This is such a major piece in any market plan that I cannot lay enough emphasis on the topic. I have already written a lot of posts on just this one topic , but there’s so much at stake in your plan with just this one concept that its critical that you get this right.
Some would call this segmentation, some would call it finding a niche. Call it by whatever name, the idea is to start in a minimum viable piece of the market, learn everything and then expand. Never ever try to address all segments at once.
You can segment by geography- so choose only one location to start, or you could look at a vertical industry to start with if you are in the B2B market.
One useful way to find the Single Target market is also by usage. Suppose you have a service and as an example say you decide to focus on New York City. But NYC has 9 million people. So you could then either break it down by identifying the neighborhood because different parts of NYC have different buyers in terms of paying capacity.
You could then go further down to see if your service is for first time users, or for emergency usage, or a a replacement service etc.
Once break it down to such granularity each interaction with a prospect becomes a learning and you can quickly understand and test different messaging, different media etc. so that you can quickly dominate the market.
If you are in anyway responsible for product management and going to launch a new product or service or in marketing in a similar situation first get clarity on this aspect.
Till next time then.
While I keep harping about the advantages of using my philosophy of riding the elephant. You need to be aware that, at the end of the day you need to keep your marketing principles in mind over there also.
I have written on some ofvthese points earlier also, but its important to identify the need of the elephant. The elephant has to see the benefits of giving you a ride.
This is a critical aspect, because if you try to tell the elephant about your capabilities to cut branches of trees, then the elephant may not be interested in you. On the other hand if you show the elephant that you can help him get bananas faster, it may become your friend and give you a ride. However some elephants may not be interested in bananas, so you may end up missing judging and spending time in convincing the wrong elephant.
Year before last, we invested a lot of time in building a solution on one of the biggest cloud service providers. We had a unique solution and we thought that the cloud service provider would take us along where they saw prospects. But inspite of spending more than a year we realized that the technology platform that we were working on was not a priority for them in India. So this elephant was not interested in the fact that we could help it get bananas faster, because it was not interested in eating bananas.
So whether you are going out on your own or you are using my philosophy of riding an elephant you still need to identify that one need in the market which you can address.
Till next time then.
Today’s post is a short one. You all know my philosophy for a small business in the technology space- ride a large OEM (the elephant) and wherever the elephant goes, you get a ride . In case you are interested I had written around 4-5 posts earlier in the year on this whole philosophy.
Today’s post is about how my team has used the same concept. I have trained some of my team members into following this philosophy and while it took them some time to learn the techniques of first learning to give before asking and building long term relationships.
It took about 8-9 months with our technical and marketing working closely with the OEM to keep building solutions on their platforms without any desire for business.
But now that so many of the OEM’s people see the kind of investments we have made and our commitment to their business, they themselves have started taking us forward.
We are still no way near reaching the full potential of what’s possible with the relationship, but if my team does it right then it can have a snowball effect.
Till next time then.
Product management is actually a much stronger discipline with consumer companies – both in the FMCG and White Goods space. What has happened with the e-commerce companies is that they have actually taken the whole consumer marketing concept to a different scale. Having said that, all the companies which are successful even in the e-commerce space, have followed the basics of marketing / product management to the core.
What started this series of posts was the fact that while these companies were burning massive cash, they were still enjoying heavy premiums when they get listed in the stock market. So is it that they are blindly burning cash or is there a method to the madness.
I highlighted some of the concepts in yesterday’s post. Today let’s look at other things like Single Target Market. Amazon today is a very big market place where they sell their own products as well as provide a platform for others to sell and take a commission on items sold. But Amazon only started by selling books initially. They did not try to get into selling everything at once. And they just sold books first in the Americas before expanding.
Look at another company Uber – they were only the ride hailing App. They did not get into the Uber Eats or the Uber Connect till they had taken a dominant position in that market. Similarly Zappos – which is now part of Amazon – was only into selling shoes.
Generally when I talk of concepts and give ideas for targeting the customers, building partnerships, I speak from the perspective of a small or mid-sized company which is wanting to get into the market. So some of the ideas are very specific.
However the same concepts at a different level are also applicable over the e-commerce space. So while Amazon is a big daddy in the retail products space, a small start-up in India “Nykaa” started with just selling cosmetics and related products to ladies. Today if you want even a French perfume in India, your first port (in this case App) of choice would be Nykaa. Its become such a big brand for the cosmetics and related categories. Similarly in the fashion space its “Myntra”. These companies segmented the market even within e-commerce and specialised in certain areas and have made a success out of it.
So principles of marketing and product management won’t change, what could change is the scale, the risk and the delivery mechanisms.
Till next time then.