Sector-based marketing: Why and how?

A sector-based marketing approach is widely used by the professional services sector and can be an extremely successful marketing strategy for any B2B business. In this blog we explore the benefits of a sector-based approach and how to implement one within your business.

What is a sector-based marketing approach?

Sector-based marketing involves marketing your products/services to a particular industry niche or sector. The products/services are tailored to meet the needs of that sector and all marketing communication messages are directed towards that particular market.

Why choose a sector-based marketing approach?

The benefits of marketing your products/services to niche markets rather than being ‘all things to all men’ include:

  • It can be easier to identify your target customers when they are within a specific market sector.
  • It is easier to identify potential and focused marketing opportunities – e.g. trade press, industry associations, industry-wide events – which are relevant to that sector.
  • It becomes a point of differentiation – your knowledge of the sector and the challenges being faced by businesses within it coupled with a tailored product/service is a very strong selling point.
  • You build a track record/reputation in that sector and become a ‘go to’ for the needs of that industry.

How to adopt a sector-based marketing approach?

Now you are convinced that a sector based marketing approach is the way forward for your business, how do you implement it?

  1. Identify your key sectors – this could be based on a number of factors such as your existing experience in that sector, changes in the sector giving rise to opportunities or a lack of existing providers serving that market. Whilst prior experience should be a strong influencing sector it need not be a limiting factor. It is possible to build a reputation in a new market sector, it just takes time.
  2. Understand your chosen sector – become as knowledgeable as you can about the sector and keep abreast of all changes and developments.
  3. Tailor your offering – this could involve altering your branding (perhaps introduce sub-brands for each sector offering); adapting your product/service offering to meet the specific needs of the industry; or changing your marketing messages so that they resonate with your target sector.
  4. Gather case studies/testimonials – demonstrate your strength in the sector by preparing case studies on your expertise and asking your customers for testimonials.
  5. Identify the key influencers for that sector – determine the key trade publications, industry/professional associations, social media/online groups and industry events for your chosen sector and use these in your marketing mix.
  6. Find your key referrers – identify the other key businesses in the supply chain which target the same industry sector and see if there are any opportunities to collaborate or refer customers to each other.
  7. Tailor your marketing – ensure that all your marketing efforts are relevant to your chosen sector/s.

Sector-based marketing ensures a very focused approach that is always more effective than scatter gun so it is worth considering how you might apply it in your business.