Following OpenView’s theme of putting on quarterly forums for our portfolio companies, OpenView is dedicating a few days next week to discussing the world of Market Segmentation. OpenView has been focused on providing not only expansion capital but value add to our portfolio companies in all operating aspects of a business, from recruiting support to lead generation services to overall business growth strategies. The market segmentation forum is one of the ways we bring together our portfolio companies for a hands on learning experience as well as a way for them to engage with one another.
What is market segmentation exactly? It essentially allows your sales/marketing dollars to be put to work in the best possible way, in front on the best possible decision maker. Done right market segmentation allows for the highest rate of return from your marketing and sales expenditures.
I found the following particularly helpful in my approach to gaining more insight into market segmentation(www.businessplans.org/Segment.html):
- Strategic – your offering is in some way important to the enterprise mission, objectives and operational oversight. For example, a service that helped evaluate capital investment opportunities would fall into this domain of influence. The purchase decision for this category of offering will be made by the prospect’s top level executive management.
- Operations – your offering affects the general operating policies and procedures. Examples might be, an employee insurance plan or a corporate wide communications system. This purchase decision will be made by the prospect’s top level operations management.
- Functional – your offering deals with a specific function within the enterprise such as data processing, accounting, human resources, plant maintenance, engineering design, manufacturing, inventory control, etc. This is the most likely domain for a product or service, but you must recognize that the other domains may also get involved if the purchase of the product or service becomes a high profile decision. This purchase decision will be made by the prospect’s functional management.
See you at the forum!