There comes a time when successful growth means you’ll need (or want) to expand into new markets, and scale your marketing operations.
Expanding your business into new markets or territories means new audiences, and more opportunity to secure revenue, improve sales and set yourself apart from the competition.
But when it comes to strategic growth, you need strategic marketing to ensure success.
Whether you’re moving into new geographical territories, onto new platforms, or embarking on new projects to serve your current industry, here’s how to approach your business’s marketing strategy to achieve the best results.
Step 1: define your target market
Your target audience isn’t ‘everyone’. Likewise, your target market isn’t ‘everything’.
If you don’t take the right approach before making a leap into new markets, you could end up wasting time and resources. So, you’ll need to figure out who and where your target customers are.
By evaluating relevant data from your current customer demographics (e.g. age, gender, stage of life, income, location etc.) and psychographics (attitudes, aspirations, interests), you can discover exactly where new business opportunities lie. These insights will also help you create the most powerful value messaging for the market you’re entering, further down the line.
Alongside data from your current customer base, take a look at the audience data from your social channels, plus intelligence from your competitors, to gain a more rounded view of the market landscape.
Developing audience personas is also key at this stage. Creating an audience persona for each market niche you’ll be targeting helps you better understand the people you’re marketing to, and their motivations. This empathy is what will help you to develop highly targeted, razor-sharp messaging that relates directly to your target demographic.
Step 2: perform a market analysis
Once you have a better idea of exactly who you’re trying to reach, you can conduct your market analysis. That means taking into consideration your competition, your opportunities and any obstacles you’ll need to overcome, including barriers to market entry. This analysis could turn out some surprising results: you could be expanding into an international market which has a relatively similar audience to your own, meaning there isn’t any significant change needed to your current marketing efforts. Or, you could be moving into a local market with a completely different audience, therefore requiring an entirely different approach.
There are a number of models you can use. One example is a PESTLE analysis, taking into account political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental considerations. Or, you could use the Porter’s Five Forces tool to analyse competitiveness in the marketplace, taking into account the key sources of competitive pressure: supplier and buyer power, the threat of substitution, the threat of new entry, and market rivalry.
P+S determined the strategy for the Panasonic TOUGHBOOK brand’s launch into Eastern European markets after conducting in-depth analyses. In doing so, we discovered that the rugged technology sector in those territories was non-existent: this was an emerging market opportunity. And because it was a new market, we knew a traditional advertising campaign wouldn’t necessarily work.
Whichever model is used, performing a thorough market analysis helps you open the door to new prospects, clarify how you can set yourself apart from your competitors, and reduce the risk of missteps along the way. It makes scaling your business a smoother process, and allows you to discover where your opportunities are in the marketing landscape.
Step 3: assess your internal capabilities and resources
Now is the time to decide if you have what it takes to commit to expansion. You’ll want to do this before you invest more time or resources into planning your strategy.
Along with your business’s operations, does your marketing department have the time, capacity, manpower, tools and skill to scale up? How will you address any potential pinch points? A savvy marketing agency will be able to design a campaign strategy that makes the most of your available resources – and budget.
Scaling your business also presents an opportunity to centralise your marketing. For example, your HQ could contain your marketing hub, with key decision-makers disseminating messaging and materials to your other bases. This centralisation creates a clear chain of command, a more focused vision and a more streamlined decision-making process with quicker implementation – particularly important when internationalising your business. What you’re left with is robust, consistent and efficient marketing, that’s effective too.
Step 4: select and prioritise your markets
After completing market analysis and assessing your ability to grow sustainably, you’re probably brimming with ideas to take advantage of newly discovered opportunities. To ensure success, select and prioritise which segment or market is the best fit for your goals.
At this stage, a customer analysis will help to reinforce your decision by providing evidence of demand. Focusing your time, resources, and marketing efforts in one area will give you the opportunity to make a more powerful impact.
In the case of TOUGHBOOK, mentioned above, after analysing Panasonic’s target customers in Eastern Europe, P+S knew that we needed to engage a number of sectors in the region: from defence to education, retail to construction. And we needed to pique the interest of IT commentators and industry press, to ensure on- and offline coverage of the launch. In turn, this affected our messaging strategy, as we took an educational and awareness-building approach to marketing the TOUGHBOOK brand. The campaign would not have been such a success, had it not been for a comprehensive understanding of the target market and audience profile.
Step 5: develop your market penetration strategy
Now you know who you’re targeting and where, you can design the perfect penetration strategy. It’s important to evaluate your campaign messaging and channel selection, so you can target the right individuals at the right time. To do this, you’ll be able to use (and build on) the detailed competitor and market intelligence you’ve already gathered from your market and customer analyses.
This is where your key measures of success come in, as targets you’ll be looking to achieve with your new marketing outline. The best course of action is to develop SMART objectives (or a similar model) to decide on specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound goals. Once you have these goals, you have the ability to create a measurable marketing campaign, taking into account local and external factors such as market conditions, or economic and political events you identified in your earlier PESTLE analysis.
P+S talks about being measurably different, and this is where our expertise sets us apart. There are a number of methods we use to plan our clients’ penetration strategies: marketing effectiveness modelling calculates the ROI for each channel you’ve used in previous marketing; incremental marketing ROI calculates the ‘true’ impact of your marketing efforts; performance modelling generates an accurate forecast of your future marketing outcomes.
Step 6: launch your campaign
Now, you should have everything you need to launch your campaign, and to meet those key measures of success. But the work doesn’t stop there. Adapt and optimise your campaigns continuously, so you can maximise your results – and ROI.
Quicker growth with a clever marketing strategy
If you’re looking to grow your business, we can lend an expert hand.
At P+S, we take a ‘test, learn, refine’ approach, to ensure your marketing continues to evolve as your business does. We tactically deploy your campaigns, analyse and tweak your marketing to meet your desired outcomes, and help you demonstrate the results of your efforts to stakeholders.
We are one of the UK’s most experienced marketing agencies, working with clients across the globe for more than 40 years. Our in-house teams will oversee your campaign end-to-end: from concept and strategy, to research, messaging, design and delivery.
Get in touch today to find out more.