The Hurdles To ABM: Many Firms Lag On Personalization, Study Shows

B2B marketers have embraced account-based marketing — up to a point, according to the State of ABM Survey 2020 Trend report, a study by Folloze, provider of a personalized marketing platform.

Overall, 53.85% are confident that ABM is the right strategy for their firms. That doesn’t mean they think their sales teams have what it takes to pursue ABM. 

Account selection is the dominant function of ABM — nearly 75% of respondents are doing some form of it. And 58% are personalizing content by vertical. 

But 9% are not familiar with ABM. Another 15% know about it and are planning to deploy it.

Folloze surveyed over 270 B2B specialists in a wide range of seniority levels.

It found that the main hurdles to ABM are:

- Unreliable Actionable Contact & Account Database — 36.60% 

- Buyer Persona & Messaging Development — 37.02%

- Creating Personalized Experiences (Vertical & Account Level) — 51.06%



- Tracking & Analyzing Campaign Performance — 38.30%

- Involving the Account Owner — 30.21%


Email plays an important role in the ABM process.

"As modern ABM programs grow in both scale and effectiveness, they typically leverage a wide variety of channels,” says Gary Gerber, the head of product marketing at Folloze. 

But that said, “good old email remains an important one so it's critical that Sales and Marketing tightly orchestrate their activities to ensure the highest-value and lowest-spamminess customer experience," Gerber continues.

Sales teams drive ABM solution decisions in 56% of the cases. Yet B2B brands continue to struggle with execution, and have little faith in sales, as shown by these points:

  • Only 25% are confident in their firm’s ability to execute ABM at a scale of 1,000 accounts or more.
  • 51% struggle to create personalized experiences at the account and vertical levels.
  • 21% provide no personalized experiences at all, and 31% personalize manually.
  • A mere 10% feel their sales teams can help create personalized experiences.
  • Fewer than 25% believe sales can “accurately share personalized messaging.”
  • A paltry 7% have automated the delivery of customized messaging, content and imagery. 

Marketo appears to be the most marketing automation technology: The choices are:

  • Marketo — 46.61% 
  • Hubspot — 20.09% 
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud — 18.78%
  • Pardot — 17.90% 
  • Mailchimp — 12.23%
  • Eloqua — 10.92%
  • Other — 9.17%
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