Strategic Marketing Archives

This case study is based on a major project that we undertook for a leading international financial institution in 2014/15 which covered one of its UK divisions.

Key Learning Points
The client was able to achieve a number of changes in the business as a result of the project:
 Focusing on the real business needs of customers
 Identifying groups of customers with common requirements
 Developing a specific value proposition for each of the segments
 Prioritising the segments (and customers within the segments)
 Structuring the firm’s sales and marketing activities to meet these customers’ needs

Market2Win Segmentation Case Study

6 B2B Market Segmentation Mistakes to Avoid

In our work with market segmentation in the B2B space, we often see the same mistakes. Here, we would like to pass on the benefits of our experience to help you avoid them as well.

These are the classic six mistakes in B2B market segmentation:

  1. Diving in before you have tested the water. Before you do anything else you need to define the market you wish to segment. What are the products or services that interest you and what are their alternatives from the customers’ point of view? For example, a few key accounts may make a significant proportion of the total market.  Therefore, it may be better to segment deeper within these accounts than perform a shallow analysis across the whole industry.  Scope the market carefully before segmenting it.
  2. Not knowing where the ball is going.  So many segmentation studies go to great lengths to study recent customer behaviour but pay little or no attention to how this might change in the future. If the economy is about to change or if a new technology looks set to take-off, then behaviour could change as well.  If a new market, re-organization or procurement strategy is about to be implemented, this could change who the decision-makers are and what they are looking for.  Understand where the ball is going, not just where it has been.
  3. Researching who you know rather than who counts. This is a particular problem in B2B where existing contacts are routinely surveyed for their thoughts – but they are often too low in the organization to make the big decisions or see the big picture. Use your senior contacts to setup interviews with the customer’s senior contacts, or use a third party company to help gain access to opinion leaders.  Ensure your research has the right quality of sources, not just the right quantity.
  4. Gaining just a shallow understanding of needs.  In a simple interview, customers will nearly always score price as an important factor, yet price is rarely the only reason why a customer will swap supplier.  Good interviewers will follow up answers with further probing “why” questions to try to get to the bottom of their real needs, which the customer themselves will find a useful journey of discovery. Gain a deep understanding of customer needs and throw new light on the real drivers of the issues.
  5. Forming segments that follow the norm.  Too many suppliers use simple segments that make life easier for them.  These could be industry-based, product-based or geographic-based segments.  But are there customers across these borders that actually have similar needs? For example, are there health & safety driven customers in Industry A, B and C which have similar needs and are not being served well by anyone?  Great segmentation will find ‘blue oceans’ of segments with little competition.   Use segmentation to see the world differently to your competition.
  6. Not using the segments. The greatest sin of all is to come up with smart segments that sit in someone’s drawer.  We must remember that the purpose of segmentation is to help develop better market strategies. It is better to do a small pilot exercise and use the segmentation outcomes, than to do a grand segmentation study only to find the implications too big for the business to handle. Make sure you link market segmentation to market strategy and drive implementation (even if just a pilot).

These should help you get a bigger strategic bang for your segmentation buck!

Edmund Bradford

www.market2win.com

Why Strategic Marketing Matters

A poor strategy well executed is better than a good strategy poorly executed, right? 

WRONG!  This presentation combines theory and practice to show that a poor marketing strategy combined with an excellent sales team can be the perfect storm that kills the company.

Download the presentation FREE here:
 Why strategic marketing matters

Strategic Marketing Execution

This Blog is for anyone interested in executing their strategic marketing ideas successfully.

These ideas are typically captured in a strategic marketing plan (which may cover the next 3 – 5 years).  However, there is much evidence that most strategic marketing plans fail to get executed effectively.  So, this Blog is also for anyone that has a strategic marketing plan (or is writing one) and is keen to make it work.

It is about helping the marketing community get fundamental strategic change in place in their own (or their client’s) organization.


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Why Strategic Marketing Matters

A couple of months ago, I wrote a presentation called “Why Strategic Marketing Matters” and posted it on the web. It was viewed over 250 times until I changed my slideshare account yesterday.

The presentation is for anyone who wants to understand or explain the difference between sales and marketing. I have used some well known banking collapses to show what happens if the sales department is not given the right strategic direction. 

To see it go to www.slidesharenet.net/EDatM2W

Hope you find it useful!