October 23, 2008

You should't try to appeal to everybody!

This week I met a sales manager who told me that his solution appealed to almost all segments of the market.  

To this he added, that the functionality of his product was comprehensive - addressing a multitude of customer needs – sales, administration, accounting, etc.  

Was I impressed?  Well, confused is more like it, and that is the same way his customers are likely to be.  The manager and his message was less credible as a result.

Even if your product genuinely 'does everything for everybody', successful marketers know that you have to slice and dice your market and your proposition in order to maximize its market appeal.   Some call it market segmentation, others refer to it as sales focus.

In fact the surest way to dillute your appear to the market is to try to appeal universally to all customers, thereby failing to address the specific needs of any particular customer group.

Success requires tailoring your proposition to different customer groups, or segments so that the key ones feel your solution is ideally suited to their specific needs.  If you alienate other potential customers (outside those you have specifically targeted) so be it. 

Similarly, to get your message across you are going to have to focus in on one or two specific key benefits most relevant to each segment.

Another Manager I met recently told me that there were 4,600 potential customers for his technology solution.  Was I impressed?  Well, yes.  Particularly, as he had a list of them and could tell me how much progress had been made against it!

Want to read more about the importance of strategic focus?  

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