Unless you have limitless resources targeting is critical. Selecting which market segments you will choose to focus on initially is an important step and one that enables you to maximise return on your investment. Targeting is a little like the application of topical treatments. No, it is, really. Stick with me on this one.
Whether you busy yourself delivering pharmaceutical care directly to patients or you sell products or services into the pharmacy market itself, you will be thinking about market segmentation. Market segmentation is the process of separating the total market for your product into groups that are homogeneous within and heterogeneous without. That is, the same within and different without. There. Glad we got that out of the way. Now, what does it really mean and is it useful to you?
How do you make decisions in your business? If you are basing decision making on beliefs founded on limited personal experience, limited group experience or third hand experiences you are missing the real opportunity to learn from the people who have the answers, your customers.
Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London is reported as having coined the phrase, ‘The customer is always right’ in 1909. It is often wheeled out when trying to convince hard done by employees of one thing or another. It is often misunderstood and misused however, which causes all sorts of problems. My suspicion is that Harry simplified to aid wider understanding. If you use the phrase to refer to customers in the plural rather than the individual it makes sense. In fact it is as important and useful as it is famous and lasting. It succinctly captures the idea of market orientation.
Accidents happen and we can’t do anything to stop them. We live in a chaotic world. The best we can do is aim to limit their occurrence and severity. Where running a business is concerned this becomes an even more pressing concern as we try to remain profitable over the long term. If we can manage the risk of an accident in any part of our business then we generally do. We wouldn’t accidentally manage our financial accounts, or accidentally complete our CD register. We wouldn’t leave it to chance.