How to Enter a New Market
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Businesses are looking for new paths to growth, especially during these turbulent and dynamic times. Market forces have become increasingly volatile, so in some cases, it makes sense to repackage existing products or services to cater to emerging markets. But which markets offer the most potential for successful outcomes? This article frames what to consider when entering a new market, and provides instructions on which tools and resources to harness before making rash or costly decisions.
Let’s start with a hypothetical scenario. Let’s assume you work for a leading food ingredient manufacturer and are seeking ways to expand product development efforts to effectively grow market share. Your presence in the category of meat (including poultry and seafood) is notable, but consumer trends in the category of meat alternatives have been catching fire for quite some time.
Consumer research from leading B2B market research analysts shows promise and growth in the category, but how do you know entering this new market will be the right move for your organization?
Market Research Reports
One way to get a plethora of trusted information is to reference pre-existing market research reports. Statista provides a wide variety of B2B research papers, research projects, and studies to help inform (and build a case for) your market expansion strategy.
Searching the site for “meat substitutes” reveals a list of pre-existing studies and statistics to pour through. For a nominal price, you can purchase the study which reveals deeper details on research methods and provides direction on which global markets are on the rise. For purposes of this article, I won’t go into evaluating industry structure, as vendors, suppliers, and pricing depend heavily on the geographic regions one is evaluating and would be a topic in and of itself.
Of course, Statista isn’t your only option. Other reputable sources to obtain market research reports to build your market expansion strategy include:
- MarketResearch.com: You will find market research reports that spotlight consumer behavior and provide deeper industry/market trends in retail, food and beverage, personal care, manufacturing, services, hospitality, healthcare, and technology.
- Passport: Historical and forecasted global marketing information including demographic and economic statistics, consumer lifestyles and industry reports for the United States and 80 other countries.
- Market Share Reporter: Market share data is often elusive. This resource culls data as reported in business publications and via some market research firms.
- eMarketer: Provides access to market research topics, data, statistics, and analysis on the Internet, e-business, online marketing, media, and emerging technologies.
- Gartner: Outstanding resource for researching IT in Business. Gartner reports providing forecasts and analysis for companies, industries, and specific technologies, domestically and for foreign markets.
- BizMiner: A statistical research database that allows for basic or highly granular trend analysis through the use of industry financials, ratios, and market research (including start-up activity, sales growth, employment rates, and business failures) at the national and local levels.
- Claritas Segmentation: Evaluate market segments by linking consumer behavior to shopping, finance, media, and much more, to gain powerful insights and inform your marketing strategy.
Online Research Tools
Although comprehensive, purchasing research reports should not be your only data point when shaping your growth strategy. Additional research options powered by SEMRush provide high-level insights into where new markets are growing and how your competitors are performing via digital channels.
A word of caution. Use this tool with a grain of salt, as most of the data it is compiling are from a variety of 3rd party sources. This should at least give you a starting point so that you can dig a bit deeper into a given subject or category rather than conducting costly focus groups to obtain similar insights.
Let’s refer back to our food ingredient manufacturer example. Learning more about meat substitutes and trends associated with the category, the term “vegan” tends to surface regularly. A great way to evaluate demand is by using the SEMRush keyword discovery tool. For example, by typing in the term “vegan ingredients” the tool reveals average monthly volume for that particular phrase along with keyword variations that users are actually typing into search engines.
The scope of this article is not to make you a search engine optimization maestro, but rather to understand the basic tools available to uncover user demand. Keep refining phrases until you locate the ones that are most relevant to your market. As you go through this exercise, you can select keyword phrases, fully-formed questions, and marketing topics that you wish to keep for further analysis or export as a CSV file to share amongst internal decision-makers.
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The SEMRush tool also offers what they call “Market Explorer”. It allows you to quickly see how a specific competitor or category is performing in relation to its peers. What this tool also reveals are attributes that signal website traffic and saturation of a particular brand based on organic positioning, which are helpful to ascertain, but do not address the strength of the company as a whole. Again, with a grain of salt.
Learning which companies in the market are gaining a foothold, along with who else should be on your radar, are very helpful data points you do not want to ignore as you consider entering a given market.
The tool contains dozens of other interesting features to help determine market intelligence and competitive positioning. Ultimately, it’s a tool to obtain quick intelligence, so you can perform deeper dives and harness more sophisticated tools and resources.
I hope this article has helped you understand how best to quickly evaluate certain market opportunities, using cost-effective tools and resources. I would be curious to know how your market research efforts have fared, and what insights you have gleaned as a result.