Why It’s Time to Axe “Enterprise Marketing,” with Sarah Emmott

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SaaS Half Full Episode by Sarah Emmott


Whether you have added enterprise selling into a PLG motion or have always focused on the segment, SaaS marketers understand the different pain points and nuances of prospecting to the enterprise. But, should you literally market to “the enterprise?”

According to Sarah Emmott, Head of Brand for Work Management at Atlassian, the answer is no. In this conversation, Sarah unpacks how enterprise prospects actually search for solutions and explains why ditching the term “enterprise” in your marketing efforts is the way forward for maximum influence.

It’s time to verticalize the enterprise.

Maybe it seems contradictory to break enterprise selling out into verticals or departments. But, according to Sarah, this strategy sells — so much so that “enterprise” selling in its original form may be dead.

“When we talk to our own enterprise customers, they very adamantly said, ‘I see myself as a certain vertical, and that’s where I look for products. I see myself as a certain department, and that’s where I look for services,'” said Sarah. “[So, from a marketing standpoint,] we talked to them in a specific way, had those certain case studies, had the social proof and had all personalization… But then you met their needs with a salesperson to say, okay, here’s how it’s specifically broken down for you. Here’s the pricing.”

You may read this and balk as you consider the number of verticals your products or services interact with. Sarah suggests taking advantage of the expanded content opportunities presented by large-language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT and Bard if that’s the case. These tools make it easier to personalize outreach or repurpose existing content with expanded or otherwise updated SEO.

Micro-influencers can have a macro impact.

According to Sarah, creating and sharing high-quality content that engages a vertical’s audience will drum up better engagement than generic content. This logic also applies to user-generated content (UGC) and influencer relationships. The more niche your spokesperson or influencer is, the more likely they’ll generate interest among relevant verticals.

Remember, Alix Earle isn’t the only influencer in the game — nor do influencers solely operate in the B2C space. We’ve entered the creator economy era, where marketers can leverage TikTok, Instagram and other previously B2C-only venues.

But where can marketers find influencers? Sarah said the answer may be simpler than you think.

“You might not even need to step outside of your customers and community if you have a micro-influencer who is super active on LinkedIn or producing a ton of YouTube content, [or if they] have an incredible amount of really engaged followers,” said Sarah. 

Luckily, micro-influencers have already decided on their lane and accrued a highly relevant audience. If your product or service fits within that lane, your micro-influencer can make exciting content that reaches the right audience at the perfect time.

(And, if all else fails, you can always amplify their content through a paid ad campaign. 😉)

A marketer’s job is never finished.

You’re probably familiar with the Atlassian workflow management suite, including Confluence, Trello, Jira and Atlas. Despite this elevated awareness, Sarah said the fight for brand recognition never stops. In fact, the Atlassian marketing team strives toward a 4% increase in brand awareness YoY, as gauged by unaided and prompted awareness surveys.

The lesson here? “There’s always a new challenge ahead. We might have an existing community that’s amazing, but the next frontier [could be landing a] specific profile,” said Sarah. “There’s always growth as part of the equation, and finding new audiences is certainly part of it.”

Listen to episode 359 of SaaS Half Full for more of Sarah’s insights.