Marketing is one of the fundamentals of growth. It’s the driving force that allows a great business idea to turn into a raving success that the customer simply can’t resist.
However, when a company passes the small business and mid-market (SMB) milestone, its needs become more complex and require different techniques to flourish. This makes enterprise marketing more demanding than your regular SMB efforts, and a challenge to implement without the help of a capable and well-coordinated team of professionals.
Furthermore, the larger your organization becomes, the more difficult it is to maintain consistency, maintain customer satisfaction, and provide an excellent experience.
In this article, we highlight the factors that define the success of enterprise marketing and provide insight on how to facilitate a strategy that delivers on your business goals.
Read on to find out!
What Is Enterprise Marketing?
Simply put, enterprise marketing is marketing for large corporations with $100 million plus annual revenue and 1000+ employees. It includes lead generation, customer acquisition, customer relationship management, omnichannel campaigns, international branding, and all other pertaining marketing tasks.
While many of these activities apply to SMB marketing as well, when it comes to enterprise marketing, the key difference is the scale.
Large companies not only cater to significantly more clients but also have larger teams. Furthermore, more often than not, they operate internationally, which means that both the clients and teams are from all over the world, which further complicates things.
As a result, enterprises face multiple challenges, such as consistency issues, difficulties in internal and external communication, clumsy processes, and lack of innovation.
Aside from that, an integral part of enterprise marketing revolves around growth and expansion. This comes with a whole new set of challenges. Large companies that operate in limited markets need to consider different strategies that secure their development and prosperity once they saturate the existent demand.
They need to penetrate new markets, come up with ideas about new products and niches, and even launch entirely new lines of business, in order to successfully grow.
In a nutshell, although enterprise marketing enjoys far greater resources and opportunities compared to its smaller-scale counterparts, it’s far from easy to implement.
Factors Defining a Successful Enterprise Marketing Strategy
To avoid and/or counteract the issues and challenges that enterprise marketing poses, businesses need to devise the right course of action and follow it diligently.
Here are some of the factors that define the success of an enterprise marketing operation:
The modern marketing landscape features multiple communication channels. Brands interact with their customers through email, social media networks, websites, review platforms, landing pages, personal messages, phone calls, customer service tickets, and whatnot.
Furthermore, to make a bigger impact and impression, they need to adopt both inbound and outbound techniques of connecting with the audience.
Nowadays, advertising alone is not enough to grab the customer’s attention nowadays, stay on their radar, and consolidate the business’s position as a marketplace leader. Enterprises need to put themselves out there and allow the customer to find them, instead of the other way around.
The good news is that since large companies are rarely short on resources, they can afford to devise and successfully implement efficient high-quality omnichannel strategies. This way they can find a way to their customers, establish a connection, and build awareness.
While building an omnichannel strategy is easier for enterprises than for smaller businesses, maintaining consistency may be quite the challenge.
To the customer, the brand is a unified being. It has an identity, personality, tone of voice, vocabulary, and style. Simply put, it’s like another human being.
However, when there are multiple people involved in running every channel where the company is active, this synergy may be difficult to pull off.
Even the slightest variations in the way the brand acts and speaks can make its persona crack and cause the clients to feel that something’s amiss. As a result, they are less likely to relate to the brand, become involved, engaged with content, and build loyalty.
In order to avoid this, it’s important to create clear and comprehensive brand guidelines that apply to different contexts and situations and define the brand’s behavior across channels.
Furthermore, by implementing a CRM tool, you will be able to maintain consistency within the communication with individual clients on different platforms. This will allow team members to pick up the conversation where another employee has left off and provide a seamless transition between channels.
The point is to make the client feel as if they are talking to the same person even when they are engaging with different departments that have nothing in common.
Nowadays, most enterprises invest in international branding and aspire to penetrate new markets and build a worldwide presence. With the correct resources at their disposal, this is the smartest thing to do.
However, international branding requires a level of flexibility and adaptivity that may be difficult to implement in larger organizations.
Each country’s market has its own specifics and requirements and to be able to win that market over and successfully grow your organization there, you need to carefully research it.
What makes international branding tricky, especially for larger companies, is that you need to maintain brand consistency and, at the same time, adapt your strategy to the local market. This may include changing colors, design, and logos, creating different types of packing, modifying your marketing message, adjusting products and/or developing and launching entirely new ones, as well as coming up with relevant content.
To be able to achieve this, you should consider hiring and training local teams and agencies that can help you respect and implement the cultural differences into your strategy, while staying true to your brand’s essence and values.
Successful Internal Communication
Internal communication is a challenge for all teams, be they small or large. However, in larger companies where the employee count exceeds 1000+ people, it can difficult for people to stay connected and network efficiently.
Communication breakdowns can result in low productivity, slowing down of procedures, holding back development, inconsistencies, bottlenecks, blockers, and overall process failures.
To deliver results, enterprise marketing requires close collaboration between multiple departments, including, but not limited to, marketing, sales, R&D, finance, IT, design, quality assurance, customer service, and product development.
All departments should keep in touch and align their efforts to the ultimate business and marketing goals. To that end, they need to communicate swiftly and effortlessly, follow well-organized workflows, and know to whom to delegate tasks and responsibilities when needed.
While this sounds straightforward enough, we’re all familiar with the tectonic tempos that pertain to corporate communication. With the multitude of decision-makers involved, it may take months for a simple request to be processed and results delivered.
Simplifying communication and hierarchy, assigning clear roles and responsibilities, as well as delegating decision-making to the right people will allow your enterprise marketing operation to run smoothly and with fewer setbacks.
