marketers predict a need to increase their spending by 5-25% to reach the same goals as in 2021.
Google has delayed its ban on third-party cookies until 2023, but marketers are already preparing their advertising programmes for change. Privacy-compliant alternatives are available, and marketers are proactively taking the time to explore these options.
The rise of technology-based insights
With third-party cookies disappearing, marketers, advertises, and data engineers are actively searching for alternative solutions. According to Momentum ITSMA’s Embedding ABM: Next Steps for Market Leadership study, “ABM leaders” – practitioners who are sophisticated and advanced in their ABM approach – are more likely to use technology such as analytics, intent data, and engagement insights to its full potential compared to other marketers.
Organizations are especially investing in solutions that make the most of first-party data. With a first-party cookie, you can learn about what a user did while visiting your website, see how often they visit it, and gain other basic analytics that can help you develop or automate an effective marketing strategy around them. Using solutions that utilise the first-party data combined with AI and ML-based insights will be the next trend for communicators to get their messages to the right audience.
Ingrid Burton, CMO of Quantcast said: “Using solutions that utilize first-party data with AI and machine learning will help communicators reach the right person at the right moment.”
The introduction of "phygital” marketing
With recent digital marketing innovations, ABM can now be activated beyond just email and display advertising, with marketing channels such as Google Ads, Twitter Ads and LinkedIn Ads. Nevertheless, people nowadays are suffering from digital fatigue. B2B marketers may need to reconsider their digital-first strategies to better communicate to audiences who not only demand new experiences, but also may be tired of overused methods. According to Lynn Dodds, the Creative Director of Spear Marketing: “Direct mail is still an incredibly successful channel: the open rates and response rates can be 3X greater than email and other digital media.” In 2022, using physical and digital – or “phygital” assets – such as hyper-personalised and creatively packaged direct mails as well as digital ads will potentially help you achieve the stellar results you are looking for.
Overall, 2022 is an exciting year for B2B marketers and is a perfect time to tap into ABM strategy. When implemented with the right advice, technologies, and skills, investing in ABM will be one of the most effective approaches marketers can take to drive growth and sales.
Want to know what creative trends are shaping ABM programmes this year? Check out our latest webinar “Style and Substance: ABM design trends 2022” hosted by Momentum ITSMA’s Creative Director, Mark Braun, Associate Creative Director, Ligia Murphy, and SVP Advisory & Training, Rob Leavitt.
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