Promoting a small brand is completely different from running a large international company. While you might think it’s much easier to develop marketing strategies for corporations, it isn’t necessarily so.
Big brands have to coordinate between international enterprise marketing teams and use the same messaging in different countries. And although these brands have seamlessly infinite resources, a small advertising misstep can ruin their entire businesses overnight.
In this article, we’ll explain enterprise marketing, talk about its challenges, and share some actionable enterprise marketing strategies. Read on!
What is enterprise marketing?
As the name implies, enterprise marketing is an approach tailor-made for large enterprise businesses. These companies have thousands of employees and usually cover numerous international markets. It’s a vital tool for sustainable growth that presumes a complex, usually multi-channel, enterprise marketing strategy.
Besides complexity, the thing that stands out with enterprises is that they have in-house sales and marketing teams. So, when promoting their products and services, the organization employs various departments. They pull resources from all over the company to maximize marketing efforts.
These businesses have much more leeway during the testing and execution phases. They can try out different approaches before they opt for a specific marketing strategy. Among others, even if they put out a bad, potentially harmful marketing campaign, they can salvage the situation through reputation.
What’s the difference between enterprise and traditional marketing?
First and foremost, enterprise marketing management requires multidisciplinary skills and experience. The chief marketing manager should be able to coordinate the efforts within the company’s internal marketing team. Often, this means the involvement of other departments, including finances and R&D.
Furthermore, large companies always go with a multi-channel marketing strategy meant for different segments of the market. This is especially tricky as it requires that you create massaging that will speak to various profiles of potential customers. Anyway, here’s a short breakdown of the main differences between the two marketing methodologies:
- Enterprise marketers create large multi-channel marketing campaigns that cater to various customer profiles, whereas traditional marketers focus on a smaller target audience and fewer channels.
- Enterprise marketing campaigns presume much bigger budgets. And while these campaigns can achieve enormous exposure and significantly increase brand awareness, they can also ruin a corporation overnight.
- Enterprise marketers have to be at the top of their game. Not only should they increase organic search growth, but they should be well-acquainted with paid and social media marketing. On the other hand, small brands usually employ teams (often external) that specialize in one promotional activity.
- Large corporations often use a plethora of enterprise marketing programs to automate their processes and coordinate between teams. Smaller businesses employ less technology in their day-to-day activities.
- Another thing that makes enterprise marketing different is its reach. Unless a minor brand can create a unique, captivating message, enterprise campaigns will always get more exposure among the general public.
- Enterprise-level companies are dependent on their enterprise marketing team but also other departments for promotional activities. On the other hand, small businesses only rely on marketing departments for outbound and inbound marketing.
While enterprise business campaigns usually yield incredible benefits, they’re much harder to execute and carry various risks. This is precisely why it takes so much time to implement them.
Enterprise marketing challenges
Even if you have the best enterprise marketing software and well-coordinated teams, you’re bound to encounter certain hiccups along the way. An enterprise marketing manager has to consider all these internal but also external factors. Given that a typical marketing program uses an enormous amount of customer data, even the planning phase can be a real nightmare.
Here are some of the main challenges these brands have to face:
Poor resource allocation
Throughout history, there have been numerous cases where a single marketing campaign ruined a company’s future. Besides sending an improper massage, many brands went under because they didn’t know how to properly manage their resources.
When running a massive campaign, the enterprise marketing manager has to decide how much money to allocate for each channel. Even if a specific approach is more profitable, you might have to focus on a different channel. Whatever the case, you should constantly revise the results of your enterprise marketing program and make tweaks when necessary.
Increasing your visibility and brand awareness is both a blessing and a curse. While this can be amazing for your bottom line, it also exposes you to certain risks.
When running a comprehensive enterprise marketing strategy, you need to consider how your message will affect different segments of the population. Brands should avoid alienating potential customers by focusing too much on politics, religion, and sex-related topics.
The cultural sensitivity topic is especially important for international corporations. As they often use the same marketing material across borders, these ads could cause a massive uproar among the local population. Ideally, your chief marketing officer should get acquainted with the local customers and beliefs before launching a product or a campaign.
Among others, enterprise businesses struggle to coordinate various teams. This problem is especially noticeable when your departments are working from different offices. As there are no touchpoints between the employees, they’re less likely to be empathic to each other and open to outside ideas.