Customer Service Coherence
Customer service satisfaction is the pinnacle of a company’s reputation. Even if you offer a stellar product and a hassle-free customer journey, failing in your customer service can be your undoing.
Unfortunately, the more customers you have, the more difficult it becomes to provide high-quality, consistent service.
Furthermore, with client numbers in the thousands or even millions, it’s inevitable that there are people who are unhappy with your services, regardless of how great a job you are doing.
They may leave negative reviews and spread unfavorable word-of-mouth that will affect your reputation and, as a result, may reflect on your overall bottom line.
Paying due attention to these customers and doing your best to make amends will show them and prospective clients that you take your customer service seriously, and value quality. This way you may not retain the clients who have had a poor experience but may even be able to win their loyalty.
To that end, you should train your reps properly, provide them with multiple resources that allow them to handle complex situations swiftly and adequately, and instruct them to always focus on quality rather than quantity.
In addition, you should make sure that if you outsource your customer service to a third-party provider, your partners follow the same code of conduct as you.
Customer Segmentation and Personalization
In enterprise marketing, you are targeting millions of customers from all over the world. These are different people, all with their requirements, preferences, pain points, and needs.
As a result, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to craft a message that speaks equally well to all of them and compels them to become your clients.
The best way to approach this issue is to segment your audience based on their location, demographics, needs, job descriptions, income, and whatever else applies to your product.
This way you will be able to create personalized campaigns for the different groups and target them in a way that will make them feel that your product is made especially for them.
Personalization may be difficult to implement at such a scale but with modern technology powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, you can use, practically, all the details you have on your customer to provide a truly unique experience.
You can utilize both first-party and third-party data to build customer profiles and map behavior, and use predictive analytics to foresee what the customer may do next, outline the best course of action, and suggest it to them.
All you need to do is know your enterprise customers well and use marketing to build a bridge between them and your products.
Flexibility Towards Innovation
One of the major issues with enterprise marketing is that the complex chain of command structure and hierarchy can paralyze the team and restrain decision-making. This makes it difficult to implement new ideas and move forwards.
Lower-level executives, the people who are actually responsible to have the job done and know what can make processes smoother and increase productivity, more often than not, have no power to make a change.
They can request innovation and make their case, but in a large enterprise company, it can take ages for their ask to move up the line and deliver results. Furthermore, if management is not involved enough in the practical aspects of the marketing process, they may deem the changes an unnecessary investment and may not even approve them.
This is the reason why, although enterprise marketers have at their disposal far larger resources than SMB teams, they are usually less flexible and find it difficult to implement new strategies that may affect the revenue.
For example, such is the case with content marketing:
Building a Connection with the Customer
One of the key issues in enterprise marketing is that corporations are generally considered to be detached from their customers. These accusations are, more often than not, not without grounds.
It’s challenging to maintain connections with millions of customers, keep them posted, and answer their needs.
However, by proving the popular belief wrong and staying involved with your audience, you will gain a powerful competitive advantage.
The easiest way to do this is through social media.
Joining conversations on social platforms, engaging with customers, and staying in touch on a daily basis shows brands as down-to-earth, accessible, and human.
While this may sound tough to implement at scale, tools such as social listening software allow you to stay in the loop and never miss a conversation that mentions your name. This way you will be able to talk to people and show them that they matter to you. And nothing helps you build a connection better than personal attention.
However, make sure that all your social media managers follow the brand rules, maintain its tone of voice, and are always nice and polite.
Powerful Enterprise Marketing Tools and Strategies
Now let’s a have a look at the tools and strategies that allow you to facilitate your enterprise marketing success:
- CRM Tools. Customer relationship management software allows you to streamline communication with your customers and provide a consistent experience across channels, departments, and platforms. There you have data on a customer stored and neatly organized so you can improve your efficiency and strategy.
Furthermore, modern tools track behavior and enable lead scoring which is a great way to know when to approach a customer and with what type of message.
- Communication and Project Management Software. Communication and project management tools, such as Asana and Monday, and Slack and Discord, allow businesses to streamline workflows and ensure that no important information slips through the cracks. Furthermore, they make it easier to prioritize tasks, follow their development, and keep track of who’s responsible for what.
- Social Listening. As mentioned, social listening is a great way to know what your customers are saying about your brand and join in on conversations.
In addition, it allows your business to express its humane side and show off its brand identity. This makes it more likely for your followers to relate to your brand and feel connected.
- The Ansoff Matrix. The Ansoff matrix helps enterprises evaluate their growth and expansion possibilities and design the respective strategies. Based on it, the company can evaluate the potential risks and benefits, choose the proper timing, and delegate the due resources.
- Account-Based Marketing. Account-based marketing is a great way for B2B enterprises to approach their market with a highly-personalized strategy that delivers tangible results.
By focusing on your most profitable clients and prospects, you can extract maximum value from your marketing efforts and seal high-profile deals that flourish into long-term partnerships.
- Pipeline Marketing. As mentioned, in enterprise marketing, the different departments collaborate closely to move the leads through the funnel and ensure the sale.
That’s what makes pipeline marketing such a great fit for large companies – sales and marketing can work together to ensure that leads are managed and nurtured properly and that, once they enter the pipeline, their journey is streamlined.
Enterprise marketing can be a tough nut to crack. While you may have a myriad of tools and resources at your disposal, managing these and maintaining consistency can be challenging.
You need to cater to the needs of a large team of professionals from all around the world, as well as to international audiences. At the same time, you have to be able to stay on-brand, as well as show an individual approach and adapt to the preferences of each market.
And then there’s communication.
While all this sounds difficult to implement and manage, in the end, it is well worth it. With the right enterprise marketing strategy, your company can grow and flourish and successfully conquer new markets.