ABM strategies are getting sophisticated, thereby influencing more significant business outcomes.

The latest study from ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance has revealed that 71% of companies that invest in ABM report a somewhat or significantly higher ROI than traditional marketing programs.

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The study titled ‘Moving to ABM Maturity: 2019 ABM Benchmark Study’ is based on a survey of around 200 B2B marketers active in ABM. As per the study, 21% of respondents expected a rise in current ABM budgets.

Interestingly, 45% of companies said they do not measure the ROI of ABM, even as it continues to generate more significant business outcomes from top customers and prospects than other types of B2B marketing. According to the study, enterprises that have already implemented an ABM strategy now dedicate 29% of their entire marketing budget to ABM. Around 73% of those companies are looking forward to spending more on ABM in 2020.  The study predicts about 15% increase in ABM spending next year.

Improving the buyer experience for their most valuable customers will be one of the main focuses of marketers planning to expand their ABM programs. Analytics (69%), account insights (67%), and engagement insights (56%) are some of the essential technologies companies need to invest in effective ABM strategies. The report found that only 27% of respondents are using predictive technologies, while 22% said they plan to incorporate this functionality to their ABM technology in the coming 12 to 18 months.

Measuring ABM results, receiving an adequate budget to support resources, creating customizable campaign assets, and explaining sales on the value of ABM, are some of the top ABM challenges as per the report. Focusing on sales alignments, investing in deep insights, balancing online and offline approaches, and creating a cohesive strategy were some of the top ABM challenges highlighted by respondents.

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In 2020, ABM leaders could do well to move ABM from a dedicated marketing practice to a fully integrated corporate initiative.