Segmenting is the process of identifying your potential customers. A viable market segment should have having unique attributes. They have common characteristics and care-abouts. And, ideally, they must identify themselves as part of that group. Through segmentation, you can better understand their unique needs and therefore better market to and satisfy those needs.
A viable market segment must also be the right size. It must be substantial enough to justify the resources, but not so large that you fail exert the necessary effort to attract its constituents. I like to apply the market share test. If you can’t determine and track your market share, you haven’t sufficiently defined your market. Even if you are a local integrator, what percentage of the local market do you currently serve?
Note, if you market is too big, consider narrowing by geography. For instance, if you offer a brake test system is it realistic to market that solution worldwide. If not, narrow your market segment to your geographical region. Now, is there a sufficient market segment to generate the leads you need to meet your business goal? Check out NetMBA for more information.
After segmenting your market(s), you then decide how best to target your audience. If it is a viable market segment, the constituents will have common ways that they gather information.
1) Publications – are there trade publications or newsletters?
2) Events – Do they attend certain events or gather together to share information? This could be tradeshows or conferences.
3) Networks – Is there a network of relationships through which they share information. This could be a trade association or a local business chapter. But, it could also include common vendors or even customers.
4) The Web – As we know, the web is the number one tool that engineers and scientists use to gather information. As such, your market strategy should definitely include the Web as a primary vehicle for targeting your customers.
By the way, I searching the web on the subject of ‘marketing vehicles’ and ran across the following graphic. I just couldn’t resist including it.