How does ABM apply to different industries during a pandemic?


The COVID-19 spread has proven to be the biggest threat to the global economy as it continues to disrupt markets. 

A few businesses emerge stronger even in terms of revenue, while others face a drastic downfall. This is the time when ABM can be utilized where you can choose a smaller number of high-value, relevant leads that you want to convert.

According to a recent survey, 64% of marketing teams said that their organizations use account-based marketing (ABM) for at least half of their marketing mix. While 33% don’t know which messages would better resonate with target accounts. 

Why ABM is the right approach?

During this time of uncertainty, your messaging has to appeal more than ever to the human-to-human connection. Account-Based Marketing is not about targeting the company, but the individual persona who are working from home and blending their work and home identity for that company. What are the pain points?

Companies are increasingly relying on “account-based marketing” that builds awareness with a select number of companies you are looking to do business with. 

ABM approach starts with the creation of relevant segments followed by the identification of marketing programs that can be tailored to the segments on the channels that impact your target persona the most (events, website, email). 

A B2B company’s strategy employs its own particular mix of tactics based on the target industry and target persona. In addition, your approach to a particular account should rely on the account’s specific attributes, the relevant marketing channels, and the appropriate segments of this account. 

Let’s check out the impact of COVID-19 on a few target industries – Lifesciences, Technology, Manufacturing, and eCommerce – and how ABM can be leveraged the best to target each industry.

ABM and Life Sciences

Pharma companies are recognizing the potential of digital platforms, mobile apps, webinars, and social media for providing scientific detailing to the newer algorithm for improved insights on patient awareness. This provides an open door for marketers to target prospects in the industry.

However, life sciences marketers need to reach many complex audiences. ABM approach in life sciences aims to deliver personalized messages by channel. They use technology and expertise in marketing automation which speaks their language.

The art of selling to a life sciences company has become much more complex now that there are more stakeholders. Because of this complexity in a highly critical situation, companies are in an ideal position to deploy an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) program to target life sciences.

Gartner defines ABM as applying a mixture of approaches – “target and engage identified accounts and individuals across all stages of the buying process.” This differs from other disciplines of marketing activities by being laser-focused on individuals in accounts chosen to be the most valuable by sales and marketing teams.

ABM and Technology sector 

IT sector forecasts that there’ll be a continued demand for cloud infrastructure services and a potential increase in spending on specialized software. It is also anticipated that there will be increased demand for communication equipment and telecom services as companies allow people to work from home and schools continue to use online platforms to teach. 

In the coming future, organizations may notice a greater benefit through account-based marketing for IT services hold complex propositions, long sales cycles, and large customers. Also, the technology industry has a scope of expanding into other sectors which can be seen to be an added advantage. 

Many suppliers have also been beginning to realize that some of their IT clients ‘revenues exceed some nation-states’ GDP. They are changing the number of their resources accordingly and this trend might continue even after the COVID-19 situation. 

ABM and Manufacturing

In many manufacturing companies, logistical and operational changes are taking place more frequently than ever before. Also, critical communication with customers and prospects around logistical changes is managed online. This is a unique opportunity for organizations to strengthen relationships with prospects in the manufacturing sector and gain greater visibility online.

When you’re selling a niche product to a finite number of customers, every single company carries significant revenue potential. A traditional lead-based approach isn’t the best go-to-market strategy when you have a limited number of companies that could potentially turn into customers.

The transition makes sense: account-based marketing allows organizations to target B2B manufacturers to implement targeted campaigns to reach the decision-makers in only the companies that would be a good fit for their product (even those with large, ever-changing buying committees).

In a time where manufacturing marketing and sales teams are hard-pressed to find ways to speed up sales cycles, penetrate growing buying committees, and drive efficient growth, ABM could be the perfect approach to address those challenges.

ABM for B2B eCommerce

Shopping centres and malls are temporarily shut down. Moreover, because people are distancing themselves from social events and crowded areas, they tend to order their favourites or needs online. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, online sales have increased by 52% year on year and the number of online shoppers by 8.8%.

If you are selling a product that is in demand or likely to be in demand during the COVID-19 crisis, then highlight those products and create personalized messaging. However, online marketplaces will continue to attract B2B sellers. 

Final takeaway:

The next six months will bring many societal changes that trickle down to the marketing plan. You must drill down to identify the specific challenges that customers and your brand could experience in each scenario, and take a step to implement the right ABM approach.

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The Ultimate Account-Based Marketing (ABM) tool kit for B2B Organizations executing or planning to implement ABM in 2024