First Look: New Research Benchmarks COVID’s Impact on Enterprise ABM

May 26, 2021 | Blog, Resources

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New research across more than 400 marketing leaders shows major differences between enterprises and SMBs when it comes to business disruption, the velocity of change, and future ABM investment.

The COVID-19 pandemic introduced new complexity into the already highly dynamic and challenging enterprise sales environment – and created new challenges for marketing leaders, particularly those at large organizations.  However, increased agility, relevance, and ABM investment promise to drive transformation as enterprise marketers turn to new technologies to remain competitive.

New research released yesterday by MRP shows that not only are enterprise marketers more disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also adapting more and investing for the future. The survey of more than 411 marketing leaders conducted by Demand Metric in April and May 2021 found that nearly all (96%) agree that COVID has dramatically or somewhat disrupted the way they market and sell products and services.  This retooling is most evident in the enterprise (defined as more than 150MM in annual revenue) where nearly half of marketers (49%) describe the disruption as “dramatic”.  In contrast, SMB marketers are more likely to feel that COVID had a milder impact with only 38% describing it as “dramatic”.

In addition, 83% of enterprise marketers report that the pace of marketing efforts are faster than a year ago, compared to only 70% of SMBs.

The Enterprise Opportunity

However, greater change can lead to better outcomes as agile marketers move fast to act on new opportunities. Enterprises are 42% more likely to say their target account profiles have changed, and 21% more likely to say the channels they use to reach targets are changing. So it’s not surprising that they are 21% more likely to increase their ABM spend this year and 59% less likely to indicate a reduction in spend. In fact, a full 81% of enterprise marketers plan to increase investment in ABM this year and 18.5% will sustain their investment, leaving less than 1% who will decrease ABM spend.

According to a recent report from Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), “Companies that invest in innovation and technology during times of crisis can emerge stronger, from increased efficiency to new products and services that disrupt the market. COVID-19 already has started driving transformation in multiple sectors, and companies need to determine which technologies will keep them competitive in a still-uncertain economy.”

Today’s research findings align with PwC to suggest, despite the challenges of the past year, that enterprise marketers will exit the pandemic in a better position to forge meaningful connections with target accounts. The accelerated use of enterprise ABM, including quality data, predictive analytics, and the next best action, will strengthen enterprise sales and marketing and cement marketing leaders as the drivers of digital transformation.


More information on the study and key findings can be found in our press release here.

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