When starting a business, there’s always a particular audience you have in mind. One that will immediately take to the product or service you provide; where the customer journey is short and the sale is easy. However, as your business grows, your initial target market may shift.
For example, restaurants that add vegan and gluten-free options to the menu. Or a women’s fashion brand that now sells men’s clothing. You can expand your company’s demographic to reach new consumers by getting outside of your comfort zone and marketing to a new audience.
We spoke to JJ Savarino, the VP of Marketing and Vendor Management at Alchemy Technology Group, to gain a better understanding of how he markets outside of the norm and the best tactics he uses to move leads through the funnel.
Exploring New Territory
It all starts with thinking outside of the box. The following are some strategies for reaching new people:
Research the Target Market
If you don’t understand your potential customers, you can’t really sell to them. In addition to researching your target market, you need to look at consumers in other markets as well. As JJ puts it, “We are proud of the value that we bring our existing customers but we know that we need to find new customers if we want to grow. One of our challenges is identifying net new people and especially net new personas if they aren't the same persona that we're accustomed to helping.”
After researching the new target market, you can start developing campaigns and strategies that are customized to the needs of the new audience.
Armed with the knowledge of how this new group feels, thinks, and behaves in purchasing decisions, you are ready to attract, engage, and convert.
Leveraging the Right Tools
It doesn’t matter how well you know a new audience if you don’t have the right tools to reach them. If you have had little success prospecting through cold calls or emails, it might be time to change up the approach. JJ had some good suggestions on this. “One of the ways that we've been able to address challenges is by partnering with a company called Relevize. They have a great tool and great expertise that allows you to leverage the network of LinkedIn to target very specific personas that are outside of your circle of relationships so you can introduce your value proposition to net new people,” he said.
Using Relevize, JJ has been able to get in front of people that aren’t in his current Rolodex. The same messaging that has failed through cold calling and emails, has had a 200% increase in success via LinkedIn. It has given them a new form of networking that’s incredibly valuable.
Looking Outside of Traditional Roles
Another challenge when marketing to a new audience is selling to a buyer you are not familiar with and one that may be established outside of the traditional roles. Ten years ago it was always an IT Director or CIO, but IT buyers have drastically changed.
With the expanse of information technology throughout organizations, many decision-makers lie all over the map. From human resources to accounting, supply chain and marketing, technology is a force everyone is dealing with these days.
Even though you might be entirely accustomed to what the IT buyer wants, a new audience begs for a new approach. As JJ easily put it, “The HR buyer or the marketing buyer may have a different way of evaluating the effectiveness or the success of a project.”
Driving Pipeline as a Partner
Once you have found your new niche audience, how do you effectively move them through the customer journey? Here are a few tips to maximize pipeline growth:
Leveraging New Technology
If you’re trying to maximize your pipeline, there are a few ways to do it. The first is to leverage technology to help your current customer base solve a new problem. In other words, the people you already provide value to and already have an existing relationship with.
Even though these are active customers, this is a net new sale because it’s a new product. However, there is only a finite amount of pipeline you can build that way. JJ had this to say about growing your pipeline, “If you're going to really expand the breadth of the pipeline that you can generate, you've got to get outside that existing customer base. One of the great ways to do that is to target net new contacts and net new personas. LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to get your messaging out in front of new people. At some point, you have to go to white space, and Relevize is one of the most effective tools that we've used for white space prospecting.”
Moving Leads Through the Funnel
When it comes to effectively moving leads through the funnel, it all comes down to hard work. It’s nothing too complex. Once you have found a new audience and understand how to market to them, it’s time to roll up your sleeves.
A combination of individual outreach and old-fashioned email marketing, in tandem with relevant marketing activities, is a good way to get the ball rolling.
Expanding the Expertise
If you run a smaller business, then you probably understand how important it is to leverage the expertise of others. Proper delegation keeps the train moving.
Using the experience of professionals expands the expertise of your own teams, which enables a greater rate of success with your campaigns. As JJ commented about Relevize, “So, it's a force multiplier because it's allowing you to not have your own resources work on it. You've got outside resources working on this who bring expertise to the table to help make it successful. And it gives your team more time to focus on value.”
Although your business may have explored many marketing avenues, you may be missing the experience of doing it right.
Putting the Pedal to the Metal
It’s easier said than done to just venture out and start networking with a whole new audience. There are several key steps you can’t miss in the process; the most important being the first, which is getting to know your customers.
If you don’t take the time to research potential new markets and understand the types of buyers these people are, your campaigns will most likely fall flat. Spend the time upfront to understand how to craft your messaging, and you’ll waste less time down the road on disinterested consumers.
Lastly, know that there is a vast toolbox at your disposal. Companies like Relevize help to leverage your expertise and introduce new opportunities that you may never have been able to access. This, combined with a firm understanding of your buyer, and growth is an inevitable outcome.