Segmentation and Target Market Paper
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“Marketing segmentation and targeting are particular important for finding customers that are the best match for a business’s products and services” (Suttle, 2014, ¶ 2). “KnowledgeNet Enterprises LLC is an industry leader in IT and business skills training” (KnowledgeNet, 2013, ¶ 1 ). This paper will go over several aspects of the company including an overview, demographic, psychographic, geographic and behavioral characteristics. The company’s target market and how the company targets that market will also be discussed, as well as new proposed positioning statement for the company to use. Company Overview
KnowledgeNet Enterprises LLC is a business-to-business company that is now based in Tempe, AZ. The company was formed in 2005 in Aberdeen, Washington in a small two bedroom home in hopes of providing businesses with affordable and high-end training for the Information Technology staff (D. Rottner, personal communication, 2014). Today, KnowledgeNet Enterprises LLC now serves over 6,000 companies world-wide. The company’s focuses is to offer quality training that is backed by a customer service team that provides outstanding support to all of the company’s customers (KnowledgeNet, 2013). There are many different options of training available to the company’s customers that provide flexibility for the customers that have limited time to focus on training. The company offers instructor-led training live over the web so that customers get the classroom feel and interaction without having to be in the classroom. There are also recorded versions of all the live classes to provide flexibility for customers that cannot make it to the live class. KnowledgeNet Enterprises LLC also provides practice labs, exams, and full library of online books to assist with the training (KnowledgeNet, 2013). Company Market Segmentation
KnowledgeNet Enterprises LLC has a very focused demographic of customers. Since the training is primarily Information Technology training, the focus is on any and all businesses that have an Information Technology Department. Most businesses today have computer and phone networking in their offices so KnowledgeNet Enterprises LLC targets all companies. Information Technology staff in all businesses must obtain and maintain up-to-date certifications on the networking or projects that they work with (D. Rottner, personal communication, 2014). The businesses include educational facilities, government agencies, non-profit businesses, corporations, small companies, and even individuals looking for training (KnowledgeNet, 2013).
KnowledgeNet Enterprises LLC has given an added to benefit both to its customers as well as to itself by offering classes online. Competitors offer their training as an in class scenario which limits many customer from being able to leave work and attend the class. However, the online classes give the customer the opportunity to attend the classes from home, work, or any other location that has internet access. This is also a benefit for the company since it can reach customers all over the world. Currently, the company’s primary focus is Canada and the United States, but has several customers from other countries as well (D. Rottner, personal communication, 2014). The psychographics of KnowledgeNet Enterprises LLC’s customers is based on several different factors. The primary factor would be based on whether or not the customer is able to learn in an online classroom environment.
One of the primary concerns for online training is that the customer does not believe that online training is very effective. “Therefore, personalizing learning, which must include making the eLearning more human, is one important way to connect with learners online” (Gutierrez, 2014, ¶ 5). The company goes over a demo with each customer to show how closely an online classroom is related to an online classroom. Another factor is the time that the customer has to dedicate to training. Since the training is often sold in a 1 year subscription this gives the customers ample time to complete the training.
Pricing and flexible terms is another factor. It is important for the training to be priced competitively so the company offers discounts based on needs and quantity purchased. Flexible terms are also offered to all customers (D. Rottner, personal communication, 2014). The standard term is Net 30, but extended terms can be approved. Also payment plans are offered if the customer is willing to do monthly credit card payments. The final factor is the value of the training. It is important to customers that the training is effective to the point that the customer can complete and pass the certification exams (D. Rottner, personal communication, 2014). Company Target Market
KnowledgeNet Enterprises LLC’s target market is the Information Technology Professionals in businesses primarily in the United States and Canada. The company uses a lead generation team as the selection process for this target market. The lead generation team calls on all active businesses in geographic areas in order to find out if the business has an Information Technology department, and then if the department uses any of the networking systems that KnowledgeNet Enterprises LLC offers training for. At this time the company does not offer training for Apple computers so these leads are filtered out. In some cases the business that the Information Technology staff works for will not pay for training. In these cases the company offers training to the individual staff member to pay for on their own (D. Rottner, personal communication, 2014).
