Alignment of Sales and Marketing Identified as Top ABM Strategy for 2018

Sarah Steimer
Key Takeaways

What? Sales and marketing alignment is a top priority for account-based marketing strategies in 2018.

So what? When successful, this priority and others identified in the report target customers (49%) and prospects (46%).

Now what? Marketers should consider their top ABM strategies for 2018 and which may result in the greatest challenges.

​In 2018, expect account-based marketing strategies to prioritize aligning sales and marketing initiatives

Half of the 253 survey respondents to Ascend2's "Account-Based Marketing Strategy Survey Summary Report" say they plan to prioritize the alignment of sales and marketing, while 41% plan to prioritize attributing marketing efforts to revenue, and the same portion will prioritize scouring and targeting ideal accounts. Of the respondents, 53% say their primary marketing channel is B-to-B.

Other priorities include mapping account plans and insights (38%), creating content by account segment (36%), obtaining and enriching account data (35%) and getting executive buy-in and budget (25%).

All but 5% of the respondents say an ABM strategy is successful at achieving their top priorities and 40% describe their ABM strategy success as best-in-class. The respondents also say successful ABM strategy targets customers and prospects almost equally at 49% and 46%, respectively. Channel partners were found to be a primary ABM target segment for only 5% of the respondents.

Comparing top priorities with challenging barriers showed a unique trend: while 50% say aligning sales and marketing initiatives is a top priority, 38% say it is a challenging barrier. However, the inverse is true for the the least-identified top priority of getting executive buy-in and budget: 25% identify it as a top priority and 37% say it is a challenging barrier.

The report looked at ABM engagement effectiveness as well, finding the most effective digital channels to be personalized content (52%), segmented e-mail (49%), social media (45%), targeted display ads (31%), custom resource center (29%) and mobile ads (21%).
Sarah Steimer
Sarah Steimer is a staff writer for the AMA's magazines and e-newsletters. She may be reached at or on Twitter at @sarah_steimer.