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Determining Your Target Market’s Needs

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So, if you’ve been following along with this strategy series, you should now have three or four documents lying on your desk. The first one being Porter’s Generic Strategies, the second being your Rainmaker’s Target Market Selection Worksheet, the third the Simplified Strategy Matrix, and the fourth being the Rainmaker’s Canvas.

This isn’t like some internet marketing experiment, where you log into the Google Free Keyword Tool and try to figure out what people want. You have to measure and calculate your own situation.

Unless you have more money than good sense, and can afford a high powered marketing firm to make your decisions for you, you’re going to have to make some assumptions of your own.

After all, it’s rare that a person starts a business of any kind without some preconceived notion of what they either want to do, or what they think the market wants and that they can fill that need.

Take a look at the target market specifications you developed by using your Target Market Selection Worksheet.

Now, let’s see how those needs stack up.

Go ahead and download Kano styled Rainmaker Needs Assessment Worksheet by clicking Here. You’ll find it a rather interesting way of developing services for your target market. A method I bet you haven’t seen before.

I’ll presume that after completing the Rainmaker Target Market Selection Worksheet you downloaded in our last session, by now you have evaluated the needs of several target markets, and are starting to settle on one.

What you do now is take a look at the needs you heard the market expressing, and that you noted in the “Needs” box of the Rainmaker Target Market Selection Worksheet.

Download the Rainmaker Needs Assessment Worksheet and take a look at it. This worksheet is based on the Analytical Kano (or A-Kano) Model. The A-Kano Model is in turn based on the Kano Quality Model, an evaluation method introduced by N. Kano of Japan, in 1984.

The Kano method is so popular it has been studied by dozens, if not hundreds, of researchers, and we’ll be referring to it again in a couple of future sessions.

This adaptation is simplified because you probably don’t have the time or ability to develop and take the number of surveys it would take to implement the full Kano method.

Because of this, it is extremely important that you answer the questions in the worksheet as impartially as possible. If you are able to get some members of your target market to fill out the worksheet (without letting them see the Evaluation Table), you will have better results. However, if you are unable to get feedback from your target market, you should be able to get very close if your answers are as impartial as possible.

The Kano method is so popular it has been studied by dozens, if not hundreds, of researchers, and we'll be referring… Click To Tweet

What we’re doing here is trying to figure out what features your target market prospects are looking for in a solution to their problems, or in fulfilling their needs.

In a later session, we’ll analyze these features to determine the resources you will need to provide these features, and later, how to develop or acquire resources you don’t have.

Right now, download and print out several copies of the Rainmaker Needs Assessment Worksheets.

Print out one for each need you have identified in your target market.

Once you have these worksheets printed out, list the features you feel need to be included in this solution. Then, following the instructions on the worksheet, answer the “Has” and “Does Not Have” questions for each feature.

After that, evaluate each feature by referring to the Evaluation Table at the bottom of the worksheet. Once you have noted the evaluation results in the last column of the worksheet, you can review the features to identify which ones you wish to include in the solution to your target markets needs.

Note carefully the codes and their legend in the Evaluation Table. The evaluation you develop here will identify the features that your service “must have,” which your prospects may find “attractive” or “bad,” or are “indifferent” about. Remember though, that this only works if you are brutally honest, and not swayed by your personal preferences. Just remember, you are the vendor, not the buyer.

By including features that your prospects want and need, not only will you be able to earn a price premium, but you may gain a temporary competitive advantage. Your advantage will last until your competitor figures out what you are doing and copies you. Remember, accountants are some of the biggest copycats in the world. Present company excluded, of course.

I’ll see you in our next session, where I’ll talk about identifying the resources you need in order to provide the features you want to include in the solution to your target market needs and problems.

Join us here at Practice Builder Publishing and become a part of the community, whether you become a contributing author, a peer recruiter, or merely a raving devotee of the Practice Builder Publishing resources, I'll work with you personally so you can reach the goals you set.

Best to you and yours,

kirks-sig

 

Kirk

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