I’ve been reminded of this through research we’re currently doing for a client, which is looking at how corporate risk managers choose insurers.

Companies which look very similar from the “outside”, by size, sector, ownership, objectives etc have very different processes for choosing insurers and the factors they view as important also differ.

Its a bit similar to a project we once did for a firm that targeted major financial institutions and investors for training.  Firms that looked exactly the same from the outside had completely different views about the value of training, often driven by the culture of the organisation and even the personal values and judgement of the key decison maker.

But we often forget about this in our marketing plans, targeting approaches and prioritisation.  In fact the “external” facts about a prospect company are just the starting point.  Take the example of two owner managed, lets say €10m, businesses in the same sector.   If you’re an law firm or accountancy firm, the things a 55 year old owner looking at exit and succession will value are likely to be completely different than those a 40 year old who wants to build a force in the market. 

Ironically, often fee earners understand this a little better than marketers.  its not new at all, though the phrase “needs based segmentation” puts me off a bit.  But ignoring the terminology for a minute, how do you build this into your BD efforts?

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