How To Identify Your Target Market With Three Simple Data Points

Part 1

Wouldn’t it be great if word-of-mouth and referrals were the only leads our businesses ever needed to survive?! Unfortunately, we know that in the business-to-business world, it’s just not feasible for a business to survive only on inbound inquires. As B2B marketers, business developers, and salespeople, we must put in a fair amount of elbow-grease to generate a flow of interest; in other words, it takes a lot of time and effort to ensure our pipelines stay full.

The responsibility of keeping a pipeline full of prospects is no easy feat. There is a world filled with companies that could be your future buyers. Where do you start? How do you identify the businesses that are your target market?

There are two ways to approach this question – the method that will be the best fit for your company depends on your starting point.

  • Starting Point #1: You have a list of current and/or past customers AND you want to continue selling to customers who are similar.
  • Starting Point #2: You are starting from scratch. This means, you do not have a list of current and/or past customers OR you have a list, but you do not want to reach this group, instead, you want to target a new segment.

If you are beginning at Starting Point #1, to identify the businesses that are your target market, you will do an exercise called “mirroring”. In databasing, mirroring is when you use a current database to create a brand-new database with records that have similar qualities – like you’re creating a “mirror image” of the current database.

Essentially, mirroring a database is taking an existing database and making a second that has the same (or very similar) criteria, to include additional records. This is a great way to grow in the same vertical. To create the highest quality mirrored list possible, you need to define three critical data points – geography, industry, and company size.

  1. Geography – can be defined by state, city, county, or zip code
    • Where are these customers located? Is their location a relevant part of their buying process?  
  2. Industry
    • Are there similar industries that your customers fall into? Maybe you have a large portion of customers who are in the manufacturing industry. Look for trends and take note of them.
  3. Size – can be defined by employee count, revenue ranges, or physical square-footage
    • Again, trends are important to note here. Think outside of the box when it comes to the size of your customers. They might vary in the number of employees they have, but maybe their annualized revenues fall into similar ranges.

After you have gathered intel from these three data points, you will have the information needed to create your mirrored list. If you have experience building databases, rock’n’roll! If not, find a trustworthy provider, such as Dunlap Marketing, that can build the database for you. When your database is built, we always suggest going back to scrub it for duplicate records, current clients, etc. Once scrubbing is finished, you will be left with a brand-new list of prospects that fall in your target marketing.

If you want to identify your target market, but you don’t have a current database to use for mirroring, Starting Point #2 is where you’ll begin. Check back next week for a guide on how to identify your target market from scratch.  

Six Steps to Redefine Your Target Market

Who is Your New “Best” Customer?

What to do when your current customers are negatively impacted by the economic state and they no longer need or can afford your services

Between oil prices and the pandemic, some businesses have been turned upside down.  Our best customers are no longer our best customers, they have been greatly impacted by either or both of these major economic bombs.  For our businesses to survive, we now have to figure out how to identify a new target market, also known as our best prospects and customers.

We will be discussing in detail the six steps to redefine your target market. Those steps consist of identifying second and third tier prospects and customers, creating your list, researching industry classifications, identifying patterns, researching similar companies that match patterns, and building a list based on research findings.

Let’s start by thinking about who our second or third best customer was prior to the drop in oil prices or the pandemic.  In doing this, focus on who these customers are by identifying what industries they might be in. For example, many of our customers are in different industries and are B2B with us as we perform marketing research services for them.  This exercise is not impactful if all of your best customers are inside the same industry.  Think in terms of “best customers” by different industry types.

My suggestion is to look into your current customer list and flag those second and third tier customers, ideally less impacted by our current state of the economy.  Once flagged, create a list of these accounts and include their address, city, and state.  With this information you are able to research their industry classification.  Document industry classification for each and you might start seeing a pattern of industry segments.  It is helpful but not critical to see patterns.

If you’re starting to see a pattern that you trust; next, think about refining your new target market.  Most common ways to refine include adding annual revenue and/or employee counts into the equation.  Geography might also be helpful.  Once you have captured all the necessary data, your final step will be to match other companies that mirror the final product of your research.

If you do not immediately see a pattern, consider adding more customers to your research list.  Or, you might find that you have a broader profile of customers.  When this is the case, often it becomes helpful to tighten up your requirements by making sure other elements are included in the search.  Often these include annual revenue, number of employees and geography, the same as above.  These elements are important in broad profiles because they allow you to make best efforts at zeroing in on your potential customer a bit more.

The final step is to build a new list of potential prospects based on the research work just done.  There are several list tools available to do this or Dunlap Marketing will be happy to do it for you.  The result is you have a spreadsheet of new prospect companies.  Now its time to reach out and promote the message of who you are and why these prospects should consider your products or services.  At this point you have adjusted your business based on world events, and you are on your way to making new “best” customers.

