ABM Trends: 2024 Guide to Drive B2B Sales
Going into 2024, approximately 50% of all Account-Based Marketing (ABM) programs are in the “expanding” or “embedded” stages, according to ITSMA. This prompted their claim that ABM is currently in a remarkable growth phase.
The spike in interest for ABM is further confirmed by HubSpot’s research, which shows that one-third of marketers who have never used ABM plan to do so in 2024 if they’ve haven’t already started. ABM has taken off and won widespread acceptance given that a staggering 74% of Marketing and Sales professionals view it as an important aspect of their mix, according to a study by DemandGen.
Startups must conquer the changing marketing and sales landscape and embrace it as we move through 2023 into 2024. B2B organizations can fully utilize the power of marketing and advance their sales strategies by keeping up with the latest trends in ABM. Keep reading to learn how you can ensure your revenue targets are met using account-based marketing in 2024.
The Digital Revolution in ABM Channels
The rise of social media platforms has made them indispensable in marketing, particularly in ABM (account-based marketing). Their enormous user bases offer a tremendous opportunity for outreach.
With over 2.9 billion active users per month, Facebook leads the pack. But other platforms like YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, and TikTok also offer great potential to reach your buyers in 2024.
Notably, despite its launch in 2016, TikTok is on track to rival Facebook in just a few years. Its explosive growth was driven by its appeal to younger demographics.
Implementing ABM on these platforms requires understanding their unique user bases and the potential for reach. For instance, YouTube’s strong presence across all age groups, including the harder-to-reach 65+ demographic, could benefit B2B marketers targeting such audiences.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to leveraging these platforms:
- Understand each platform’s demographics
Dive deeper into the demographics of each platform to identify specific segments that align with your target accounts. For example, while Facebook has a broad user base, you can utilize advanced targeting options to narrow your audience based on interests, job titles, or company affiliations. This allows you to craft highly relevant content and offers.
1. Create business profiles
When setting up your business profiles, optimize them for maximum impact. Use compelling visuals, clear descriptions, and a consistent brand voice across all platforms. Remember to leverage the unique features of each platform, such as Instagram Stories or TikTok’s short videos, to create engaging and interactive content.
2. Develop tailored ads
Don’t limit yourself to generic ad campaigns. Instead, consider leveraging innovative strategies like personalized video ads or interactive quizzes to capture your target accounts’ attention. Experiment with different ad formats, A/B test messaging, and visuals, and closely monitor performance metrics to refine your campaigns.
3. Employ an omnichannel approach
Coordinate your marketing efforts across platforms by leveraging the strengths of each channel. You can use LinkedIn for thought leadership articles, Instagram for behind-the-scenes glimpses, and Facebook for customer testimonials. Maintain a consistent brand presence across platforms. This will ensure a seamless experience for your target accounts as they interact with your content.
Hyper-Personalization with Tailored Experiences
Hyper-personalization will become a dominant trend in ABM in 2024. It enables B2B sales organizations to design experiences that speak to specific accounts. Personalization becomes one of the keys to success, with 61% of marketers customizing content for particular industries and 55% for specific roles.
How Hyper-Personalization Works with Modern Buyers?
Hyper-personalization has become a hot trend because it nails what modern buyers crave. They’re no longer satisfied with one-size-fits-all approaches. Instead, they want businesses to treat them like the unique individuals they are.
B2B buyers in 2024 will have high expectations.
They want a tailored experience where a business understands their wants and needs. It’s like having a super helpful customer service rep who says, “We got what you’re looking for,” and delivers it. Businesses need to anticipate preferences, whether recommending the ideal product or offering services that feel like having a personal assistant who knows them inside out.
Modern buyers crave that personal touch.
They want businesses that make them feel valued and part of a close-knit community. They get satisfaction from having a sense of belongingness and being remembered. Providing genuine care and making customers feel special is vital. Buyers become loyal supporters who stick around for the long haul when businesses achieve this.
