These three words are so deep in their meaning if you are in any way involved with Product Management or Marketing.
While classic marketing talks about identifying a problem in the market and then coming out with a solution. In a lot of cases , especially when it comes to technology marketing, as new technology starts becoming available you work on building new use case scenarios and then going out to the market to sell it.
In these cases you have the ability to fine tune the product for specific markets, but inherently you don’t have the ability to create a brand new product after identifying a product. Start-ups do have the ability to identify niches in the market where problems are unsolved and create from scratch. For most of us who work on the quarter by quarter revenue targets we have to look for the segments which have a problem , that our solution can solve.
For these situations the Single Target Market is the most important item in my view. Its one step deeper than just segmentation which is taught. Here we are also looking at going further down the segmenting exercise with the usage involved.
As an example you may have a product which is a car stereo. Lets assume that it has the ability to connect with 8 speakers and therefore the segment becomes only those cars which have the ability to have 8 speakers. Now if you are getting in new with this product – you can go to the OEM who is making the car and ask them to incorporate it into their car. On the other hand you can take this same car stereo and sell it to the “after market” dealers as a replacement of faulty stereos.
The messaging you have to do to connect with the 2 different types of markets is different. Now lets go to target the “after market” niche further by looking to say a specific state like California to start with, versus looking at a state like Georgia. The accent of the message is totally different. So now you are targeting the auto shops which provide repair services for cars of the luxury kind in a state like Georgia.
Each time I try to do a Single Target Market analysis – I learn a little more about how you can get a finer market to target.
Why is this important – all your advertising, messaging, triggers, the logistics of reaching your market- everything becomes easier and more focussed, which leads us to success.
Till next time then…..
People have such a low attention span these days, that, anything that even remotely screams marketing, gets thrown into the delete mode even without a second thought. With electronic messaging this is even more convenient.
So while electronic messaging via email or via social media can get you very targeted audience, sometimes almost free, they also have the highest “ignore” rates.
While one of the reasons for the “ignore” is the massive number of unnecessary emails or messages people get, the other is because the messages don’t speak to the prospect in what’s important to him. So while they are trying to scan your subject line / headline , and if your message is boring, an alert pops up on their cell phone and they get drawn into it and you have lost that small window of opportunity.
Understanding what is going on in the mind of the prospect is critical – what conversations she could be having, are critical to ensuring that you are not boring. You can do this kind of specific messaging only if you have segmented the market so well, that the conversations start to become evident.
In any given market segment there will always be the early adopters, the laggards, the fence sitters etc. What is the use case that you are targeting will decide within the segment what is your Single Target Market to start your messaging with. If you are targeting the replacement market then you go with a different kind of messaging, while if you are targeting the early adopters you need to be looking at how your message can play to their vanity of being early adopters.
Creating messaging is a very time consuming job and requires a lot of subtle changes in the language. Whenever I have tried to get something out in a hurry, because the team was in a hurry, those campaigns have bombed for us. And the time which I saved at the beginning has actually resulted in a much larger waste. Boring messages, motherhood statements, just get people to select delete because of the plethora of other distractions which exist.
Till next time then. Don’t let your marketing get boring.
Do lions get dissatisfied or for that matter zebras or giraffes. My guess is “No”. Lions and zebras and all the other animals have more or less remained as they were more than a 100000 years back. The lion in the image above still hunts its prey when it feels hungry and then just goes and rests with its family exactly what its ancestors did a hundred thousand years back.
Humans have evolved over that same time. One of the reasons is the fact that we had real estate in our head, due to which our brains could grow and evolve and are still evolving. In one of my earlier posts I wrote about how scarcity is the mother of all development. If we don’t have food, we try to find ways to grow food, we create GM seeds so that pests and weather don’t impact them. If we don’t have water we seed clouds or desalinate water from the sea.
I will qualify that while scarcity causes us to think of solutions, its the dissatisfaction with the scarcity which is the mother of all progress. If we are not dissatisfied with the fact that we are short of something and we need to find ways to get out of the situation, we would never move from being cavemen to what we are today. Not being able to find food would have made us look for ways to build weapons that could be used to kill wild animals and help us not get killed.
But its this same dissatisfaction which cause us to feel bad, feel low etc. Its what gets us emotional about issues. And the negativity with the issues causes us to also do negative things like arson, robbery etc. So its a double edged sword.
Marketing and product management is all about finding the dissatisfaction in the market and providing a solution. If you can clearly identify different areas of dissatisfaction, you can segment the market in different ways. Quite a lot of times the dissatisfaction is latent…..nobody knew they wanted a car versus a horse carriage.
But yes people were fed up of dirty taxis, high fares & tantrums and someone thought of ride sharing without owning any taxis.
However more often then not you don’t create a product or service from scratch. You have to mould what you have, by adding features or deleting some, to meet a specific need of a specific segment of the market and then carry your messaging in a way that the market gets it. I would highly recommend you to read Lateral Marketing by Philip Kotler to learn the frameworks of how you can create new segments/uses by making subtle changes in your products.
Till next time then.
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.