This post originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of ABM In Action.
We’ll look back on 2016 as the peak “hype” year for ABM. In 2017, we will enter a phase of realism as organizations strive to get ROI from ABM. As we sort hype from reality, the focus on alignment, measurement and operations will increase:
1. Alignment: “Hybrid” ABM will become the best practice
As account-based marketing experiments mature, organizations will start rationalizing ABM versus traditional demand generation efforts. There will be increased realization that few organizations can go all-or-nothing—the twin strategies must live alongside and complement each other. This will be increasingly important as organizations seek to allocate the next dollar of investment to the initiative that will yield the highest ROI, regardless of the program type.
2. Measurement: Proving the value of ABM will gain priority
2017 will bring the realization that “old school” metrics and measurement tools no longer work for ABM. Marketers will seek to measure campaigns by impact on target accounts, pipeline, and revenue. Conversely, the rich data on an account’s history of engagement will be used to power ABM tactics.
3. Operations: Unified “RevOps” will emerge as a key strategy.
Investment in ABM will hasten a shift that’s already underway. As marketing and sales data and tools continue to explode, it becomes increasingly strategic to have a unified operations team—or “service bureau”—tasked with enabling marketers to make decisions with relevant data.