Single Target Market – Who’s not your customer

B2B, Marketing, Marketing Stamina, Product Management, segmentation, single target market

I keep harping about the Single Target Market whenever you want to enter a new market. The Single Target Market helps you define your segmentation or niche very crisply, including the use case. Sometimes though its difficult to identify this easily because you believe your service is good for different people and you don’t want to miss any market.

When I am going no where with this discussion, I change track and ask the people, whom do you not want to do business with. So to use the analogy of the picture above you could start by eliminating the blue and orange soft toys.

So from a B2B perspective, we first identify which is the geography we would like to start with so that we immediately focus our energy on the most efficient geography, then we identify who would be the lousiest industries to work with – this could be because those industries don’t have the need or they don’t pay well or they haven’t reached the level of supporting infra for your product or service to work etc. This way we eliminate more than half of the universe that we could target.

So now we start moving forward. Out of the industries that we are left which are the top 2 in terms of spending in the area that we operate. You fish where the fish are, why make life difficult. With this you eliminate may be the remanning 30-40% of the market. What is left then is about 10-20 % of the market from where you started.

Now between these, which companies can you easily make an entry versus some extremely large companies where the hierarchies are so huge that you will never be able to make an entry. Then you would like to eliminate the companies who may not be able to afford what you have to offer.

So from the whole universe where you could market or sell your product or service you have now come down to less than 5% of the market that you started with.

From here it becomes a choice of selecting the kind of customer you want to do business with. Then you have to be relentless in your focus on these customers and have the marketing stamina for the next 2-3 years if you want to make any meaningful inroads.

This is a counter intuitive way to move forward but if we don’t narrow down our choices we will not be able to dominate the market.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Force multiplier effect of Riding the Elephant

Affirmative action, life time value, Marketing, Marketing Stamina, Networking, Partners, relationships, Riding the elephant

While I keep writing about this concept, I am amazed myself by the amount of benefits that “riding the elephant” can have for you, if you nurture the elephant well. The elephant is very loyal and friendly creature if you take care of it and feed it with bananas. But if angered it also tends to go o a rampage and destroy things.

So if you nurture the elephant then while you can take 5 small steps, it can take one large one, so if you are riding it, you can cover a larger distance through the forest versus on foot. Also other wild animals won’t attack you when you riding the elephant.

Some of this is also true with hitching your bandwagon with a large partner (like an OEM) your market reach expands at an amazing speed. These large companies have massive growth agendas so they have big plans to execute and go out in the market. Once they start trusting you they will also take you along with them. You will need to do networking within these companies. Being large it is difficult to navigate through the matrix structure, but if you are determined, and take affirmative action you will be able to find your way. It may take time, so you need to have marketing stamina to last in the market.

As a small company you may not have the bandwidth to fund that kind of a growth, but with the help of the partner you can actually get the volume of business to fund your growth.

There’s once challenge though. Since the partner wants to grow rapidly they will expect you to comply with their demands in terms of the margins you make. These situations you have to manage delicately. What can help is knowing the life time value of a customer. So you know how you will make money from the customer in the long term.

If you know how to manage relationships, this is one of the best ways to grow your business.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Marketing Stamina

B2B, Marketing, Marketing Stamina, persistence

This is a phrase I first heard from Dean Graziosi. I have written about it earlier also . Its a very simple thought process. I have used it in terms of B2B marketing but I would guess it would apply in all kinds of marketing.

The logic is that every market takes time to adapt to a new offering that you bring to the market. It could be because of inertia in B2B setups because of the sheer number of people involved in making decisions as well as the complexity of processes.

If you don’t have the stamina to last through the cycle before the adoption of your offering “crosses the chasm”. This stamina is both in terms of finances and your own abilities to persist.

Today I got a different view of this . You would have read about my philosophy of riding the elephant to get access to markets. We had been riding one very large OEM for a certain set of tools. Between 2014 and 2016 we invested a lot before we got any business. But subsequent to that we got a lot of business which suddenly dried up by 2019 because the OEM decided to take a different direction (I have written about these in the challenges when riding the elephant)

Now however today I got a call from one of the reps of the OEM checking if we still have the team that was created. Generally we prefer to play the long game. So we had kept the team because we had some residue business that we were closing, while we were evaluating our options with other OEMs.

The OEM now wants to utilize the same team to go out in the market with the new products that they are launching.

If we didn’t have the marketing stamina (if we had not planned with a long term view) we would not have been able to today get a jump start.

Think long-term and plan accordingly.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!

Single Target Market – Once Again – Testing

B2B, Marketing, Marketing Stamina, messaging, Product Management, single target market

In my post yesterday I wrote about how deep these three words – Single Target Market -are, for a product or marketing manager when they are launching a new product or service.

Even if you have a checklist based on which you identify a Single Target Market, you still need to test if there’s actually a need for your product / service in that market. “You have identified a niche in the market, but is there a market in the niche” I don’t remember where I first read this quote but its absolutely critical.

Before that you will need to test if the message that you are conveying resonates with the market. You will need to test if the medium you are using, actually takes the message to the market which people notice.

So testing, as I emphasised in my posts multiple times earlier also, is absolutely critical for your success. You may do as much analysis sitting on your desk, its only when the “rubber hits the road” that you realise how good your actual planning isarke.

If you have thought through the Single Target Market really well, then you would have also hypothesised about the conversations going on in the mind of the prospects at different stages in the buying cycle. However whether what you have sent out as a message is resonating or needs to fine tuned can only be figured out as you start playing in the market.

Similarly you may decide to send out pamphlets, to the audience, but the audience prefers to see a message on the social media platforms, that also needs to figured out.

Last but not the least – there’s a lead time – for any market to convert. In the case of B2B the lead time is actually very long – sometimes even upto two years. Reason being most B2B buying happens after a lot of effort where multiple departments are involved. So there’s lots of inertia as well as processes that need to be closed before another vendor is brought in. In addition until and unless the incumbent vendor has really messed up, the companies you target will not like to consider someone new. If you have a new technology which the existing vendors don’t provide, they may still consider you, but the process is still very long.

For this you need to have a lot of marketing stamina to not only test but also for conversion of prospects.

So while the Single Target Market can make your market entry strategy very structured, you still need to prepare for doing testing and tweaking your message or your medium.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!