The lack of collaboration is also noticeable if the teams hail from different countries, have different goals and values, or have different experience/skill levels. The only saving grace is that you can nowadays improve communication with enterprise marketing tools. Platforms such as Slack and Trello can streamline tasks and help teams bond regardless of where they work.
Time to delivery
One thing that’s very common for enterprise teams is that they need too much time to finish projects and deliver results. As the saying goes, there are simply too many cooks in the kitchen. If such a thing happens, there’s a chance your message will no longer be relevant to the current market.
Speed is especially important when penetrating new international markets. A difference in a few weeks or months can cost you a piece of the revenue pie. Ideally, you should create a methodology that will simplify the campaigns while allowing you to streamline the process over and over again.
Bad initial feedback
Nowadays, people reach too emotionally to anything that might go against their values. Just think about all the product boycotts we’ve seen in the last few years. So, if you’re promoting something that is even a bit controversial, you need to prepare for potentially negative feedback.
Sometimes, this feedback might be caused by political ideology and cultural beliefs or might be malicious in nature. In these cases, there’s very little you can do to remedy the situation. However, there are also cases where reviews are a reflection of real worries about the product or company policies.
Aside from changing or deleting your message, you can also choose to stick to your guns and proceed with the campaign. In these cases, you need to take a proactive role in answering user concerns and trying to alleviate the tension when you can. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools will help you do just that.
12 Focal points of enterprise marketing
As an enterprise marketer, there are the 12 strategies you need to implement into your approach:
1. Creating a strong basis
Today, more than ever, people pay attention to companies’ values, mission, and vision. There’s much more emphasis on social and environmental responsibility and how this company affects the world around us. It’s something that also affects the investors, often forcing their hand in one or another direction.
So, you start your marketing way before creating the first campaign or choosing optimal marketing channels. Of course, as an enterprise corporation, you already have your basic policies in place. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t polish them and improve them according to the current market and customer demands.
2. Focusing on a value proposition
A value proposition is something that we can implement into all our marketing campaigns and products. Basically, you need to find something that makes you unique among all the competitors. Whether it’s having the lowest price, the best technology, or the best design, you need to find a proposition that will separate your brand from the field.
We can create a value proposition on a macro and micro level. Ideally, you should be recognized as a business that does one thing better than all the rest. However, you’re also free to change and implement new value propositions with each campaign and product.
Among others, make sure that your offer is congruent with your company values. If you’re offering better technology at the cost of pollution and you market yourself as environmentally friendly, your value proposition will ring false.
3. Employing multi-channel marketing
Creating a comprehensive enterprise marketing strategy costs a lot of money. It requires numerous teams to plan and execute this approach and usually takes several months to put into action. Because of that, you need to be certain that the program will yield tangible results.
That being said, an enterprise marketing program has to utilize multiple marketing channels to be effective. If you’re certain of the quality of your message, you should spread it to the widest audience possible. Among others, this ensures your message will reach all segments of the target audience, regardless of the platform they’re using.
Unfortunately, multi-channel marketing is much harder to execute than some people might think. First off, you need an expert for each platform. Then, you should determine how much money to spend on each one. While tricky, this is the best method of maximizing your profit.
4. Investing heavily and consistently
There are no shortcuts to marketing. Any type of promotion will be costly if you want it to yield results. This is especially true in the modern world, where ad space can be extremely expensive. So, an enterprise business can’t skip steps or save money during a promotional campaign.
While marketing carries numerous risks, you can’t eliminate them from daily operations. The marketing expenses should make up a large portion of your free budget, and you should invest the same percentage of resources every year.
Consistent investing provides another major benefit. Basically, it helps you assess performance at the end of the year. If you have the same annual expenses and are failing to convert, this is usually an indication that your enterprise marketing strategy is no longer feasible. Among others, it might indicate a drop in efficiency or changing trends.
5. Focusing on clients’ needs
Every product caters to a certain audience and is meant to fulfill specific needs. And while your enterprise marketing team might inherently understand what those needs are, they might change over time. For example, younger generations put much more emphasis on brands’ and products’ social and environmental impact than price or efficiency.
Analyzing customers’ needs is a long-lasting process. You need to revise your policies before every new campaign by relying on data you receive from marketing automation software. Furthermore, an enterprise business should introduce as many personalization and customization options as possible, catering to the needs of every individual buyer.
