Developing an enterprise marketing strategy poses unique challenges. Unlike smaller businesses that lack the funding or staffing for large-scale efforts, big companies often find it difficult to focus their resources in the right direction. Heads of marketing departments may feel these resources pulled in many directions at once. Successful executives, however, have learned to use their size as an asset while making localized, personalized communications a priority.
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One of the benefits large companies have over smaller competitors is scale. There’s a simplicity that comes from tackling many of the same types of tasks all at once. It saves time, effort, and money — all while increasing profitability.
Smaller businesses can scale up by investing more in the marketing they’re already doing, but that growth only goes so far without a fresh strategy. Enterprises generally employ one or more of the following marketing strategies, which are part of the Ansoff Matrix.
One effective way existing resources can drive more sales is branching out into new markets. This is a marketing-heavy strategy that takes existing products and services and sells them to a new target audience. A good example is car companies that create SUVs for outdoorsy consumers, but also market those vehicles to soccer moms looking for an alternative to the minivan.
While this strategy is often tackled when a company is still small, almost every company has additional potential consumers in their existing market. Because further market penetration often means competing on price points and investing in more marketing, this strategy may not make sense for companies that already have a large market share. The good news is that companies that choose to invest in market penetration won’t have to reinvent the marketing wheel — they generally have to target their competitors’ customers.
Creating new products is typically easier for enterprise companies. Enterprises tend to have the funding to invest, or can more easily obtain outside funding for research and product development. They also already have an existing market and clients to sell to, provided they keep that audience in mind when designing the product. In many cases, enterprises can use the current marketing channels they have in place and simply create new content for these new products.
This strategy is a little riskier than the others because it involves creating new products and targeting unfamiliar markets at the same time. If done well, this strategy can cultivate security in a company’s portfolio, but it requires a large marketing budget. Enterprise businesses often have financial advantages, as well as the experience of successfully launching at least one product in a new market.
While large companies experience many advantages over smaller companies when it comes to scaling, they also face unique challenges. Consistency across departments and platforms is critical, but so is creating personalized touchpoints for a multitude of consumers.
One of the potential pitfalls of enterprise marketing is appearing to be the proverbial “faceless corporation.” Additionally, having more marketing resources can be an asset, but using them inefficiently across departments, locations, and teams can lead to waste that negates their benefits.
Enterprise marketers can face those challenges by creating better systems and communications.
Consumers are bombarded with marketing messages. These ads reach consumers offline in billboards and print ads; on the radio and TV; and online through social media, email, and web banners. When those messages seek solely to introduce new products, drive sales, and share how great a brand is, it can feel like companies only see consumers as a potential sale instead of real people. The key is to create personal touchpoints using online and mobile channels, such as social media, email, text messages, and other content.
Personalizing marketing for thousands of consumers is a tall order for marketing teams in large companies. It’s easy to fall into the trap of only seeing the numbers: conversions, sales, and number of customers. However, corporations are recognizing the need to cultivate better customer relationships, and many are turning to artificial intelligence to help them implement personalized marketing content.
How can you boost your enterprise marketing’s content marketing efforts? By creating systems for personalized content.
Netflix and Amazon are both well known for automatically generating personalized recommendations. With A/B testing, algorithms, and AI, these enterprises identify and target which consumers are likely to buy certain products or watch a specific show, based on the customer’s previous actions and what similar customers have selected. If many customers add salad tongs to their carts after selecting a salad bowl, for example, providing tongs as a recommendation to other salad bowl purchases could improve sales.
Small businesses often market by focusing on a couple ideal clients — their personas — to attract like-minded consumers. Enterprise-level companies, however, often have products and services that appeal to or target a variety of consumers. Even though all these consumers make purchases with the same brand, they have different interests, problems, and needs.
Furthermore, large companies tend to have a variety of messages they want to communicate to leads and customers. While it’s tempting — and easier — to send marketing messages to your entire email list, irrelevant messaging feels impersonal. Instead, focus on one message at a time.
By breaking down your customer base into segments by location, income, age, where they are in the sales funnel, and other relevant segments, you can target messaging directly to them. This will help you maximize conversion rates for your content while making your audience feel like you understand them.
Segmenting an audience becomes particularly important when a company moves into new territory, especially into a new international market. Their marketing will likely require new, localized strategies, such as changing product names, slogans, and marketing channels due to different languages, customs, and customer needs. A skincare line that sells tanning spray should reconsider their marketing in the Philippines, for example, where beauty standards idolize pale skin over the sun-kissed tones that many Americans want.
There are hundreds of major and niche social media sites, and with so many ways to connect with consumers, you may have difficulty deciding what channels your marketing team should use. Most individuals only use a couple of channels to connect with brands, however. Different industries and audiences will use some websites and channels over others. Your marketing platform tracks how people communicate with your brand, as well as ways to automate messaging through preferred channels.
By now you should know what your customers want. Helping consumers solve problems before asking for the sale will let them know you care about them as people. Invest in learning who they are to find out what they may find useful, entertaining, or inspiring. Become a resource.
The larger the business, the bigger the challenge to keep everyone on the same page, particularly if the company has multiple locations in several time zones and countries, or if they employ remote workers. Enterprises may struggle with communication. “Employees spend over two-thirds of their time connecting and collaborating.” However:
- Nearly 15% of employees' total work time is wasted due to inefficient communications
- Businesses with 500 employees could be losing over $5 million annually due to challenges with communications
- Disparate platforms and applications make chat and IM challenging
Poor communication can lead to a variety of dysfunctions across all departments. In marketing, it can lead to confusing or mixed messages being passed along to the consumer. That may create problems for both the sales and customer service departments.
To combat miscommunication and lack of communication, successful enterprises treat internal communications much like their external ones.
Just as a marketing automation platform can help companies with their external messaging to consumers, a powerful CRM platform streamlines internal communications. Use collaborative documents
hosted on the cloud and automatically updated with data from your CRM platform. Keep an active knowledge base
for your employees that acts like a confidential company wiki. Additionally, a private social network
just for your company can help keep teams in the loop.
One of the most common gaps in interdepartmental communication comes when marketing hands new leads off to sales. Prospects have been guided through the sales funnel up until that point with carefully created and deployed marketing. If the handoff isn’t smooth, or if sales and marketing haven’t defined what a sales qualified lead is, it can cause a delay in the sales process. A similar gap can exist between sales and customer service. To reduce or eliminate these gaps and streamline the customer experience, employ a CRM platform that integrates all three departments and enables your entire company to stay on the same page.
For an enterprise to succeed, it needs to focus on communication. Excellent internal communication through streamlined, integrated platforms will help sales, marketing, and customer service work together effectively. It can streamline the customer journey. Enterprise marketing departments are faced with the task of communicating with large, often international audiences. To excel, they need to base their marketing strategy on Amazon and Netflix’s success and use AI, A/B testing, powerful technology, and old-fashioned relationship building.
After all, a company will only grow if it develops relationships with its customers. Building the foundation for these relationships is up to the marketing team, and deploying enterprise marketing tactics that reach a large-scale audience with personalized, specific messaging is key to its success.
Kathryn Casna is a digital marketing and travel writer
from San Diego, California. Customer-facing retail, hospitality, and event production make up her professional roots. Today, she runs her own writing business from whatever new locale she happens to be exploring.