young company. What: You’ve recently put a product in market and you’re
trying to figure out how to really drive adoption! How: Segment your
market to find those most likely to buy. Sounds easy? Its not but it
can be relatively painless. When a company first brings it’s solutions
to market it needs to find the “sneezers” (to borrow Seth
Godin’s term), those who will help develop the market for you by being
evangelists for your product and spread the word. Helping to drive adoption.
Many marketers you hire are going to want to perform a traditional
segmentation – that is, they will attack a particular geography or
vertical as a way to find those sneezers. But I’d submit that’s not
enough. To truly be successful in bringing your product to market you
have to segment your market by “attitude”, yes attitude… those
individuals that have the inclination to buy from you… attitudinal
segmentation enables companies large and small to find the sneezers,
those most likely to buy and more importantly find those who will never buy. This group represents a huge amount of wasted
time, energy and money, which any sales rep worth their salt is anathema
Attitudinal segmentation is a best case example of the science of
marketing. This part of marketing is not art but science. As
part of this scientific effort you will have the market answer questions using a statistically valid sample with a
combination of real time, virtual and web survey data:
- Which groups within your potential market ascribe a high degree
of value to the capabilities of your solution (don’t say ALL because
that’s not true!)?
- How large are these segments and where are they (you will realize
that they cut across verticals AND Geos but the analysis will provide
you with logical geos and verticals to start with)?
- Where should you focus your scarce sales resources to get the most
bang for the buck?
- Which groups of customers should we ignore? Or said better, which
groups of customers should we only address opportunistically?
- What elements of your offer – product, service, pricing, ease of
use, etc… do prospective customers find most appealing and what
specifically about those attributes do they like?
The outcome of such an effort will be definition of the Buying
Styles and Attitudes toward buying that are manifest in your market.
For example, in the enterprise software space, perhaps a buyer is
motivated by the technology and how cool it is rather than anything
else. Or maybe the thing they care about most is the ROI of the
Knowing a prospect’s buying style enables your
organization to personalize the sales engagement and even the type of
content that a prospective customer will receive from your
organization. Creating a customized sales and marketing engagement
approach will dramatically improve your conversion rates.
B2C companies have been using attitudinal segmentation for quite some
time as part of their Go-to-market strategies. B2B companies can and
will benefit from this approach as well, especially
when you combine such a segmentation effort with an evaluation of your
offer and its attributes. By understanding what components of your offer
(product, pricing, support, etc… ) are most attractive to your
potential customers, you will be able to more easily adjust it to
maximize uptake by those most likely to buy. For example, if you are
selling a SaaS solution, do your customer’s prefer to be billed monthly
or quarterly? Do they want a super friendly easy to use interface that
means more screens or a more crowdes interface but only takes one screen
to complete the transaction? You won’t really know until you ask!
Remember, its not enough to merely understand your market, you must
determine what you should do DIFFERENTLY to maximize the economic value
of understanding your market. This type of segmentation combined with a
detailed understanding of your offer enables you to pre-test each
segment’s reaction to your offer and GTM strategy enabling you to make
adjustments to both.
C’mon, what do you have to lose? Customers, market share and
competitive pole position.
(Cross-posted @ AbleBrains)