B-to-B: When Small Is Big
Happily, there needn't be much guesswork: You simply profile your existing customers in a large, data-rich universe of business sites and employee names. This is best done by matching your customer list against cooperative business databases or against a compiled business universe. This process analyzes the types and sizes of the businesses that buy your products. It shows your relative penetration of these markets within various employee size ranges. If you share transaction-level data, the analysis points you objectively to the SIC and employee size buckets that historically have given you the best ROI on your marketing dollar.
Armed with this rich data, you can target the prospects who behave like your best customers, minimizing risk and maximizing profitability of your prospecting.
Understanding the true makeup of your existing customers—micro, small, medium and large—is the first step to growing your business profitably, as it allows you to clearly align your investment with varying degrees of opportunity. We are quick to quote the unchallenged law of direct marketing espoused some 40 years ago by direct marketing legend Ed Mayer: "Success in direct marketing is dependent upon 40 percent lists, 40 percent offer and 20 percent everything else."
3. Know How to
Mix Market Segments With Channels for Maximum Potential
Not every product or service is optimally presented by each of the available channels providing access to SMB firms. But there are enough of them targeting the market that you should test and measure several. The three most effective proactive channel options you should test are:
- direct mail
We say "proactive" to distinguish from Internet search, which inherently is a passive marketing channel. The three channels discussed here require you to take an action directed toward your prospects to get a lead or make a sale.