It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a year of disruption for the B2B marketplace. COVID-19 thoroughly upended sales and marketing plans en masse—trade shows were canceled, travel restricted, and any face-to-face interactions replaced with virtual alternatives.
With their traditional B2B marketing and selling strategies suddenly obsolete, B2B organizations had to find new, digital channels to engage with prospects and clients. For many, it may have felt like a drastic shift. But in truth, this evolution of B2B was well underway before the pandemic ever hit.
COVID-19 has simply underscored and accelerated B2B marketing’s need for digital transformation.
Into the buying group era
Over the years, we’ve seen a gradual shift away from relationship selling (where relationships were forged through those traditional activities I mentioned earlier), in favor of more digital lead generation tactics (like email marketing, webinars, website form fills, etc.) that target known contacts in the CRM.
Now, we’ve entered a new era. B2B purchases are increasingly made by buying groups -teams of decision-makers that are harder than ever to reach. They spend most of the buying journey online (researching anonymously) and often make buying decisions before ever contacting a sales rep.
So for the year ahead, B2B marketers are looking to invest in technology that not only addresses temporary COVID-related challenges. They want solutions that also provide business value for well into the future.
Insight from Forrester’s Tech Tide report
With this challenge in mind, Forrester recently released its Tech Tide™: B2B Marketing Technologies, Q4 2020 report—an assessment aimed to help B2B marketers build a tech stack that ultimately “helps the buyer buy” in the digital-first B2B marketplace.
Forrester’s recommendation for account-based marketing (ABM)? A resounding Invest!
In fact, Forrester names ABM platforms first among “key emerging tech” on the cusp of maturity. These platforms are solidifying their core capabilities, expanding into a wide range of engagement channels, and poised to give marketing automation platforms a run for their money.
While only about half of the B2B marketers surveyed for the report have already deployed an ABM platform, additional findings indicate that adoption is gaining traction. Fewer than 10% said they had no plans to invest in ABM. And those that have invested are already seeing tangible value, with more than 75% reporting their platforms deliver positive ROI.
The ABM revolution
At Jabmo, we’ve seen these statistics in action. Interest in ABM platforms like ours had risen dramatically over the last year—particularly in industries with complex sales cycles like manufacturing, life sciences, food production, packaging, energy, etc.
Our clients are leveraging the power of ABM and new IP-based technologies to effectively:
- Identify and prioritize target accounts
- Deliver targeted, personalised messaging through their ads and websites
- Drive greater awareness and engagement with buyer groups
- Reach anonymous key account stakeholders (an area where marketing automation platforms typically fall short)
- Win more—and bigger—deals
ABM has not only filled the gaps in their marketing efforts left by COVID-19. It’s enhancing the capabilities of existing martech stacks and empowering B2B marketers to proactively reach the elusive digital-first buyers of the modern B2B marketplace.
This creates an unprecedented opportunity for B2B Marketers and in a recent Martech Today interview, I share my thoughts about why B2B marketers will become growth drivers in 2021 and will own the all-important digital journey.
Keeping it simple
Think all this sounds great, but would be too big an undertaking? At Jabmo, we understand that ABM is a relatively new strategy, and the right technology provider can make all the difference. That’s why it is crucial to find a provider that makes it fast and easy for you to hit the ground running.
Make sure you are choosing a truly comprehensive solution for ABM success. You’ll get everything you need – account-based advertising, account-based email marketing, account-based analytics, creative and execution—all handled by experts every step of the way.