I’m starting today…

Originally posted on Quartz:

I am 61 years old and I have been doing paid work since I was 16. I’ve been a grocery clerk, camp counselor, film projectionist, sound man, light man, cameraman, freight loader, computer programmer, teacher, operations research analyst, manager, salesman, writer, consultant, and for the last 30 years I’ve been a securities trader and hedge fund manager.

Yet I have only once gotten work by answering an ad. Even then I was turned down at first, but it led to a different job six months later after I established a relationship with the hiring manager who had first said no. And I’ve never been asked for a resume until after I received an offer, and then only because HR always needs something to put in their files.  I haven’t needed a resume to get work because my resume doesn’t reveal my work. I am my work, and to know my…

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Marketing is a numbers game, right?  The wider you cast your net, the more leads you’ll obtain, therefore, the more sales you’ll ultimately close.

Sounds right.

It’s not.

B2B marketers who launch campaigns to broad audiences increase their costs while reducing their chances of success.  Why?  Because no single message resonates with everyone.  Therefore, your efforts are lost on a large portion of your audience.  This creates waste:  wasted time for the audience.  Wasted time for your organization. 

If you want to get more qualified leads that drive real sales opportunity you must focus on a very few highly lucrative segments.  Follow this 5-step process:

Step 1. Do the research and pick a small number of prospect groups that have the problem your product solves.  Talk to your customers. Talk to your competitors’ customers. Go to conferences and events. Talk to analysts.  Read industry magazines, journals and websites.  Learn the market.  (Sorry, but there’s no silver bullet here.  You must do the work).

Step 2. Identify these prospects based on demographics by which you can segment:  industry, title, company size, location, etc., and that represent the most lucrative opportunities. In other words, focus on the segments you can identify and those that will spend the money.

Step 3. Develop buyer personas based on the information you gathered so that everyone in your organization knows what you know and will remain focused.  Creating and distributing buyer personas drives informed focus for the whole company.

Step 4. Create the messaging that addresses the single problem for the single buyer persona and distribute that message to that buyer.

Step 5. Test.  Measure.  Adjust.  Gain the data that will guide your marketing optimization within each segment before moving onto another segment.  Master each segment, message and buyer persona one at a time.  Leverage the learning from each, but be prepared to account for potential differences among each segment.

Less is more.


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