There comes a time when you feel you have gained an advantage in your current market and you are ready to ramp up your business. That’s when the idea of expanding into a new market starts crossing your mind. It’s an easy thought to have but not very easy to tap into.
It’s no secret that investments in market analysis, selection and entry methods can set you up for that endeavour, but before doing that, it may be worthwhile to spend some time getting down to brass tacks.
You may feel like you already have all the answers figured out as the product isn’t new and only the market is, but a whole different environment of a new market begets new challenges.
Delineated below are some key prompts to initiate you into the process of planning and strategy:
1. Identify the need
“Don’t sell a product, sell a whole new way of thinking”, quoted Mark Bonchek, business strategist and CEO of Shift Thinking.
The first primer to entering a new market is being customer-focused and identifying customer needs in the market. Once that is done, you can think of ways of presenting your product.
2. Define target segment
In marketing parlance, ‘If you try to sell to everyone, you’ll end up selling to no one.’
Even with the perfect solution and the perfect strategy, you cannot target the Total Available Market (TAM) nor do you need to. What you need is to define the ideal customer profile (ICP) for your product. The more you whittle down the ideal customer profile or buyer persona for your product the better focused your strategy will be.
3. Engage with the target audience
“You cannot buy engagement, you have to build engagement”– Tara Nicholle Nelson, Transformation expert and CEO of SoulTour.
After figuring out the first steps, you need a way to engage with your target audience to glean interest in your product or service and create engagement around your brand. To do this, keep your ideal customer profile in mind and think:
- Is there a specific industry they belong to?
- Are they in managerial positions or executive ones?
- Is the problem related to their work or personal life?
- What is the best channel to reach out to them?
- Have you correctly identified the need?
The demographics and psychographics of your target audience lay the foundations for how you will communicate to them and where. You should always try to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience to understand the kind of information they crave, how and where they consume it. This will help you come up with ways to engage with your audience the right way.
4. Competition and brand positioning
“Your Brand is a story unfolding across all customer touchpoints.” – Jonah Sachs, author, speaker and marketing trailblazer.
Competition mapping is an essential part of launching yourself in a new market as that allows you the space to consider (or reconsider) your price point and also think of ways to position your brand the way you want to.
Your goal via brand positioning should be setting your brand apart from the competition that surrounds it and carving space for it in the market.
How cold outreach can help.
Entering new markets can be mighty unpredictable, so it always helps to test waters before diving in. What you need is a cost-effective way to reach out to a large section of your target audience at once, gain insights into their interest and engage them.
Cold outreach can help you do just that through personalised surveys and beta testing. You can directly reach out to your audience, have your questions answered and get them to try out your service. Offering a one-month free trial is a popular strategy to incentivise participation and achieve engagement.