How to fail fast with ABM during a pandemic – Part 2


Welcome to Part 2, if you’ve just finished the first part of this blog post! In the previous blog, we discussed the need to alter marketing strategies, the importance of aligning sales and marketing teams, and ABM tactics that can work during a pandemic. Well, have you determined the needs of your target personas already? 

What we are currently experiencing during the pandemic is nothing like we’ve ever seen before. Understand that each of your prospects is coping differently under these circumstances. Hence, it is going to be one of the key ways to build and strengthen relationships through empathy, and help prospects get what they need.

Take some time to brainstorm your target buyer’s biggest pain points. One can (and should) leverage this real-time personalization to provide your target accounts with the most relevant and engaging conversation possible. 

Meanwhile, analysts say that pandemic is going to impact industries such as telecom and technology, digital media, payments and commerce, fintech, banking, and healthcare. So, let’s focus on accounts that are showing signs of being in-market and execute a tailored ABM program effectively.

Understand your targets 

Along with the target company list, having defined personas outlined will create a strong framework for an ABM approach. Being aware of the companies you’d like to target is helpful, but you also need to:

  • Have the correct internal stakeholders defined to target
  • Consider the company size and arrange accounts into tiers
  • Create a buyer persona to describe the qualities of people who are involved in the decision-making process

Let your salesperson utilize similar personalization and nurturing approaches that marketing employs to enable meaningful conversations and avoid generic interactions. This is especially helpful when trying to upsell or cross-sell existing accounts.

Adopt the COVID-19 messaging 

Leading experts say that corporate communications are moving away from other forms of a brand to customer interactions. Spend more time in creating COVID-19 relevant messaging with personalization that depicts the understanding of customer personas, geopolitical, and cultural issues. 

Create landing pages with this content that could be hosted on your domain and share it with your target personas.

Email marketing is always one of the most effective means of personalized corporate communications. It is going to be a central place as advertisers begin to review their ad spending budgets. 

Targeted and personalized emails have a 74% high chance of customer engagement. All you need is a shift from messages that are too salesy and try to be helpful instead. 

LinkedIn as an opportunity 

The way people engage in social media has changed now. What was once a contact, analysis and social involvement resource is now a platform for everything. LinkedIn offers target account capability through 

  • Sponsored Updates and InMail, allowing you to create and deliver custom messages to segments of users found within your list of target accounts.
  • Matched Audiences, which allows marketers to use LinkedIn to retarget website visitors and market to contacts from customer databases and automation platforms. 
  • Conversation Ads, which are aimed at improving personalization in messaging with real-time engagement adoptions that include multiple calls-to-action


For any good marketing campaign, you have to ensure that you evaluate the performance – and that you calculate the actual data. You need to segment your research into what stage and strategy you are using in an ABM approach, even though the end goal is to reach target accounts. 

For example, early effort success may be measured by recognition and website visits, whereas later-stage efforts can be judged on funnel progression or contributions to revenue.

An ongoing level of evaluation, testing, and optimization is the key to penetrating high-value target accounts.

Nurture and followup 

Now that you’ve broken through the noise by using highly-personalized messages delivered to your highest-value accounts, don’t waste that effort by stopping there. 

According to DemandGen Report, 67% of B2B marketers say they see at least a 10% increase in sales opportunities through lead nurturing. 

Nurturing campaigns that are sent to your target accounts should be even more personalized. Remember to segment and personalize based on the company name, industry, and challenges or solutions with which they originally engaged. 

ABM approach should ensure that all of these stakeholders within an account are receiving regular touchpoints throughout the length of the sales process.

Lastly, review your marketing budget…

Most B2B brands are increasing their digital marketing budgets to compensate for the leads they would otherwise have picked during non-COVID times. Well, the reasons could be the following:

  • The sudden increase in the number of people indoors has led to a change in lifestyles, where consumers have moved to spend more time online than before. 
  • Large organizations have already declared the elimination of all face-to-face meetings and private sector companies.
  • Given that most companies allocate a high budget to trade shows, even a small shift in priorities would lead to higher digital marketing investments. 

No matter what your strategy is, the tactics you utilize (email, social, display ads, website, content, events, etc.) remain largely unchanged. 

Adaptability and creativity have indeed been key characteristics of entrepreneurs and business owners. For the time being, adjusting to situations like working from home and flexing our creative brains to work on an account-based marketing strategy will be put to test. Even if not easy, in times like these it’s important. It is time to work as a team, as a family, and in person.

If you are new to account-based marketing and are looking for some guidance to keep your team aligned and your ABM program, reach out to The Smarketers for ABM consulting to get through these tough times! Our ABM specialists offer consultation and execution of innovative ideas to help with your remote ABM program.

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