A team comprised of U of C-Booth MBA students has been working on a sales project for Spendbot, and the question came up- who is the target market?
The answer is… everybody. While this is not the most popular answer with professional marketers and investors, it is the most truthful. The reason is that Spendbot will provides a useful function that everyone needs at one time or another- figuring out how much they- or others- can afford to spend. Money, like time, is not infinite, and Spendbot, like a calendar program, can help people manage this scarce resource.
This can include college students making sure they don’t blow their student loan money months before semester end. And their parents who can’t afford that “I need more money” call. And seniors trying to make sure their retirement savings don’t run out. And their children wanting to avoid having their parents’ accounts bled to zero. And social service agencies charged with helping disabled and handicapped navigate our market economy. And people newly unemployed trying to figure out how to make ends meet. And people with new jobs trying to figure out how to spend their new-found income. And newly married with money freed up by having one housing bill instead of two. And soon-to-be-married trying to plan and save for their wedding. And soon-to-be-retired trying to plan and save for retirement. And entrepreneurs trying to calculate their runway. And refugees trying to figure out the costs of living in the US. And health insurance agencies trying to manage multi-product hybrid plans that provide both low deductibles and affordable premiums. And marketers of products and services that have more complex spending requirements (like vacations or college expenses). And people who need to figure out how much they can afford on vacations, shopping, and luxury items. And people who don’t want to spend time budgeting and keeping track of payment due dates.
The key is not positioning Spendbot to appeal to one segment (has anyone created a calendar program just for busy moms or college students?) The challenge is to create a service that works with ease, reliability, and security, and then get people to try it by sharing the stories of people who have been helped by using it. Like the newly unemployed family that we helped save over $1000/month on their health insurance. Or the college student that we helped figure how to afford two international trips in one year on a student’s budget. Or the young professional who determined how much they could afford to spend on an apartment, saving potentially hundreds or thousands a year in late and overdraft fees.
So while we create marketing plans and sales collateral for specific markets (the Booth team is focused on college financial aid offices), we also make sure to create a tool that, once someone has learned it, can be used for everyone in their life or practice that needs to get their spending under control. Considering the mean savings of pre-retirement families in the US is $12,000, this is a lot of people.
If you have a use case we haven’t yet considered, please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.