Your marketing strategy is a key piece of your business’ future financial success. While not every one of your marketing efforts will strike gold, there are plenty of ways to effectively take your business to the next level of growth.
For businesses that have scaled up from a small-to-midsize business (SMB) to enterprise levels, they need to similarly grow their marketing program standards. To become an effective enterprise business, your company needs an enterprise marketing strategy. Thankfully, your marketing scale-up doesn’t have to be complex. With a few simple marketing strategies and marketing automation tactics, you can successfully define and grow your business’ enterprise marketing strategy.
What Is Enterprise Marketing?
Enterprise marketing utilizes a combination of strategies focused on growth and expansion. These efforts aim to retain an existing customer base while also pursuing the goal of exponential growth. An enterprise marketing strategy utilizes a combination of integrated multi-channel strategies, reaching outside of the business’ internal marketing team to target and expand its niche audience.
To make the most of enterprise marketing campaigns, businesses usually utilize employees even beyond the marketing department, from product developers to shareholders, all to effectively identify areas for potential internal and external growth.
What Makes Enterprise Marketing Different?
Small- and mid-sized businesses (SMB) typically have a relatively small number of employees, ranging from 0-100 for small-sized businesses and 100-1,000 for medium-sized businesses. They also have more limited resources, including a smaller IT department and lower annual revenue.
Smaller businesses pursuing a multi-channel marketing approach are likely limited to social media apps and email marketing, and they typically don’t have access to the kinds of SaaS marketing tools their larger counterparts use to acquire and retain customers.
Mid-market companies (MMs) have a medium-sized employee base — approximately 100 to 500 employees — and earn more annual revenue each year than SMBs. With greater annual revenue and more market influence and marketing software at their disposal, MMs are more likely to have an expanded marketing program with a particular arm of their business dedicated to cross-platform marketing strategies.
However, these strategies will be focused on their existing customer base, homing in on and benefiting from their niche without worrying about expansion beyond their personal network.
Enterprise businesses, on the other hand, are going to be the largest businesses across the spectrum. With over 1000 employees, and taking in over $1 billion in annual revenue every year, enterprise businesses will have many resources and assets available to aim for exponential growth.
Challenges Enterprise Marketers Face
While enterprise marketing can prove frustrating for marketing team members most acquainted with SMB or MM marketing techniques, the growing pains can be overcome with a proactive marketing strategy.
1. Scaling up.
One of the first challenges is the matter of scaling up. While there are some ways to internally ease the matter of scaling up, such as refocusing particular employee’s focus on different departments and projects, some characteristics of your marketing program might be more difficult to handle.
The most common culprit that enterprise businesses struggle with is that of content targeting and personalization — understanding how your business can still target specific customers and foster positive customer relationships while undergoing exponential growth.
The unfortunate truth is that many marketers attempt to barrel through this struggle headfirst without any assistance; however, there are content management tools available for enterprise businesses that allow the business to remain agile even while growing.
2. Vendor relationship management.
Vendor management refers to internal operations that enable the effective control of costs and services in relation to your vendor service. It is a way for your company to manage all of its vendor processes and procedures in one place, where all documents and various SaaS tools can be tracked and monitored.
Similar to utilizing a content management system, enterprise marketers will sometimes overlook the benefits of tracking and monitoring vendor relationships when first scaling up their marketing program. It’s a facet of your overall marketing strategy that should not be neglected, as it’s a prime way to ensure transactions are successfully started and completed through each of your vendors.
3. Resource allocation.
Similarly, your business should be closely tracking and managing the ways in which your business operates. This means tracking your available resources, materials for production, software systems, and customer transactions. Successful enterprise marketing programs often manage their company data through enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
Whether scaling up or having your enterprise business established, an ERP system removes the complications that come with having to regularly track down necessary resource statistics, compiling them in one place for you.
4. Siloed communication.
One of the most common issues to arise while attempting to scale your company’s marketing program up to an enterprise level is the matter of having too many opinions. Because an enterprise marketing strategy requires collaboration between all departments of a company, you’ll end up with many different voices providing their particular insight.
The issue is that many people will offer insight to an area outside of their expertise, leaving far too many opinions to sift through. In other cases, it might lead to marketing content not written in the company’s brand voice or other assets that don’t align with your brand standards.
To avoid silos while scaling up to an enterprise marketing program, you should employ a content collaboration program/software. This will allow you to still communicate across departments while working on your company’s marketing program, all while simplifying the process of setting tasks meant only for specific departments.
