— October 17, 2017
Ideas for new markets to serve can come from Marketing and anywhere externally or internally, e.g. best customers or a partner, a member of the C-Suite, and Sales or Customer Support departments. If sales are flagging or if your revenue goal is especially high this year, or the market just seems very exciting, it can be tempting to agree mid-year to market in an adjacency, or even a new market.
Five Questions to Answer in the Pursuit of Growth
Before you take chase, there are five questions you should answer to come up with a viable plan (and budget) for going after a new market, in the following order:
- Start with the Whos. “Who,” meaning to what market, sub-segments, companies and personas would you be marketing? Who is the competition and how do they go to market? Who are the influencers, e.g. analysts, consulting companies or publications? Who else will need to be involved in the complete solution, e.g. an integration or distribution partner?
- Answer the Whys. “Why” specifically does the market need your proposed product, your service, your company? Why now?
- Crystalize the Whats. “What” do you provide that answers the “Why” differently from solutions already being marketed? What are the buying criteria and preferences? What is your value proposition and promise?
- Develop the Hows. “How” do prospects want you to connect with and engage with them? Think Customer Journey Mapping. How will you engage influencers? How do you develop new, or extend existing, partnerships? How will you engage, provision and train internal departments and external partners to sell and support the new solution in the new market?
- Determine the When. Is there a seasonality to the solution? Is there a major industry event such as a trade show that would be a good time to launch with press, analysts as well as customers?
When you know the answers to these questions, ideally in the above listed order, you are ready to create and implement your Marketing plan and supporting budget request. As always, the devil is in the details in answering these questions and developing the required marketing plan.