2024 feels like a big year for ABM in B2B tech.
Economic uncertainty continues to add pressure on marketers to deliver measurable growth against a backdrop of limited resources, shifting buyer behavior and increasingly saturated markets.
If executed effectively, account-based marketing that utilizes insight, technology, creative thinking and better targeted sales outreach has the potential to overcome these challenges and drive business growth.
We’ve put together four trends below that we think will help drive successful ABM and differentiate winning brands from the competition in 2024:
- MQAs will help repair broken demand gen models
It is well known now that B2B purchase decisions are made by buying groups, not individuals, and yet many demand and account-based marketers are still sending ‘point in time’ MQLs to their sales teams.
In 2023, we have seen this lead to a growing frustration from both sales and marketing teams. Marketers frustrated by the lack of MQL conversions and sales by the lack of ‘sales-ready’ accounts to prioritize.
Marketing qualified accounts (MQAs) help solve that problem by providing sales with aggregated account signals, which are stronger indications of intent that a buying group is forming than a single contact lead.
- Creativity is increasingly important to creating cut-through
Sales-led, functional advertising in today’s world feels very dated.
It’s no longer enough just to tell your target accounts the benefits of your product or service. In 2023 you need to be utilizing creative thinking backed up by rich account insights to create stand-out stories that are more relevant, consistent, and most importantly, easily re-told.
Remember, your target accounts are being bombarded every day by marketing and advertising, much of which will be from your competitors. Creativity, relevance, and an easy to grasp story will be what separates winning brands from those that lose out.
- Humans (not technology) will be the most effective route to account wins
Over the past few years there has been an increasing reliance on marketing technology to do the heavy lifting at each stage of the buyer journey.
But recent research, along with our own experience of running demand programs, has shown that in a world of digitally dominated purchase journeys, human-to-human connection is still the most effective and efficient way to advance an opportunity.
The human channel has to be research driven and consultative, but also add value. Buyers want to be listened to and understood, and they have to be able to ask questions and get quality answers from subject matter experts, not just be sold to.
- AI will become a driver of scale and efficiency
AI doesn’t help drive scale because it replaces or automates all of the important work in ABM. It helps because it acts as an advisor and partner to the work you need to get done.
The single most important factor to consider when exploring AI-based tech/tools is whether the inclusion of a particular tool or technology will improve existing processes/workflows and solve an ABM challenge you’re facing today.
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