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Enterprise Marketing: What, When, How, and Why

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Enterprise Marketing: What, When, How, and Why

What is enterprise marketing, exactly?

This is a question I recently asked myself while iterating on my responsibilities as HG Insights’  VP of Growth. Honestly, it wasn’t an easy one to answer.

As someone working at a company that sells and markets to enterprise-level clients quite often, I considered a knowledge of enterprise marketing to be essential. Given that enterprise marketing is a key part of my professional life, the depth of my understanding can make or break my success. If you’re reading this, that might be true for you, too.

For that reason, I thought it’d be helpful for us to break it all down together. So here’s to you, reader, and here’s to learning all about the four Ws of enterprise marketing.

What is enterprise marketing?

Enterprise marketing can be defined as company-wide customer relationship management (CRM) and lead generation efforts through integrated, multi-channel marketing campaigns targeted toward large enterprises. Enterprises are large organizations that typically see $100 million+ in annual recurring revenue (ARR).

While this might sound like “marketing 101” to some, things become a bit more nuanced when comparing enterprise marketing to a more traditional, high-level approach.

What is enterprise marketing management?

If enterprise marketing comprises the complete function of marketing in an enterprise environment, then enterprise marketing management is the collection of activities and processes used to generate leads and drive success.

Enterprise marketing strategies

There are a handful of components that delineate enterprise marketing from other types of marketing. These include:

  • Working with a larger team of decision-makers. This means managing a broader range of expectations, personalities, challenges and opportunities in driving action, and ultimately, closing deals.
  • Heavy segmentation by departments, locations or other factors. This means you often have to define (and sell) to one group at a time.
  • The potential to get lost in the details. While in-depth insights are essential, the “big picture” always looms. Even as teams break down sales barriers and build relationships segment by segment, unification must remain top of mind.
  • The need for an ever-increasing amount of tools to manage and track campaign performance. Fortunately, tools like marketing automation platforms can help you monitor program performance, target the right accounts, build cross-functional relationships, and produce content that is relevant to your audience.

Types of enterprise marketing tools

In enterprise marketing, there exists a variety of tools and software you’ll want to leverage:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms
  • Marketing automation software
  • Email marketing software
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools and databases
  • Chatbot software
  • Calendar scheduling automation tools
  • Account-based marketing (ABM) software
  • Landing page optimization tools
  • Sales and marketing intelligence (for cloud providers, that’s HG Cloud Dynamics!)
  • Event management platforms
  • Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) software
  • Project management tools
  • Social media management and monitoring platforms

When (and how) should I focus on enterprise marketing?

Enterprise marketing can feel daunting – and potentially unmanageable – if your go-to-market team isn’t equipped with best practices to make it work. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the norm; leaders that establish and maintain processes specific to enterprise-level challenges will set themselves – and their teams – up for success.

Tips for successful enterprise marketing

1. Find the sweet spot between account-based marketing and enterprise marketing

Enterprise marketing and account-based marketing (ABM) go together like peanut butter and jelly. Both require you to take an extremely tailored approach to building rapport with accounts (and the buyers within them).

Account-based marketing will help you compile critical business intelligence on your target accounts, allowing you to develop enterprise marketing programs across your intended channels with ease.

2. Understand the diversity of your marketing assets – and scale accordingly

Enterprise marketing requires expert-level knowledge of the tools available to scale your marketing programs and reach your target audience. This means reviewing your inbound marketing programs, social selling approach, content strategy, lead scoring processes, and organizational preparedness to meet the expectations of the accounts you’ll be selling to.

As previously mentioned, a wide array of tools exist to ensure you reach your audiences effectively by analyzing data performance and minimizing outreach obstacles. Platforms such as Marketo and Salesforce help enterprise marketers manage their outreach; while solutions like HG Cloud Dynamics help marketers and sales professionals collect personalized intelligence about a target account’s digital infrastructure.

3. Lean on your executive team for a helping hand

When developing an enterprise marketing strategy, you’ll likely need executive buy-in to develop and implement de-siloed programs for which certain team members can be held accountable. Moreover, executive buy-in and approval lends serious credibility to any enterprise marketing initiative when implemented strategically.

4. Network, network, network

No one understands an organization or industry better than the professionals who work in it. When prospecting and getting to know the ins-and-outs of any enterprise, it’s wise to consult a colleague or friend with relevant expertise – especially if they happen to work at the enterprise you’re trying to sell to. Not only are you potentially adding value to your friend’s workload by making their job easier, they may reciprocate your efforts in the future.

5. Know that typical key performance indicators (KPIs) probably won’t work

While every marketing strategy needs goals in order to measure impact on pipeline and revenue, the KPIs typically used in high-level marketing likely won’t apply to an enterprise marketing program.

Instead, enterprise marketers should consider account-specific KPIs. These might include account penetration, sales per lead, customer lifetime value (LTV), organic search growth, and account conversions. These types of KPIs – in addition to an understanding of brand awareness, Share of Voice (SOV), and any other components you’re measuring – can provide more clarity as it relates to enterprise marketing campaign performance.

Before breaking into enterprise marketing, define your “why?”

What’s your “why” for enterprise marketing? What’s the reason you feel your business might benefit by working in this uniquely complicated – but powerful – marketing strategy?

It’s important to determine your team’s answer to this question before attempting to implement an enterprise marketing approach. Otherwise, you may find it much harder to successfully establish the tactics and goals aligned with any sort of foundational intent.

Aside from “why” this strategy makes sense for your team, also consider the “why” as it relates to your internal resources. Is it a match for your team’s existing skills and experiences? Doing so will go a long way in determining where the challenges lie in embarking on an enterprise-level marketing strategy.

Once you have these answers, you’ll be ready to make your case to all pertinent parties and start building a successful enterprise marketing program.

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