Account-based Marketing (ABM) remains a priority for most marketers in 2020, yet the practice continues to have its challenges. A survey from business-to-business marketing platform provider Folloze found that 53.9 percent of the senior-level sales and marketing professionals surveyed say that ABM is the right strategy for their business. Survey data shows that nearly 75 percent of respondents say they are using ABM to accomplish key account selection and targeting, while 68 percent are personalizing content by vertical to drive the customer journey.

Folloze’s study found that approximately 15 percent of those surveyed want ABM capabilities, but most have not yet started its implementation. Nearly one‐third (31.2 percent) were neutral on ABM as a strategy, likely due to the need for most companies to build out business processes and marketing technology in order to successfully execute ABM. Only nine percent were unfamiliar with ABM overall. Folloze notes that this illustrates growing recognition of ABM and a new understanding by sales and marketing teams that personalized customer and prospect experiences—including delivery of curated content at scale—are necessary in today’s crowded and noisy marketplace, particularly due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the recent dramatic shift to online‐only marketing campaigns.

The company also expects that in the current market situation, the need for ABM will continue to grow, being driven by sales departments’ desire to reach more customers in an individualized fashion. Some 56 percent of respondents say that sales are driving decisions around ABM technology.

ABM requires that prospects are guided on a personalized, individual buying journey, yet the road to effective ABM is blocked by numerous gaps in marketing technology as well as a perceived or real failure to execute. The survey revealed that only 25 percent of respondents were confident in their firm’s ability to execute ABM at a scale of 1,000 accounts or more, 51 percent say they struggle to create personalized experiences at the account and vertical levels, and more than 21 percent don’t create personalized experiences at all, while 31 percent say they must personalize manually. Its findings also highlighted that only 10 percent of respondents were confident that sales teams can help create personalized experiences, less than 25 percent were confident that sales can accurately share approved personalized messaging, and only about seven percent have automated the delivery of customized messaging, content and imagery to prospects.

“This survey data illustrates that many companies haven’t yet started their ABM journey, but it also shows that early adopters are experiencing real sales pipeline success,” says Etai Beck, CEO and co‐founder of Folloze. “ABM was already an important strategy for many B2B marketers, and the urgency to implement ABM has never been greater, given today’s economic disruptions.”