How to Restart Your Business Now

Written by Audrey Tuttle

We are living through a remarkable time that will go down in the history books and be studied through generations to come. The Coronavirus will not only be remembered for its immediate effect on humanity, but also for its destructive impact on our economy and business structures as a whole. It would be a powerful statement to explain to your business partners and to future generations that during this historic event, your business not only survived the wrath of the Coronavirus but it thrived in its aftermath. Don’t wait, restart your business now!

As businesses are reopening and trying to settle themselves into their pre-Corona state, there is no better time to ensure the success of your company. Dunlap Marketing’s Recovery Program will do that and more.

With our extremely affordable Recovery Program options, you will have the opportunity to work with the successful team at Dunlap Marketing who has been working with companies like yours since 1996. We will provide a four-month prospecting and appointment setting program as well as outbound prospecting phone calls with permission-based email follow-ups. We will take care of your recovery needs and put your business back on track towards success.

“Each day you don’t prospect is a day in the future you don’t have anything to sell.”

Mike Dunlap, President

Provided by Dunlap Marketing:

  • 24 years of knowledge and experience in B2B appointment setting and B2B lead generation services
  • Onsite and ongoing management supervision of your campaign – all work is performed in our Houston office
  • Staff members are W2 employees of the company who have an average of 12+ years of appointment setting and lead generation work
  • Assistance in developing an effective call message (script)
  • All campaign programming, setup, and development work

This program is only being offered for a limited time, so take advantage of this great deal while it lasts. Not only are you able to choose which of the three recovery options is the best fit for your needs, you also get the bonus of 25% off normal pricing with each of the programs.

Your business’s success will be an affirmation to your customers and competition on your ability to face adversity. Be the business that goes down in the history books, not as the company that fell apart from this unfortunate virus but the one that pushed past the challenge and flourished in its existence. The future of your business depends on the choices you make today, make the right choice and check out Dunlap Marketing’s Recovery Program. We look forward to working with you.

For questions or inquiries, contact us online. Or, reach out to Mike Dunlap at miked@dunlapmarketing.com, 281.496.9870 x 140 or Kaitlin Dunlap Cuevas at kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com, 281.496.9870 x 180.

Applying Salesmanship 101 Principles

Updated – December 2019

Since this article was originally posted in March 2017, much remains the same with our five-year client. The program has continued to grow in the United States – Dunlap Marketing also has the pleasure of supporting the Canadian team now. The process is unchanged, but has been further refined and additional database files have been built and added to the program.

Defining your target marketing, tactfully and respectfully reaching out to them, then making appropriate follow-up steps are the epitome of salesmanship 101 principles. Nothing fancy, just effective.

Original Article – March 2017

An international oil and gas company, and two-year Dunlap Marketing client, has proven when it comes to selling, salesmanship 101 principals still remain. Dunlap Marketing provides an integral function of making prospecting telephone calls into businesses around the US that have large and medium fleets of vehicles. The objective is to schedule phone or face-to-face appointments with interested prospects and our client’s regional sales managers.

“You guys are on fire in my area! Two proposals went out this week from your leads.” – Mid-states region

Process:

  • Before calling began, Dunlap researched and built a national database consisting of our client’s target prospects, based on industry-type and fleet size
  • Once the database was built, Dunlap called to identify the person responsible for decisions relating to fuel card programs
  • Through tactful persistence, Dunlap makes ongoing telephone calls to communicate with this person – the goal being to learn how their company’s current fuel card program works and identifying potential interest in meeting with our client’s regional sales managers
  • Upon request of the prospect, the Dunlap team will email additional information about the program to prospects who want to learn more before scheduling an appointment
  • Throughout the course of calling, Dunlap adds additional database records to the master list. New records can come from either our client’s CRM or through additional research
  • The ultimate goal continues to be scheduling appointments, with a major focus on new business development

“Thanks for the leads Mike. I sang your company’s praises last week at our national sales meeting. I think your staff does a great job.” – Southeast region

Additional Value-Adds:

  • Maintaining CRM application to properly track/manage appointments we set
  • Blitz programs isolating certain events or markets that include a targeted initiative around selling more fleet fuel card programs
  • Internal, weekly product training for continuous education of the Dunlap staff

“Our sales manager was able to speak with all of the calls scheduled! AND one of them is likely to close a deal with us! Nice job! – Marketing Manager

The success of this campaign is based on applying basic salesmanship 101 tactics. Proper planning, messaging, cold calling, strategic follow up calls, and use of email correspondence are the building blocks of selling.

For questions or inquiries, contact us online. Or, reach out to Mike Dunlap at miked@dunlapmarketing.com, 281.496.9870 x 140 or Kaitlin Dunlap Cuevas at kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com, 281.496.9870 x 180.