As a business executive, you’d like to find the few companies that spend a lot, have growth potential, will stay loyal to your company and provide better than average margins. Does that sound like a pipe dream? There is such a group of companies in every country and the largest group is in the U.S. – about 197,000 of them. They are labeled the Midmarket – companies with revenues between $10 million and $1 billion that employ between 100 and 5,000 people. They account for about 1/3 of gross domestic product and private sector jobs in America – and are a significant component of the economy in most countries. These are the grownup startups – too big to be small and too small to be big. American midmarket companies generate about $3.9 trillion in annual revenues and employ 43 million Americans. If the American midmarket was a country unto itself, it would be the fourth largest economy in the world.
These companies are not well-known brands. They tend to do business in niches – limited to a particular geography or sticking with doing only or two things (often for decades). Collectively, midsize companies – The Midmarket – are perhaps the most important but overlooked and neglected group of businesses.
Well, now that I have your attention, let’s see how you can get to sell to them. They are clearly a lucrative segment but you need to approach the midmarket a little differently. For one thing, there is no one-midmarket. There are many midmarkets – by type of ownership, growth trajectory, geographical focus, type of niche player they are, etc. Once you understand their profile, the issues they face are similar across similar companies. The upfront work is one reason that many vendors don’t pursue the midmarket; and, also because the size of a sale to the midmarket is smaller than one to a large company. But then again, how many large companies do you have as customers and how often do they want to work with you or ‘work you down’ on price and terms regularly or switch to a lower cost supplier who just showed up? On the other hand, if you got a few midsize companies also as customers, you’d have many loyal customers and a more stable revenue stream. And, midsize companies typically hire local suppliers, tend to stick with them for a longer time and generally provide better margins.
When it comes to social media, you need to target many different segments within the midmarket distinctly. For example, most midsize companies are privately owned and more than half are family owned. Similarly, most midmarket companies do not export. You could message them about growing their business within the United States or about how to begin exporting. Also, many of these companies have owners who are exploring transitioning it to the next generation or selling the company and cashing out. The companies that would respond to these targeted messages will generally be midmarket companies. You know which messages are appropriate for your business.
If you want to understand the ‘many midmarkets’, and reap great rewards for your company, we can help. The Midmarket Institute in Princeton, New Jersey is among the very first to address the specialized challenges of midmarket companies, their vendors and influencers. And, the Institute allows you to explore the many segments within the Midmarket – whether by type of ownership, types of niches, geographical focus and so on. If you want to keep abreast of the latest news about the midmarket, you can subscribe to the Midmarket Weekly at www.midmarket.org/newsletter.
Midmarket Directories allows Midmarket executives to search for specialized vendors familiar with the needs of companies like theirs, challenge by challenge, by category of providers or using keywords like on Google. If you are a vendor to the midmarket, get a free listing in the Directory by registering at http://www.midmarketworld.com/user/user-register. You can also buy an advanced listing for a fee. We have a special discount for readers of Blue Focus Marketing’s Blog.
The Institute provides Midmarket-specific content, tools, business simulations, videos, podcasts and blog posts. There are vibrant communities on the platform of like-minded executives who can meet and discuss similar challenges. A “Mi” (my) page feature pulls all the information related to a midmarket executive’s challenges – and potential resources, content and providers – on a single page. “Ask an Expert” allows Midmarket executives and CEOs to seek advice from people in the know – and vendors and consultants to offer their expertise to midmarket executives who are prospective customers anonymously. The Institute also conducts informative webinars. Some of these features require a paid membership.
Special Discount for Readers of Blue Focus Marketing’s Blog: Using the following code, readers of Blue Focus Marketing are being offered a 50% to join the Midmarket Institute (at www.midmarket.org) before May 31, 2013 (10% discount June 1st onwards) and similarly for a listing in the Midmarket Directories (at www.midmarketworld.com/directories). YOU HAVE TO REGISTER SEPARATELY FOR EACH WEBSITE. Enter the following code at checkout on either site to get your special discount: Burgess213. Or, you can send an email at info at midmarket dot org and we will walk you through the transaction.
Ram V. Iyer is the Founder & President of the Midmarket Institute, an organization that focuses on helping midsize companies and those that serve them. You can follow the Midmarket Institute on twitter @midmarket and find us on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media. He can be reached at email@example.com.