How to break into a new market

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Breaking into a new market involves months, sometimes years, of planning. It involves a lot of research, time and energy. Like anything in business, preparation and homework can prove the difference between success and failure.

Marketing Angels recently launched its first office in Perth! It is an exciting time for the business and comes after more than 10 years on Australia’s east coast. Many people have since asked me how I did it. How did I take my business and modify it for the needs of the West Australians, seemingly overnight. Well I can tell you one thing: it was not overnight.

Considering a new market
When deciding whether to break into a new market, it is important to consider the reasons you want the business to grow and, more importantly, whether your business is ready to grow. You can do this by simply reviewing and updating your business plan. Not only will this help you determine whether you are ready to break into a new market, it will help you formulate a plan to finance the growth.

You should include the following in your plan:

1. Market Research

Be sure to include:

-          A SWOT analysis;

-          Evidence there is room in the market for your product or service;

-          A potential customer base; and

-          A study of competitors – who they are, their market share and offerings.

2. Financial Analysis

Analyse your financials to ensure your business can sustain a move into a new market. You should ensure you have the cashflow and projected income to fund the time and cost of breaking into a new market. With this, you should also consider the costs associated with the move including new employees, distribution and legal costs.

3. Marketing to a new market

Once you have decided to break into a new market, the next step is telling everyone about it. That does not only mean your potential and existing customers. It is important to also involve management and staff, so everyone knows what is going on.

The following are my top tips for marketing to a new market. Remember, potential customers may not be aware of your brand yet, so you might have to go back to basics:

1. Identify a problem…then provide the solution

Through earlier research, you are most likely aware of problems within the current market. Recognise these problems then identify the way your business will provide a solution. People will ask you: why did you move into this market? Make sure you can offer a solution your competitors can’t.

2. Build your database

Start to build a database of potential clients within the new market. Begin with your current database – perhaps there are people on it that cover both markets. Attending events in the new market, joining associations and creating an online presence are all ways you can start to build your database.

3. Make yourself visible

Make sure any online ads you are doing target your new region and consider using Facebook ads or similar to specifically target the location that you are moving into.

 4. Position yourself as a thought leader

Look at ways you can position yourself as a thought leader in the market. Start a blog, develop newsletters, write articles or offer to run a free event.

5. Contact the media

Let the local and industry media know you are a new player in the market. Make sure you tell them about the problems you have identified and ways you will solve them.

 6. Network

Get out there and meet people within the new market. Not only will you build your database, it will allow you to meet key industry players and potential clients. Tap into current relationships in current markets to see if they know potential partners in new locations.

A move into a new market will require a different marketing plan than your current business does. Remember, they already know you in your current market. Those in your new market, won’t.

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