Are your sales efforts focused on mass marketing? Do you send the same marketing messages to everyone? Marketing to everyone with the same message and using the same vehicle to deliver your message is sub-optimal to taking a segmented approach.

Segmenting your market is the first step in providing a foundation to build your marketing program. 

So how do you segment the market? The ideal market segment needs to pass certain tests in order to be viable. Understanding the number of potential customers, the stability of the segment, the ability to reach prospects, the size of the segment and ability to produce the revenue are top items to consider.

Then there are a number of ways you can divide up the market. Taking a geographical approach is sometimes a good place to start. For example, if you are selling gloves and hats to stay warm, Florida and Hawaii may be segments you avoid. 

Demographic segmentation is used to divide the market into groups. For businesses that sell to consumers, this could include variables such as age, gender, income, occupation and family size. For businesses that sell to other businesses, this could include items such as type of industry, size of the company, annual revenue or specific issues that may affect one segment but not all.

There are many benefits to segmenting your market. First and foremost, you will have a much higher likelihood of better matching the needs of potential customers. Focusing on the right segments can net you a higher market share and help you grow your small business.

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