There is no law that says small firms can do business only with other small firms. If you can get your foot in the door, working for Fortune 500 companies is the smart way to grow a profitable marketing firm.

This article is about one small company—my own business, Articulate Marketing—and how we have found ways to turn our small size into a competitive advantage. We now work with giants: Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, VeriSign, Symantec, and NetJets.

What follows, below, is what we've learned working with big clients.

Big is beautiful

Big companies are good clients. They do things that help small businesses. For example, they pay on time. They understand marketing, so they brief well and don't expect the impossible.

If you have ever lost sleep over a small business CEO who wants you to take away all his marketing pain but can't say what he wants (or what he's willing to pay for it), then you know what I mean. [1]

There are collateral benefits too. For example, big-name clients add luster to your own marketing. Also, you can learn a lot from working with the professionals in world-class companies.

Small companies can help

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Matthew Stibbe is CEO at Articulate Marketing and, and the author of the Bad Language blog. Reach him via

LinkedIn: Matthew Stibbe