Strategic Marketing for Enterprise Solutions and Services

Strategic Marketing for Enterprise Solutions and Services


This article delves into the realm of marketing for enterprise solutions and services, encompassing ERP, enterprise software, and consulting services tailored for businesses.

Recently, I engaged in a discussion with an IT solutions and consulting business owner striving to grow his venture. Amidst the challenges, we explored strategies to propel his business forward.

Recognizing the importance of targeted marketing with limited resources, I suggested that his initial step should be defining his target customer base. This process aids in honing marketing messages and establishing differentiation.

Infographic - Strategic Marketing for Enterprise Solutions and ServicesEnterprise Solutions/Services Market Segmentation

Most marketing literature about market segmentation focuses on the B2C consumer market and very few on B2B businesses.

B2B customer segmentation is the process of grouping a target market into segments based on similar traits, pain points, and/or behavior patterns. This can help businesses better understand their customers and tailor their products, services, and marketing efforts to meet the specific needs of each segment.

B2B segmentation methods can be summarized into the following areas:

  • Firmographics
  • Behavioral segmentation
  • Technographics
  • Tier-based segmentation
  • Needs-based segmentation
  • Value-based segmentation
  • Demographic segmentation (not usually used in B2B)

There is a good article about B2B customer segmentation at Abmatic AI ( that you can read for more understanding.

For enterprises dealing in software and consulting services, I emphasize the following key areas:

Needs-based Segmentation

What problem are you trying to solve for your customers? Which are the industries that they are in? For example, are they in F&B, Distribution, Manufacturing, etc.?

Value-based Segmentation

After you are clear of the problems that you are trying to solve for your customer, what is your value proposition? For example, it usually does not make sense to target smaller companies if you are selling complex enterprise solutions or services. This is because these companies are just too small for sufficient transaction volume to achieve sufficient multiplier benefits from your solution to justify the investment.


If your solution runs on specific Operating Systems or with specific software, then in general, you should not waste your time when the company is not using or has resistance to using the systems that your solution works with.


This one is not in the traditional segmentation areas but I find it to be important and it is unique to complex technology solutions such as ERP and Enterprise solutions. Are you targeting companies who are already familiar with your type of solutions or those who are not aware of your type of solutions?

Relating Market Segmentation to Selling Mindset

Referencing my previous article, “3 Hidden Questions in ERP Selling Process,” I highlight three crucial questions in the mind of your prospects:

1. Do you Understand my Business and Challenges?

This aligns with the needs-based segmentation. If your prospects are not convinced that you understand their business, how can they be convinced that you know how to solve their challenges?

2. Do you know what are the Solutions?

Craft your marketing message based on the value you bring, as emphasized in value-based segmentation.

3. Is the Solution Simple?

Regardless of how complex your technical solution is, the key to success in marketing is to be able to communicate with simplicity.

Exercise of Simplified Marketing Messages

Do the following exercise that I use in my solution-selling training:

  1. First, prepare a 30-minute corporate presentation. This is probably the maximum that your audience can pay attention to your corporate presentation.
  2. Then shorten it to 10 minutes. This is often needed when halfway through your discussion with your prospect, a senior and important person joins your discussion and it is not appropriate to repeat the full corporate presentation.
  3. Then shorten this to a 2-minute verbal introduction without any presentation slide. This is useful when you meet potential prospects during events.

Less is more – When you can bring your key message across to your target audience simply and quickly, it shows that you know your solution and your target customers well.

How to find your B2B Target Market

Step 1: Know what problem you’re solving.

Step 2: Look at your happiest customers. If you cannot even get a few reference customers after a few years, you will have to seriously rethink.

Step 3: Identify common attributes. Refer to the market segmentation methods, what are their size, industry, etc.

Step 4: Use data to support and improve your findings.

Step 5: Prioritize customer lifetime value. What is your value proposition and project ROI?

Step 6: Gather additional customer data.

Marketing Positioning and Messaging

Tailor your marketing message based on your target segment’s awareness. If your target segment has low awareness of your type of solution, then educating them will be necessary. If you are in a more mature market where your type of solutions is well known among your target segments, then emphasize why you should be their preferred vendor.

Let me use two examples to illustrate how identifying your target market leads to your marketing messaging.

1. If you decide that you will be targeting SMEs, and you understand from the behavioral segmentation of SMEs they have the desire to grow, then a possible marketing tagline could be: “ERP for Fast Growing Companies”.

2. If you are in a mature market and decided to serve companies who are knowledgeable of your solution and probably encountered or heard of bad experiences of similar projects, your marketing tagline could be: “We deliver solutions, not just promises”. Then back it up with physical evidence to make it more convincing.

B2B Marketing Mix

You need to have a good understanding of the purchasing behavior of your target market. Who should you target your message to? Their C-Level executive? How to reach them?

Your B2B marketing mix can include the following seven areas:


How do you get your target customer to be aware or convinced of your solution/company? How are you going to package your product?


How are you going to price your solution/services after knowing your target customers?


How are you going to bring your marketing messages to the target persons in your target customers? You can use SEO, paid ads, events, public relations campaigns, resellers/distributors, referral programs, etc.


Where are your target customers? Where do they look for solutions like yours?


Who are the influencers, recommenders, gatekeepers, and decision-makers in your target companies?


What is the buying process of your target customers? Open tenders, 3 quotations, etc. How are you going to deliver your solutions/services?

Physical Evidence

How to convince your target market of the value that you can bring to them.

You have to know where you want to go (Your target customers), then decide on how you are going to reach there. Not the other way around. As someone told me previously: “Hope is not a strategy!”

Are you Targeting Correctly?

Often, it is important to counter-check the effectiveness of your market segmentation, and the quality of your message delivery. Some indirect indicators may be of some help:

a. Who are the Competitors that you Encountered during your selling process?

If you often were the first to enter the account and yet no purchase decision was made, why? Are you talking to the wrong prospect or the wrong person?

b. Which Competitors that you usually Lose to?

Why did you lose? If it is often because of price and you cannot do much to lower your price, then, you probably targeting the wrong segment of customers.

c. In Events that you believe that your Target customers will attend, who were the Participants?

Are they your target customers? Are the sellers who participated in the events your competitors? This will give you some hints of whether it is worth investing in these events.


Selling and marketing is the key to every successful business. Regardless of how good your services or solutions are, if you cannot convince your prospect that you should be their preferred vendor, then you are in big trouble. Marketing and selling is a dirty job for some technical people, but it is an important dirty job.

In the earlier days of my career when I started as a Manager leading an SBU (Strategic Business Unit), I encountered many exciting products and solutions that I could include in the products that I was selling. However, my Managing Director at that time taught me one of the most important lessons in business. He said: “In business, there will always be opportunities, but you only have limited resources and attention. Focus on those that can bring you the best result with the resources you have.

Remember, hope is not a strategy, and trying to sell to everyone probably means that you are not sure who will buy from you. Strategically identifying your target market is the first step toward a prosperous marketing journey.

Author: Raymond Yap.

1st ERP Consulting offers mentoring and advice to help you start and elevate your ERP business to new heights.  Contact us today to schedule a discussion. We can help you strategize and optimize your ERP business, ensuring you are prepared for the challenges ahead.


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Andy

    This is one awesome blog post.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

  2. Tim

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