Single Target Market- once again

B2B, differentiation, Marketing, messaging, Product Management, route to market, segmentation, single target market

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.

Carpe Diem!!!

Who’s your customer?

B2B, differentiation, ideal customer, Marketing, Marketing Ecosystem, messaging, Product Management, Sales, segmentation, single target market

This is one of the most critical questions for any product management person or a marketing person and further any sales person.

I have written various articles on this same topic taking a hit at it from various angles. Some people people call it the Ideal customer profile, some the single target market.

The critical issue is that person and what could be going on in the mind of that person which will make him think about talking to you, responding to your message, asking for your white paper etc.

Understanding this one concept is such a core to all of marketing that not addressing this one issue will cause all your differentiation be useless.

Inspite of so many years doing marketing, if I get this one thing wrong, my whole plan goes for a toss. Sometimes your colleagues will tell you that its such a small slice of the market so you should expand your attributes. Slowly you start diluting the ideal profile and the marketing becomes cluttered and the message does not attract anyone.

You also need to be clear therefore on who is not going to be your customer , so that when your message starts getting diluted your alarm bells start ringing.

Once you have clearly defined this customer – even in B2B – its a person whom you will need to profile, then the company, then the industry. What’s going on in the mind of that one person, who else is selling to that person, what could be the challenges of that person. There’s no doubt its more difficult to do this profiling than it’s to do for the consumer segment because there are many more people involved in a B2B environment.

On the other hand its easier to profile industries, loss or profit making companies etc. because that data is publicly available. In addition you have tools like Linkedin which can help you identify the colleagues of the profile, you can identify the statements made in the public by their executives etc.

Once you are clear on this one aspect, then the other things like the economics, the batch size of the market, the go to market strategy, the marketing ecosystem you need etc. become easier to handle.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Prolific versus Perfect – 2

Excellence, Marketing, messaging, persistence

Excellence requires repetition.

Some call it the 10000 hour rule. Int is said that you need to do about 10000 hours of practice at learning something, before you become an expert. Its about ensuring persistence in your endevour.

This issue came up in a discussion today where the people supposedly are passionate about what they are doing but we are not getting the results. They had this argument that they were also getting frustrated when not getting results.

When we tried to analyse the challenges, one of the key challenge was the fact that we did not have enough feedback of how the customers react to our messaging. You have to test a lot of messaging till you are able to actually get to the right piece.

You can refine your messaging or sales pitch only when you interact with enough people, understand the inputs that the prospects give and what the competition is doing. Now if you are a prolific sales person and do 200 calls a days (just for example) and there’s another who’s doing 100 calls a day and both fail 90% of the time, with the first sale person after 20 days of calling you would have got a feedback of 3600 calls, and at the end of a year this would be close to 45000 interactions versus the other person’s 22000 failures.

Within one year the company whose sales people are prolific and are getting 45000 “no” would be way ahead of a company with sales people with just 22000 “no”. They would have refined their product pitch / messaging that many more times to come to near perfection within a year.

To the above argument I get a very standard response, and maybe you also would have it going on in your mind, that after some time statistically the changes would be minor. You are absolutely right about that. But the faster you reach that point, the more sales you pick up till the other company reaches that point.

If I can get my 10000 hours of practice in 3 years versus someone else who will take 5 years then the 2 years window that I have I can exploit to earn so much more , sell so much more or whatever I wish to. While the 10000 hour rule has been around for a long time now, the idea of speed in getting to the 10000 hours was something that I got from hearing Joe Polish in his Ilovemarketing.com podcasts.

The more prolific I am the more I can try new things, the more feedback I will get and the faster I can improve. Now if you have a coach along the way it becomes that much more quicker to climb the curve towards expertise. But you still have to do the hardwork. There’s no easy way out of it.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Our human brain

Breathing, Health, Human Brain, messaging

As I have written in my post a couple of days back, these days I am reading the book The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer by Steven Cutler. Steven does a lot of research for the books he writes. Some of his earlier books which I have liked a lot, jointly written with Dr. Peter Diamandis, include Abundance, Bold.

While the television and newspapers throw so much negative news all around us, if you read these books, you realise that the world is a much better place to live in today than what it was say 300 years back. And a major reason for that according to the authors is the fact that technology is playing such a major role in making this place a better place to live in.

As I mentioned earlier, Steven does a lot of research for his books. If you have been reading my blogs, you will also notice that I am always trying to find ways to improve the performance of my brain and my body. Whether its reading faster or breathing techniques which help build stamina, I am always looking for queer facts about this complex machine called the human body.

One thing which caught my eye today was the fact that our brain can only process about 126 bits of incoming information per second. The key word is incoming i.e from various senses to the brain, which interrupt the processing function of the brain. These bits need not be equivalent to binary bits (0,1) that technology folks look at since the brain works in a more abstract fashion.

This does not include the processing capability which the brain has, which is enormous. And that’s why people talk about being focused so that you are interrupting your brain with less inputs and doing more processing.

I don’t know about you, I have always considered myself to be easily distracted and I am not able to comprehend things, if they come too fast at me. For example trying to find my gate number for the flight from 5 screens of arrival and departure information.

Or if someone gives me too many food options from which to choose very fast.

I have to deliberately slow down the intake of information. In meetings to avoid such situations when too many people are speaking, I have to ask people to just be quiet and answer only the questions which I ask.

Today I realised this is not a problem only with me. Its a problem for al human beings. If our brain can only process so much information at a time, then for us to be able to influence someone we need to be able to give information in such a way that is simple to process and can get analysed. That’s where I guess charts look are understood compared to reports.

For a practitioner of marketing it means that are messages should be small simple sentences with more pictures, images.

Can you think of what other implications can this have for us in marketing. Pls write in your comments below.

Till next time then

Carpe Diem!!!