Many industrial manufacturers have plans to break into new markets with their products and services. A new market can take on different meanings, depending on your objectives: extending current products and services to a new geographic market (Europe, Asia), to a new customer type (chemical engineers, mechanical engineers), or into a new industrial sector (automotive, renewable energy). In all these cases, your primary need is to become relevant to a new target audience.
Typically, marketing has the responsibility to raise awareness, build brand recognition, and generate demand opportunities in this new market. Here are some tips to help you get this important strategic initiative right.
Learn the Market
Every market has its own individual characteristics. The challenges customers face may be different — yet the products and services they rely on to solve those challenges might be the same. The key benefits of your products in one market might not be exactly the same in another. The terms and language used are different. Acronyms are new. You need to learn all of this so you can speak directly to your audience in a relevant way — giving you credibility in a market where your company is the newcomer and relatively unknown.
In addition to relying on your own market research, you can learn a lot about a new market by watching what successful companies in the sector are doing and how they describe their products and services. Another great way to put your finger on the pulse of a new market is to join trade groups or online networking communities specific to that market. Read industry blogs. Subscribe to e-newsletters. Attend Webinars and other online events to get comfortable in the new industry.
Before breaking into a new market, you need relevant content to raise the interest of your target audience and demonstrate that you belong and are a viable vendor. Based on your research and what you’ve learned, you might be able to update and re-purpose some of your current content for this target audience.
Other content you will need to create specifically for the new initiative. You’ll probably want targeted Web pages, collateral, Webinars, white papers, advertisements, and more that directly address this new market and their needs in the market.
Work with a Media Company
As you continue to develop your plans to reach a new market, it may be a good time to interview several media companies to find out what they know about the market, how they capture the attention of the audience you want to reach, and what specific programs they offer that are targeted and help deliver quality awareness, demand, and engagement opportunities for your company.
A media partner that has expertise across the entire industrial landscape may provide you with an advantage. You can gain the opportunity to not only implement targeted programs in the new market, but also programs that serve multiple audiences and draw in potential customers from more than one market.
Examples of targeted programs to reach your new market are advertisements in industry-specific e-newsletters that are delivered to opt-in subscribers. Or online events and custom Webinars directed to an invited list of attendees in your specific market.
Programs that can help you connect with engineers and other technical professionals across multiple markets, including a new one you are trying to break into, are banner ads that appear on a network of targeted industrial Web sites and searchable online catalogs and directories that will help your audience find your company when they are actively searching for the types of products and services that you offer.
A combination of broader programs and those targeted specifically at your new market will help you make better use of your marketing budget and reach your audience in their inbox, on their desktop, and through the online networks they use to connect with suppliers.
Have you marketed your company’s products or services in a new market? What tactics did you deploy and what were the results? Share your experiences in the comments section.