A summary of a whitepaper produced by: Deven Pravin Shah(WSI Digital Marketing Consultant)
My current strategy isn’t yielding the results I thought it would. How do I keep my competitive edge without squeezing my marketing budget?
Five Ways to Capture New Market Niches
1. Discover your business potential
2. Optimize your current initiatives, maximize your returns
3. Develop a “go-to-market” plan
4. Establish a content strategy
5. Implement a web analytics program
Discover your business potential.
You need to examine your industry market. What is the full potential of your industry? What is the real demand for your product or service? Check market research and trends for your industry. If you can’t find any official documents the internet can give you a fair idea of what is happening. You just need to dig. There are a variety of research tools available; many of them are free. Do you see growth in the future? Do you think you can satisfy that growth? Who is your competition and who in your industry is best poised to move with the trends? You can validate your assumptions with online research. Do you know of any new competition? Do you know what your competitors are doing? Are you losing market share to any of these competitors?
The internet enables you to:
1. Expand your reach to people and geographic locations.
2. Learn what related products and services have business potential. Sometimes it’s a matter of changing minor things with your product or service. Or maybe simply changing your message.
3. See new market niches where you can expand. 89% of people search for answers to their questions early in their buying cycle.
Today potential customers search on Google, Yahoo! or Bing to answer their questions. Researching these searches provides a tremendous opportunity to discover who is getting the largest shares of this traffic
Avinash Kaushik brought up an interesting idea. In a brick-and-mortar store, you want to maximize your shelf space. Consider the fact that your product may be sharing a shelf with similar products; you want yours at the front of the shelf. On the Internet, your website is competing with other sites to pop up while searching for an answer to their question, you got an opportunity to capture their attention. Your website helps you with branding, lead generation, online reputation management and also business intelligence, as you get to understand how your customers think.
An in-depth competitive analysis based on real data takes the guesswork out of your marketing strategy. An good analysis can show you:
1. How your competitors are growing their business using the Internet
2. How your website compares to your successful competitors
3. What you can do to gain and retain your competitive advantage
4. Strategic opportunities for your business
5. Evolving customer behavior and preferences
6. How much your options would cost and their potential upsides
Optimize your current initiatives – maximize your returns.
A typical business has the customer life-cycle: get new customers, serve those customers and retain their loyalty, and get more business from current customers. Seth Godin explains in his book Permission Marketing, good relations with your customer database is the most important asset a business can have . Get to know them, know what they like, educate them, and cultivate interactivity. If you have the right tools all this is possible. When done right, you can actually cut down your marketing budget and free resources that you can leverage for other business initiatives. Here are examples of the tools you can develop.
Email Marketing. Promote your product and educate your clientele.
Social Media Channels. Cultivate interactive relationships, and build credibility.
Maximize Returns from Current Marketing Channels. Connect and compliment each of your marketing strategies. Are you taking advantage of tradeshows? Follow up is just as important as being there and showcasing your products and services. Use a website, email marketing and social media to bring more people to you at these events.
Find the opportunity by analyzing your marketing strategies and business goals and get a realistic idea of the potential opportunity for your business. Is this opportunity constrained by any of your past actions or in-actions or your company’s philosophy?
Develop a Go-To-Market Plan
What will help you get over constraints that are coming at you? It may be your website, your advertising, choice of demographics or building exposure in specific areas. A WSI Consultant can help you figure it out.
Focus? What are your business goals for this year? What is the marketing budget? What does it take to serve your customers? What kind of changes can you make immediately? What would make sense to do in the long run? Take all of these questions into consideration. Then pick your battles so your business can grow smoothly.
Establish a Content Strategy
Communication and networking are the two primary components of a business marketing strategy and public relations campaigns. They help give solutions. People are searching because they need your help.
Content Strategy creates information. Social Media Strategy creates conversation, while reducing cost and expands your reach. E-mail marketing cultivates relationship and introduces new ideas. All of this improves your ability to be found by the search engines.Eighty-nine percent of the people using search engines are looking for answers early in the buying cycle. Be the one to answer the questions and you’ll do wonders for your brand, PR and lead generation.
Your website is the glue that holds your marketing together. It’s a key component of a content strategy. Use its 24/7 presence to leverage advertising, social media interactions, email marketing, tradeshows or any other offline marketing initiative. Your website is a critical piece in your search engine strategy.
Use analysis based on real data before deciding which media will be the most effective for your content strategy. Don’t go by hunches. How much time do you spend creating customer support documentation and answering calls? How well are you able to leverage it for branding, lead generation and relationships?
Implement a Web Analytics System
Common goals of a Website: E-commerce, Questions and Answers, Lead Generation(driving traffic to your website), communication and support, and of course lower costs.
With your business goals in mind use the information from your website to decide which strategy right now will serve you the best results.
Web analytics provides you with an excellent opportunity to capture data. But that’s only the start.
1. Filter the data for different criteria. That gives meaningful insights for marketing.
2. How does a customer behave on your website? Learn that and you will know how to sell better. It’s also a powerful intelligence tool that you can leverage for business strategy and growth.
3. Define goals for your website. Compare different traffic sources and marketing channels. See customized reports that show clearly how they are helping to achieve your goals.
Ask your WSI Consultant for more on this.
Find a small market niche that your company can handle easily. Leverage current marketing channels to attract their attention. Augment strategies that will expand your reach. Use web analytics to measure. Have a WSI Consultant help you to understand how your customers behave and think. With that you will be able to see, capture and sustain market niches.