New market entry: Areas to focus on before making your move
When it comes to new markets, the seeds for success are planted in advance. You need clarity on what you are seeking to achieve, along with analysis and understanding of your target market. You also need a clear roadmap for execution. It’s disciplined, targeted and multi-faceted: in other words, much more of a marathon than a sprint.
Here’s a closer look at the elements for new market entry success…
Define why you’re making a move, and what success looks like
Always be aware that moving into a new market is not necessarily the ‘next natural step’ for your business.
Ultimately, your overarching goal is likely to be business growth. So what makes new market entry the best strategy to pursue to achieve this, over, say, focusing on more effective exploitation of existing markets? Make sure the business case for it stacks up on its own merits.
Define the market you are targeting
You need to be clear on who your audience is, what their needs are, and how your offering is going to solve those needs. But haven’t we done this already in relation to our existing markets? Bear in mind that your new audience may have different need states, pain points and expectations.
Do your research and analysis
Defining and understanding the market requires asking a series of important questions:
- How big is the market? Is it growing? Is there scope for entry from an outsider? What is a realistically attainable market share?
- Are there any regulatory, practical or logistical barriers to entry?
- Who are the key players? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- Where are the gaps in the market, and how can we exploit them?
- How do customers buy? What are their unmet needs? What would it take for them to do business with a new player?
- What modifications should we make to our existing value proposition to make it hit home?
It’s a daunting list, but answering these questions is crucial for effective market entry.
So how do you get the answers? Ad-hoc ‘dabbling’ in market research, perhaps by plucking out a couple of sector reports and a few Google searches, is likely to result in some rather weak insights.
This is definitely an area where specialist expertise goes a long way, incorporating both high-quality primary market research, and data analytics capabilities.
Map your internal capabilities and resources
What are the true capabilities and skill sets of the company and how relevant would these be to the market? What customer problems are you trying to solve for? Do you have the complete solution or would you need to bolt something else in?
What about the specific resources you might need for entry? Are these competencies currently available within the organisation? Which elements are you missing? This is an important factor in determining your most viable market entry method (see below).
Choose your entry method
If you don’t need to modify your existing proposition much and have most of the skills you need in house – you might want to take an organic approach. Alternatively, if speed is of the essence and you have skills gaps, you might want to acquire or partner.
Detailed, bulletproof research on your options enables you to identify your best way forward and avoid expensive mistakes.
Build a roadmap for execution
You need clarity on the following:
- Timescales for delivery
- Sales targets
- Deployment of existing resources, and clarity on the level and type of external resources that will be required.
Targeted market entry advice
Whether you need to build your new market strategy from scratch, to bridge the gap between new market ambitions and execution, or are simply looking for some advice, we are here to help. Speak to White Space Strategy today.