A customer-centric approach isn’t only vital for attracting new prospects but also for retaining existing customers. Providing consistent value will significantly increase your reputation while also improving Word-Of-Mouth marketing. As such, it’s vital for the long-term sustainability of any enterprise company.
6. Increasing accessibility
Approximately 15% of the global population suffers from some sort of disability preventing them from seeing or hearing your message. On top of that, there are also those who don’t have the capacity to use modern digital technology and browsers. This can affect all your promotional activities, from search engine optimization to social media marketing and email marketing.
So, one of your enterprise marketing goals should be optimizing all these channels so that everyone can use them. For example, this means adding subtitles to YouTube and Facebook videos or allowing voice search on your website. Among others, increasing accessibility can increase your reputation in the eyes of the wider audience, showcasing you as a brand that cares about everyone.
7. Reducing friction
Similar to accessibility, friction is something that can hinder your enterprise marketing strategies. Basically, this refers to situations in which there’s a barrier between consumers and brands. This might refer to difficulties understanding your pricing and product features, not trusting your brand and sales teams, etc.
Luckily, there are lots of ways to address this problem. Many brands provide free trials allowing users to test the product or service before buying. You might also improve your positioning by providing clear product descriptions, brochures explaining functionality, and simplifying purchases.
Friction is a very dynamic category that constantly changes with consumer preferences and industry norms. For example, nowadays, companies provide free shipping for many products, and putting a price on it will alienate numerous potential clients.
8. Utilizing data insights
Today, it’s hard to imagine a successful brand that doesn’t rely on AI software. This is especially true for large corporations that have to track and analyze enormous amounts of data during their marketing campaigns. And as the campaign becomes more comprehensive, the marketers are more inclined to use the tools for decision-making.
Basically, these sophisticated tools can help enterprise marketers with every process. You can use them to analyze competition and clients, perform predictive analysis, and track the performance of different channels. Aside from collecting data, cloud software can also help you automate content creation.
Of course, the main reason why companies use these programs is to save time. Tasks that would previously take you weeks to perform can now be done in just a few clicks. On top of that, this software also eliminates human error, making the results of your campaigns much more predictive.
9. Focusing on the right KPIs
Marketers use various KPIs to analyze the success of their campaigns. Besides measuring conversion and revenue growth, you should also assess the number of website visits, products added to the cart, churn and retention rates, and so on. Each of the metrics provides insights that work in a vacuum but also in conjunction with other KPIs.
And while you should always put emphasis on revenues and sales as the main measure of success, that doesn’t mean you can ignore other metrics. Some of them can indicate major issues despite the fact you experienced a short-term increase in profits.
Depending on the type of business you’re running and your long-term goals, you should give an advantage to certain metrics. For example, some companies don’t have any issue sacrificing short-term profits to increase market share and visibility. Alternatively, you might have to focus on increasing revenues so you can fund future investments.
10. Providing expertise
Thought leadership is a term that is often thrown around nowadays. It refers to the creation of educational content that would help people develop skills, knowledge while changing their market perception. So, as a large enterprise brand, it’s crucial for the management to put itself in the position of industry leaders.
Of course, businesses don’t give this knowledge away lightly. Your expertise has a price, and in this case, that’s increased brand exposure. By hosting various webinars and creating intriguing social media posts, you’re positioning yourself as one of the main sources of information within the field.
11. Engaging with clients post-purchase
Customer retention is vital for any business. In the end, it’s less expensive to keep existing clients than to sell to new ones. With that being said, post-purchase engagement should be one of the focal points of enterprise marketing.
The need for continuous support is especially important for brands that prioritize large accounts and B2B models. Each one of the buyers carries enormous revenues, so losing just one of them can put major pressure on your business.
12. Monitoring and modifying
Of course, your enterprise marketing doesn’t stop after launching a successful campaign. It’s crucial that you stay on top of things in the forthcoming period, analyzing potential opportunities you might’ve missed along the way. Among others, you should create a relationship with your clients to better assess their level of satisfaction.
Enterprise businesses should put special emphasis on their pipelines and bottlenecks. Small mistakes can be costly in marketing, preventing potential buyers from progressing to the next step of the buyer’s journey.