Mass marketing can be very expensive in terms of dollars spent and patience for return on investment. The quicker you get to the right person with a solution to their need (your product or service,) the quicker you make the sale. That’s the bottom line. So how does an astute sales manager create strategic campaigns that are effective and make the best use of your marketing budget? This is where knowing how to identify and target potential great clients hits the sales mark.
Targeting your customers and prospects is also referred to as multi-segment marketing and involves identifying specific personas or markets for specific content.
Here is S∙I∙R’s simplified definition: “Say the right things to the right people at the right time.“
Let’s move ahead with this simplified definition and answer the question: “Why do I want to do this?” Again, the simplified answer is: because you will obtain a better sales result and spend fewer dollars. So, how do you go about doing this? There are some fundamental steps you should take to be effective:
First, consider who your best “suspects” are. This includes groups such as customers, prospects, big or small companies, particular market segments (SIC / NAICS codes), geographic areas, job titles of person, etc. Once you have decided on these fundamental demographic items, do a simple “profile” of what makes some suspects better than others. It probably begins with answering the question: who are your best customers and why?
Second, make a list of what you know about your prospects or what you wish you knew. Besides the above “demographic” stuff, here are some other obvious items to get you thinking:
- Are they currently using a product / service like yours?
- Do they have plans to purchase (or purchase again)?
- What is the timeframe for purchase?
- Is there a budget in place?
Before we move on to the remaining fundamental steps, let’s see what targeting looks like. Again, we’ll keep it simple:
Each datapoint added about your prospect gets you closer to the bullseye. The more you know, the more specific your message can be and the higher the probability of hitting their “hot spot”.
This gets us back to the third fundamental item you will want in place: a repository for the data as you acquire it. This can be a manual system, but you probably want to be using Excel or a CRM that allows easy queries that integrate with email and your sales / customer service people for timely follow-up. Automated tools will allow you to do various queries so you can create specific messaging and unique follow-up strategies for each target group. Here are two simple examples:
- You only know your prospect manufactures widgets and you provide a process that improves throughput and quality. Your offer, via email or phone message is to provide an educational “piece” on how to improve throughput and quality. Simply educate, no “sales pitch” (yet).
- You know your prospect is the same as above but attends trade show “A” that you display at. Don’t wait for them to show up, call or email and invite them to your booth so they can learn more. Because you know more about them, you can seek a more specific, sales oriented outcome. This is how it works.
Our fourth and final, fundamental item to consider is what will be your “communication platform” to execute this targeting strategy. We’ve treated the various “platforms” in previous blogs such as lead generation tactics and getting a handle on social media, so we won’t elaborate here but they include outside sales, inside sales, customer service, and the various social media / digital marketing options. Each “touch” being executed within these various “platforms” is happening as a step in the sales pipeline/funnel. The objective of the funnel is to track sales and ultimately close the business. But, don’t lose sight of the fact that each “touch” is an opportunity to learn more about the prospect until we make the sale.
To summarize these fundamental targeting tactics:
- Establish basic demographics for your target prospects / customers.
- Identify more specific datapoints that help you splinter your prospects into smaller, more defined segments. (what is their “hot button”)
- Determine an effective, easy to use repository for the data so you can effectively sell and market to your prospects.
- Use the proper “communication platform” for the prospect depending on where they are in the pipeline / funnel process.
The final point: you need to provide specific guidelines on the data you want and then put accountabilities in place for your people and your social media strategies to obtain this data. This data is a gold mine of opportunity waiting to be used to grow sales.
S∙I∙R has created our proprietary in-house CRM to make it user friendly both in capturing the datapoints and in querying for targeted use. We would be happy to share ideas with you. WE DO NOT SELL OUR CRM so we simply offer to share experience with you and provide counsel and ideas. Please contact us at email@example.com or call 717-852-8068 to continue the conversation.