Hunting involves many decisions and steps before you actually take a shot. These preliminary steps prepare a hunter to experience the most success. Similarly, when a business is just starting out, you must be on the hunt for opportunities that will sustain your organization. In the Shipley Business Development Lifecycle Guide, this stage is called market segmentation and involves steps that position you in the best circumstances to win business.
Explore the Area
In one of the earliest decisions a hunter can make, they decide where to go hunting. This often depends on season, hunting license, successful areas in the past, or migration patterns. Hunters prepare carefully by gaining knowledge. If you are hunting quail in the wrong season, you probably will not see very much success. The same tactic is employed in market segmentation.
Consider the behavioral, demographic, geographic, regulatory, and psychographic characteristics of customers by segment and determine a strategic plan. Once you have a strategic plan, you must gather additional information on obtainable target markets. This intelligence will show which market segments are expanding, static, mature, or emerging. Like when hunting quail, information gathering is necessary for a successful market hunt.
After hunters decide on the optimal hunting spot, they will choose and employ hunting strategies. Communication is an important part of hunting in groups, so walkie talkies or signals to avoid scaring away prey takes strategic planning. Additionally, hunters must choose the right ammunition and scout out for other hunters. Crossing paths with another hunter can scare prey away, so they must be aware of the ground others cover.
While ammunition may not be the most vital part of your marketing strategy, there are objectives that you choose and then implement. In a market plan, address the target markets’ competitive landscape, financial objectives and budget risks, and your ability to outperform competitors. Understanding competitor abilities requires that you have “scouted out” the competition in your new market area. Outperforming competitors comes from your carefully planned market strategies.
Deploy the Teams
Once a hunter sees his or her target, it is time to act! Hunters position themselves and get a clear shot of the target. Then, they will shoot. However, there is no ideal hunting position that applies to everyone. It all depends on the environment and your own skills. You may shoot better sitting, standing, or from the heights of a tree. Whatever works best for you is the ideal position.
In a similar way, once senior management decides to proceed, the marketing team deploys teams to capture business. There is no one-size-fits-all way to progress here. Timing, budget, competitors and other factors influence how management decides to position themselves in the market. Whatever that decision is, it should be the ideal position for your organization.
Market segmentation works most effectively when you realize that one organization is not equipped to competitively meet the demands of all segments. Similarly, hunters realize that certain tools or ammunition do not apply to all prey. Exploring the market and deciding on best business practices, you place your business in the optimal position to win business.
Learn more about market segmentation and other steps that can help put you in the best circumstance to win click here for the Shipley Business Development Lifecycle Guide.