A new year always provides fresh thought, renewed energy and new opportunities to explore. Unlike last year when economists were predicting a decline, 2010 is predicted to incline as businesses and consumers slowly begin to come out of hiding.
All business disciplines—including marketing—should be included when deciding to take on a new market.
- Understand your costs to enter a new market.
- Be sure not to neglect your current customer base when marketing to new prospects.
- Ensure that you can deliver in the new market.
- Be true to your brand.
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A new year always provides fresh thought, renewed energy and new opportunities to explore. Unlike last year when economists were predicting a decline, 2010 is predicted to incline as businesses and consumers slowly begin to come out of hiding. Economists hail that this is the best time to invest in marketing, so revisit your marketing plan from 2009 and put implementation back on the fast-track. For some companies, age-old marketing strategies may no longer be the most viable. Maybe your best opportunities lie in a new market sector or geographic region. So now what? Will the same marketing approach work with this new market? What if a competitor already owns the market position? How does your potential customer base look, feel and react?
Sometimes, entering a new market is an obvious decision—your customers are already asking for your participation, the competition has gone by the wayside or nobody really “owns” the market. Most often times, however, the decision is not as obvious and many factors need to weigh into the decision. While there is always some risk involved in entering a new market, doing your homework will ensure a successful venture.
From a marketing perspective, it is important that you invest in market research upfront. It is critical to understand the competition’s marketing approach in order to determine how you will position yourself in the marketplace. Who is your competition trying to reach? What is their unique selling proposition? What sets you apart? What need is not being fulfilled? Equally important, is to understand your potential customers. If you are not meeting the needs of the market, all efforts will be futile.
Knowing how to develop an effective marketing plan can pave the way to successfully entering a new market. It is important that you are able to dedicate a reasonable marketing budget toward a new launch to ensure that your potential customer base is aware of your products or services. Your budget should allow marketing to your existing customer base as well as developing an entirely new base of potential customers. Furthermore, it is essential to ensure that you can deliver internally. Nothing is more damaging to a brand than not being able to deliver on your brand promise.