[Research Round-Up] ABM, Marketing Spending and Next Generation Events

(This month’s Research Round-Up features the latest ABM benchmark study by ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance, Winterberry Group’s latest forecast of marketing and advertising spending, and a survey examining the future of marketing events by the CMO Council and Cvent.)

Embedding ABM: Next Steps for Market Leadership (2021 ABM Benchmark Study) by ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance

Source: ITSMA/ABM Leadership Alliance
  • An online survey of marketers with ITSMA member companies and ABM Leadership Alliance contacts
  • 313 respondents (91% affiliated with technology, finance and business services companies)
  • 70% of respondents from North America and the Caribbean
  • 24 interviews with leading ABM practitioners
  • Survey fielded in August 2021 – report published in December 2021

This is the fifth annual ABM benchmark study by ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance, and it includes several findings about the state of ABM in 2021.

For example, the research found that, on average, survey respondents were devoting 27% of their 2021 marketing budget to ABM, and 75% of the respondents expected their ABM budget to increase this year. Seventy-two percent reported that ABM delivers higher ROI than other types of marketing.

The latest survey also provides important insights about the attributes and practices of companies with high-performing ABM programs. The researchers divided the survey respondents into two cohorts – ABM Leaders and All Others. ABM Leaders were defined as the respondents who indicated their ABM efforts had produced a significant improvement in business results. By this definition, 33% of the survey respondents were classified as ABM Leaders.

The survey results showed that ABM Leaders:

  • Have broader objectives and greater stakeholder alignment (particularly with sales)
  • Are more proficient across a wide range of skills
  • Invest more in tools, templates and processes that enable knowledge/best practices sharing
  • Are more likely to be using data and analytics technologies
  • Are more likely to be using ABM-related technologies to their full potential

If you’re involved in account-based marketing, this research will be a valuable resource.

Source: Winterberry Group
  • Spending estimates and forecasts for twenty media/marketing channels
  • A review of trends that will shape the US marketing and advertising industry in 2022
  • Report published in January 2022

This report includes estimates of marketing and advertising spending in the United States for 2021 and 2022. It covers twenty media/marketing channels – nine offline channels (eg linear TV, direct mail) and eleven online channels (eg display advertising, digital video).

Winterberry’s estimates are similar to the projections made by other forecasters, including most of the major advertising agencies. The firm estimates that US marketing and advertising spending rebounded sharply in 2021 and will increase again in 2022. More specifically, Winterberry projects that spending on online channels will increase 16.6% this year, while spending on offline channels will grow 5.9%.

Among online channels, Winterberry predicts that influencer marketing will experience the greatest percentage increase in spending this year – 51.3%. Among offline channels, the firm expects addressable TV to garner the greatest spending increase – 27.4%.

Source: CMO Council
  • A survey of 150 global marketing leaders
  • In-depth interviews with executives from Equifax, GE Healthcare, HCL Software and GfK
  • Report published in February 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic decimated in-person conferences, trade shows and other marketing events for the better part of two years. In 2020, marketers and event sponsors and planners pivoted quickly to make many of their events virtual. Many marketers are now hoping for a return to normalcy in 2022, and they are thinking about what the future of events will look like.

This report by the CMO Council (in partnership with Cvent) provides several important insights about how marketers are thinking about the “new era” of events, and how what they learned during the pandemic will affect future event strategies.

Here are a few of the headline findings:

  • Sixty percent of the survey respondents said restarting in-person events is very important or criticalbut the same percentage of respondents expect future in-person/hybrid events to be smaller than pre-pandemic in-person events.
  • Forty-four percent of the respondents said webinars and virtual events have slowed down but still delivers good value, and 20% said such events continue to deliver tremendous reach for their content.
  • Sixty-four percent of the respondents said they are not effective or only moderately effective and executing virtual events that deliver value to their organization.

When asked about how what they learned during the pandemic will change event management strategies, 65% of the respondents said that all types of events will be better aligned to specific marketing outcomes.

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