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Exploring the ABM Vendor Landscape and B2B Buying Cycle

B2B marketers have been incorporating account-based marketing (ABM) strategies into their plans for over a decade, but in the past few years, the approach has experienced a surge in popularity. This is largely due to advances in technology and data products allowing marketers to analyse behaviour, identify in-market audiences and craft experiences for buying groups or individuals. The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated changes in the B2B buying cycle, with 71% of companies increasing ABM and 28% of the overall marketing budget being allocated to ABM.

Buyers now conduct extensive research online before speaking to a salesperson and the lockdowns and work-from-home shifts of the pandemic period have exaggerated this further. Research from the Winterberry Group shows that 58% of marketers reported buyers spending more time researching online before purchase decisions, and 44% say peer reviews and user-generated content are playing a bigger role. This has led to a shift from a reactive to a proactive marketing approach for many B2B companies.

The ABM vendor landscape is made up of a variety of all-in-one-platforms and adjacent services such as data enrichment, identity resolution, analytics and interaction management/orchestration. Major players such as Dun & Bradstreet, Salesforce and Marketo share the space with independent ABM platforms like 6Sense, Integrate, Demandbase, Bombora, Jabmo, RollWorks, N. Rich, MRP, Madison Logic, Terminus and more.

The industry is seeing a move towards platforms that provide a comprehensive solution, rather than point solutions, and consolidating ABM with demand generation. Vendors are investing in AI to identify buying groups and find patterns of intent signals to understand prospects and improve targeting and relevance. Sales enablement tools that automatically activate sales triggers based on CRM account reporting are being launched to better align sales and marketing teams. Additionally, interaction management is being expanded to manage a variety of channels.

As B2B marketers increasingly adopt ABM, the platforms that make it possible are growing in popularity. This MarTech Intelligence Report dives into the details of the ABM space, exploring the developments, vendors, and changes to the B2B buying cycle. It's clear that ABM is here to stay, and it's worth investing in to increase engagement, win rate, average deal size, and ROI.

Originally reported by Martech:
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