Demand and ABM leaders must stay focused on long-term success in 2023

Just when it looked like 2022 would be the year the pandemic that has depressed global economies would finally pass and business would return to “normal”, new variants emerged, vaccinations stagnated and the invasion of l Ukraine by Russia boosted inflation around the world.

As they plan for 2023, demand and ABM executives will need to consider the continued economic uncertainty that will create pressure to cut their budgets. Making across-the-board cuts in marketing spending during a recession is mechanically simple but strategically risky, because marketing activity has a broad and deep influence on market visibility, customer relationships, and business results. Done right, marketing can pull a business out of a slump. Forrester’s 2023 Planning Guide for Demand and ABM Managers highlights areas where organizations should strategically invest, divest and experiment to maximize their success in 2023 and beyond.

Here are some takeaways for demand and ABM managers.

Prioritize up-selling and cross-selling, embrace anonymity and improve the content engine

Forrester recommends that organizations invest in existing customers to fuel future growth; expand their reach by incorporating more anonymous audiences; and boost their content engines to improve the customer experience.

A growth strategy based on new business is difficult in a difficult economy. Expanding through cross-selling and upselling is already a priority for most marketers, as data from Forrester’s Priorities Survey, 2022 shows. Organizations must maintain this focus with cross-functional collaboration between portfolio marketing, sales, demand marketing and customer marketing and include more customer-focused content and events.

Take ABM seriously and start consolidating technologies

Now is the time to take a no-nonsense look at investments that may be well-intentioned but poorly executed or duplicate similar efforts. We recommend that organizations stop doing fake ABMs and finally get it right. With 52% of companies spending 6-15% of their marketing budget on ABM, underperforming ABM initiatives will be at risk if the recession hits.

According to Forrester’s 2022 State of ABM Survey, 26% of initiatives do not follow any of the ABM best practice principles. This is the best place to look for savings. Start with the bottom 20% of ABM programs, then move on to those that are generating revenue but are underperforming. The latter can often be put on the right track with little or no investment by adopting best practices and the support of an ABM Center of Excellence.

Experiment with sustainable events and try a new approach to outsourcing

Organizations also need to carve out the resources to test new concepts, tools and processes that could lay the groundwork for future growth, such as experimenting with a sustainable event strategy, adopting a strategic approach to outsourcing and more modular content testing.

Two-thirds of B2B commerce and technology professionals identified improving environmental sustainability as a high or critical business priority for their organization over the next 12 months, while in a separate study, 36% of B2B marketers have called “reducing the carbon footprint” key. benefit from virtual events. As the pandemic wanes, marketers need to be careful not to return to in-person events too much. Instead, they should continue to leverage the full range of virtual and hybrid event options to ensure they are both audience-focused while contributing to broader sustainability goals.

Explore Forrester’s 2023 Planning Guide for data-driven insights on where to invest, where to retire, and where to stay the course here.

This post was written by Vice President, Director of Research Steven Casey and it originally appeared here.

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