Eastern Business Systems "Marketeer": User Manual [PDF]

Chapter 5: Define Your Market

INTRODUCTION

We have already seen the list of options offered by MARKETEER, and through the menu HELP facility, learned something of what each provides. We shall now discuss in detail the full operation and use of each option.

The main menu options are listed in the order of frequency with which they are generally used. However, this order is not necessarily the best one in which to introduce them. In fact, we shall discuss them almost in reverse order, starting with the options used to set up the database to suit your particular operation, later progressing to the options which you will use to update and maintain it in the light of everyday events.

Setting up involves shaping the database to the particular geographic sales or marketing areas into which you wish to divide the United Kingdom, and defining the 'values' which you wish each of the selection keys to hold. This is done using Option 8. So please press the '8' key on the top row of the keyboard.

MARKET DEFINITION OPTIONS

A new menu - the Market Definition Menu - now appears on the screen. Please scan through this menu using the down-arrow key and read the half screen of text on the right which explains each option as it is highlighted.

KEY NAMES

Option 1 allows you to name each 'key' used to define your market. Please type-in the figure '1'. A list of key names now appears. These are the names we have given to the five major keys. You can change these names if you wish. For example, you may wish to use the term 'territory' instead of 'sales area'. In this case, you simply follow the instructions given on the screen to change the name 'sales area' to 'territory' or 'buying zones' or whatever you wish.

Likewise, you can re-name the other keys to suit your own preferences. However, before doing so, please read the rest of this chapter to see more clearly what each key is, what it does, and how it should be used. Now please press the 'Esc' key to return to the 'Market Definition' menu selection.

A FIRST LOOK AT SALES AREAS

Please select Option 7: 'Define SALES AREA'. You should now be looking at a two-column list of sales area names. These were set up prior to sale to serve as a working example. They are to give you an idea for setting up your own sales areas on MARKETEER.

(Please ignore the name of the rep following each / for the moment.)

Apart from a couple of odd ones at the end, these sample sales areas are in fact modelled on the ITV transmission areas of the United Kingdom. They are a pretty good approximation and make ideal ready-made sales areas for companies who wish to base their areas on TV or local radio advertising coverage.

HOW IS A SALES AREA MADE UP?

However well known or applicable these sales area names may be, they are nevertheless just names! How can we now give them geographic reality within MARKETEER'S database?

Let us see how a typical sales area is structured within MARKETEER'S database. Please spread your Bartholomew's postcode key map of the United Kingdom on the table. Then select the 'ANGLIA' sales area by pressing the 'Ins' key then the 'F1' key. You will now see a list of two-letter postcodes on the screen said to represent the 'ANGLIA' sales area.

A postcode generally comprises two letters, a number, a space, a number and two more letters. This does vary however in certain instances such as city postcodes. Of these, the first two letters of the postcode represent the postcode area. There are 120 postcode areas covering the United Kingdom. A table listing all the two-letter codes and the names of the respective areas they represent is given on the map. The map itself is divided into these postcode areas. Their boundaries are marked in red. Within each area is shown the appropriate two-letter (or sometimes one-letter) postcode also in red.

From the screen you will see that we have set up the 'ANGLIA' sales area to comprise the post areas NR (Norwich), IP (Ipswich), CB (Cambridge), CO (Colchester), NN (Northampton), MK (Milton Keynes), LU (Luton), SG (Stevenage), CM (Chelmsford) and SS (Southend). Try to locate them on the map. They are all in and around East Anglia.

WHAT A SALES AREA LOOKS LIKE

But what does MARKETEER make of this configuration of two-letter postcodes? How can they possibly bear any geographic significance within its database? Now press the 'Esc' key until you get back to the Market Definition menu and then select Option 8 - 'Display Sales Area Map'.

