As an IT company, you don’t care where your new customer is or what they do. Every organisation needs IT systems, so potentially every organisation could be a prospect. But of course, that’s not how it is.
Most IT companies do distinguish in size and sometimes region, but that’s about it. The reason behind this is fear. The fear of missing out on a new customer if you focus on a specific target group or type of organisation. Imagine that just that company is not in your target group knocking at your door.
That last remark is not true for several reasons. Companies no longer simply knock on IT companies’ doors for new services; the range is too vast. And not choosing a target group ensures that potential customers don’t recognise anything of themselves in an IT company.The broader your offer, approach, and target group, the more unrecognisable to your new customers.
Choose your battle
You have to choose the best for specific types of companies, and the basis of that choice is a combination of who you are as a company and your customers. You become recognisable bychoosing and acting on this and putting yourself in the market.
New customers engage in conversation with you because of that recognizability and your understanding of their type of organisation. In marketing terms, social proof comes in; you’re already doing it for similar companies. For your potential new customers, this has the following positive influences:
- They can benefit from the knowledge about the type of organisation you have gained from their “competitors” or industry.
- They start to belong. By nature, people want to belong to a group, preferably to groups with similar characteristics. Join the club.
Apart from recognising your new customers, there are other reasons to choose a specific group of organisations. They lie more in the distinctive character, the choice of your marketing mix, your messaging towards the target group and your sales approach.
Approaching your new customer
As said, new customers never just knock on your door. The buying process of your customer is through the years. Customers’ buying process nowadays takes place for about 60% – 70% online. So you need to be findable and recognisable. Some more considerations come into play with your potential customer that you need to take into account with your direct approach:
- How aware and skilled are they in your field, in your services? Do they understand the background and value of your services, and can they do this themselves?
- Where are they in their needs? Is it still latent, or is it already clear to them, and are they actively seeking a solution?
Knowing the dynamics of your customer in his buying process is of great importance for a successful direct market approach.
The way you profile, offer your value and content for them is critical. An unaware buyer who doesn’t know about you needs to inform you completely differently than a conscious buyer.The unaware buy needs to be triggered by you in his business. And for the aware buyer who is already orienting himself, it is essential to demonstrate more value and distinction in your field of expertise and services.
Binoculars and mountains
Finding your new customer
Apart from your customer’s buying process, it is also imperative to know where your new customer is. How can you trigger him or inform him further? Here too, making choices is an essential part of your success. As an example, most IT companies in terms of social media marketing are mainly active on LinkedIn. That certainly has an effect, but what if your customers and solution are targeting all sun blind installation companies in the Netherlands?
They are not on LinkedIn at all. They are usually small (5 – 10 FTE) and focus mainly on consumers. Their social media marketing is primarily through Facebook and Instagram. So that’s where they are. That’s where you need to run your own social media campaign.
The size of a company is also important in how you actively approach them. Smaller companies are more likely to be approached by phone. You then trigger them with a very targeted message and solution for their type of company. The larger organisations orient themselves mainly, long and wide.
Pains, gains and fears
Your choice of ideal customer size also determines the content of your campaign. Larger organisations are primarily looking for business value and recognition for their organisationand want to be informed. Smaller organisations are more looking for what they can earn from your solution and what immediate problems it solves. Their buying process is shorter.
They are not online looking for a solution except perhaps when the acute pain, the need, is very significant. Larger organisations are more concerned with the long term, with the impact on their organisation, with developments in the market. Here fear plays more of a role. “Am I making the right choices, am I missing something, what are my competitors doing” and so on.
Knowing what your potential customers are doing, how they orient themselves and where their pain, profit and fear lie is therefore of great importance for the success of your direct commercial approach. How do you find out, and how do you organise that properly? We are happy to inform you about that, in a general sense via our white paper, but specifically for you via a 1st new business scan.
As a commercial consultancy firm for IT companies, we like to inform our target group about the latest portfolio innovation, marketing, and sales developments. Want to hear and learn more about this? Read our other blogs or have a chat with one of us.