TrendAlert: Defining Target User Markets
This TrendAlert addresses a major component of an information manager's marketing philosophy: choosing which users to serve and knowing their needs and attributes. The answers are not the same for all enterprises, and each information manager needs to determine which user groups to serve based on an understanding of the information center's mission, the power and influence structures of the company, and the characteristics of main user groups and their needs. Outsell research shows that the ROI for information services from serving various user groups is indicated by characteristics of those user groups, including: the users' power and influence within the organization; their ability to fund their content purchases; their age and seniority levels (when considering high-touch services); and whether or not they are independent information seekers. For information managers, a key to successfully targeting user markets is abandoning the notion that serving more users is necessarily a good thing. By applying criteria specific to their organization and mission, information managers can create a target market strategy that will ensure success and survivability of their function.