3 Components Needed in Your Enterprise Marketing Plan
While the above four challenges are pitfalls that can be avoided with essential planning and software, there are some specific components that will ensure your enterprise marketing plan runs on all cylinders. These shouldn’t be avoided when first establishing your enterprise marketing program, as you’re bound to find that you’ll still need them down the road.
1. Perform ongoing performance evaluations.
Before you can move forward on executing growth through your enterprise marketing strategy, you need to develop what your strategy will look like. In particular, you need to ask what your company’s goals and objectives are going forward?
These goals and objectives will drive your enterprise marketing strategy, determining your company’s endpoints that define success and quantifiable statistics which represent such attainable growth.
Part of the struggle when creating an enterprise marketing strategy is determining what these goals and objectives look like. In some cases, one of those might not be chosen by your marketing team but by your company’s shareholders, so you are left to determine how their choices will be implemented. The cooperative nature of enterprise marketing makes this an essential part of the business that needs to be identified and established before moving forward.
2. Identify your clearly defined target market.
You must have a clearly defined target audience. While part of being an enterprise company is having a vast and varied audience, you still need driving character traits that give your brand and content an identity. Otherwise, you have no ideal customer and are just talking to everyone — which won’t resonate as well as some people might think.
While it might sound like a good idea to target multiple “types” of people with your digital marketing, you want to have an ideal customer in mind — someone you can write to; someone who is sure to identify with how your brand speaks, looks, and acts. This defined brand avatar is the way you can organically connect with the customers for whom your products and services are intended.
If your company is big enough, as enterprise businesses are, you might have multiple types of customers you’re aiming for. If so, each of these customer personas needs to be identified so you can specifically talk to — target — them in the marketplace.
3. Maintain a consistent message.
Once you have your goals and ideal customer(s) identified, you need to find a way to talk directly to them. The way you do this is to create a brand voice that remains consistent at all times. Consider it a style guide that all of your content adheres to. Whether you’re posting to Facebook, sharing an image on Instagram, emailing a customer, or writing product copy, everything needs to be written in the same tone of voice with the same language, style, and demeanor.
There are numerous ways to create your company’s brand voice, but most people work through a step-by-step process such as the following:
- Identify your industry, who your competitors are, and how you differ from them.
- Identify your company’s strengths and why they should be used in your language.
- Identify your niche—portrayed by your ideal customer—and what your language hopes to achieve, influenced by the goals of your marketing strategy.
Enterprise Marketing Strategies Worth Implementing
As discussed, there are various ways you can simplify your enterprise marketing program before starting: avoiding common challenges that first-time enterprise marketers face and specific marketing components that should be included in your program.
There are specific strategies that should be included in your company’s broad, multi-channel enterprise marketing program, too, which will help your company successfully continue reaching customers. Here are six particular strategies you should consider implementing.
1. Find a way to personalize (and benefit from) your inbound marketing strategy.
Inbound marketing is driven by attracting new leads to your website, or a vendor’s site containing your products, with relevant, targeted content. Created with the lead in mind, it is produced in your brand voice and offers a form of entertainment, knowledge, and engagement — it gets someone to click and read.
Inbound marketing has proven itself to be beneficial to enterprise businesses as it brings customers directly to you, supporting the exponential growth model. By creating unique content targeted specifically to your ideal customer, new leads are intrigued and are invited to engage with the brand for further content. Best of all, the simple way of producing organic leads allows companies to effectively scale up their business with the use of current and ideal customers.
“The bottom line is that ecommerce is getting faster and more accessible and is taking over many platforms and devices. For most online retailers, inbound marketing is the one marketing approach that empowers them to scale engagement with prospective, current, and past customers.”
~ Justin Champion, author of Inbound Content
2. Prioritize lead scoring to promote enterprise growth.
Lead scoring is the way marketers rank prospective leads, on the likelihood that they will be converted into a client or customer. It’s a consideration of the sales funnel: determining who is furthest along in the funnel and most likely to become a customer with a little attention. By identifying the highest-ranking leads through a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, marketers can identify the members of their audience worthy of serious attention.
As you’re nurturing a specific lead relationship, enterprise businesses can benefit greatly from marketing automation tools that score leads automatically. This simplification saves a great deal of time for marketers and provides clarity for enterprise businesses with massive audiences.
