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Any ideas on Identifying the target customer base for a very specific product?

My company has developed a very specific product to assist accountants and finance personnel that use Oracle e-Business. This products automates a number of month end activities, such as reconciliations and reports.

We have struggled to narrow in on the right customer base. Online sites such as, Facebook, Linkedin and Oracle User group communities are not typically used by the potential customer base so it is proving to be difficult to implement an effective lead generation and sales strategy.

Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated


12 Replies

Shannon J. Yost
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Shannon J. Yost Entrepreneur
Marketing & Project Management at Consultant
IntentBase has a data-driven technology solution that can uncover your target audience for you with intent data, install tech, and contacts. They are able to mine many data sources to get to who your targets really are.
Farokh Mehrshahi
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Farokh Mehrshahi Entrepreneur
Sales
You can do webinars and send fliers to the firms or advertise on various magazines (http://www.accountingtoday.com/) targeting those customers to come to your free webinar. I just did a quick search.. Not an accountant. Have tried the Accounting trade shows? There are bunch of them.These just poped up, as I did a search. Good luck Accounting Trade Shows & Conferences 2016-17 2016 *E.D.G.E. Conference 2016* TAKES PLACE: Aug. 3 -5, 2016 Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, Nevada CPE credits available. Sponsored by the American Institute of CPAs, E.D.G.E. is all about your professional role today and future goals, as well as developing new leadership and communication skills, technical know-how and expanded career connections. *Registration:*
Mikael Löwgren
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Mikael Löwgren Entrepreneur
SAP Consultant at Avega Group
I know of other products that also used a kick-back model with consultants in combination with what was mentioned earlier. Consultants can have very much knowledge about your target audience and could be interested to act as implementing partner and supporting the solution etc.

Geoff Tanham
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Geoff Tanham Entrepreneur
Author at Decision2buy Inc.
Farokh has a good idea, most magazines sell their subscriber list to outside vendors, but they have varying degrees of requirements, so I would approach them first as email is the fastest and cheapest way to reach them. I would also suggest working with Oracle groups who are specific to your target, Finance and CFO types, they have them available worldwide thru Oracle. Oracle is not a cheap software, so the likelihood of finding many small operations using it, other than as consultants to larger organizations, is small, in my opinion. Contact your local Oracle rep, have coffee or lunch and share your challenge, s/he may be of help or at least you will gain more competitive and or follow up avenues of information to allow you to better sell to your target audience. If you have your target profile down pat (who they are, what they do, whom do they work for and where), you can always go to some email companies, give your profile to them and buy a database or have them do some test email marketing (a close geography will make it easier to begin with, so you can see and sell them) to your audience to see if it generates some interest. If you don't know your profile of a best customer, do it now and then move forward. Great success. As for Mikael's idea above, a "kick-back model" per say is illegal in the USA, but a "Commission or Finders Fee" model is what I believe he is proposing and is totally legal, if don't on this basis. Good selling!
Mikael Löwgren
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Mikael Löwgren Entrepreneur
SAP Consultant at Avega Group
Thanks Geoff for correcting that, should be commission or finders fee.


Jim Hodson
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Jim Hodson Entrepreneur
Digital Marketing Strategist & SEO Evangelist
There have to be thousands and thousands of national, state, and local chapters of general accounting associations/organizations/clubs as well as specialized accounting associations/organizations/clubs (tax, corporate, personal, etc.)

These types of organizations all have mailing/email lists for their members and most will sell you access. Also, if you can get links from them to your site, not only are they great for SEO, but also drive a LOT of referral traffic to your site.
Andria Younger
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Andria Younger Advisor
Branding & Marketing Strategist for Startups and Entrepreneurs l Practiced Handed at Creative Project Management
As a former professional association director, I agree with Jim and Farokh start with the professional associations. Also, if you are a good writer offer to write a blog post for their website. Associations are always in need for great content.

Andria
Ed Jeffers
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Ed Jeffers Entrepreneur
MD at EDGE +
Rob, You might consider becoming a Oracle channel partner. Otherwise there are several data mining companions you can use to find you names. You need to be specific with titles and the such but its a quick and easy way to get started. I use Callbox out of the Philippines and they charge a dollar for name, campony, title and email. Regards, Ed Jeffers 0404 835 176
Paul Garcia
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Paul Garcia Advisor
President at TABLE
Consider the customer's point of view. Where do they look to find the thing you do, and do they even know they need what you offer? It can be difficult to locate and approach insular prospects. I understand the challenge. What can your current customers do to help you? Everyone knows someone else that does the same job they do. Can you incentivize your current customers to bring you more?
Kris Parker
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Kris Parker Entrepreneur
Vice President of Sales at Digilant
As far as a Digital approach, it's possible to find a list of all the companies in your target verticals by researching their NAISC codes. You can then find the the IP address for all of the companies on these lists and begin messaging to people at these firms based on their IPs. You can even see which people from those firms are researching content in relevant areas.
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