Top challenge with account based marketing is identifying decision makers, B2B marketers say

It is clear that account based marketing tools are gaining traction with B2B marketers and a recent survey suggests that the number one challenge marketers face is the inability to identify the decision makers within target accounts. In other words, the challenge for deeper relevance and specificity can be met but marketers need to get beyond the account to the contact level in order to find and establish relationships.

The survey conducted on 500 B2B marketers found that 97 per cent of respondents reported that they are currently running or planning an ABM program with 60 per cent listing their primary objective as converting target accounts to leads or opportunities. However, their number one challenge is the inability to identify specific decision makers within target accounts.

The survey from Demandbase and Integrate found that ABM is gaining traction in the B2B community, and investment is skyrocketing. In fact, 57 per cent of those surveyed said that more than 20 per cent of their marketing budget is now dedicated to ABM and that 83 per cent said their organizations spending will be more than it was last year.

it noted that although activity in this area is growing, many executives expect ROI and customers and are starting to demand more revenue over lead volume. According to 40 per cent of marketers, success is now measured by revenue and bookings, not just leads. The fact that B2B marketers must execute on their account-based marketing promises indicates the need to improve their results. 90 per cent of those surveyed agreed that the expectation is there but two major obstacles stand in their way.

Those major hurdles are identifying the right accounts and obtaining accurate, rich data on target account decision-makers. The report suggests that traditional B2B advertising is still missing the mark with 71 per cent of those surveyed agreeing that B2B advertising frequently fails to meet expectations. Additionally, 96 per cent of those surveyed say that a significant number of people that are reached are outside of the intended target.

The survey notes that there are four key strategies to deliver on the ABM promise that include identifying the accounts that show 'buying signals,' generating account-based decision-maker leads, ensuring that lead data is rich, accurate and with in-market companies, and importing complete lead data for nurturing and follow up.

"For ABM practitioners, being able to go beyond the account to the contact level is critically important to drive deeper relevance and specificity," said Matt Senatore, research director, SiriusDecisions. "For those companies focused on lead generation within target accounts, technology that can help automate this is an important component that enables their ABM programs to scale more efficiently."

The integration of software that orchestrates demand generation campaigns to engage key stakeholder within those accounts and generate leads is a key technique. The objective of importing key lead data to be scored and injected into the sales process can integrate and streamline the prospect acquisition. According to the survey, the development of new demand generation software like that Demandbase and Integrate are providing can enable campaigns to engage key stakeholders within those accounts and generate leads. The qualified lead data is then imported into the client's marketing automation system.

Laurie Fullerton

Laurie Fullerton is a writer based in Boston, MA with a background in business, sports, community, medical and travel writing. She has been a newspaper editor in the Boston-area, a sports writer covering yacht racing and a community reporter. She has been reporting for The Drum since October 2015.

All by Laurie