The list of sales areas which you saw previously appears on the screen. Please type in the letter 'A' to display the 'ANGLIA' sales area. MARKETEER now compiles the geographic co-ordinates of this sales area from the co-ordinates of the component postcode areas it has been set up to comprise. Soon, an outline of the United Kingdom appears and the actual area covered by the selected sales area is shaded in.

The 'bar charts' on the left of the map show the percentage of the prospects currently on file, together with the percentage of the total UK population, who are located in the sales area shown. This will be described in more detail in the next chapter when we deal with 'Market Statistics'.

It is interesting to note just how close this shaded area relates to the 'East of England' transmission area covered (currently) by Anglia Television via the transmitters at Tacolneston, Sudbury and Sandy Heath. (Please contact the IBA for maps showing the geographic areas covered by the various ITV companies.)

This display is an extremely useful check to confirm that you have in fact set up your sales areas on MARKETEER the way you thought you had. Should you have typed any wrong codes by mistake, or put the right codes in the wrong areas, they will probably reveal themselves as odd far-flung areas which are shaded in but shouldn't be.

Study this display, and when you have finished, type QUIT (or press the 'Esc' key) to return to the list of sales areas. When this list returns to the screen, try pressing the carriage return (or 'Enter') key. You will now get a display of all the sales areas currently set up within the database, each one in a different colour.

However, although this gives a very pretty integrated display of your sales areas, please beware! The computer cannot generate as many different colours as there are possible sales areas. We have seen to it that no two adjacent sales areas have been given the same colour in this particular sales area configuration! Notice that instead of the bar charts, the names of the sales areas and their respective colours are shown to the left of the map.

Look at the multi-coloured display of our sales areas, and then cast an eye over the map on the table. Each shaded area on the screen is a group or conglomeration of the postcode areas shown on the Bartholomew's map.

What you must now decide is how you want YOUR sales areas to look. Perhaps the 'TV' areas we have already set up will suit you: perhaps not.

Please type-in 'QUIT' or press the 'Esc' key. The list of sales areas reappears. Now press the # key. The same list now appears, but with the various names shown in different colours. The colour in which a name is shown is the colour in which that sales area is displayed on the map. When you set up your own configuration of sales areas, you may use this facility to change the colour in which some of your areas are shown in order to avoid adjacent areas being the same colour and therefore indistinguishable.

LOCALISED BUSINESSES

The sales area configuration you have just seen assumes that the business concerned covers the whole of the United Kingdom.

Perhaps your business does not cover the whole of the United Kingdom. You may hold a local territorial franchise or dealership for a large national supplier. If so, you will want to arrange your sales areas to cover only that part of the United Kingdom for which you are responsible. This is no problem. A sales area may comprise anything from a full 100 postcode areas down to as little as one single postcode area.

DECISION TIME!

It is now decision time! Will the sample sales areas suit you? Do you already have your own sales areas well defined?

Is it time for you to rationalise or re-think your sales areas? Do you need a localised version? Now is a very good time to get all this sorted out before you transfer your sales/marketing records onto MARKETEER.

PLANNING YOUR OWN SALES AREAS

Please get all your maps and other documentation pertaining to your current sales areas. Call in everybody who is likely to be involved in a possible rationalization of your sales areas. Set out the maps showing your current sales areas alongside the Bartholomew's postcode key map of the United Kingdom.

There is a variety of systems on which companies have traditionally based their sales areas. Typical examples are: counties, telephone areas, purchasing areas, economic regions, the Ordnance Survey grid, concentric circles centred on offices or sales reps' homes, natural boundaries such as rivers and mountains, arbitrary lines drawn on a map.

None of these systems has been devised according to criteria relevant to sales and marketing. County boundaries, for example, were probably decided by ancient battle or feud rather than by relative road access between adjacent areas or population distribution.

Similarly, grid or circle based systems pay no heed to the positions of roads, natural boundaries or relative populations. All the other systems also have their drawbacks.

