As a business solution provider what best a Online Community could offer you make a real connections. Most of the business problems occur due to improper decisions related to outsourcing, selecting the wrong vendor or carrying out delivery tasks without sufficient resources.
Recently a report on global B2C marketing automation company details the company’s burgeoning impact on the digital marketing industry. The report leverages on cloud services for all its marketing, focuses on the company’s core artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities, and firmly plants the company as a promising mid-market suite that reduces silos across the enterprise.
What better a place could be than Online Community facilitated by Top5Optimizers to learn from all of this in one place.
A company’s strategy is the game plan business owners and management use to position their organization in its chosen market area, to compete successfully, satisfy customers, and achieve good business performance.
Business leaders at Top5Optimizers Supply Chain pay attention to the developments in the world because they are intertwined with market forces that affect consumers and demand. They have to adapt their business strategy to a constantly shifting environment. Thus, learning from Online Community makes it easy to learn and benefit in many ways.
Do you ever think of selling your company one day?
Even if you don't believe you would ever sell your business, brand consistency, promise, experience and image are vital to the success of your company. I've heard it many times from small business owners that they can't make a significant investment in branding because of lack of funds. I've also heard entrepreneurs say that they don't see the point; it's not like they're a global company like Nike. Still, others believe that by creating a distinct brand strategy, promise and experience, it may limit opportunities to make money from a broader audience.
If you're an entrepreneur that thinks that way, I ask you to reconsider. The branding of your company, even if you've been in operation for a week, is vital to your success.
Early Days of McDonald's
Have you ever seen McDonald's with a purple logo or anything other the golden arches? When you walk into a McDonald's anywhere in the world, you know what you're getting, and if you patronize those restaurants, that is precisely the reason why you do it.
Ray Kroc, who was a 54-year-old salesman and still looking for an opportunity that would inspire him came to learn about the restaurant of Dick and Mac McDonald who had developed a process for the food that delivered it to the customer within 30 seconds. This was a huge deal and the beginning of the fast food industry. However, when they just started working together, they were missing a broader vision and brand strategy.
Early McDonald's Mistake
It was Kroc who envisioned the opportunity to create a food company that was wholly American. In partnership with the McDonald brothers, he started operating out of the Midwest and the brothers in California. At first, Kroc created a franchise model to expand the company and grow it to scale quickly across the U.S., but he made a mistake--it lacked the high-quality and overall consistency regarding the entire operation and systems that the McDonald brothers had developed in California.
Once Kroc and the McDonald brothers were able to bring control and consistency on the whole of the operation, from the brand promise, experience, image, to the services, activities, and services, it was only then that the McDonald restaurants started to develop. What Kroc ultimately brought to the McDonald's picture is that consistent strategy across all of the franchises. That is why you have never seen a McDonald brand image be anything other than the golden arches. With McDonald's, what you see is what you get.
When the entire operation of McDonald's was consistent across the board, and a customer in California received the same service and experience as another customer in the Midwest, it was only then that the McDonald's brand started to get traction.
Benefits of Brand Consistency
When your business is consistent with the brand promise, experience and image of your company, in its entirety, your target audience and customers understand:
- They are going to benefit from your business because they know--clearly--the value that your company offers them through your products and services.
- Your customers will know what to expect from a brand that is consistent; it's not a guessing game, which will mean they will put their money down because they understand the offering.
- Customers, especially in the digital age with social media sharing and comments, will be able to communicate your brand (it's promise, experience, and image) because you are consistent in presenting yourself.
- When customers understand your brand promise, image and experience, they are willing to pay for the value of what your products or services offer them.
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Market segmentation is widely defined as being a complex process consisting in two main phases:
- identification of broad, large markets
- segmentation of these markets in order to select the most appropriate target markets and develop Marketing mixes accordingly.
Everyone within the Marketing world knows and speaks of segmentation yet not many truly understand its underlying mechanics, thus failure is just around the corner. What causes this? It has been documented that most marketers fail the segmentation exam and start with a narrow mind and a bunch of misconceptions such as "all teenagers are rebels", "all elderly women buy the same cosmetics brands" and so on. There are many dimensions to be considered, and uncovering them is certainly an exercise of creativity.
The most widely employed model of market segmentation comprises 7 steps, each of them designed to encourage the marketer to come with a creative approach.
STEP 1: Identify and name the broad market
You have to have figured out by this moment what broad market your business aims at. If your company is already on a market, this can be a starting point; more options are available for a new business but resources would normally be a little limited.
The biggest challenge is to find the right balance for your business: use your experience, knowledge and common sense to estimate if the market you have just identified earlier is not too narrow or too broad for you.
STEP 2: Identify and make an inventory of potential customers' needs
This step pushes the creativity challenge even farther, since it can be compared to a brainstorming session.
What you have to figure out is what needs the consumers from the broad market identified earlier might have. The more possible needs you can come up with, the better.
Got yourself stuck in this stage of segmentation? Try to put yourself into the shoes of your potential customers: why would they buy your product, what could possibly trigger a buying decision? Answering these questions can help you list most needs of potential customers on a given product market.
STEP 3: Formulate narrower markets
McCarthy and Perreault suggest forming sub-markets around what you would call your "typical customer", then aggregate similar people into this segment, on the condition to be able to satisfy their needs using the same Marketing mix.
Start building a column with dimensions of the major need you try to cover: this will make it easier for you to decide if a given person should be included in the first segment or you should form a new segment. Also create a list of people-related features, demographics included, for each narrow market you form - a further step will ask you to name them.
There is no exact formula on how to form narrow markets: use your best judgement and experience. Do not avoid asking opinions even from non-Marketing professionals, as different people can have different opinions and you can usually count on at least those items most people agree on.
STEP 4: Identify the determining dimensions
Carefully review the list resulted form the previous step. You should have by now a list of need dimensions for each market segment: try to identify those that carry a determining power.
Reviewing the needs and attitudes of those you included within each market segment can help you figure out the determining dimensions.
STEP 5: Name possible segment markets
You have identified the determining dimensions of your market segments, now review them one by one and give them an appropriate name.
A good way of naming these markets is to rely on the most important determining dimension.
STEP 6: Evaluate the behavior of market segments
Once you are done naming each market segment, allow time to consider what other aspects you know about them. It is important for a marketer to understand market behavior and what triggers it. You might notice that, while most segments have similar needs, they're still different needs: understanding the difference and acting upon it is the key to achieve success using competitive offerings.
STEP 7: Estimate the size of each market segment
Each segment identified, named and studied during the previous stages should finally be given an estimate size, even if, for lack of data, it is only a rough estimate.
Estimates of market segments will come in handy later, by offering a support for sales forecasts and help plan the Marketing mix: the more data we can gather at this moment, the easier further planning and strategy will be.
These were the steps to segment a market, briefly presented. If performed correctly and thoroughly, you should now be able to have a glimpse of how to build Marketing mixes for each market segment.
This 7 steps approach to market segmentation is very simple and practical and works for most marketers. However, if you are curious about other methods and want to experiment, you should take a look at computer-aided techniques, such as clustering and positioning.
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