Why Do Large Companies Have Such a Hard Time With Marketing?

Marketing is all about understanding customers, adapting quickly to new trends, taking smart risks, and having the flexibility to pivot strategies rapidly. These attributes tend to favor smaller, more nimble brands rather than large, established corporations. Despite having enormous budgets and reach, many big brands seem to keep making the same marketing missteps over and over. Why is that? What inherent challenges do larger companies face when it comes to marketing effectively?

After consulting with numerous enterprise clients on their marketing strategies over the years, I’ve noticed a few consistent patterns behind their struggles:

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
Large organizations typically have complex structures with multiple divisions, business units, regions, and managers that all need to provide sign-off and input on marketing plans. With so many stakeholders involved, it becomes really difficult to get alignment, make quick decisions, and produce great creative that resonates across the board. Far too often, the marketing ends up getting watered down into safe, boring campaigns to please everybody.

Trapped by Legacy Systems and Approaches
Many established brands rely on antiquated tech stacks, traditional agencies, and fixed annual marketing budgets that make it extremely hard to adapt. They often lack modern martech tools, use outdated segmentation models, and have relationships with agencies that have been in place for decades. This makes implementing data-driven digital programs or pilots to test new platforms much more complicated. They know they need to modernize their marketing, but breaking free of legacy ways of doing things proves very difficult.

Innovation Gets Suffocated

The most creative ideas tend to sprout up from small, highly collaborative teams, take smart risks, and support rapid test-and-iterate approaches. Large companies have much more trouble fostering this kind of culture and environment. Creative talent gets stifled by bureaucracies, office politics, and hierarchies. Departments become siloed and don’t communicate. Individual contributors don’t feel empowered to pitch bold ideas or question the status quo. Over time, the inertia just grows until the marketing machine grinds to a halt.

Data Black Holes Everywhere
You would think bigger companies would have an advantage when it comes to using data to enhance marketing given the troves of information they collect. However, massive enterprise datasets get fragmented across so many different business units, regions, and functional areas that it becomes close to impossible to connect the dots and get that coveted “single customer view” needed to engage individuals in a relevant way across channels. They cannot activate their first-party data at scale because it resides in fragmented systems, teams lack data literacy skills, and databases were not designed to interoperate. So opportunities get missed.

The Bland Play It Safe Gambit
More established brands with greater exposure need to protect their hard-earned reputation and customer trust. Stodgy old taglines like “We Bring Good Things to Life” didn’t happen by accident; they wanted to appear stable and dependable to customers. The bigger they get, the more they have to lose if a campaign goes sideways. This leads risk-averse big brands to stick to bland, safe messaging that feels repetitive and boring rather than break through the clutter. It’s no wonder younger brands eat their lunch when it comes to creativity that catches fire and gets people talking. They inspire an emotional connection – one of the most powerful marketing tools.

While the scale has its advantages when resources, distribution, and brand awareness are abundant, large corporations can easily become victims of their success without diligently striving to avoid common pitfalls around bureaucracy, legacy practices, innovation, data, and creative stagnation. However, it is possible to harness size for growth while also retaining speed and relevance. I help show them how.


Kevin has 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, technology, video production, product marketing, and project management. Kevin is a Marketing Director with RP Design Web Services. Kevin received an MBA from Southern Connecticut State University and graduated with a 3.92 GPA. As stated by one of his Management Professors Dr. Robert Page at Southern Connecticut State University that Kevin was the best student that the professor ever taught. He is also a graduate of Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. W. P. Carey School of Business #23 Best Undergraduate Business Programs, ranked top 30 nationwide since 1995. It is one of the top business schools in the country. The marketing undergraduate major ranks 11th. Academic rigor: The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is a highly ranked business school, with a rigorous academic curriculum. This means that ASU graduates have a strong foundation in business knowledge and skills. Arizona State University is a top 1% of the world's most prestigious universities- Times Higher Education, 2018. ASU has ranked #1 in the United States for innovation ahead of #2 Stanford and # 3 MIT - U.S. News & World Report, 2016,2017, and 2018. Kevin just recently attended Tony Robbins’ Unleash The Power Within, a 3 ½ day live seminar. Kevin is a former member of Toastmasters International where he achieved the designation of Competent Toastmaster Award and Competent Leadership Award. Excellent public speaker and presenter (Toastmaster Award). Presented at the Javits Center “How the Web impacts the Construction Industry” Presented at the Baltimore Convention Center “How the Web impacts the Construction Industry” Kevin has strong experience in search engine optimization, local SEO, reputation management, video production, and web-based marketing solutions. Kevin also has experience working at a Fortune 500 company Graybar. Businesses depend on Kevin to make sure they have a constant flow of new prospects. Kevin improves business communications between customers, employees, and the world.

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