One problem common to them all is referencing. Usually, the reference number or code used with such a system is arbitrary and meaningless outside that system. References are thus difficult for customers to remember, and are extremely difficult to cross-relate with those used by other organisations such as mailing list brokers. And finally, if ever you need to change your boundaries, the task of re-referencing is formidable.

The postcode system is the only one which divides the country according to population density & distribution, and ease of access via the road network. It is universal and is stable in the long term. Your geographic referencing can therefore be understood easily by others, and vice versa. For a more detailed discussion on the advantages of the postcode system, please read the Post Office booklet 'Using Postcodes In Business Systems'.

Now please discuss your sales area organisation with your colleagues with reference to your maps and documents. Then, when you've decided exactly how you would like your sales areas to be arranged, draw them in on your Bartholomew's postcode key map (preferably using a yellow felt tipped pen).

When drawing in the boundaries, though, please make sure they run along the nearest postcode area boundaries (shown in red on the map). Doing this will prove no disadvantage at all. In fact it will make your sales areas easier to manage and involve your reps in less travel. This is because it avoids the severing of areas with mutually accessible populations, and ensures that populations are more evenly distributed among your reps.

The sample sales areas each occupy a contiguous tract of land. In other words, every postcode area within a particular sales area shares at least part of its boundary with at least one of its fellows. And this is the way sales areas are normally constructed. But there is no technical reason why a sales area cannot consist of scattered postcode areas where only some - or even none - actually touch each other.

Typical situations where fragmented sales areas are useful are: where the nature of your business demands different selling resources and techniques for metropolitan, urban and rural areas; and where for traditional or other reasons, a particular rep has to annex an odd pocket of territory into his main sales area.

SETTING UP YOUR SALES AREAS

Once you have settled upon the boundaries of your sales areas and drawn them in on the map, name each area with the name of your choice. Then write each name in its appropriate place on the map together with the name of the rep responsible for that area. (Please note: there's no technical reason for including the name of a rep if you don't want to.)

The name of the sales areas together with the names of their respective reps should be written in the form you saw them displayed on the screen earlier. That is, with the sales area name and the name of its rep separated by an oblique stroke, for example, 'ANGLIA/ROBERT'. The total number of characters used (including the '/') must not be more than 14.

Now, please select Option 2: 'SALES AREA Names'. The original set of sales area names and reps now appears on the screen.

NAMING YOUR SALES AREAS

The objective now is to replace these original sales area names with yours. But before doing so, please put your sales area names in order such that the one in which you are likely to be most active appears first, and work down to the one in which you are likely to be least active. Generally, this will mean starting with your 'home' territory and working outwards. It ensures that data in the most frequently accessed sales areas is found most quickly. Although we are in fact only talking about seconds, they are seconds saved. Now edit or over-type the existing sales area/rep names with your sales area/rep names according to the editing instructions shown on the screen.

If you have less than 18 sales areas, please delete completely any of our sales area names which remain. Afterwards, check that all have been typed in correctly. If you spot any errors, amend them in the same way using the left & right arrow keys to position the cursor over the errors before over-typing with the correct letters. Finally, press the 'F1' key to return to the Market Definition Menu.

DEFINING THEM GEOGRAPHICALLY

Now select Option 7: 'Define SALES AREA'. Your own sales area names appear again on the screen. Press the 'Ins' key and the 'F1' key to select your first sales area. A list of two-letter post area codes appears. They are the ones for our old 'ANGLIA' sales area. The cursor is flashing over the first letter of the first two-letter code.

Referring to your Bartholomew's postcode key map, type in the two-letter codes for all the postcode areas falling within your first sales area. If any of our old codes remain after you have finished, please delete them as instructed on the screen. When all the postcodes have been typed in correctly for this sales area, press the 'F1' key to return to the sales area names display.

Now scan down to the second sales area name and select that one by pressing the 'Ins' key. Then press the 'F1' key to get the post areas display for that sales area. Refer to the map again and type in the two-letter postcodes for this area also. Do the same for all your sales areas. Finally, having returned to the sales area names display from completing the last sales area's postcodes, press the 'Esc' key to return once again to the Market Definition Menu.

