For a strategic consulting businesses (much as any other business), understanding and knowing your target market is key in creating effective marketing strategies and sustainable sales.
Since you should already have chosen your niche, spend some time thinking about the types of companies (or departments within companies) who would use your specialist services.
Once you have defined your target market, for example, “small business consulting” it is possible to further break that down to a specific segment.
For example, if you then add “within the medical industry” you further pinpoint your target. If you again add “insurance”, it further narrows the spectrum.
Determining Financial Viability
This type of targeted marketing allows you, the consulting business owner, to more accurately predict the potential earnings your business could access – it is far easier to do a survey, locally or nationally, on a specific type of business, than to try and estimate based on all the businesses in your target area!
This, in turn, allows more accurate financial forecasting when developing a business plan. In this example, you could assess the total number of small to medium businesses in your target area. Then, narrow this down to the medical concerns, and then to the medical insurance industry.
That would provide a fairly accurate picture of the potential earnings for your niche market.
Targeted Marketing Campaigns
Aside from determining viability for your new consulting concern, knowing your potential client, demographics and needs, helps enormously when developing a marketing plan.
Knowing who you are talking to helps to determine what you will say, and how. It also helps you to determine the appropriate media, and can vastly improve your potential sales.
With this type of information, it is completely possible to draw up a list of exactly the companies you aim to target, saving time and resources once you get started. You eliminate all those companies and organizations that do not fit the profile of your target market, and only focus on those that do!
Targets within Organizations
After you have narrowed down your market, figured out your marketing strategy based on that, and are ready to go, there is one more step to take care of.
When approaching any organization, it is crucial to speak to the key decision makers. It is no use spending time, money and energy wooing the wrong person within a company.
Find out, within the companies on your target list, who is responsible for making the decisions related to the products and services that you intend to offer them. Then, arrange to meet with that person.
Its better, in the long run, to wait a few days, or even weeks, and speak to the right person, than to experience the frustration of delivering perfect pitches, only to be told that the person you pitched to will have to refer to someone else!
Bottom line? When developing a consulting marketing plan, it is worth your while to do your homework! In the long run, the time you spend on it will save you time, money and energy.