One of the biggest challenges we’re currently helping our clients solve is understanding how the world has changed for their customers and prospects. The priorities of businesses and individuals have changed as they deal with the effects of COVID-19. And those priorities are rapidly evolving week by week, making it difficult to get a comprehensive view of what’s going on by industry, geography or company size.
The effect on some industry sectors (like travel and hospitality) is obvious. But for many industries, changes are more complex. For example, financial services firms might be scrambling to figure out their role and obligations under COVID-19 relief programs, as well as helping their clients navigate fluctuations in the market and their financial situations. And the impact of these changes will vary by company and by role within the company.
That means you need to go back to a truly intentional, individualized approach to selecting accounts for your ABM campaigns.
Message and Content
When crafting your campaign messaging, make use of the intelligence you’ve gained from your account research. What are the problems you can solve for your prospects? Remember that COVID-19 itself isn’t the problem, and that you need to adjust your approach and your tone depending on the audience.
Some audiences will be receptive to a straightforward “COVID-19 has impacted your business, and we can help” message. Some audiences won’t. And a few audiences might be proceeding with business as usual. It’s your job to sift through these options and decide which ones are right for your campaign audience.
This isn’t easy, and you’re not always going to get it right off the bat. Give it your best shot based on the information you’ve gathered and be humble and open to learn. Most importantly, be ready to change and pivot as you learn more with the campaign.
The impact of COVID-19 has reduced the number of channels available for ABM campaigns. In-person events—especially conferences and tradeshows—won’t be an option for a while. And direct mail is now an unreliable option—with people working from home, you can’t assume they’re going to get mail you send to their office. It’s a shame that some of the highest touch marketing channels are non-options now that people are craving more connection!
But just as COVID-19 has removed some channel options, it may have actually boosted the effectiveness of others. The channels where we’ve seen success in the evolving environment are inside sales, email and social media.
Everything is changing.
And that includes account-based marketing. If you’re intentional, hands-on and open to learning and pivoting, however, ABM is still a good answer for how to build sales pipeline in challenging times.