2022 will be the year that ABM becomes BAU.
It will be the year that ABM really beds itself down as a core tactic that is practiced by the majority.
Of course, much of the limelight and sparkle may dim down as it becomes part and parcel of our everyday practice rather than having to live up to the glitz and glamour of the next big thing.
Here are 7 predictions of the way things are going to pan out.
#1: ABM will graduate to a core business strategy
In many ways, ABM remains an edge case experiential marketing channel than a central approach to reaching your market.
But this is going to change.
2022 will be the year that ABM becomes part of the way we actually do things – rather than a way we could do things.
And driving this change will be tech, data, and democratisation – and we’ll come to these next.
#2: Tech will be a driving force in the democratisation of ABM
As Forrester has observed:
‘ABM and demand gen — both as practices and as a set of enabling technologies — are beginning to converge.’
2022 will be the year this convergence of tech into one marketing platform enables ABM to really take off.
The pain at the moment is marketing teams having to use multiple products and solutions to try to piece together a coherent ABM programme.
Platforms that can package the full programme in just one box – and allow bespoke customisation to meet different needs – will provide marketers with what they want.
It will give them one tool to do it all: from identifying accounts, personalising messages, creating ad campaigns and measuring success.
Suddenly, ABM will no longer be an inviting mystery but a very real possibility.
#3 The push for ABM will be from the ground up rather than top down
As CEOs’ and VCs’ excited attention moves on to product-led growth, responsibility for implementing ABM initiatives will fall squarely with marketers.
It is those at the frontline who will make it happen.
Adopting new tech offerings, ABM will quickly become a part of sales and marketing reality. Or, to put it another way, something we do rather than something we explore.
2022 will be the year that ABM is implemented rather than experimented with.
#4 New data sets will enable ABM at scale
ABM at scale may seem tautological but new data sets will allow clusters of SMEs to be targeted in a highly personal way.
By gathering and analysing the company data points now available for small businesses you can create microsegments of your best accounts for personalised messaging at scale.
These will be based on each company’s potential spend, likelihood to buy certain products and services, tech-savviness, tech adoption, and many other pertinent insights.
Better data on SMEs will be the foundation for addressing all – rather than just a handful of large accounts.
It is another way that ABM will become democratised – through the scale of adoption and through its addressable market.
#5 From one ABM to many
The norm for ABM where it has been adopted has been to choose one model to focus on:
- One-to-one (Strategic ABM)
- One-to-few (ABM Lite)
- One-to-many (Programmatic ABM)
Increasingly, we will see a fourth option gaining centre stage that offers the best of all worlds.
This is known as blended ABM.
In this approach businesses will be able to benefit from the highly personalised messaging of one-to-one with the ‘always-on’ air coverage of one-to-many.
#6 The loss of the sales and marketing baton
Strongly related to this blended approach to ABM will be the loss of the linear buyer’s journey with sales teams and marketing teams operating from aligned but separate staging posts.
That baton pass between sales and marketing will become a thing of the past.
Sales will be doing more outreach at the top of the funnel (where marketing once operated) and marketing will be creating ads for buying committees at the bottom of the funnel (formerly the stomping ground of sales).
The handoff of the relay baton will be no more.
It will be replaced by a conductor’s baton ensuring an orchestrated approach.
Imagine a football team passing the ball back and forth with elegance and poise and you’ll have a good idea of how the game will be played.
#7 Metrics and methods will favour intent and the buying group
A recent survey of the ABM landscape discovered that 63% of the most effective programmes rely on account insight to support their ABM.
The metrics and the data we use will conclusively move from the individual lead to the buying group in 2022.
Here are some signs to look out for.
- The forthcoming Google ban on third-party cookies – now scheduled for 2023 – will help IP advertising become the dominant choice for highly targeted B2B advertising.
- Tactics to drive clicks will fall into the background in favour of sensors that capture and connect the most relevant signals from buyer behaviour and activity.
- Scoring models will evolve to better prioritise active buying groups and their signals. Account scores, individual scores, buying group, and opportunity scores will be added to traditional scoring models.
2022: the year ABM becomes BAU
ABM will become BAU in 2022.
It will become something that is done more – even if it is spoken of less.
As tech vendors roll out their versions of packaged productised customisation for ABM programmes, marketers will en masse see a way forward to incorporate and implement the learning of the last few years.
2022 will be the year of ABM for all.