CHECKING YOUR SALES AREAS

Select Option 8: 'Display SALES AREA map', and wait for the list of sales areas to appear on the screen. Then type-in the letter 'A' to display the first one. After a delay in which its co-ordinates are compiled, your new first sales area appears as a shaded zone on the UK outline.

Check the shape and coverage of the shaded zone against your first sales area as marked out on the Bartholomew's postcode key map. They should agree. If they don't, you must go back to the postcodes display for that sales area and correct any of the two-letter codes that you have typed in wrongly. Go through the same exercise for checking the geographic shape and coverage of your other sales areas.

When you have checked out your last sales area in this way, please return to the list of sales areas from which you select the various map displays. Then, as a final gesture, press the carriage return (or 'Enter') key to obtain a composite display of all your sales areas together in their different colours. Is this how you want the country to look in terms of your sales/marketing operation? If not, you will have to have a re-think and go through the preceding process again.

FUTURE RE-ORGANISATION

Suppose that after you have been using MARKETEER for some time, and after you have placed lots of details of many customers and prospects on-file, you decide that the way you have organised your sales areas is no longer the best way. Perhaps your sales force has changed. Perhaps your market has expanded. Perhaps the geographic distribution of your prospects has changed.

In such an event, you may re-define your sales areas simply by repeating the exercise you have just gone through for setting them up in the first place.

You may do this without disturbing any of the data on individual prospects which you may have built up within MARKETEER'S database in the meantime. This is because MARKETEER automatically re-assigns each prospect to his appropriate new sales area solely by reference to his existing postcode. Your own sales areas are now installed within MARKETEER'S database.

WHAT IS A KEY?

In the context of MARKETEER, a 'key' is an item of information which defines one of the many attributes of a market. The main attributes recognised by MARKETEER are 'relationship', 'status', 'type of event' and 'product/service'.

Since there are many different types of relationship, status, sales event and offered services defining your market, so each key must have a variety of 'values'. For example, the 'relation' key must have a different value for each of the many possible relationships your business may have with the various people, companies and organisations within your market.

Let us illustrate this with an analogy. You know that an amount of money called 'invoice total' can have different values according to which invoice you are talking about. For example, the total for one invoice may be £30.23 whereas the total for another invoice may be £5764.42! Although these amounts of money are vastly different, they are still values of the same thing, namely, 'invoice total'.

Similarly, the 'relation' key, although it is one key, may have many different values. A key's values, however, are not expressed in figures, but in words. For example, the kind of 'values' the 'relation' key could have are words like 'customer', 'agent', 'dealer', 'competitor'. They each describe one of the various relationships you may have with the people, companies and organisations within your market. This concept will become clearer once you see some real examples and start to use them within the context of your real sales and marketing operation.

Let us start by looking at the sample key values already set up on MARKETEER prior to despatch to serve as guidelines. We shall now discuss options 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the Market Definition Menu. Please scan through these options using the down-arrow and up-arrow keys and re-read the explanatory text on the right of the screen for each option as it is highlighted.

THE 'RELATION' KEY

Please select Option 3 - 'RELATION Values'. A two-column list of words appears on the screen. These are the sample 'values' already set up for the Relation Key.

To show that MARKETEER can be applied to the purchasing side of a business as well as to the selling side, the left-hand column contains 'values' associated with selling while the right-hand column contains 'values' more relevant to a buying operation. Please read through these now and ponder on them for a few minutes.

Of course, you are quite at liberty to apply MARKETEER to selling only, purchasing only, or to both. This means that you may set up all 18 key values for selling, all 18 key values for purchasing, 9 for one and 9 for the other (as show here), or divide them between the two any way you wish!

