Deployment and Marketing

Lean Deployment and Marketing

Meeting market challenges through effective segment management

Today the marketplace for most business organizations is buffeted by the forces of proliferation. Fragementing customer needs are creating opportunities for specialists competitors that will go after just one segment.

On the other hand, proliferating distribution channels and media vehicles are helping companies target the most valuable customers with focused service. The result is a powerful need for companies to get better at identifying and delivering distinctive value to the most attractive customers.

But research shows that many companies cannot get their segment strategies to work. A fundamental point at issue is that many companies articulate detailed segmentation plans, but rarely define and manage their segments in a way that helps the organization differentiate the value it offers specific groups of customers.

Some of the flaws exposed in their approach are these:

  • Planning systems lack roles, processes and integrated customer metrics needed to create unique customer experiences for select segments or to respond quickly to shifts in a segments value
  • Many organizations have difficulty measuring the extent of customer migration or quantifying the impact of actively managing it through differentiated customer experiences and value propositions

Companies have developed greater understanding of what is happening in segments by completing three tasks: *

  • Developing understanding of what must be achieved in the segment to attain business goals, and specifically what activities are necessary.
  • Building mechanisms within planning and performance management processes that connect leadings indicators with outcome measures.
  • Creating accountability for segments results that empower "owners" to make or influence key decisions.

With a comprehensive approach that links goals for the customer and financial performance with actions that realize them, along with accountability across segments, a sustainable differentiating advantage can be achieved. Changing customer needs (if understood) can create opportunity to boost sales -- but sales, marketing and manufacturing must cooperate to win big among the different types of customers.

* McKinsey & Company

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