Enterprise Marketing

Marketing framework for enterprise marketers marketing to prospects in the early majority and late majority group for products and services in the growth and maturity stage. | Busines stage: Scale.

The '4 Point Play' Framework

Mark Jeffery of Kellogg School of Management in his book titled 'Data-Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know (Feb 2010)' outlined the marketing investment portfolio mix of the top and bottom 25 percent performers among the 254 firms that he surveyed capturing US $53 billion of annual marketing spend. The book was written in the year 2010 and the sample size appears small - mere 254 firms. However, what I found useful that the researchers tried to categorize the marketing spend by these firms into five purposes - typical objectives that marketing teams are entrusted to achieve.

I am calling this as the '4 Point Play'. I have separated out the 5th bucket 'Infrastructure and Capabilities' under a section titled 'The Foundations' because it is a common element irrespective of the marketing framework applied.

The marketing spend to achieve specific purposes were bucketed as follows:

  1. Demand Generation: Activities to drive sales in a relatively short time period.

  2. Branding and Awareness: Activities to drive awareness and brand recall.

  3. Customer Equity: Activities focused on creating a customer relationships to drive loyalty.

  4. Shaping Markets: Activities designed to make the market receptive to your offering, via third-party recommendations such as getting reviews on review sites, and analyst relations.

Applying the '4 Point Play' to 'Strategic Market Segments'

Prof. Nirmalya Kumar in his book titled 'Marketing As Strategy: Understanding the CEO's Agenda for Driving Growth and Innovation Hardcover (May 2004)' recommends that rather than applying a mere change in the marketing mix for each market segment (arrived via traditional segmentation), the firm should identify if any strategic market segments exist.

If they do, then these segments may exhibit a distinct value customer (who to serve), requiring a distinct value proposition (what to serve) and perhaps a distinct value delivery (how to serve).

Each strategic market segment served by the firm then would warrant its own strategic marketing plan with its unique strategic and tactical marketing initiatives within the five buckets outlined above. Marketing infrastructure and capabilities though can be shared across the segments.

Let's look at the strategic initiatives and tactics in each of the 4 buckets.

01. Demand Generation

Roughly 46% of the marketing budget can be spent on demand generation. It is to be noted that content production will be a key aspect of demand generation and ‘branding and awareness’ initiatives at the firm. Following aspect mentions just a list of possible channels which can be explored to run integrated or channel-specific marketing campaigns.

  • Paid ads and retargeting on Google Ads, and ads on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Quora.

  • Content Marketing - with offers such as access to white papers, reports, webinars - promoted to its own list, rented lists using third parties, and on its own website. This channel takes quite a time to generate leads on its own, organically.

  • Paid review platform such as G2, GetApp, Software Advice, and Capterra - reviews-cum-PPC plans.

  • Emails, and content offers delivered via industry media portals, publications.

  • Direct Mail can be experimented via tie-up with market specific agencies.

  • Private in-person events.

  • Outbound sale as an independent function too can be established.

Customer groups called innovators and early adopters accept and experiment with new products via self-education. They tolerate bugs. They will discover your product on Product Hunt. However, early majority and late majority group of customers need a lot of education and social proof to create awareness and urgency to buy your product.

Account Based Marketing (ABM)

A framework used for enterprise demand generation. The idea is to use precise targeting and then engage a prospect into sales funnel.

A rich prospect and customer data - crucial for ABM.

[more text to come here].

02. Branding and Awareness

Explore following initiatives in this area:

  • PR - frequently plan either courtesy meetings with local journalists whenever top executives from the firm are visiting the target cities. Invite customers, and partners from local offices in those meetings. Initiate newsworthy items to share with the press. Also inviting journalists for office tours / virtual tours would be a great idea.

  • If you have recently launched and need credibility elements to be added to your site, getting some PR done could be a good idea. However, don't expect any traffic and jump in user sign-ups; it won't happen!

  • Reputation management.

  • Advertising - a low intensity ads in very targeted industry publications - either online or offline. Invite customers to speak as your spokespeople in ads. B2B ads won’t drive leads.

  • Organic social media marketing -

  • Trade Events -

  • Non-digital advertisements - in print, outdoor (applicable for global brands).

  • Online communities -

As the guide progresses, we will continue to dive deeper in each of these areas.

Branding wisdom

“Position yourself either as the leader or against the leader in your industry.” - Marc Benioff's on 'the End of Software' campaign.

Include my notes from Hey Wheeple and positioning.

03. Customer Equity

  • Company Awards: Institute awards for customers who have achieved business transformation using the firm’s solutions. Include suppliers, business partners. Involve reputed institutions such as Harvard, Wharton, Instead to validate the nominations.

  • Customer Events: Host major private event for the entire customer base. Customers come to know of the latest product developments, customers speak of the results achieved and also interact with each other and outside experts enlisted by the firm.

  • Customer Council and Reseller Advisory Council: Include key managers from the firm and 10-15 of its reseller firms / customers. Meet twice a year for say two days. Get to hear concerns, and inputs on new value creations, current value offerings, marketing programs, market trends and so on.

  • Targeted Customer Forums: Host these where a specific set of customers can interact with each other - sharing their experiences individually as well as with a larger audience.

  • Customer Feedback Portal: Made available to registered customers, where they can post their experience with the firm.

  • Customer Rewards: Include executive engagement programs. Direct gifts are prohibited in many countries.

  • Stakeholder Engagement: Engage CMOs, legal heads, CFOs at the customer’s company so that they provide approvals when needed for the actual customer’s participation in the firm’s marketing efforts.

  • Support Customer Success: Drive product adoption. Support with product collaterals, email campaigns targeted at customers' customers / stakeholders using your product.

[Note: Include customer success tracker Excel templates]

04. Shaping Markets

  • Analyst relations: Don’t just subscribe to published reports. Ask for F2F with analysts. Get clients on the phone with the analysts. Build a relationship. Listen to them, share information. Involve your analysts in the product roadmap. Works best when the firm can play a long term game vs. short term “get on the quadrant” game.

  • Participate in industry benchmark surveys on customer satisfaction and publish positive results.

  • Organise media interviews for the customers. [overlaps with tasks by Customer Equity team 🤔 ]

  • Nominate for and win industry awards.

Last updated