Your Senior Management Team has decided to go after a new market or do a much better job capturing a current one. Like any other business venture, you need a strategy and a plan for executing it. There is much to consider including:
- Who are your consumers, and what are their preferences and trends?
- Who is your competition, and what is their market position?
- How will your sales and marketing team enter and capture the market?
- How will your production and support teams keep up with a rapid increase in sales?
- What is your infrastructure, and can it handle rapid expansion?
In this post, we will address the sales and marketing aspects.
Who are your consumers, and what are their preferences and trends?
To rapidly capture the market you must find ways to attract both new customers to the market and your competitors' existing customers. You need to understand why non-buyers aren't buying and why buyers have gone with the competition. You must find unexploited niches and regions. Most importantly, you must provide something uniquely valuable, something that will clearly differentiate you from your competitors. A traditional SWOT analysis may help, but you need to think outside the box to gain traction rapidly. This is where a "blue ocean strategy" may be your competitive edge. To gather the essential information you need, consider investing in:
- Professional market research services and consulting
- Market survey reports and firms
- Industry groups, reports and forums
- Local/regional chambers of commerce
- Online research and social media
- Online lead generation, inbound marketing services
- Telemarketing services combined with high-quality contact lists
Who is your competition, and what is their market position?
You must understand your competitors in order to quickly overtake them in the marketplace. Consider investing in:
- Professional competitive analysis services
- Online services such as Compete.com, Hoover's or D & B
- Search engine analysis and online marketing firms
- Independent market research reports from Forrester Research and others
How will your sales and marketing team enter and capture the market?
How will you execute your rapid market penetration strategy? Is your sales and marketing team experienced in the new market, and do they have the training and resources to rapidly capture it? How will you get the word out to attract new customers and generate leads? Are your marketing and sales messages aligned, and do you have a closed loop process in place to convert sales leads into customers and provide feedback for improving marketing? You should consider investing in:
- Marketing strategy - preferably a company experienced in both offline and online marketing
- Online marketing (Website, SEO, blogging, social media, webinars, videos, e-mail)
- Lead generation, lead nurturing and CRM software and training
- Press releases, media events and tradeshows
- Online, print and media advertising
- Pay-per-click (search engine) advertising
Your success in rapid market penetration will depend in large part on your commitment to the project, both strategically and financially. Speed to market depends on priority, planning and human resources. Many companies choose to partner with a sales consulting company to assist with their sales strategy and marketing. This strategy allows them to shorten the time to market and quickly overcome the problem of limited resources and experience.