Finding the Right Balance: Enterprise vs. Consumer Marketing

September 18, 2012 // By: // No Comments

Consumer Electronics     



As I’m kicking off brand planning for 2013, I’m faced with the familiar task of finding the right balance of strategies and tactics dedicated to both consumer and enterprise audiences. This is a constant challenge for many consumer electronics brands, since both audiences present a sales opportunity. While some companies and brands have drawn a line in the sand and focused exclusively on enterprise marketing —see Research in Motion’s recent announcement — many companies can’t put all their eggs in one basket.  So how do you find the right balance?

Sometimes clients come to me with clearly defined budgets for each audience, while others ask my opinion on how the budget should be split. In truth, there isn’t a magic formula of 50/50 or 70/30 dedicated to each audience. This type of budgeting proves especially challenging because of the opportunity to develop programs, tactics and tools that crossover between audiences. While it’s important to develop standalone strategies for each audience individually, it’s also important to maximize efficiencies by developing programs, tactics and tools that can speak to both audiences simultaneously.

Identify commonalities among audiences.

It may seem impossible to modify messaging to appeal to two target audiences, but it is possible to develop a complimentary PR program by identifying common values and needs. For example, my client, 3M, maker of privacy filters for laptops, tablets and smartphones, tasked us with targeting both an enterprise audience of IT and security professionals, as well as a consumer audience of moms and business professionals. Because both audiences share the common interest of wanting to protect data — either confidential business data or personal information — we are often able to leverage tactics and resources to target both audiences by simply modifying the tone of the message.

Drive messaging among one audience, while raising awareness with another.

Remember, every business professional is also a consumer when they aren’t at work.  Identify messages and media outlets that can raise awareness among both audiences. For example, Roku recently announced TV partners for its new streaming stick. This press announcement was likely intended to target an enterprise audience and drum up interest among TV manufacturers. Yet it also generated consumer buzz in outlets like TechCrunch, where 70 percent of readers identify tech as a personal passion.[1]

Find an expert who resonates with both audiences.

Deciding to work with an expert can be a major expense, so try to find one that resonates with both the enterprise and the consumer audiences. For example, brands playing in the security space, such as McAfee or Symantec, might take advantage of this strategy by identifying media savvy security experts that offer both highly technical expertise as well as consumer friendly tips. A brand expert can then create bylined  articles, as well as provide content on consumer-facing social media properties.

The consumer vs. enterprise marketing strategy is a constant debate for many brands. What is your approach to balancing consumer and enterprise marketing for your business?


[1] AOL Internal Research

About the Author

Melissa Todisco

Melissa Todisco has been with Hunter PR since 2003. She has a extensive consumer product experience, working primarily on home, lifestyle and consumer health brands, with a particular focus on targeting women and moms.
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