How to select your target market segment
  2. Market Segmentation (Step 1)
  3. How to select your target market segment

2. Selecting your target segment

Use Blueprinter Tool 1.4 and these tips to select your target market segment.

Your new-product team has now established a) a list of possible market segments to pursue, and b) your selection criteria. Now it’s time to create a market segment matrix, with the possible market segments shown as rows, and your selection criteria represented as columns.

This is done for you in Blueprinter Tool 1.4: Select Market Segment (at > Blueprinter software.) Using a digital projector or a web-conference, your team will now select an A, B, or C for each cell (intersection of market segment row with criterion column).

We’re sometimes asked, “Should we assign a numerical weighting to each criterion column, that will then allow the calculation of a numerical rating for each market segment row? Sure, you could do that. But our experience says this gives a false sense of unwarranted precision. Sometimes, teams simply select the market segment with the highest rating as “the answer.”

Better to opt for deeper team thinking. Consider these tips:

  • Encourage lively debate among your team members during this process. You’ll find they are “educating” each other as they share their unique perspectives.
  • It’s fine to “mentally weight” one criteria column more than another. Often “market size” is very important. If this is your first Blueprinting project and you want to quickly start your interviewing, for instance, you might find this criterion very important: “Ease of securing interviews.”
  • If you’re unsure of the right A, B, and C rating, use a lower case a, b, or c. You can always “upgrade” your assessment later.
  • Instead of filling in each row one at a time, fill in each column one at a time: Once the team starts thinking about a "market size" or "market growth rate" column, it's easier to process all market segment options in this same frame of mind.
  • Don’t ignore your “gut.” Rational thinking (e.g. assigning A, B & C levels) is fine, but if your intuition tells you “the answer” is wrong, there’s a good chance you’ve omitted an important criterion, or simply made the wrong A, B, or C assignment.
  • Don’t overlook this simple fact: Compared to management “assigning” a market segment, you’ll get much greater buy-in by your team members if they participate in selecting the target market segment.

Once you've selected your target market, you'll finish by finalizing your team's project scope. (See next BlueHelp article, Finalizing your team's project scope.) For more, check out the 2-minute video, Concentrate on winning markets, part of the B2B Organic Growth video series by Dan Adams.


Keywords: market segment, market selection, A B C ratings, market selection matrix, select target market, market criteria