Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has emerged as a popular marketing strategy. Many people think that ABM is a modern concept, but to everyone’s surprise, it is not a modern concept. ABM was in use for a longer period of time than people have realized about its use. B2B companies have always targeted account lists of their top prospects and given them special attention from sales and marketing. This tactic was known as ‘integrated marketing’ before it was termed as Account-Based Marketing.
The day B2B companies emerged, somewhere in the 90s, they had to mimic B2C companies because they were providing powerful and personalized brand experiences to their audiences. In 2004 ITSMA termed integrated marketing as ABM, it took almost a decade to adopt this term as mainstream. Around 2014, account-based marketing received global search traffic to show up on Google Trends and in 2015 global search traffic for lead generation hit an all-time low. Technology has empowered B2B marketers and provided personalized campaigns to the right audiences. Soon the term ‘ABM’ become synonymous with B2B marketing just the way ‘digital marketing’ has now known as regular marketing today.
COVID-19 presented new challenges and opportunities in front of the marketers and the finance team had to learn to do more with less. Here’s when ABM came into play and helped companies and marketers become smarter and more targeted to acquire new or existing customers. Now, the world has finally applied and caught with the account-based marketing methodologies where CROs are purchasing more ABM platforms to help the sales teams.
There’s an important distinction to make between ABM and “inbound marketing,” which has been the standard B2B marketing strategy up until the 2010s. Unlike inbound marketing, ABM is not a lead generation strategy. The focus is entirely different. Sure, it generates some leads as a by-product. However, at its core, ABM is about creating focused awareness and engagement with a segment of future customers and working closely with sales teams to create opportunities.
Account-based Marketing has always focused on the accounts that are the best-fit accounts for your business. These approaches have always been about efficient revenue growth in which most of the marketing efforts are put for the best-fit accounts. Lead generation is a part of ABM where the majority of ABM efforts are focused on account engagement and creating opportunities with the target accounts.
Every year, we’re seeing the same trend: as account-based programs become deeply woven into a company’s sales and marketing strategy, those same programs become the main source of revenue. In 2020, the results were clear as day. A whopping 78 percent of companies’ demand-generation resources were focused on ABM. And, the results are worth the effort – almost 80 percent of new opportunities come through these programs and 73 percent of overall revenue is attributed to ABM. ‘Early ABM’ companies are even seeing a major impact, generating approximately a third of their revenue from account-based programs.