The Importance In The Mix of Accounts, Customers and Markets
Michael Marshall, PhD
‘The Business Doctor’
This is an important subject for business, marketing, sales, business development, planning and strategy, product development, customer service and profitability.
This sentence should cover the general business development aspect.
There is some debate about how much a business should diversify as to markets, customers, clients and geography versus specializing to try and create value and efficiency.
I suggest to you that this debate is more of an interesting business conversation than the possibility of having negative affects on business.
To stay profitable and for progressive business development; all businesses and organizations need a mix of customers, clients and markets.
It is this simple and no debate is needed.
The question is how diverse one should progress until you reach some negative affects.
I suggest that you would need to be fairly extreme to reach any harm to the business; so one should not be fearful of diversifying as long as it makes business sense and ‘horse sense’ so to say and does not chase away healthy existing business.
A mix helps to over come the ups and downs of market niches, customers and clients.
A mix shares products, services and expertise to those who can utilize them and hopefully at business efficiencies.
Such ‘a mix’ approach is important to all businesses, organizations with all products, services and markets.
Yes, this is important to all businesses and organizations.
What drives or stimulates your market mix include;
4. geographic and location of the business
You may have noticed geographic and location of the business as a contributing factor to the mix.
This can be a factor with attracting specific types of customers or clients.
Such reasons include:
1. cost of transportation of products if the products are heavy in weight and costly to ship
2. location or concentration of largest customers or clients or accounts if they prefer to
work with those closer to them
Any products or services not being marketed aggressively or marketing efforts not targeting the appropriate target audience, is not achieving the potential sales or business revenue.
Correcting this can increase business, expand your customer and client mix and can lead you into a new market.
Manipulating the products and services offered, marketing and geographic location of the business, can affect the customer/client/market mix and business revenue; positively or negatively.
Most businesses and organizations fail to pay attention to this business fundamental and in so doing or lack of doing, hinder business growth.
A mix can be size of customer, sales/revenue amount from the customers or clients, type of customer or client, products or services they receive from you, applications, customer special needs, geographical areas, markets, niche markets, length of payment or type of payment possibly, sales cycle time and several other criteria.
Be creative with such criteria for the ‘mix’.
Looking at the ‘mix’ in this way is similar to the business fundamental of ‘market and customer segmentation’.
Another way to understand this is to vision a large diamond in your hand that represents your customers, clients, accounts and markets plus all those that you have potential in.
Hold it up to the sunlight and slowly turn the diamond.
Just like the diamond with its many facets and colors reflecting off the sunlight, you should see the many types of customers and markets both those you currently have and those with potential.
Using this diamond to explain this helps most people understand fairly quickly.
This should be stimulating some ideas in your mind as to possible niches; customers and clients, markets, geographic segments and a possible better ‘mix’ that can help grow your business.
This approach can also positively affect up-selling and cross-selling within current customers, clients and markets.
All business organizations need to be evaluating this several times a year.
During such evaluations, participating staff need some training in this along with ‘creativity’, and ‘outside the box thinking’.
Part of ‘creativity’ and ‘outside the box thinking’ is knowing that you do not have all of the answers and you need to be asking many others for inputs and suggestions.
This is one of the keys for business development.
This subject is obviously important and management needs extensive training on this.
Regarding the length of time to train on this subject;
it can be in hours, days or more, depending on how extensive one wants to get, how interactive one wants and what extent one wants current business situations evaluated along with progressive business development suggestions and ideas developed.
I have deliberately kept this article brief since it is fundamental to business growth, marketing and business stability.
If you would like to discuss further, feel free to contact me directly by telephone or email.
Michael has more than 30 years of business experience focusing on business development utilizing extensive skills in marketing, sales, and communications; both national and international.
This experience comes from starting at field staff level positions and then progressing up to senior level Director and Vice President positions in several industries and markets including medical and healthcare.
His expertise is also utilized in special advisory and consulting situations, as well.
Prior to his extensive 30-year business career, he studied advanced engineering and then transitioned to psychology and social human behavior.
In these endeavors he learned what makes people do what they do, what influences others, how to motivate positive behavioral change; and the importance to a strong foundation and the individual components in a structure.
Michael’s education and trainings include a PhD in business concentrating in marketing and business development, an MBA, bachelor degrees in psychology and social human behavior, advanced post graduate certification in medical and healthcare marketing from UCLA, formally trained in ‘Creativity and Out of The Box Thinking’, federally certified in international business.
He has over 35 formal trainings and certifications covering the fundamentals of business development, marketing, sales, communications, management and leading a business to significant sales and profit growth.