NOTE: This is the fifth installment in a special 5-part series on Understanding the Target Market for Your Product or Business. This series was inspired by a talk that Bob gave at the Podfest Multimedia Expo in March 2019. In Part 5 of this series, we explore the following question:
“What are Market Team Cards and how can I use them to help me better understand the target market for my product?”
And with this question, our 5-part series on understanding the target market for your product is coming to a close. For those of you who might be joining us mid-stream, this series was inspired by a talk that I did for the podcasting community back in the beginning of March 2019. The idea was to arm podcasters with some of the same tools that I provide to product managers to help them better size, segment, and understand the ideal target markets for their products. Of course, the underlying message was that, in order for podcasters to be successful, they need to act more like “product managers” of their podcasts. And, with that, this 5-part series was born, with the hope that both podcasters and product managers would ultimately benefit
To help catch you up, here’s what we’ve covered so far:
Episode 81 (Part 1) – Understanding Your Target Market
Episode 82 (Part 2) – TAM, SAM, and SOM
Episode 83 (Part 3) – Customer Segmentation
Episode 84 (Part 4) – Customer Personas
Which brings us to our final chapter of the series, which is all about this tool that you probably never heard of. That is, of course, unless you read my book!
In Episode 84, I talked about customer personas, which is one of the tools you can use to better understand each of your target market segments. This will ultimately help you convert more of your Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM) into the Service Obtainable Market (SOM) that is actually expected to consume your product.
As I mentioned in that episode, customer personas (as the name implies) are great for deeply understanding your customers on a very personal level. However, they may not be quite as effective at capturing the overarching needs of your broader market segments. And because a tool to perform that task didn’t seem to exist, I (like any good product manager would) created it myself! And I call it the Market Team Card.
Market Team Cards are meant to represent the broader drivers, issues, and needs of each of your targeted customer segments. The name is derived from my childhood hobby of collecting baseball cards. (OK – maybe a little bit beyond just my childhood!) Anyway, I loved collecting all the individual player cards, but there was just something about the team cards that I always found endearing. I mean, here were a group of incredible athletes, all with individual capabilities and achievements, but all bound together by a common logo and a common set of goals that somehow transcended all of those personal accomplishments. Individually, each player was important. But it was the team that gave them a purpose. And, for whatever reason, that concept seemed to resonate with me.
I created the Market Team Card as a way to bind individual personas to some common purpose. And that common purpose could then be used by product managers and marketers to create better products and more effective messages that would speak directly to their targeted market segments as a whole. Speaking to individuals is great, but when you can speak to what those individuals collectively stand for, something magical tends to come from that. And that’s what I was hoping to capture with the Market Teams Card concept.
Like personas, Market Team Cards are relatively simple tools with several defining fields as follows:
- Market Segment – State which segment your “market team” represents.
- Logo – Nothing represents a team like a logo. So have fun and create one for your market segment as well!
- Who Are They – Provide a brief description of your market segment (demographics, defining characteristics, etc.)
- Where Are They – Provide a brief description of your segment’s location or geography.
- Drivers – Describe what your market segment cares most deeply about.
- Issues – Describe the problems your market segment typically experiences that your product or service could help them to solve.
- Needs – Describe the type of solution your market segment will ultimately need to help them solve their problems.
Unlike personas, in this case, I do create only one Market Team Card per targeted customer segment. And armed with both of these tools, I now have a representation of my individual targeted personas, as well as a summary of the overall segment needs that bind each of those personas together.
Continuing on with our example of the Dear Strategy podcast, here is the team card that I put together to represent my targeted “Product Managers” segment:
And that’s basically the process. The only thing left to do is use all of this newfound understanding of your target market segments to develop strategies that solve their problems and allow you to achieve your goals while doing so.
So, to summarize our steps:
- Size up your Total Addressable Market (TAM)
- Use Customer Segmentation to help you define your Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM), which effectively represents the market segments you want to target
- Use Customer Personas to help you better understand your target market segments so you can convert them into your Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM)
- Use Market Team Cards to help bind your individual customer personas to some common purpose and some common set of overarching segment needs.
Hopefully this series has provided some deeper insight into how you can better understand the target market(s) for your products and services. And if you’ve made it all the way through, I have a special gift for you!
With our compliments, we here at Strategy Generation Company invite you to download a free pdf of our Team Card tool. To claim your download, simply visit the following link:
(NOTE: The name of this tool has been updated to ‘Customer Team Card‘ as of October 2019. The updated link is provided below.)
And, of course, if you have any questions or feedback, please get in touch with us by visiting the contact link above.
Next week, we will resume our regularly scheduled programming. And, until then, don’t forget to make time for the plan. And, more than that, don’t forget to include your customers in everything that you do.
Listen to the podcast episode
Dear Strategy: Episode 085
Are you interested in strategy workshops for your product, marketing, or business managers? If so, please be sure to visit Strategy Generation Company by clicking the link below:
Bob Caporale is the founder of Strategy Generation Company, the author of Creative Strategy Generation and the host of the Dear Strategy podcast. You can learn more about his work by visiting bobcaporale.com.