While consumer marketing is very tough, once you reach the right person, the decision making is generally quicker / simpler because there are fewer people involved. The other point is that within the consumer segment, there are few internal personal dynamics / hidden agendas in play.
In case of the B2B segment, even after you have reached the right people , you are unsure when the priorities change or a new person comes into a role and she scuttles the whole deal. A typical situation which has happened to me multiple times is that we are working with the department which will use our services. Multiple people from that department are involved – from gatekeepers to decision makers. Over the years, we have realised the fact that procurement and finance, do need to get involved, so we check with the users when those departments will take part in the discussion.
A lot of times even the legal gets involved, so we push our prospect to even get these folks checked out. So we have put a check mark on most of these points. By being focussed on the Single Target Market we understand most of the issues and processes and have fine-tuned our approach accordingly.
Now comes the surprise – while we have checked out all the departments and we have crossed all the “t’s” and dotted all the “I’s” with everyone, we suddenly find a new face who has recently joined the company in a new role and he is asked to attend the meeting in which we are discussing the final aspects.
Suddenly this person opens her mouth on some aspect and now, everyone is in doubt.
Now you have to ensure that all the doubts that have been raised get sorted. Until then the deal does not come your way.
If you don’t account for these kind of delays, which happen all the time, your budgets can go haywire. This is where having enough marketing stamina, helps keep you afloat and hunt for new customers while deals close.
Till next time then.
To continue where we left out in yesterday’s post – you look for the highest yield within a niche and then focus on that for the long term till you get to dominate that market.
We looked at the examples of how even till today P&G’s Tide detergent powder is about keeping the Clothes whiter than white – even though they have been doing this for my guess is at least 40 years. And they have huge departments whose only focus in life, is to ensure people’s clothes stay white.
So they have segmented the market for washing clothes (usage) – between the ones preferring detergent powders to another who prefer liquid detergents. Then within detergent powders they go to the single target market of washing just white clothes
In case of B2B we look at the different possibilities of usage – so lets take an example of productivity applications. So you have applications via the web in a SAAS model on a monthly small license fee or with on-prem one time perpetual license. You could have within the productivity applications market, sales person productivity also…..so you have CRM companies bundling word processors and spreadsheets into their CRM so that the sales person doesn’t need to move out of the CRM at all.
So these companies are only targeting the sales person – anyone who’s not a sales person and not utilising “their” CRM is not a focus. This way they are ensuring that they are focussing on a very small segment of the market and working to utilise all their energies and funds in trying to dominate that market.
By focussing this way you will be able to play a longer game.
Till next time then.
Marketing stamina is all about being able to last out in a market, while you take time to get in and dominate.
The single target market is a starting point within a market niche which you aim to pick up and dominate till you aim for the next one.
P&G or Unilever both have products which wash clothes. But they have an independent brand Tide / Rin ( P&G / Unilever ) which washes clothes white and Ariel / Surf ( P&G / Unilever) which removes stains from your coloured clothes.
Such large companies with massive marketing muscle, still go after one market at a time and generally create different brands to ensure a clear differentiation.
But the clearer objective is to concentrate all their energies to target one segment / one niche / single target market. By concentrating all your energies to focus on just that one market, you don’t divert your energies in trying to be everything to everyone. What that ends up doing is giving you more freedom rather than constraint to think creatively about various ways to meet the customer.
Since you only have to focus on one set of prospective clients, you then find the most convenient and cost effective ways to reach out to them and find the best messages which resonate with them, resulting in quicker market penetration. This means your funds which you budget as part of your market stamina can last longer and you have a much higher chance of success.
Till next time then.
On the 28th of October last year I had put up a post on this topic. If you are interested, you can have a look at it here .
The reason I felt a need to revisit this topic, came up because, I was analysing the average time it takes to get traction for a new product or service in the B2B market. If you are in the technology market space I would highly recommend you read the book Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore. It will give you a more detailed context to what I am talking.
However coming back to the B2B market – the key issue that needs to handled is corporate inertia. In most cases the people in these companies are fighting so many battles, that they don’t want to touch anything that’s not broken. Also because there’s so many approvals involved, they don’t want to risk the product / solution Not Working in their environment. Especially in case of technology solutions, most companies prefer to work with “n-1” technology because it’s stable and working. They don’t want one more fire in their hand.
The other thing which plays a role in my opinion, is that the customer wants to see your resilience. They don’t trust anyone approaching them new, for the same points as I listed above and in most cases they are already covered with an existing vendor who is providing decently good service. So until and unless the incumbent screws up some time soon, they won’t look at you.
So does it mean that you can’t get into business for the B2B segment.
You absolutely can, if you can plan for the long term. You ensure that you have enough persistence and finances to last you for a long duration. While I learnt the term marketing stamina from Dean Graziosi, I learnt the application of this idea through Dean Jackson. His thought process is like this – if you know the turnover rate of any market – say 5% – 10% of the people will change to a new vendor every year – and you have a focussed list of 1000 prospects then over the next 5 years at least 250 – 500 prospects.
Now depending on what you sell and what is the Life Time Value of a client, you will need to have the staying power to last through the 5 years with consistently reaching out to these customers. If you don’t plan for this, you will be in for a rude shock and you will do things out of desperation, which is never a good thing.
Till next time then ….build your marketing stamina before getting into a new market.