Defining a Target Market for your B2B marketing efforts, a TABTF guide

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If you’re looking to use marketing resources in the form of time, people and budget to generate leads, inbound marketing results, or any version thereof, then you will find an 80% increase in your probability of success by only having a well-prepared target market segment to hand.

If you’re curious as to what a Target Market and Ideal Client Profile look and sound like, where it originates from and how it systematically unfolds to inform more than 80% of your marketing efforts, here’s everything you need to know about how to define a b2b Target Market.


Target Market in B2B marketing: what is it?

A b2b Target Market is a macro view of the audience that shares a set of traits, including:

Job title: function and seniority level for example CTO
Business Type: 51 to 200 employees
Geography: USA
Sector: Education Assessment / edtech
Audience: 700 CTOs from these company types in this sector based in that geography.

TABTF creates a macro version of the Target Market and a Micro version of the same Target Market so that we can best understand the audience from as many perspectives as possible. Macro looks at a broader audience of 500 to 1000. Those 500 to 1000 people are made up of an Ideal Client – and we prepare a profile to ensure a thorough look from a micro perspective.


The Macro view


Consider that your Target Market is a group of people who share similar (enough) traits that the entire audience are doppelgangers of each other. Talking to one is a carbon copy conversation with the others; decades of us undertaking market research has confirmed this. This is the macro view of your audience.

The Macro view of a Target Market is a clearly defined segment containing specifics on things like:
Job title: both the function and the level of seniority.
The Business profile: whether the business is small, medium, large, based on the employee count.
Geography: culture and location of your target market play a part.


For example, you might select a Target Market of CIO decision-makers from digital banks with 25 to 75 employees, innovating and building out the next phase of their online offerings. These people would all be facing a uniquely similar environment, challenges, goals, set of restrictions, and toolset.



The Micro View


Consider that the Ideal Client Profile represents the specific CIO, currently working in that digital bank with 50 employees – 6 of which are on his team and all remote working across 4 geographies. He is a physicist turned data scientist, promoted into management and now acting CIO of a digital bank. He’s 40ish. Multi-lingual. Overworked. And not sure he made the right choice about management – he’s more comfortable with technology than he is people. His mission is to successfully scale the tech project for the digital bank over 6, 18 and 24 months. He recently found himself with a dotted line to the board. It’s new for him, but he’s up for it. He’s Make-it-Happen Martin.

The Ideal Client Profile:

  is a clearly defined micro look at the individual who makes up the best possible decision-maker to realise the commercial goals.
It has two distinct parts:
Personality – this insight tells us exactly WHAT to put into our marketing
Activity – this insight tells us exactly WHERE To put our marketing

The quality and depth inform 80% of our marketing efforts of your Ideal Client Profile. When we find 500 to 1000 of the same type of individual, we have a market segment. And thus an audience that will have a hyper-relevant experience from your marketing campaign.



Creating a b2b Target Market Database


The total number of individuals in our Target Market Database is calculated based on the commercial targets.

Here’s how we do it:

Number of new clients = Revenue target ÷ Average transactional value

For example, if we want to generate €500,000 in new revenue over the next 12 months, this would be unpacked into the total number of clients multiplied by the average transactional value of a business product/service for a particular target market.

So, €500,000 in revenue = 10 sales (new clients) @ €50k each

Enter the 1:20 ratio.
We’ve been doing this for a while. Long enough for us to learn that for every 20 perfect-for-you prospects you appear in front of, one will buy your product/service.

If we want 10 new sales/clients, we need a total audience of 200 perfect for us prospects that we engage in a marketing campaign using 6 meaningful touchpoints over 12 weeks to generate the 10 qualified sales leads. Factors apply… but this is a good enough guideline.

The maths, formulas and calculations we use are from more than 2 decades of marketing experience in the b2b space. It is clear – the more focused, hyper-relevant and targeted you get, the fewer resources required and the more viable ROI generated.

If you’re worried about the GDPR implication of creating a database of high value leads for b2b, we cover that topic here.


Final Thoughts


We know there’s no sense in trying to communicate to EVERYONE the SAME WAY in marketing. Consider how many times every day you ignore content that isn’t hyper-relevant to your life, your interests, your joys, your pains. The desire to see only what is relevant to ourselves is part of what makes us human.

Let’s let go of FOMO. Those other five Target Market Segments you want to sell to? They will still be there in 16 weeks. So pick one for now. Focus on it. Love it. Understand it. Define it in such a way that your communication/marketing is hyper-relevant, and it works. Then you can go back and rinse/repeat the process with the other segments. Doing marketing this way is the best use of your resources.

So here’s a quick recap of how to define your b2b target market:
The Macro View: Containing Job Title, Business Profile and Geography
The Micro View: your Ideal Client Profile
Using the calculation Number of new clients = Revenue target ÷ Average transactional value and the 1:20 ratio, determine how many of these ideal prospects you will need to engage with

When you have a clearly defined target market in mind, you will find greater success with any b2b Marketing Campaign.

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