Australian SMBs: Make "Focus" the heart of your go to market strategy

In B2B marketing, being a small fish in a big pond isn't fun. You get pushed around by the big fish, bullied, picked on, its tough to win in a fight. Think about the last time you were in a sales call and positioned your company's value proposition with a client. Did you have to say "Ahhh yes, we are like {insert name of your sector's dominant player} but cheaper/more flexible service/we bundle heaps of extra stuff for free"...sound familiar? 

Every time you are compelled to do this you are giving your competitor a "free kick", you are acknowledging they are the number one team in town. In many cases non dominant players are forced to compete on price, putting pressure on margins.

So what's the solution? dominate your marketPick a pond that you can dominate. Don't ask how big is my market, ask instead how small is the market I need to play in, if I am to dominate, if I am to become the big fish.

So lets say for example you make mobile computers...thats a pretty tough market to dominate and there are lots of powerful big fish. Instead, use focus as your strategy and market to the Mining sector, or the Agricultural sector emphasising your mobile product's ruggedised design features. 

So how do you figure out how small your market needs to be to dominate? You need to work out a couple of things. Firstly, what's my share in the market I am playing in at the moment:

  • How big is my current target market?
  • How many customers do I currently have? 
  • Whats my current market share?

...and then figure out:

  • In my focus sector, what would a dominant market share look like given the market characteristics? Is it 20%, 30% or 50%?
  • How many customers can I realistically service given my sales, support and delivery capabilities in the next 12-24 months.
  • Multiply the dominant share required by your capability to service customers and you have the size of the market that will allow you to dominate.

Almost inevitably these calculations will yield a much smaller market size than you started with. Focusing on this smaller market and focusing your sales and marketing efforts to dominate this smaller sector will mean the benefits of being the big fish will accumulate to you, over time, instead.  

Australian SMBs must use focus as a strategy

A couple of words of warning. The market has to recognise itself as a real market you can't simply invent a market segment and decide to dominate it.

Similarly, this approach of "Focus as a Strategy" works best in markets that are still relatively immature and growing strongly, it works less well in very mature markets.    

If you find yourself struggling to compete with the big fish in your market, change your approach, devote your energies to a smaller sub market and direct your sales and marketing energies to dominate that sector.   


Topics: b2b marketing strategy market selection