When you do the exercise of narrowing down a segment based on different attributes or use cases, as I listed in the previous post on this topic, you keep eliminating a lot of the other areas which could divert your attention.
Then once you have been able to come down to the narrowest market (single target market) and figured out the economics of reaching out to that market, you can start working on the messaging.
Messaging is a very complex topic and by just reading a few lines here will not show you the gravity of the work that needs to be done to work it out. However by narrowing down, you can now put yourself in the shoes of the person whom you could be talking to. Once you are in her shoes, you can start thinking about what would go on in their mind related to what you are offering. Since you have too only think for this one person, life becomes much easier and you can create more targeted messages.
Sometimes the things you sell, don’t directly feature in the mind of the person, so you need to go one stage upstream and then create the messaging. Like no one, would think of outdoor – wedding – catering, until there’s a marriage that is taking place in the family. So in such cases your message will need to be focused on how it will get moulded with the marriage discussion going on in the mind of. the person you are targeting and then place the idea of an outdoor wedding. Since if they won’t think of an outdoor wedding, they can’t think of an outdoor – wedding – catering.
You cannot create powerful messaging without entering the mind of the prospect. And the best way in my opinion is to get down to a single target market.
Till next time then.
I have been involved with marketing directly or indirectly for a very long time. Inspite of that, I keep getting fascinated with things that get thrown up when you start analysing something from the basics of marketing.
Last couple of days I have been involved in doing some deep thinking on two of our product / service lines which have not been moving. Whenever something doesn’t move, my first emphasis is always to identify what’s wrong with the database / market. More than 50% of the problems in marketing can be resolved if you have identified the market clearly and then gone about getting the database accordingly.
So one challenge was with a set of partners that we had been trying to court and the other was related to a service offering. When I got down to analysing why the partners were not responding to our messaging, it slowly dawned on me that those companies would not have customers who could need the services we offer.
As an allied example – If you are a carpet cleaner and people you are sending the message to are not responding, then you need to figure out if those people actually use carpets. If they don’t use carpets, then even the best message won’t get you an order. On the other hand if you go to a neighbourhood where you have houses where you can be sure that people will have carpets in their houses, then even a mediocre message will get you some traction.
However since we get so bogged down with transactions, fighting fires and managing teams, we tend to forget the basics. So we start with one assumption and then another gets added and then we forget how many assumptions have got stacked up. But when I do get down to doing work from the basics, there are so many things which get thrown up.
Marketing is 50% maths and 50% psychology / human behaviour. So you can’t miss on the maths, because your survival is based on the maths. On the other hand figuring out the psychology of what will get people to buy is critical. So starting with the smallest unit of the addressable market helps with addressing both the issues well.
Marketing also has immense leverage because it can help your business grow dramatically if managed well. That’s another reason, why I am fascinated with marketing.
Till next time then.
I keep writing a lot about the SIngle Target Market. Its a term I learned from Dean Jackson. I have known about segmenting and niching but breaking down a market by usage was something which appealed to me.
Now why is it important to drill down to a Single Target Market . Once you have been able to figure that part out, you can then work on the different media you can use to engage this person and then work on what is the message you will send through the different media.
To show a practical example. We were targeting companies for selling our services. Now you can choose partners in different ways. We first did a segmentation by OEMs. If they were selling a specific OEM’s product, then we thought we could make them a partner to sell add on services from us – but these partners could be in different states, they could be of different sizes – single person companies, large companies and everything in-between. They could be owned by men, women, public listed or private. So we decided to put the limit on minimum number of employees and maximum number of employees to segment further.
As we kept on going deeper we found even more characteristics that we had not even noticed when we did the general rule partners of OEMs.
So one rule of thumb that I have figured out , to identify a single target market , is to figure what other attribute exists that could make this data set smaller till it can’t be made any smaller. Then figure out how you can combine based on the usage and expand from there once you see success with one usage area.
Till next time then.
I have written about identifying different niches in the market based on the usage. Today’s post will be a little longer than the usual posts because I will showcase two clear applications with examples.
For example maybe your product or service can be targeted at the replacement market or it could be targeted at the OEM market. if you are a tyre manufacturer you can get specialised by cars, two wheelers, trucks, off road etc.Then you can device another niching strategy based on going to the OEMs who manufacture these products. These manufacturers would buy in bulk. Here you don’t need to advertise in the mass market. You need to be closely aligned with the OEM so that when they design new products, they consider your tyres. This is a B2B play.
On the other hand another strategy could be targeting the replacement market. Now you could have a B2C strategy where you are targeting individuals who need to replace their tyres in their old vehicles. To be able to get mind share you will need to advertise rigorously to ensure that you stay top of the mind when someone needs to replace their tyres. On the other hand you could target fleet owners who have to maintain a large fleet. These would be B2B buyers and the method of targeting them would be completely different.
Today I came across another way to look at the idea of a single target market. Its by identifying the pain and retooling the product slightly or retooling the packaging. A very common example of this is the concept of sachets for shampoos which got pioneered in India by the FMCG companies. About 20 years back there was a company in south India, which made shampoos, which did not have a brand as well known as the Uniilevers or the P&G. They recognised the fact that poor ladies in India wanted to wash their hair (typically long hair) but did not have the budget to buy a big bottle of shampoo. Other than the budget they did not have the place to keep the bottle after taking bath because they would take bath in public washrooms.
They came out with a plastic sachet of the shampoo at a cost of Rupee 1/- (about 2 cents at that time) with just enough shampoo for one wash for the ladies. This suddenly became a rage and the volumes of this company grew dramatically. Soon all the MNCs had to copy the idea and come out with equivalent sachets for their shampoos.
Now while the original plan was for the single target as ladies who could not afford the full bottle, another segment which had pain was travelling salesmen who could not carry a bottle of shampoo with them while they were on tours. A lot of the hotels they stayed in did not provide for shampoos. So this became another market that these companies started targeting.
So you could even see the resistance points to the consumption of your product and find the pain in the market to penetrate another segment.
Till next time then.