Later, when you are using MARKETEER, you will assign one particular value of the Relation Key to each person, company and organisation you put on-file. Thus, any given person, company or organisation will be classified as a 'customer', 'agent', 'dealer', 'competitor' and so on. What might not be so immediately obvious is that once this is done, you are able to classify or 'slice' MARKETEER'S database into 'customers', 'agents', 'dealers', 'competitors' and so on and then set them up separately as consolidated targets for different sales or marketing exercises.

Now please press the 'Esc' key in order to return once again to the Market Definition Menu.

THE 'STATUS' KEY

Please select Option 4 - 'STATUS Values'. Now a different two-column list of words appears on the screen. Those in the left-hand column relate to the stages a 'sales prospect' may pass through on his way from being a completely 'cold' unknown to a regular 'cast iron' customer, while those on the right show the equivalent stages for a prospective supplier.

In this list, we have tried to cover all the phases a prospect or customer could pass through in the full course of a trading relationship. It starts where he is nothing more than an uncontacted name from a directory, passes through the various growth phases in the trading relationship with him until he is a regular customer, and finally cover the possible effect of taking him for granted to the unthinkable conclusion of losing him to the competition!

Again, as with the values assigned to the Relation Key, each person or company on file is given one of the prescribed values available for the Status Key - the one which specifies that particular person's or company's current 'status' as a prospect. This, in turn, means that you are able to classify or 'split' MARKETEER'S database instantly into groups of prospects such that all the prospects in one group have the same current status. Thus you are able to target a particular mailshot or telephone campaign at, say, all your 'responding' prospects, or at all your 'regular' customers.

At this stage, you can see that we are able to target a particular sales or marketing exercise (a mailshot etc) at a group of prospects within MARKETEER'S database which is restricted to both a value of the Relation Key (eg 'dealer') and a value of the Status Key (eg 'responding')! In other words, you are targeting a mailshot at those 'prospective dealers' who are currently at the stage of 'responding' to your advertising!

We are sure that by now you have begun to see MARKETEER'S growing power of selection, and how this, in turn, will greatly increase the yield of your marketing efforts and materials through more accurate and effective targeting.

And so far, we have only used two of the keys!

Please study and ponder on these values of the Status Key for a few minutes and then press the 'Esc' key in order to return to the Market Definition Menu.

THE 'EVENT' KEY

Now please select Option 5 - 'EVENT Values'. The two-column list of words which now appears reflects the possible types of sales event through which we may communicate with our prospects. Perhaps the ones you use are different. Again, the list is split between the sales side and the supply side.

The function of the 'event' key is to record the means whereby, or the situation wherein, you were last in touch with each prospect. In other words it records the TYPE of event and the DATE on which it occurred. Thus, when reviewing a prospect later for a telephone follow-up for instance, you will be reminded when and where you were last in touch - at a seminar you gave last month, at your exhibition stand, by cold mailshot and so on. As well as the 'last' event, you can also record the 'next' (proposed) event for each prospect and the date on which you have scheduled that event to occur.

Again, this key can also be used for selection. For example, it can be used to restrict a follow-up telephone campaign to just those prospects who attended a certain seminar, or returned reply-paid cards from a particular mailshot.

And indeed, such target groups can be further restricted to specific values of the Relation and Status keys as described earlier.

As with the values of the other keys, you are free to alter all the values of the EVENT Key to whatever you like to call them. However, there is something special about the first 6 values of the EVENT Key. As you can see, they relate to mail, phone and telex (or electronic mail). Although you may re-word what you actually call these first 6 values, they must nevertheless keep these same meanings. This is because MARKETEER'S mail, telephone and telex sub-systems update the appropriate one of these six values automatically for each prospect concerned as follows:

If you send him a one-off letter, his Event Key is set automatically to the first value. If you make a one-off telephone call to him, then his Event Key is set automatically to the second value. If you send him a one-off telex, then his Event Key is set automatically to the third value. If he is sent a letter as part of a mailshot, then his Event Key is set automatically to the fourth value. If a phone call is made to him as part of a telesales session, then his Event Key is set automatically to the fifth value. If a telex or electronic mail message is sent to him as part of a telex shot, then his Event Key is set automatically to the sixth value.

