Why do we have segments? Specialization. A florist, for example, may sell to hospitals, consumers, weddings and funeral homes. She reaches each of them a different way, with a specific brand message for each.
For example, wedding planners in the florist's local area may visit a particular website a lot. Or, her local hospital's buying office doesn't take calls, but there is an independent sales rep in the area that calls on that hospital.
A customer segment - hospitals, for instance - has more than one channel. If the florist decides that she wants to master the hospital market and just sell to hospitals, she has to find the places that hospitals go to find flowers. Trade shows? Magazines? Websites? None of the above?
Two key points emerge: A day of detective work = big rewards. No detective work = big losses.
You have a children's shoe company. You find out that your shoes are purchased by more grandmas than moms. But the real shocker is that they buy your most expensive top-end shoes.
You are amazed to find that 72.6% of your revenue comes from grandmas. And you have no idea how they found you.
Now put your detective hat on and find out the channels to find more of those grandmas. Talk to them yourself if need be. Then craft a brand message just for them, and later on we'll plan the media in programs.
If you are marketing into a specific industry, you probably understand it already. For example, new biotech companies are almost always started by scientists or physicians. They already know their segments since they've been working with them for years. And if they don't, they certainly know someone who does.
As mentioned in channels overview, research the channels properly and start with one. Do this by asking people you know in the industry for the best channels to reach them before you try out your first programs. Do not throw money in every direction to see what works.
This ''Divide and Conquer'' method inspired the popular Product Marketing concept, which guides your products as well as your marketing. Since a product is really an answer to a customer need, designing your product around your segment guarantees success.
Since you've probably done that already, ask people who know that customer segment for the best channels to reach them. If you don't get a clear answer, keep going. Do not throw money in every direction to see what works.
Keep your channel partners excited by ''channel marketing'' to them with benefits, needs and calls to action - just like a customer. Offers and promotions are common, like a sales commission incentive.