It can be intimidating to expand your business into a new market. You want your efforts to be well-received and successful; however, what works in your existing markets may not work in other areas.
That’s why it’s critical for business development professionals to conduct thorough research on their new prospective markets before expanding their sales efforts there. Below, 15 members of Fintech Zoom Business Development Council share their best market research tips to help you grow successfully.
Fintech Zoom Business Development Council share tips on conducting market research.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Analyze The Digital Footprint
I run a full analysis of a digital footprint first. I want to define where traffic is coming from, analyze the three biggest players and identify all areas for improvement. I prioritize the list of inefficiencies and start at the top. – Sara Pugh, Talent Mavericks
2. Explore The Basics First
Start at the basics. In the digital world, it amazes me how many people don’t review the tens of thousands of target market leaders. Read the risk section to understand what the threats and therefore opportunities are. – Marcus Jewell, Juniper Networks INC
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3. Carefully Evaluate Market Needs
Be realistic. Evaluate market needs carefully to know whether a specific arena is a good fit for you or not—and don’t be afraid to eliminate! For example, our company encourages breast cancer screenings using technology for the treatment of early-stage cancer. In many developing countries, this not yet routine, so these can’t yet be viable markets for us. Investigating true market need is key to success. – Tlalit Bussi Tel Tzure, IceCure Medical
4. Find Virtual Ways To Immerse Yourself In The Market
Travel, visit and explore, but if you can’t do that in person right now, do it virtually and digitally. Exploring new markets in our ever-changing world can be a challenge. Social media platforms and digital opportunities are a great tool and/or alternative. Get creative with video tours, classes and opportunities. – Karolina Hobson, Radd Interactive
5. Leverage Big Data
Use big data to your advantage. Big data is now accessible to businesses of all sizes and scopes. The cost will vary depending on what type of budget and industry you are in. Nevertheless, you have access to big data no matter your business size, and there’s never been a better time to harness this data. – Brandon Batchelor, ReadyCloud Suite
6. Know How Your Ideal Customer Profile Is Impacted
Focus on the customer. Before moving into any new market, understand how your ideal customer profile is impacted. Is this a market they are already in or will it require obtaining a completely new set of customers? Knowing the level of investment, time to achieve success and resources needed should guide any decision around a new market, geography or customer profile. – David Gerry, WhiteHat Security
7. Find The Gap You Can Fill
Find the gap in the market that you can fill. Decide how to fill that gap and make sure to identify your competitive advantage clearly. Decide how to exploit that advantage. Will you compete on cost? Will you compete on technical superiority? If you can’t find a gap or don’t have an advantage, you may want to find another market. – Michael Fritsch, Confoe
8. Validate Assumptions With Tests
Do not make assumptions. Validate them with real tests. Instinctively we take a bunch of assumptions about new markets based on research that is not first-hand. Whatever you assume must be validated by running actual tests, particularly those assumptions that will directly impact the business model. – Ali Zaman, Confiz
9. Don’t Think Research Is A One-And-Done Task
Research is an ongoing process. As markets change and adapt to things such as current economic conditions, research also needs to adapt. What was true in 2020 might not be true in 2021 or even next month. The biggest mistake organizations make is not being informed, so their research needs to be an ongoing and never-ending task. – Michael Hines, Demand Management, Inc (DMI)
10. Understand The Human Element Of The Market
My approach is simple when entering any new market: I need to become immersed in the market before I can truly enter it. First understand the culture, the food, the language/colloquialisms, the people, etc. By establishing an understanding of the human element first, the commercial go-to-market strategy will come that much easier when you are ready to launch your product or service. – Daniel Stratton, Cisco Meraki
11. Go Beyond The Numbers
To truly know a new market, one must go beyond the numbers. It’s important to understand a market’s workings from the C-suite to the shop floor. Engage with those you know who work within the industry to gain an understanding of the nuances of its operations, marketing and sales, finances and challenges. Only when you understand how these businesses work will you understand the market. – Nathan Ives, DataGlance, Inc.
12. Find The Cleanest Data Sources Available
Data doesn’t lie. Finding the cleanest data sources that help with your research is critical. There is so much potential idea crossover from industry to industry. I often find looking at the ways another industry is tackling a new market to ultimately be another avenue for me to examine my market. – Tyler Trimbath, Mihalko’s
13. Run A Test Ad Campaign
One of the best tips we use for researching new markets at a low cost is a test pay-per-click ad campaign. This allows us to judge the appetite for the new market and see the initial response we gather by giving us actionable real-world data and analytics. This allows us to make our own decision instead of relying on exclusively external research and our own hunches. – David Strausser, Vision33
14. Tap Into Your Network
Research new markest by tapping into your network. Consider who you know that works in a similar market space and tap into their knowledge. Ask them what they have learned about the space, emerging trends and what they expect the future to bring. – Jan Dubauskas, Healthinsurance.com
15. Look To The Market’s Past And Future
Understanding a new market means learning about its inception and researching where it’s projected to be in the future. Researching on a deeper level will help you find gaps that you can fill, as well as understand where your competitors are being utilized. – Sarah Knapp, Spruce Technology