We could get carried away by client volume when we are starting up a business or into any entrepreneurship. The argument between quality and quantity is hence the negotiating factor in this discussion. The alignment with the company vision short, and long term is the umbilical cord to maintain client profile and volume. Right ways to find the ideal marketing mix could be based based on 4Ps of marketing ( Product ,price ,place ,promotion) and Lauterborn's 4C s ( consumer ,cost. convenience, communication).When it comes to client profiling its vital to integrate our deep rooted vision into the model.
Some Probing Questions for Vision
Who are my clients I need to serve ?
Whom does my business benefit?
What section of population am I serving?
What is the social impact?
How do I get ROI and in what duration ?
How do I sustain my business and make the growth plan?
How do I foresee my growth story in short , mid and long term?
What are the contingencies I need to cater for?
Client classification as per vision:
Social vision: These are the clients who are benefitted by the business enterprise and belong to various social and economic strata. Some relevant questions are:-
How does the product impact the society ?
Is there a benefit to common population ?
Will my product be affordable to all ?
What is the environmental Impact ?
How is the product sustainable in long run ?
Market Vision: This is the business strategy for the product .A product could be Customer centric, Cost leadership based or Product centric. The clients will be determined based on this business strategy. Some questions related to this are:-
What business strategy will I adopt for my business ?
Identify product in value chain and who are the clients who will influence it.
Determine product value proposition to identify client.
How does the product benefit the overall economy and business environment?
Financial Vision (ROI): This is the ROI anticipated in short mid and long term. This will include revenue minus committed fixed and variable costs namely infra ,IT, marketing ,sales, production, advertising, taxes and manpower costs to name a few. Some aspects and questions to client identification based on this could be:-
Who are my high paying clients or customers (Catalyst) ?
Will my client matrix enable me to achieve my financial / revenue targets?
Where do my key clients belong ?
Who are the clients who could be retained ( high loyalists) ?
Who are the recurring clients who will need continuity in service?
Who are clients who could pose moderate to high financial risk ?
Summary: Segmenting clients based on above parameters linked to vision of the enterprise will provide a good alignment and internalize processes within the organization as per enterprise vision. This will enable good sympathy with marketing ,sales and advertising plans by optimizing cost by focused attention on the right stakeholders. Mere measurement of achievement of the enterprise by volume of clients could be hence a wrong recipe for success. The balance sheets will require continuous monitoring till the right client mix is achieved. Identifying the right client mix is a means to an end , that is the VISION and PURPOSE of the enterprise.
What are your comments and thoughts about the client mix dilemma which any entrepreneur could face ?