ABM Snails: B2B Brands Fail To Achieve Marketing Maturity

Account-based marketing (ABM) is an overrated discipline as now practiced. A stunning 87% of ABM leaders say their current strategy misses the mark, according to State Of Marketing Maturity, a study done by Integrate in partnership with Heinz Marketing. 

For one thing, 73% feel their marketing strategy is inadequate to meet their goals. For another, 60% fail to align their department’s goals with those of their company. 

But it all depends on which level marketing maturity they have attained. The study identifies four levels:

  • Ad hoc — 24%
  • Defined and Coordinated — 31% 
  • Managed and Intentional — 22% 
  • Buyer-driven and Omnichannel — 23% 

Which sector does your firm fall into? This may be difficult to determine, for the percentages vary by the so-called Marketing Maturity Pillars. Take organizational marketing strategy: 

  • Ad Hoc: The strategy is reactive and speckled with random acts of marketing — 13%
  • Defined and Coordinated: Tactics include some sales-driven and coordinated programs — 23% 
  • Managed and Intentional: The strategy is multi-channel, with a strategic combination of direct and indirect communication channels — 39% 
  • Buyer-driven and Omnichannel: Firms use an optimized omnichannel approach to to provide a unified message across all communication channels — 23% 



Then there is organizational structure: 

  • Ad hoc: Teams are siloed with low shared responsibility across functions — 22% 
  • Defined and Coordinated: Teams are defined with transparency of goals across functions — 31%
  • Managed and Intentional: These respondents are cynced cross-functionally with goals based on company objectives — 31%
  • Buyer-driven and Omnichannel: Teams are optimized with other functions to align around the buyer — 21%

Next is marketing technology: 

  • Ad Hoc: Teams have limited or no martech — 20%
  • Defined and Coordinated — Respondents have standard martech and utilize manual steps to integrate data across systems — 29%
  • Managed and Intentional — These firms have managed technology that supports reporting and ROI attribution — 24%
  • Buyer-driven and Omnichannel — Brands have full integration of marketing tools to support an omnichannel strategy — 26%

Email teams are prone to being stuck in their silo, and may have little input into strategy and martech investments. But they should have a seat at the table.  

“Connect your channels one by one: Connecting with B2B buyers today requires marketers to deliver the right message at the right time and place,” the study states. “If, for example, your demand team isn’t collaborating with your digital team, how are you going to bridge the gap in buyer experience between channels?”

The study urges marketers to “Focus on creating connections between teams siloed in their channels and starting to connect your channels one channel at a time.”

Integrate and Heinz Marketing surveyed 223 executives at B2B technology, financial services, manufacturing, education, and healthcare companies in the spring of 2021. 



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