B2B Companies. Is it time to review your target market?

On Target - B2B firms, do you need to review your target market

Having a clear target market niche is essential for business-to-business firms. Rather than trying to be all things to everyone, targeting a distinct segment means your product or service can respond to the specific needs of a well-defined group of companies. 

2021 – your target market might have changed significantly

Even if you set out a few years ago with a clear idea of your target market, following the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, now might be a good time to undertake a market review.

Is your target market still viable?

You need to ask yourself is your target market still large enough and, importantly, is it still profitable? Is it growing or is it in decline? Are there any new emerging segments that look promising? Do you need to adapt your product or service to better serve these new markets? 

Do you stand out from the competition?

Is your niche distinct? Or are you a me-too product in an already crowded market place? Explore whether there is a new way of looking at the market,  for example by customer need, that opens up a potential new group of customers?

Who really are your competitors? Don’t just think about your immediate competitors but think wider to include companies that help achieve the same objective. For example, the Post Office’s competitors are not just other letter and parcel carriers but also email services, which reduce the need to send documents through the post.

By really understanding the market and customer needs, you might identify a gap in the market which presents a fantastic opportunity for your business.

Your existing customer base might yield some surprises

Start by taking a look at your existing customer base. Find out which groups of customers are generating a profit and which might actually be costing you money to service. You might be shocked at the results.

Then break your customer base down by industrial group and review what revenue each segment generates?  Which groups are the most profitable? Which segments are growing the fastest and which segments are in decline?

Then break down your customer base down by another variable. For example by customer need? By geography? Or whatever makes sense for your business. Again, which segments generate the most revenue and profit? Which are high growth and which are contracting?

Explore what your customers like about your product or service and what they dislike. How do they use your product or service? What improvements would they like to see? The results might yield some interesting findings and some inspiration about possible new niches for you to test.

The results of your current customer base should clarify your approach. For some, it might confirm that you are already targeting profitable high growth niches that can successfully grow your business.  However, for others, the findings might emphasise the need to urgently explore new niches outside your existing customer base.

Define your target market

Clearly define your target market in terms of customer need, industrial group, revenue size, location – or whatever underpins your definition. For example, at the Richmond Marketing Consultancy, our target markets are “B2B companies in the medical device, manufacturing or professional services sectors.”

Think how are you solving your customers’ pain

How does your product or service take away the “pain” of businesses in your target niche? Are you saving them time? Does your business offer a more convenient service? Are you providing trust and confidence?

At the Richmond Marketing Consultancy, our clients are often time-strapped – and lack the available resources to roll-out a systematic 12 month marketing plan. Our Outsourced Marketing Director service is designed to implement the agreed plan, to a high standard, with the minimum of fuss – giving our clients peace of mind and saving them time and hassle.

Communicating with your target market

Clearly defined target niches will ensure that all elements of your marketing communicates the right messages to the right people in the right place.

Inbound Marketing Strategy
With the continued restrictions, due to COVID-19,  on meeting people face-to-face, a good inbound marketing strategy has never been more important. New customers finding you, via online search, must be a key part of your business acquisition strategy. Your website, your content strategy and social media activity are all important elements to delivering pre-qualified prospects to your inbox.

Your website
Your website should clearly communicate which target markets you are focusing on, an understanding of their needs and your how your product or service can respond to these needs. This should help new business leads be part-qualified when they get in touch.

And don’t forget about the importance in SEO in helping your website be found. Have a clear idea of appropriate target keywords and ensure that your website is optimised accordingly.

Your content strategy
Your content strategy should focus clearly on your target audience for each stage of the buying process. What type of content will be helpful to prospects when they are fact finding? What type of specific service or product information is useful when they are evaluating your company and whether you are a good fit for their needs?

Social media
Which channels do your target customers use? What sort of content should you post on the selected channels to engage prospects and communicate with customers.

It is clear these days that nothing can be taken for granted. Never has it been more important to understand your target market and to be confident that you are delivering benefits that really matter to your customers.

If you would like to review your marketing strategy and target market, please get in touch with us at The Richmond Marketing Consultancy. We work with B2B companies in the medical device, manufacturing and professional services sectors – and we would be delighted to hear from you.