There are so many different approaches a business can take in order to reach success; spending time and resource to ensure that their product or service is the best on offer, the most user friendly or perhaps even the most cost effective. But is that enough?
I think we can all agree that product and service development plays a key role in business success, but by devoting all our time and attention to it we can miss the bigger picture.
Taking your product or service to market requires just as much - if not more - attention. Ensuring sales and marketing are aligned in their goals and effort, building brand awareness, and creating a cohesive lead generation effort are just some of the many activities that require dedicated time and resource.
But getting product development and promotion just right relies on one central factor: knowing your ideal target market.
For your business to grow and succeed, there must always be a specific person to which you are offering your product or service. Your marketing messages must speak directly to the needs and challenges they are facing in their everyday lives. Without a specific prospect in place, it becomes extremely difficult to create a sustainable business model.
Profiling your Target Market
Your target market is so much more than simply just the people who want – or think they want – your product or service. Recognising who your product or service best suits is the first step in creating your target market profile.
Using defining factors such as company location, company size and industry, you can begin to build out an imagery of your intended audience. But driving business success requires a more detailed understanding of who within these organisations you should be engaging with. You need to drill right down to prospect specific information such as job title, roles, responsibilities and most importantly, their decision making and influencing powers.
Working your database to collect and build upon this basic information creates the foundation of your target market profile and buyer personas. Building upon this foundation by adding details about the types of companies and prospects you can engage with will define and refine your profile information.
With this information, you are then able to create a vivid template of the characteristics that make up your ideal customer. Knowing who they are; the types of companies they work in; their motivations; and other stand out features will allow each of your efforts to become more targeted and ultimately, more successful.
Tightening the Profile
How many times in a day do you or your inside sales team end a conversation knowing that the person on the other end of the line was the main decision maker, and that you are almost certain you could win business from them?
Now ask yourself how many times in a day you hear that the person you are speaking with is not interested or that a fellow colleague would be more relevant for you to speak to?
If your reality is more a reflection of the second scenario, then this is a key indicator that you need to tighten your target market definition and buyer persona.
Getting to Know your Audience
But where do you start? The devil is in the detail, and no matter what type of conversation you have - successful or unsuccessful – recording the details is imperative. The more information you have, the greater your ability to track and analyse the trends that create a successful profile.
Information such as:
- The reasons for their interest – or lack thereof
- Their level within the organisation and reach of their influence
- Which piece of information caught their interest
- The challenges they face on a day-to-day basis
By using this information to create specific target market profiling questions, you will be able to quickly build up your database with relevant and insightful knowledge of your targeted audience. This will enable you to create a target market definition that is continually evolving.
With these processes in place, you will be able to quickly identify and categorise the prospect you are speaking to in terms of meeting the profile, and even which buyer persona most accurately represents them. This critical information can be then put into action across the business at both a sales and marketing level to increase the efficiency of your direct and digital lead generation efforts.
Using your Target Market Profile for Direct & Digital Lead Generation
Many organisations allocate a large portion of the marketing budget into pushing out the same content piece to a wide marketplace, hoping that by casting a large enough net, they will land enough fish. In all actuality, this approach will normally have the opposite effect, with many of your prospects deleting or even unsubscribing from your communications as you send them irrelevant messages.
By sticking to your specific target market and using the information collated in your profile and personas, you can create segmented messages and approaches that will ensure they receive key marketing messages specific to their role and needs. An approach designed with a well informed and detailed target market profile will enable your B2B lead generation efforts to gain more traction within your target audience, and ultimately drive business success.
Through the process of profiling your audience, you are able to create increasingly detailed and refined target market definition. This information can be used to develop a strong understanding of who your ideal audiences are and how to reach them through their defining characteristics. By knowing your audience, you will be able to create highly specific and targeted B2B lead generation campaigns.
Combine your knowledge of your target market profile with Direct & Digital Marketing activity to create a targeted B2B lead generation campaign that produces results.
Download the essential guide to B2B IT Lead Generation