Please study and ponder on the sample values shown for the Event key for a few minutes and then press the 'Esc' key to return to the Market Definition Menu.

THE 'PRODUCT/SERVICE' KEY

The function of this key is to indicate a prospect's relevance to your business in terms of the products or services offered by your company which he is currently 'in the market for'. Conversely, in the purchasing context, it indicates which of your needs he is offering or likely to be able to provide.

So now please select Option 6 - 'Product/Service Values'. In the two-column list of words which now appears is, on the left, a list of the various products and services EBS offers, while on the right is a general list of the product and service classes that EBS requires in the running of its business. Naturally, when you come to set up your own values for the Product/Service Key, they will be the names of YOUR products and services.

Please note that only 9 product/service categories, and 9 'needs' categories have been allowed for. At first sight, this number may seem inadequate. But this is not true. Although the number and diversity of actual products and services can be far greater in terms of what they are and what they do, these are not the best criteria on which to base their selling or marketing.

We must think of our products and services in terms of their potential sales sources which exist within our market. Each customer-type is thereby regarded as a potential sub-market for more than one product. For example, if you sell typewriters, paper and correction fluid, although the three products are very different in what they cost, what they look like and what they do, they are potentially saleable to the same category of people.

Typewriters, paper and correction fluid should therefore be treated as a single product or service category. It will take much thought and skill to classify your products and services into a sufficiently small number of categories, but the dividends will pay off in terms of the increased manageability of your market database when it comes to specifying the exact profile of a particular target sector within your market.

Please study these values for the Product/Service Key for a few minutes and then press the 'Esc' key to return to the Market Definition Menu.

THE KEYS IN RELATION TO A PROSPECT

The Relation, Status and Event keys may each have only one of their values applied to any given prospect at any given time. For example, one of your prospects may be an 'agent' who gives you 'on-going' trade, and with whom you were last in touch at an 'exhibition' on such and such a date. He is thus allowed only one out of the up to 18 possible values for each key.

However, since it is likely that any one prospect may be in the market for products or services in more than one of your up to 18 product/service categories, each of your prospects may hold up to 15 out of the up to 18 possible values of the Product/Service Key. Thus, for example, I could rate a particular customer of mine as being in the market for 'software packages' AND 'consultancy' AND 'computer systems' AND 'field service'.

KEYS IN RELATION TO THE MARKET

On the other hand, when specifying the profile of a particular target group of prospects within your overall market, the said group may be made to INCLUDE prospects bearing any number of the up to 18 possible values of each key.

For instance, a particular target group could be set up to include prospects with any of 7 values of the Relation Key, 4 values of the Status Key, 2 values of the Event Key and 12 values of the Product Key.

The whole procedure for setting up such a profile is discussed in complete detail in the chapter on defining targets.

PLANNING YOUR OWN KEY NAMES & VALUES

Having seen our sample key names and key values, and knowing the way you have already of classifying and categorizing your prospects, you must now decide what you wish to call each key and the values you want it to have to suit your business. This may take a considerable effort and involve many different people within your company.

Perhaps it is time to rationalise and reconsider totally the way you classify your prospects. Perhaps you have it all worked out already. Whatever the case, please break off from your introduction to MARKETEER for the time being until you know exactly what values you want to assign to each of the keys and have put them down on paper as a set of formal lists.

ENTERING YOUR OWN KEY VALUES

Now select Option 1 of the Market Definition Menu to display the key names and amend the names as required. Then in the same way, select Options 3 to 6 in turn and amend each key's set of values as necessary.

When you have finished you will have set up MARKETEER'S database to reflect precisely the 'shape' and character of your own market. Prior to despatch, some sample prospects were set up within MARKETEER'S database to serve as initial examples. In the next chapter, we shall see how these sample prospects appear within the new framework you have just set up.