What is enterprise marketing?
Marketers love a good buzzword. Certainly the sheer scale of acronyms and new trend labels can be daunting to even the most experienced in the field. Even more confusing is the discovery that some of these terms can mean different things to different people – as is the case with the often bandied round term ‘enterprise marketing’
Fortunately there are some great resources (like ours here!) that can help you to wrap your head around marketing jargon and even drop in some useful tips as to how to put them to use. So what on earth is enterprise marketing?
What is enterprise marketing?
There are two ways that you can think about enterprise marketing, both interact with each other but can be difficult to understand unless separated:
- Marketing in big companies: Enterprise marketing is often used as a catch all term for the organised effort to retain existing customers whilst also generating new leads in a company classed as a large enterprise (this includes companies that employ more than 250 people).
- Large scale marketing: Enterprise marketing can also mean a company wide effort to push for exponential customer growth- in other words a bigger than normal push for huge results. It relies on cross-departmental collaboration alongside the normal marketing team to action this ambitious goal.
Naturally both of these definitions can apply to the same marketing strategy, but they can also be used (notably in many articles on the internet) to refer to one or another specifically, and understanding each can be a useful way to clarify.
How is enterprise marketing different to other marketing forms?
The unifying principle behind these two variations is the idea of scale. The very nature of enterprise marketing is that it has bigger punchier targets than typical marketing programs
This can be a necessity of having a larger organisation, and therefore a need for more customers, or simply because the company embracing it is looking for big expansion. Both lead to bigger budgets, bigger teams across multiple departments, and also crucially, bigger rewards at the price of bigger risks.
Other than size, there are some typical identifying factors of enterprise marketing that makes it distinguishable from other forms:
Focus on multi-channel
Cross channel or multi channel marketing is largely what it sounds like: a method of engaging a variety of audiences using multiple channels to deliver you message.
Unlike typical marketing approaches, the multi-channel approach works to maximise as a single comprehensive strategy over a range of media, rather than using each channel in isolation. A harmonised campaign across email, various social media platforms, websites, mobile applications and targeted ads greatly increases the brand’s exposure to consumers.
Enterprise marketing efforts are in a very strong position when it comes to actioning multi-channel campaigns for a number of reasons.
- The power of numbers: As we have discussed enterprise marketing teams call on the skills and time of departments outside the typical marketing allocation. The result of this is bigger teams with a broad spectrum of specialised skills. The presence of all of these tools and manpower is that it is realistic and possible to be effective across so many channels simultaneously.
- The power of large budgets: Enterprise marketing teams have bigger budgets. This is often because they are working within enterprise companies that have proven offerings, audiences, funnels, and other data to give them an initial boost. In turn this makes it possible for them to reach a mass audience quickly. It also means that advanced tools and even more man power can be acquired if necessary for the strategy.
Big enterprises are the kings and queens of brand awareness. Yes naturally everyone should be aiming for this, but it’s only really the giants that can spark recognition with just a flash of Mickey Mouse ears or a brief shot of a red can. As such brand awareness tends to be a significant focus in most enterprise efforts.
The goal of brand awareness in enterprise marketing, as with all marketing, is to attract the attention of current and potential customers, particularly the desired target audience. Successful brand awareness efforts stay ahead of the crowd by embracing creativity across a broad range of activities including:
- New and long term promotions and campaigns.
- Engaging with influencers.
- Keeping up with changing digital marketing practices.
Social engagement is an essential part of most brand awareness efforts as it helps to build crucial relationships with customers. Creating genuine human experiences through digital mediums is an important skill and is a very effective way to develop brand loyalty. Retargeting adverts also plays a significant role in brand awareness strategies. The goal being to prompt site visitors who are on the verge of engagement to convert.
Top challenges for enterprise marketers
Despite size and budgetary advantages, enterprise marketing has a lot of associated challenges that can make achieving the desired outcomes particularly difficult. While these obstacles are not totally unique to the exercise of enterprise marketing, their presence is a consistent pain point in undergoing the activity.
Size brings advantages but lurking behind are the significant challenges inherent in organising many people and lots of money. To top it all off big investment tends to mean big expectations. Rarely can enterprise marketers propose things ‘just to see how they go’ or to ‘feel out the market’. Expectation doggs these teams at every turn and hard, timely KPIs are a staple of the enterprise mindset.
With little room for error and lofty goals, enterprise marketing is often a very pressurised environment – something which can hamper progress and deter experimentation and creativity.
In house production is key, but with such scales of production inevitably some activities will have to be outsourced. Vendor management is a tricky skill and has to be well balanced within the overall strategic effort.
Notably with enterprise marketing it also leads to some loss of control over the creative direction for projects, which can make it difficult to align individual activities with the overall marketing charge. As enterprise marketing success relies so heavily on a cohesive plan of action, ensuring that the multiple outsourced ventures fit into a unified whole is crucial.
Communicating through silos
One of the strengths of enterprise marketing is that it calls on the skills of multiple departments, rather than just the marketing team. However getting all of these departments to talk to each other can often be a task in itself.
Requests and strategy often have to be approved by a single figure, such as the CMO, who generally does not have time to be in constant contact with sales, IT or other teams involved. This can be made worse by internal politics and can hamper quick decision making.
Getting executives on board
A challenge for any large corporation, winning executive buy-in is an elusive skill that quickly becomes necessary for every project to truly succeed. In smaller businesses accessing a member of the C-suite is usually not too difficult,
However in large enterprises getting face time with higher ups can involve long waits and time-consuming process. This again makes responding quickly to events very challenging.
Everyone has a different objective
Another example of numbers playing against you – more people over many departments means that perspectives can be very different across the overall enterprise marketing team. This is exacerbated by different KPIs and leadership, for example the sales team may be given a meetings target while the marketing team is directed to focus on inbound efforts. Contradictory aims cause log jams and potential misallocation of resources.
What is enterprise marketing management software?
Enterprise marketing management (EMM) software is a technology designed to provide, monitor and maintain a promotional structure across a large organisation or team. It usually operates on a single platform and aims to serve all of a businesses marketing needs.
EMMs can be seen as similar to customer relationship management systems, however they focus more heavily on the marketing aspect.generating and creating new leads is the key aim, rather than just maintaining the existing customer base.
These systems usually provide:
- Marketing resource management tools for budgets, manpower and more.
- Campaign management across multiple channels such as social media, website etc.
- Analytics dashboards to measure campaign success and key metrics.
- Customer experience management, as in a CRM.