B2B buyers prefer smooth transactions.
Seamless experiences are crucial for buyers. They want interactions to be smooth and hassle-free, like a well-oiled machine. Remembering their preferences, such as a personalized playlist, brings extra joy. Providing thoughtful recommendations that resonate with their tastes enhances the experience. It doesn’t matter if it’s online or in-store. Companies should be able to make their customers feel consistently supported and understood.
To win the hearts and wallets of modern buyers, businesses embrace hyper-personalization. Businesses become trusted allies by understanding their needs, forging genuine connections, and providing seamless experiences.
How to Implement Hyper-Personalization
- Achieve customer portfolio optimization by seamlessly orchestrating experiences at every touchpoint, leveraging data-driven insights and omnichannel engagement.
- Drive real-time engagement through personalized, contextually relevant content delivery across digital channels, ensuring spatially appropriate messaging and enhancing brand salience.
- Maximize the value of abundant data resources by employing strategic data intelligence, identifying the vital 20% of data that fuels 80% of experiential marketing efforts.
- Use the power of predictive analytics to proactively anticipate customer needs and offer customized, dynamically priced promotions, fostering heightened customer loyalty and increased conversion rates.
- Adopt continuous AI-powered automation to analyze live data, drive predictive insights, optimize customer journeys, and elevate revenue generation while striking the optimal balance between machine-driven optimization and human touchpoints.
The Shift to Full Funnel Metrics in ABM
The shift towards utilizing full-funnel metrics in ABM will be needed in 2024 as marketers and executive leadership realize vanity metrics’ limitations.
Vanity metrics, such as social media “likes” or website visits, may initially seem impressive, but they often lack substance and fail to provide actionable insights. To overcome this challenge, marketers embrace a more comprehensive approach focusing on tracking and measuring the entire customer journey.
By adopting full-funnel metrics, which encompass vital performance indicators (KPIs) at each stage of the customer lifecycle, marketers gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of their marketing and sales efforts.
These metrics offer a deeper understanding of customer behavior, conversion rates, and revenue generation, enabling marketers to make informed decisions and optimize their ABM strategies for long-term success. A common theme in 2024 with all marketing strategies and tactics will be effectiveness.
Instead of chasing empty numbers, the emphasis will be on meaningful metrics that align with business objectives and provide a clear understanding of the overall performance of ABM initiatives.
Select the right CRM software: Choose one that suits your business needs. Consider options such as:
- Salesforce CRM: Ideal for small businesses.
- PipeDrive: Known for its visual sales pipelines.
- HubSpot CRM: Provides excellent integrations.
- Zoho CRM: Designed for remote and hybrid teams.
- Keep CRM: Offers ease of use.
- Sage CRM: Known for its customer support features.
Utilize data analytics tools: Leverage data analytics tools to gain valuable insights into your ABM campaigns. These highly-rated tools may be helpful:
- Microsoft Power BI: Best for data visualization.
- Tableau: Well-regarded for business intelligence (BI).
- Looker: Ideal for data exploration.
- Zoho Analytics: Known for robust insights.
Incorporate marketing automation platforms: Integrate marketing automation platforms to streamline your ABM efforts. Here are some of your best options:
- HubSpot Marketing Automation: Offers comprehensive marketing automation features.
- Sender, SendPulse, ActiveCampaign: Provide email automation capabilities.
- ManyChat: Enables chatbot-based marketing interactions.
Configure and customize the selected tools: Set up the CRM software, data analytics tools, and marketing automation platforms according to your specific requirements. Configure them to track and measure full-funnel metrics, capture customer interactions, and automate marketing processes.
Track and analyze full-funnel metrics: Regularly monitor and analyze the full-funnel metrics captured by your CRM software and data analytics tools. Visualize the data using the selected tools’ capabilities and gain insights into customer behavior, conversion rates, and revenue generation at each customer journey stage.
