Let us assume that your home market has a level and stable ARR and you are confident that you can continue to grow this. Now you are keen to explore new markets where your gut tells you might be an opportunity – what do you do first? Follow these six steps to make a new market entry as successful as possible.
1) Define your target market
This can be done geographically or regionally, but it also could consider the wider market and then understanding a subsection of that market currently underserved.
Start to consider the socio-economic conditions of that market, and the ideal buyers you want to purchase your product. Start mapping out those people, and think around how that group consumes information, how they like to receive information, and ultimately how you would like them to engage with your business, over what device, channel, etc.,
2) Conduct research analysis
This is to consider aspects like competitor analysis (who are the main competitors, what are they good at, what are they bad at?), but also market analysis. Start off mapping out your Total Addressable Market (TAM), filtering down into your Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) to really get an understanding of how big of an opportunity there might be.
3) Develop your marketing strategy
How are you going to drive awareness of a brand that the potential market hasn’t heard of? There are many ways to drive awareness via different channels, like paid search, referrals, social media, etc.,
Develop the strategy around the channels you have identified that are the most relevant to your target market. A new digital product aimed at 18 to 25-year-olds might not be best placed in traditional print advertising for example! A well-thought-out strategy always includes a plan so create both of these documents
This is often overlooked because market domination is what all companies want and they want it yesterday. However, when entering a new market, focus on one area, one product, one problem at a time and get known for solving that problem really well.
Carving out a reputation for being good at one thing helps create a foothold upon which one can spring from when developing further products and offerings because you will have brand recognition and loyalty.
You need to create what you want to achieve from a Financial, Customer, and Awareness point of view. What revenue are you hoping to achieve? How many customers? How much traffic to your website from this territory is a goal? Use the SMART framework to give you a focal point at which to aim.
Take a pulse of where you are at Day 1, and ensure you are tracking all of your KPIs as the strategy unfolds. If you don’t take any stats of measures on Day 1, it is then very difficult to monitor progress and to understand what impact changes can make.
This does not need to be an industry in itself, more keeping a track of website visits, bounce rates, unique users, channels, referrals, etc.,
Finally, and as a bonus tip, you need to have an Exit strategy. If you are very successful with this, do you continue and dial up the intensity for this territory and launch more products, hire more staff, etc.,? As a flip to this, what if you fail, what is the plan for that? How will you know when to cut your losses and chalk it up to a bad idea? Having success and failure criteria is a must for any new target market.