For market planning, an examination and tracking of specific industry sectors are a necessary input and part of the process. Not all business sectors grow at the same rate, act the same, have the same needs or can be approached the same way. If your business is focused on a specific industry group or two, you could find the market running ahead as your business lags.

Let’s take a look at one industry group compared to the overall Global 5000 group of companies with an eye to understanding how to size the market opportunity and how to reach them.

From 2006 to 2012, the overall market as represented by the Global 5000 grew by an average of 7.2% while the Basic Materials group (mining, metals,chemicals, etc.) segment grew by 12.1%. If an organization’s focus does not include Basic Materials, then growth will likely be slower than the overall market average. So, this is a faster growth market.

Looking at some other metrics, we see that this segment is more people intensive  and that shows in the revenue per employee figures where the overall market is $369,000 and the Basic Materials segment is $411,000.  With that, approaches to this industry group would be to help them grow the top line or improve productivity. Either one changes the equation and improves their revenue per employee ratio and derive more from their people investment. If your product, service or solution can directly impact those elements this audience will likely be receptive.

So, we have a market segment that is growing faster than the overall market, it is labor intensive and lags the overall market in deriving revenue from its employee investments. Another element stands out in terms of how you reach them. We took a look at their social media involvement where we use the number of LinkedIn profiles as a percentage of total employees. For this, we compared the Basic Materials companies with those in the Business Services segment — consulting firms, accounting, personnel agencies. In Business Services, the social media percentage is 28.6% and the Basic Materials segment is only 10.2% so a social media strategy for this segment is less likely to bear much fruit.

Key companies in the Basic Materials segment include:

  • Glencore
  • BASF
  • ArcelorMittal
  • Noble Group
  • POSCO
  • Dow Chemical

You can learn more about (and purchase) the full Global 5000 database on this page