Optimize your ABM strategies based on insights: Use the insights derived from your full funnel metrics to optimize your ABM strategies. Make data-driven decisions to refine your campaigns, personalize content, and target accounts effectively. Continuously test and iterate on your approaches to improve conversion rates and overall ABM performance.
Data-Driven Decision-Making: Optimizing ABM Strategies
Even if a company uses personalization, ABM efforts may be unsuccessful without access to the right data. First-party data prioritization is more important than ever as third-party cookies are being phased out.
41% of marketers in 2022 said that their biggest challenge was being unable to track the right data. Understanding target accounts and optimum campaign tailoring is not possible without precise insights.
How to Make Data-Driven Decisions
- Foster an environment that embraces data by empowering cross-functional teams with diverse skills and perspectives. For example, a B2B sales organization can recruit data scientists and analysts who can leverage advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques to analyze customer behavior and identify patterns for personalized ABM campaigns in 2024.
- Combine advanced data analytics techniques with existing business systems. A company can merge customer transactional data with predictive analytics models to identify the most promising target accounts and tailor marketing messages based on their needs and preferences.
Technology as an Enabler: Streamlining ABM Execution
The world of B2B sales organizations has changed dramatically with the influence of technology. It transforms their work and gives them the power to succeed even more. Several businesses have been able to optimize their ABM execution, improve scalability, and provide seamless experiences to their target accounts by taking advantage of the quick advancements in technology.
How to Excel in ABM Execution Using Technology
- Implement Marketing Automation Platforms: Utilize leading marketing automation tools like Marketo or HubSpot to automate tasks, manage contacts, and execute targeted campaigns with features such as lead scoring and personalized content delivery.
- Integrate CRM Systems: Seamlessly integrate your ABM efforts with popular CRM systems like Salesforce to centralize customer data, track interactions, and gain comprehensive insights for account-based reporting and sales automation.
- Leverage Advanced Analytics Tools: Utilize industry-standard analytics platforms such as Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, or Tableau to derive actionable insights from account behavior, website engagement, and campaign performance for optimizing ABM strategies.
- Embrace AI-powered Technologies: Use tools like ChatGPT, Bard, Claude, Jasper, or Conversica for AI-driven chatbots. Evergage for personalized website experiences and Infer for predictive lead scoring to automate tasks, enhance engagement, and drive conversions.
- Optimize Data Management: Prioritize data quality and security using best practices, including tools like Informatica for data cleansing, Collibra for data governance, and Snowflake for secure data storage to ensure reliable and compliant customer data handling.
The Emerging Investment Trends in ABM
With marketers committed to investing in ABM, knowing where to put your resources for maximum ROI is essential. Here are the key areas to consider:
- Defining your ICP
Instead of relying solely on traditional buyer personas, develop an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) that combines firmographic, technographic, and behavioral data to represent your ideal accounts comprehensively. Refine your ICP over time by analyzing the characteristics of your most successful funds and adjusting accordingly.
- Appointing ABM leaders
When selecting an ABM leader, look for individuals with a deep understanding of marketing and sales. This role should bridge the two departments, aligning strategies, coordinating activities, and driving collaboration to ensure the seamless execution of ABM initiatives.
- Investing in technology
Explore emerging technologies that can enhance your ABM efforts. For example, consider leveraging conversational intelligence tools to capture valuable insights from sales calls and meetings or utilize voice assistants for automated data entry and lead enrichment. However, be cautious not to adopt technology for its sake—evaluate each tool’s relevance, scalability, and compatibility with your existing systems before investing.
For B2B sales organizations looking to marketing to ensure 2024 revenue goals, the ability to execute account-based marketing (ABM) is necessary. Marketers must keep up with the most recent trends: the digital revolution of ABM channels, hyper-personalization, the shift to the full-funnel method, data-driven decision-making, and the use of technology as an enabler.
As Max McKeown wisely put it, “Adaptability is about the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win.” By embracing these trends now for 2024, B2B sales organizations can proactively adapt their strategies to seize new opportunities and beat the competition.