COVID-19 has driven marketers to embrace account-based marketing (ABM), according to the fifth yearly report on the State of ABM from Terminus.
This year, 94.2% of the firms polled have an ABM program, up from 67% in 2019.
Moreover, 61% are taking an ABM approach to customer marketing, retention or expansion.
Of the companies polled, 43% are at the early part of ABM, 36% in the middle and 13% at the late stage, meaning that their sales and marketing teams are fully integrated with the ABM program (down from 17% in 2019, but up from 9% in 2018). Another 8% are at the pilot level.
Companies in late maturity attribute 73% of their revenue to ABM, along with 79% of their new opportunities. And they devote 78% of their resources to the discipline.
The top priorities of ABM use are new business generation (82%), pipeline acceleration (58%) and lead generation (42%). Further down the list are customer retention (28%) and brand awareness (22%).
Lead generation rates second as a metric, and it is “far from a top tree KPI” for assessing ABM effectiveness. As a goal, it has fallen from 54% in 2019.
Overall, 56% of the companies polled are “supremely confident” in their ABM program. But 87% of late maturity firms say so, versus 57% in middle maturity, 50% at the early stage and 30% that have a pilot program.
Far from reducing their ABM spend during the COVID-19 pandemic, mature firms have increased it, the study says.
However, 37% say ABM is “a minor part of our overall revenue generation strategy,” while 16% call it a major element and 13% claim it is involved in every stage of their revenue generation.
Justin Keller, VP of marketing for Terminus, concludes: “Not only are we seeing an incredible increase in ABM adoption across industries, but we’re also realizing mature ABM programs are increasingly ubiquitous and synonymous with overall revenue generation strategies
Terminus, an ABM provider, surveyed 310 respondents.