Over the years we've seen so many marketing messages about how large enterprises need to 'think local act global' but what does that really mean? and is it just a way for large enterprises to look like they understand the 'local' market when in fact they don't really understand or relate to a local business community like a smaller more focussed organisation would be able to do?
I acknowledge that this does of course depend on the type of business you are in and the type of customers - so I'm looking at this from the IT software and services perspective where the 'local' market can cover a wider area. For the small 'local' business they also want to appear to be more far reaching than their local market might be restricting them to. This is where focus comes in to play, small and focussed versus large with various focusses. Let me look at the benefits and possible drawbacks of both and what I think the messages should be for both small and big that benefit not only the organisations but more importantly their customer base. The large enterprise will have many facets to it with products and services (and people!) built up over time, either organically or by mergers and acquisitions - but this does guarantee that they will have the best product or service in the market, in fact, it can usually mean a mixture of products that might not work seamlessly together but are still marketed as doing so! The perceived benefits to their customers and more importantly potential customers is their size and reach especially if the customer is also a global enterprise who wants 'local' geographical presence. But I would boldly suggest that this is probably the only main benefit a large enterprise has over a smaller organisation? The smaller organisation will by its nature be more focussed on the products or services it is providing as it doesn't have the distractions of potentially many other products or services it has to sell. It may also be driven by a charismatic business owner or CEO who lives and breathes the product or service it offers, as they probably were the reason the company started in the first place. This is where the smaller more focussed organisation should benefit over the larger competitor once they are in front of a potential customer. However, the challenge here is getting the message out to their target market in the same way a large enterprise can use a lot more marketing and sales resource to do so. Social media has of course helped to level this a bit more in favour of the smaller business but the consistency and messaging requires a fair bit of input of time the smaller business may not have versus the marketing department in a large enterprise. In the end it should always come down to who has the best product/solution for the customers needs whether they buy from a big enterprise or a small business - but of course we all have examples where a company bought a product or service based on other criteria because it was 'safer' to do so! You can stay small and benefit from the focus you will have for your products and services and build a good niche in the market or become Big! if that suits your business model. I think so long as your focus is always on the product and service benefits for your customers, then you will surely succeed.