How to see the wood for the trees: How characterising your client base can help define your go-to-market strategy
You have a great product. Technically, the performance is better than expected. You know you can manufacture it at acceptable cost. You have settled on your target market. So far so good.
So, who’s your customer? Being able to answer that question may be the difference between success, and the whole house of cards falling down.
Ultimately, to have a viable business, you need to be able to provide a product or service to a customer who derives value from that product or service such that you can sell it for more than it costs you to provide it. It is important therefore to understand the customer, and the value they will perceive in what you are offering. Further, you need to understand who the customer is (who is paying, i.e. a hospital) as opposed to the consumer or user (who may not be paying but will be benefiting, i.e. a surgeon).
Whether you have a medical device that could go into hospitals or be sold through insurance companies, a new healthy beverage that could go direct to consumer or be sold in offices, or a new coating product that you are convinced has an opportunity somewhere within the automotive supply chain, understanding and being able to articulate who your customer is, is vital.
There are many factors to consider when identifying customers, however here’s three key areas to think about…
Understand the Ecosystem
For any product or industry, it is important to understand the ecosystem or supply chain and define where within it you can play. For example, getting a new smart packaging product to market involves many different suppliers, each of whom may be a potential customer for your new technology. Depending on the benefits and value you are promising, you may need to target anywhere from the NFC antenna manufacturer to the filler or the brand owner.
Define the Benefits
For each of your potential customers within an ecosystem, the benefits and the perceived value they derive from their interaction with you may well be different. Is it the speed of production for the NFC chip manufacturer, or the fact the technology also has aesthetic qualities that appeal to the brand owner that might be more compelling? Are you actually a threat elsewhere in the chain?
Ultimately, you want to identify those for whom your key benefits are most compelling
Test, Test, Test
You now have hypotheses along the lines of
“I believe that within market X, customer segment Y is the most interesting because they will perceive the value of benefits A, B and C”
Time to get out there and test!
©Fresh Perspectiv 2018