Today was a very dense day in terms of doing some massive amount of brainwork. Generally my day is full of a lot of transactions which eat up my brain power. Today however was majorly about thinking through a couple of market related problems.
In one situation we had to sit down and physically analyse the database, because there was no response from the database to a campaign we sent. In any campaign, if there’s a problem with the response, then the first thing I like to look at is the database. So after testing multiple messaging when we didn’t get a response, we had to sit down to figure out the challenges with the database. So we went down the list of companies with a comb to figure out what could be the challenge. This was pretty time consuming as well as mentally exhausting.
In the second case, it is still work in progress, I had to analyse on figuring out a single target market for one of the service areas that we deal in. Figuring out a single target market is time consuming because you have to start with the whole market and then keep stripping down. However in this process, you don’t want to miss out on any portion of the market to analyse. So you try to analyse the market from the attributes perspective first, then usage perspective, to ensure that you are not missing out on a lucrative market.
After that you have to see if the market has a decent size for you to operate in. While you have niched down to such a specific market that has only say 100 participants, then the chance of you being able to convert a substantial number is limited. Having said that, this quantity is a relative thing. If you are selling airplanes like a Boeing or Airbus, in any country you may not have more than a handful of airlines. But because the ticket size is so huge that even those handful is a big market.
I shared how in a typical day we analyse the marketing issues. I will look forward to your comments on how you analyse marketing related problems.
Till next time then.
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.