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Looking for a competitive edge at the enterprise level? Think like a startup

I love working for an enterprise-caliber company. I love the complexity. I love the mountains of data. I love leveraging a large bevy of internal resources and expertise. Heck, I even love the excruciating amount of work involved in getting buy-in from the myriad of business divisions and departments that play a pivotal role in green lighting digital marketing efforts.

But most of all, I love outmaneuvering other enterprise brands that appear set in their ways and incapable of innovation.

And I find that one of the best ways to develop a nimble approach that’s well-suited for outmaneuvering the competition is to develop a startup mentality. What do I mean by that? Here are a few observations that might help paint a concrete picture:

  • Startups can’t afford to schedule tons of meetings filled with tons of procedural aspects but thin on strategic, analytical, or tactical rigor or discovery
  • Startups can’t afford to build a deck every time they want to convey and idea or get buy-in from parallel stakeholders
  • Startups adhere to the DRY principle (not just with their code but with all aspects of their business)
  • Startups know the value of subscribing to news outlets like Hacker News (again, not just for the coding insights but for the amazing myriad of powerful business intelligence tools and insights that are referenced there on an almost daily basis)
  • Startups aren’t afraid to fail, aren’t afraid to push boundaries, and try to avoid skating where the puck was
  • Startups like hiring entrepreneurial types and like cultivating that mentality as opposed to repressing it

If you find yourself working for an enterprise-level organization (or even just a relatively large and/or traditional smaller business) try to think of your role and your department as startup of sorts. Doing so will help you expose areas in desperate need of innovation or fat-trimming within your own department or even the broader business. And perhaps most importantly, it will help you easily spot opportunities where you can out-innovate your competition and cultivate measurable ROI increases.

Because it doesn’t matter if you’re working for a one-person startup or a Fortune 50 corporation. The name of our online marketing game should always be ROI.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Miguel Salcido

    That’s a great perspective and I wish more enterprises were willing to cut out the fat (meetings and busy work) and actually get work done. Unfortunately what happens 99% of the time is nothing but meetings, decks, presentations, travel, lunches, dinners, etc. And little actual work. Oh wait, that’s the agency model.
    And you are sadistic…. “I even love the excruciating amount of work involved in getting buy-in from the myriad of business divisions and departments that play a pivotal role in green lighting digital marketing efforts.”

    That’s just crazy talk. It takes a special person to enjoy that. LOL

    • hugoguzman

      Hahaha! I should have mentioned that the reason I like that aspect is because I know that precious few of my competitors are willing to do it, and therefore don’t get greenlighted, and therefore open the door for me to cut into their piece of the ROI pie ; )

  • http://williamalvarez.com William Alvarez

    And this is why Agile Marketing seems to fit the bill on these days. Red tape and bureaucracy do no good to an enterprise, and that’s why smaller players are winning in many fields.

    • hugoguzman

      I couldn’t agree more, William. That’s why I have a ton of respect for enterprise organizations that run their marketing and application development programs like quasi startups.

      Thanks for chiming in!