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How to fail-fast with ABM during a pandemic – Part 1

abm during pandemic

COVID-19’s viral outbreak has caught most companies off guard and is unlikely to let up soon. Organizations around the world are beginning to change business procedures with global guidelines to self-isolate and maintain social distancing. 

Now more than ever, 70% of organizations say the biggest pipeline roadblock is that people don’t want to take meetings. With this in mind, how can your marketing team efficiently cater to the needs of the prospects who are actively looking for solutions during this period of uncertainty?

The individualized approach of Account-Based Marketing helps combat several of these problems. By focusing on only accounts that matter, your marketing efforts can become more targeted and personalized. In the COVID-19 era, it is recommended to have one effective ABM strategy that takes your goals, the needs of your prospects, and the underlying environment into consideration. 

Running a pilot ABM program with existing resources is a cost-effective way right now to check how a highly-targeted personalized marketing activity would work on your target accounts. According to ITSMA data, 84% of the organizations said ABM strategy provided significant benefits to retaining and expanding client relationships.

Here we are talking about account-based marketing tactics that can work for greater impact during the current crisis. 

Alter Your Marketing Strategy

Because of the COVID-19 scenario, you don’t actually have to abandon your entire marketing plan, but you should be more adapting to what the needs of your target account are right now.

Due to the uncertain situation, your buyer personas’ buying characteristics have changed. They’ve had busy lives, but this pandemic adds to so many more spinning plates and brings a significant emotional burden. 

This is certainly a most interesting time for your marketing strategies thoughts to flourish, you have to see it as an opportunity to flex your creative muscles and find new ways of reaching your target audience and getting their attention back.

Account-based marketing as you will see is more relevant and effective than ever before. Everything that ABM represents – team alignment, personalized messaging, direct mailers, multi-channel interactions, full-funnel activities, etc. – is what will work out right now. 

Marketers should use this time to refine their ABM strategy so they won’t leave any ground and can take prior action when the social restrictions lift. Whether it’s creating more personalized content or spending more time with their sales teams, understanding what your prospects and customers need is of the utmost importance. 

Keep Sales & Marketing Aligned

ABM marketers need to treat every target account like an early-stage opportunity. It is important to deploy tactics that keep the opportunities relevant until companies are ready to start investing again. Also, make sure that you support the elongation of the sales accelerator cycle within the target accounts. 

Keeping sales and marketing coordinated can be one of the biggest challenges. However, it is crucial to communicate with your team that we’re in this together and going to get through it together. Use mechanisms for efficient coordination between your sales and marketing teams to avoid disruption. Now is also the time to demonstrate the cohesiveness, creativity, and development that exists within the organization’s leaders. 

Grow to be successful as a team and individually. Pull together more than you usually can to build an ABM plan, think about ideas you wouldn’t usually have and work together through the COVID-19!

ABM Tactics During COVID-19

Revisit your target accounts 

It may be an excellent time to re-evaluate and re-prioritize your target list, depending on the volume and scope of your ABM program. Prioritization is always meant to be an iterative process with your sales team, based on how the market is behaving. While some industries are adversely affected by the crises and are unlikely to invest, others are booming. Review your target account lists with this lens to make sure you focus your limited ABM budgets on those accounts that are most likely to be able to act.

Virtual events take centre stage

Organizations are having great success with virtual events during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hosting live events and inviting the target accounts for the discussion is a well-known ABM technique. Create a landing page with compelling content and promote your event using personalized messaging via emails, LinkedIn messages, and tweets. As you start to see success within specific account segments, plan for a 1:1 virtual marketing event to focus on that sub-segment of your prospects.  

So, what’s next..?

Shifting B2B marketing spending on digital channels with a strong focus on Account-Based Marketing is the best solution for the present time. However, marketers should expect a lot of noise as companies grapple with how to market B2B at the time of COVID-19. Stay tuned for part 2 of the blog to grab more insights that will help you put your ABM plan together and move forward.

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