“Ecommerce businesses need lead scoring so they can understand who is window-shopping and who’s ready to buy immediately. With ecommerce lead scoring, you can introduce more values related to demographics (geography, gender, age, etc.) and user behavior (actions taken on different pages), resulting in super-targeted and personalized, real-time campaigns for leads moving through every step of the funnel.”
~ Talar Malakian, Business Unit Director, Salted Stone
3. Attune your business’ brand awareness.
Building brand awareness is a simple way to promote your enterprise business’s conversion rates. Similar to finding your customers with the help of your niche and brand voice, brand awareness is the added benefit of determining how your company can best attract the attention of both current and potential customers.
While your company should have an established brand voice, you can test out different types of content to see how existing and potential customers react — if and how they engage with your content.
Engage with your audience on a regular basis through social media, for example, which makes it easier than ever for companies to build relationships with consumers. This engagement adds a human touch that otherwise would not be possible and makes it easier for consumers to relate with your brand.
“Focus on building the best possible business. If you are great, people will notice and opportunities will appear.”
~ Mark Cuban
4. Utilize word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) to permeate the market.
Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) has existed for as long as we can remember — someone appreciates the product or services of one business and recommends it to their family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. And it’s proven itself to be one of the most effective forms of marketing: 74% of consumers stated that word of mouth was a primary influencer of their purchasing decisions.
WOMM works best by homing in on your audience and sharing your messaging directly with them. This is the exact opposite of someone clicking an ad or using a search engine like Google to discover your brand.
One of the most common ways enterprise businesses achieve WOMM nowadays is through social media. These digital platforms have made it easier than ever to target massive audiences, whether that is your specific niche or the extended market within your industry.
The best part about WOMM is it allows your company to grow sales and build a community without having to spend money on advertising. It’s similar to the traffic garnered by improving the SEO of your content, having people naturally embrace your brand.
For enterprise businesses looking to boost their WOMM, many have begun relying on the success of affiliate marketing — a referral partnership where affiliates promote your business to their audiences and receive commissions whenever sales conversions take place.
“I’ve seen ecommerce brands blow up by developing a Facebook Group, having YouTube influencers talk about them, and by getting on podcasts. And while this all happens online, this is still WOM advertising.”
~ Eric Carlson, Co-Founder, 10x Factory
5. Promote omnichannel growth with a headless CMS.
A headless content management system (CMS) is an ideal way to promote omnichannel growth, as the decoupling of a website from its ecommerce functionality allows developers to utilize the frontend technology of their choice to provide site visitors with high quality content experiences.
The developmental freedom of headless CMS allows enterprise marketing programs to truly enhance and optimize their businesses’ marketing strategies to their ultimate potential. Newfound abilities provided include:
- Leveraging customization instead of pre-designed templates to create a personalized customer experience.
- Responding to market changes with agility by enabling frontend updates without disrupting the backend of your site.
- Adding new touchpoints to your site’s frontend to ensure all channels remain interconnected.
As your business grows, you can effectively scale your site to ensure it can handle larger surges of traffic from increased leads and customer numbers.
“Along with operational functions, being headless has empowered us creatively as well; we use a headless CMS to drive the modernization of our platform and to create a great digital experience across multiple channels.”
~ Kabeer Chopra, Burrow Co-Founder and CPO
6. Allocate your enterprise marketing strategy resources.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your enterprise business’ marketing strategy, you need to find ways to collect all of your marketing resources in a simple-to-find, easy-to-manage space.
Platforms like BigCommerce are designed to ensure you have the technology, workspace, and freedom to create, manage, engage, and strategize the business that you want. Together, your entire company can collaborate on your enterprise marketing strategy, providing your business with an essential hub where your program can be effectively managed.
“We now have almost a global presence, reaching everywhere besides the larger part of Asia — which is on our agenda for 2020. The support from BigCommerce around our international growth has been very helpful in making our expansion story a successful one.”
~ Justin Wang, LARQ Co-Founder & CEO
If your company has been planning to transition into an enterprise marketing program, you can’t begin planning soon enough. Challenges are sure to arise while you scale up your marketing efforts, but there are notable ways you can effectively undertake the shift.
If you’re interested in learning about how various enterprise and ecommerce businesses have benefited from having an established management system, take a look at some of the clients who have found success with the BigCommerce platform. And, if you’re interested in learning more about how we can benefit your enterprise business as it transitions into the enterprise business marketing space, take a demo of our platform.