No longer just a buzzword, account-based marketing is becoming a mainstream strategy B2B marketers are using to target high-value customer accounts with personalized content designed to generate quick results, Forrester Research says in a new report. The report also reviews 26 providers of ABM internet applications.

One indication of the increasing popularity of account-based marketing technologies is the hundreds of millions of dollars venture capital and private equity firms have invested in ABM applications in recent years, Forrester Research Inc. says.

B2B marketers’ interest in and use of account-based marketing has evolved from a trend-setting idea to a mainstream strategy.

Steven Casey, principal analyst for B2B marketing, Forrester Research

Between 2015 and 2019, investors sunk more than $500 million into ABM applications, Forrester notes in a new report, “New Tech: Account-Based Marketing Solutions, Q1 2020,” by Steven Casey and other Forrester analysts. And though the level of investment tapered off in the last two years, it appears to be again on the rise. “In late 2019 and into 2020, we have seen an increase in the number of conversations we’re having with venture capital and private equity firms that are considering and making additional investments in this market,” Forrester says.

But just as important, B2B marketing professionals are lining up more behind ABM as a preferred strategy. “In relatively little time, B2B marketers’ interest in and use of account-based marketing has evolved from a trend-setting idea to a mainstream strategy, with most organizations falling somewhere on the continuum from planning to fully implemented,” the report says.

Among the points Forrester makes about the advantages ABM offers B2B marketers:

  • New behavioral data from web analytics applications powered by artificial intelligence are “improving marketers’ ability to determine which accounts they should be targeting and focus their efforts on the companies that appear to be starting a purchase journey.”
  • Once marketers identify accounts they should target as customers in-market for their products, “the next task of the B2B marketer engaged in an ABM strategy is to get their attention and start a conversation with them. Outreach is critical to an effective ABM program, the report says. The authors say marketers must find the most effective mix of new marketing tools, such as programmatic digital display advertising or older methods, such as direct mail, that may have been under-used.
  • As companies make a renewed commitment to customer-obsessed experiences, “creating a compelling customer experience (CX) is now as important to business leaders as growing revenue. Personalized interactions are not only core to creating differentiated CX, they are also a fundamental element of an effective account-centric marketing strategy.”

The report also reviews 26 providers of ABM internet applications, including some of the newest ABM-focused online software platforms.

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