Many entrepreneurs understand the importance of staying lean in their operations. Sometimes, this means wearing more than one hat. They allocate most of their resources to securing top tech talent and a powerhouse sales team. Meanwhile, marketing goes by the wayside or falls to the founders to perform.
When startup founders drive the marketing campaign, companies tend to run into a few problems, especially when pitching enterprise-level clients. Because they know so much about the company, they want to tell the whole story. But this results only in an overcomplicated, cluttered and disconnected marketing message that can instantly turn these clients away.
Tailoring your message to larger companies is crucial for landing these career-defining deals. Here are four ways entrepreneurs can alter their marketing messages for enterprise clients:
1. Clarify the value add.
Startup founders live and breathe their company’s message, often to the point that they become too vague when describing what their business actually does. Larger, more established companies have the luxury of enjoying brand awareness, but the owners of startups need to be more descriptive when stating what they bring to the table. Make your value proposition clear from the start, and potential enterprise clients will be excited to hear more.
Take the startup CrowdTwist, for example. It helps brands connect with their customers and has secured big-name clients such as Pepsi by differentiating its technology from others’.
2. Make your message simple, yet leave an impact.
Technology makes everything exponentially more complex. For potential clients at the enterprise level, however, you want to concisely articulate your message to keep an audience engaged. Your description should include the audience you cater to and what you offer customers. Distill what you do to one phrase that they can connect to.
Make it crisp and concise, and allow potential clients to envision how your startup can enhance their companies. If they can’t walk away and clearly say, “This company helps X do Y,” then the message is lost.
TOMS burst on the national scene with its “One for One” campaign. For each pair of shoes or glasses it sells, it gives a pair to a person in need. Talk about simple: While the framework of how it makes the donations may be complex, the concept fits into a single tagline.
3. Save the details for the end.
Before enterprise clients will hire your company, they have to know every detail. After you differentiate your company and generate interest, start diving into the details, such as your funding model, other clients you’re working with and the number of employees you have.
Be prepared to present some of the best work you’ve done and share interesting experiences that you’ve had with other clients. Ultimately, they’ll want to know that you’re in it for the long haul, so divulge any details that will put their fears at bay.
4. Reduce the shock value.
Many startups looking for an edge tend to push the envelope. But when you go too far, you can push away enterprise-level clients.
Shock value may get your organization some attention, but the negative connotations associated with your company name or product could keep enterprise clients from becoming involved. Be conscious of your message, and keep in mind that an enterprise client will be more sensitive about a company’s messaging.
Whittling down the meaning behind your message to its essentials -- while avoiding shock value -- will allow a prospective enterprise-level client to see the true nature of your company. Rather than pushing toward a cute, pitchy message, focus on honing it to succinctly capture the distinguishing elements of your company.
You have one shot at capturing an enterprise client’s attention. If you’re too focused on running every other aspect of your business, you might lose sight of what enterprise clients are truly looking for. Sift through the clutter and reveal the defining aspects that will make your company irresistible.