When S, M, L, Is Not Good Enough

Maybe on the surface you believe that your customers and your potential customers all have a pretty similar set of needs and wants.  You may be perplexed to find that there are unexpected gaps in your success rate with certain customer types.   No worries, knowing what you did not know before (or learning that you may have been wrong about what you assumed to be true) is no reason for discouragement!  In fact, you may have just found a valuable nugget for focusing your innovation opportunity exploration!

Maybe those potential customers are not interested in what you are peddling because they have a vastly different way in which they need to “consume” what you are trying to bring them.  This is a series on five key areas to explore in order to find innovation opportunities that will acellerate your business growth.  This is the third and final in the series around element #1, customer segmentation. (If you missed one  and two  you can still check them out) .

Sales teams are keen to knowing in the B2B world that it is critical to know not only who the decision maker is, but to also know a lot about who they depend upon as influencers to their decisions.  For another day and another topic, this is where marketers can bring social media to play as a powerful asset within your overall strategy.   In fact, social media can be a great way to engage these diverse humans and  glean insight into their unique dreams, aspirations, frustrations and needs – and as a result better connect your solution to their needs.

The existence of these complex decision making structures – made up of a variety of roles and individuals – tend to exist in nearly all businesses.  Digging deeply into the different roles within an organization that influence a decision and gleaning insight into what they need or want to do their job can be very insightful for creating innovative offer models that enable accelerated growth for your business.

An good example of this type of “offer innovation” comes from the wireless networking technology world.

For a long time, most vendors in this space (and it was pretty much all of them) seemed to believe that they could win over small/medium customers just by offering a diminutive version (smaller, cheaper) of their product – the “Goldilocks” strategy I like to call it.   However, this strategy did not really work that well.

Then, enter a few startup companies that recognized that smaller companies had a growing appetite for the very same things as big ones, but they were not being satiated by current options in the marketplace!  These innovators dug in to figure out why these clients were not buying more at a time when mobile device proliferation was going through the roof.  There had to be a market opportunity hiding somewhere in this scenario.

The startups paid close attention to the unique differences in the buying “clans” of these smaller companies.  They recognized that small/mid-sized players had needs that were just as sophisticated as their larger counterparts on one hand but on the other hand has some unique differences in their support and staffing models. Sepcifically, the smaller companies had significantly smaller IT teams with individuals who had to wear many different hats.  These teams were comprised more of IT and networking generalists and less likely to have the luxury of focused expertise specific to wifi network design, availability and security.

These startups responded, their innovation took the form of a new offer structure – they introduced cloud based solutions with managed services designed specifically to meet these potential clients’ needs.  No longer did these clients have to buy premise based equipment and learn how to provision and manage it in an increasingly complex world.  The market has really taken off for these players since and there seems no end in sight to the insatiable need for wireless networking!

I’d love for you to start a discussion here or share with me  your concerns or challenges to find this type of opportunity. Are there opportunities you are missing that could be addressed with offer innovation?


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