Every single human being on this planet is different, yes we may have similarities, we may even have an identical twin, but there is not another you, you are unique.
If only this was true in business then we could really have a competitive advantage, but no matter how clever or innovative your business proposition or idea, competition will always exist, copy and catch up. The challenge for every business regardless of size or sector is to be clear about what makes us different and why clients should do business with us.
It’s not easy but a great starting point is to take a step back and write down in your own words the problems your business solves for people.
When you define what you do in writing and have a clear idea of the problems you solve and the issues you address, then you can start to work out which clients and potential clients are most likely to suffer from these issues and are likely to need the proposition you have developed for your business. This is true customer segmentation.
A comprehensive segmentation exercise can also give you the elevator pitch you require when meeting new clients or clients that perhaps are less clear about the value you add to their lives. If done correctly this description of not only what you do but why it adds value to their lives can be shared on your website, through social media and with colleagues so that the business delivers a consistent impression to existing and new clients.
The next stage is to paint a picture of the clients you have identified as having the problems that your proposition solves. Start to list all the different types of customers you have that suffer from the problems you know you can and do solve:
Define them in as many relevant ways as possible. When this is written down it can help you refine your proposition and how you communicate with these clients in the future. Now you have identified the types of client most likely to match your proposition, it’s time to clarify who are your key target markets and again write these down.
Once you have the answers to these, you have a clearer picture of your most attractive clients and then it’s just a matter of deciding:
Another key question to answer is what markets do you want to work in?
By this I mean, is your proposition suitable for certain types of individuals rather than the mass market? Or do you want to work with only certain occupations or clients from a certain economic background?
Do you want to only work in certain geographical areas or will you use technology to ensure you can provide a proposition and service nationwide or even to clients living abroad? You may even wish to specialise in certain sectors of industry.
The answers to these should again be written down, as they can shape your future direction and also the proposition you wish to offer your clients. This is real segmentation, allowing you to design and implement and charge for a proposition that meets the needs of the clients you deal with now and in the future and at a profit.
That’s the real power of segmentation I urge you all to try and it even revisit your existing segmentation model.
John Joe McGinley Glassagh Consulting July 2017
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