Segmentation is vital for a differentiated offer
Thinking about how you can deliver targeted messages to your customers is an essential exercise and there’s a mass of data available to help nimble service providers in this key activity. Identifying opportunities depends on understanding both horizontal and vertical segmentation and is crucial to the goal of delivering targeted services that really resonate with your chosen customer base.
Recently, we reported on statistics concerning the UK SME market and highlighted the opportunity it represents that, mysteriously, continues to be disregarded by many. Put simply, there are millions of people who work in companies with 50 or fewer employees but whose needs are largely ignored by service providers. They represent a huge opportunity.
It’s even more interesting than that. While horizontal segmentation reveals some extremely useful gaps in the market and the data indicates the value, vertical segmentation also provides valuable lessons. Again, the data from the UK is helpful. Take a look at the figure below. It comes from the most recent edition of business population estimates from the UK’s Department of Innovation and Skills.
This clearly shows the value of individual sectors, their share of SME employment, and the number of businesses active in each. It provides clear indications of how carefully crafted offers can be delivered to cater for the needs of different sectors.
For example, the largest single sector by revenue is the wholesale and retail trade, combined with motor repairs. An enterprising service provider could use this data to proactively target businesses in this sector. It doesn’t mean that it needs to offer a different product for a specific sector, but it does mean that such a service provider would need to create messages that would show understanding of the needs of people within this industry.
Similarly, the construction (or building) industry has both a large number of businesses and a relatively high share of enterprise turnover. What do people in this industry need? What can be offered to them? What messages would resonate and make your offer more likely to succeed?
Careful analysis of available data provides helps service providers target their offers. It gives them a rationale that can be used to refine offers by pitching them towards the needs of people within specific sectors.
Succeeding in the enterprise market isn’t simply about delivering a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s about building specific pitches and approaches that show a deep understanding of what customers want. Of course, it doesn’t mean – as we noted – that the products need to be different. What matters is finding the right message to appeal to your target customers and understanding what segmentation really means, from both horizontal and vertical perspectives.
Data such as this is readily available from most governments. It’s a great source of material that can really help service providers clarify their offers and target them effectively. Taking the time to think about real customer needs is more likely to lead to long-term sustained success. Customers are different and you really have to take steps to understand them.