The company currently has several marketing strategies in place to bring in new customers. The first strategy is the lead generation team as mentioned above. This team cold calls all of the business leads that they are assigned and qualifies the leads based on the business needs. If there is an interest in the training, the lead is then sent over to the sales team to follow up with and present a demo for the customer to see (D. Rottner, personal communication, 2014).
The company also markets itself at several convention events each year. These conventions are put together for Information Technology staff, and provide access to a variety of vendors that offer different products and services that relate to Information Technology (D. Rottner, personal communication, 2014). Interop is one of the main conventions that KnowledgeNet Enterprises LLC attends. This is one of the leading conferences for Information Technology, and is held several times a year in different areas of the world including Las Vegas, New York, London, and Tokyo. “Through in-depth educational programs, real-world demos, Interop showcases the most powerful innovations and solutions the industry has to offer and provides the forum for the world’s largest celebration of IT professionals” (UBM Tech, 2014, ¶ 1).
KnowledgeNet Enterprises LLC also uses web marketing to get its name out to the public. Using search engine optimization through Google, the company is able to pay to stay on the front page of searches when the selected keywords are used. The company also partners with different providers to create branding awareness (D. Rottner, personal communication, 2014).
E-mail marketing is another marketing tool that the company uses to target its customers. Promotions, new training products, and special updates are all sent out to emails of the Information Technology staff in businesses that the company is currently doing business with or has done business with in the past. This helps to get current customers to renew their training, and also assists with bringing back old customers (D. Rottner, personal communication, 2014). Positioning Statement
The company’s current positioning statement is “KnowledgeNet: The Live Learning Company” (KnowledgeNet, 2013). According to Dave Power (2013), a good positioning statement makes it clear who the customer is and what business problem they need to solve” (¶ 4). This current positioning statement tells a little bit about the company’s product, but does not help to focus on its customers’ problems. An ideal positioning statement would catch the eye of the target market and entice them to learn more about the company. Since the target market are Information Technology Professionals and two of the problems they experience are price and time, then the following positioning statement may work better for the company. KnowledgeNet: Affordable and Flexible Training for the Busy IT Professional. This statement shows the consumer that the training is affordable and flexible, it targets IT professionals, and the description of Busy should catch the attention of the consumer and have them look into the company to see how the training is geared towards consumers that are too busy to do classroom training. Conclusion
KnowledgeNet Enterprises LLC’s market segmentation is based on the population that is best suited for the training that the company offers. The demographics are any businesses that have IT professionals working for them. The geographics of the segmentation is world-wide The psychographics focuses on the learning style, time flexibility, pricing and terms, and value of the product. The company’s target market is IT Professionals in any business setting or looking for training individually. The company uses several marketing tools to target its consumers such as web marketing, and e-mail marketing. The new proposed positioning statement focuses on the target market as well as two problems that the company can solve. KnowledgeNet Enterprises LLC may still be a new company, but it has been able to create a market segmentation, identify its target market, and create a marketing strategy to focus on that market.
Gutierrez, K. (Sept 11, 2014). eLearning vs Classroom Training—How Different Are They? Retrieved from http:/info.shiftelearning.com/blog/bid/354977/eLearning-vs-Classroom-Training-How-Different-Are-They Interop. (2014). Interop. Retrieved from http://www.interop.com/newyork/ KnowledgeNet. (2013). KnowledgeNet. Retrieved from http://www.knowledgenet.com Power, D. (Aug 1, 2013). Creating a Positioning Statement? Position the Problem, Not The Product. Retrieved from http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/creating-positioning-statement-position-problem-not-product Suttle, R. (2014). Define Market Segmentation & Targeting. Retrieved from http://http://smallbusiness.chron.com/define-market-segmentation-targeting-3253.html