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How to Create a Winning Market Development Strategy

Discover the essential steps and strategies to craft a winning market development strategy. Learn how to drive growth and outperform your competition with expert guidance.

Growing your business requires a comprehensive market development strategy that introduces your products and services to new markets.

A market development strategy can help you acquire new customers and increase revenue by identifying new opportunities for growth. Companies may want to expand their products and services to a new market rather than creating new products and services.

With this growth strategy, companies can find new market segments for current product lineups and find the most effective ways to maximize their sales. Keep reading to learn more about market development strategies and how you can use them to grow your business.

What is a market development strategy?

A market development strategy is a part of growth marketing in which you aim to grow your business by reaching new markets. Simply put, it’s the process for introducing your current products and services to a new target audience or market — it’s the development of a new market for your business to enhance sales opportunities.

A market development strategy goes beyond marketing strategies and focuses on targeting a completely new market or expanding an existing market to include a new type of customer. Your company will search for new customers who might be interested in your product or services to diversify and expand sales.

A market development strategy also applies to startups because they don’t currently have a target market. Since you don’t necessarily know about this new market, you’ll have to rely heavily on market research to analyze your current market and find new segments that you can approach based on demographics, customer needs and wants, interests, preferences, and so forth.

Get to know your target market

Before you can enter a new market and attract a different segment of customers, you’ll need to determine whether you have a product-market fit.

Remember, you’re not designing or developing new products; you’re using your current offerings to enter new markets. Therefore, you’ll need to get to know your target market and determine whether consumers are really looking for your product or service as a solution to their pain points.

Conducting market research

The best way to learn about an audience is to conduct market research. Market research is a necessary part of any business strategy because it helps you learn about your target market and determine if there’s a need for your product or service. Your promotional strategy will depend on what you know about your target market.

Since you haven’t started collecting data on them yet, market research can tell you more about their interests, preferences, and motivations to determine if they might be interested in your offerings.

Identifying target customers

Identifying your target customers can help you more effectively target them with your offerings. Based on what you learned through market research, you can begin creating buyer personas. You should also consider the product life cycle. Ultimately, you’ve already developed a product that has become successful in one market, but will your success translate into another market?

Analyzing competitor strategies

Most businesses have direct competitors they can learn from. If you sell accounting software for accountants, you may try to enter a new market to sell directly to consumers or business owners. Are your competitors doing the same? If so, which types of markets are they targeting, and does it make sense for your products or services

Analyzing how your competitors have entered new markets can help you determine whether there’s a new market for your products or services. If none of your competitors have entered a new market, it may mean the idea isn’t viable, or it means you have a growth opportunity in front of you that no one else has taken advantage of yet.

Before you start developing a strategy, you should set goals. Your goals will define your market development strategy and how you’ll promote your products or services to a completely new market. Additionally, having objectives gives you something to measure and work toward. Take the following steps to set objectives for your market development strategy:

Defining business goals

Think about the reason why you’re trying to target a new market. Is it to increase brand awareness and sales or to experiment to grow your audience across different customer segments? Defining your ultimate business goals can help you set clear objectives throughout each stage of the plan.

Creating measurable objectives

In addition to considering your business goals, you should set measurable objectives. The whole point of developing a strategy to enter a new market is to generate more sales and increase your revenue. However, your strategy needs measurable objectives like increasing sales by a certain percentage.

Having measurable metrics and key performance indicators for each stage of your plan can also be an effective way to measure how well you’re performing in terms of marketing and sales.

Understanding market opportunities

The only way to set objectives is to understand the opportunities of a particular market. Let’s say you run a marketing agency that specializes in a specific niche market like e-commerce. However, expanding into other markets or more specific niches can help you increase your revenue. For instance, you might expand into marketing for e-commerce logistics companies, a subset of e-commerce.

Understanding the opportunities you have here can help you set objectives. You can generate brand awareness within the e-commerce space, targeting logistics companies and retail businesses.

Once you’ve set your objectives, you can develop a plan for how you’ll bring your products or services to a new market.

Every market development strategy needs a marketing roadmap that can guide you through the types of tactics you want to use to introduce your products and services to a new audience.

Your plan should include items like steps, deadlines, and ultimate goals for each stage while tracking the resources required for various strategies. So how are you going to enter a new market? Take a look at these best practices for developing a plan.

Analyze customer needs

You’ve decided to enter a new market because there’s a need for your product or service. However, your new market’s pain points might not be the same as your existing markets.

If you sell accounting software to accountants, they want to streamline their accounting business. However, when you enter a new market and begin selling accounting software to small businesses, their needs are slightly different. Instead of managing clients, they want to manage their own business finances more effectively.

Knowing your customer's needs and pain points can help you develop more effective marketing strategies, targeted for each segment.

Identify market segments

Identifying the right market segments to grow your business is crucial. Some segments don’t have a need for your products or services. However, most companies tailor their products and services to multiple market segments. For example, a marketing agency might target small businesses, e-commerce and retail stores, or specific niches.

Identifying your target market segments can help you effectively categorize customers and create more targeted campaigns based on their wants, needs, and interests.

Define unique value propositions

Your product or service may have an overarching value proposition. However, you may generate unique value propositions tailored to each new market segment based on what you know about your potential customers.

If you sell pet products, you may have a different unique value proposition for dog owners, cat owners, or both, depending on the product.

Of course, you don’t always need separate unique value propositions. A single strong proposition can boost brand awareness as long as it can effectively communicate the value of your product or service to multiple market segments.

Implementing your market development strategy requires you to create marketing messages, choose the right channels, and determine the best metrics for measuring success. Your market development research and internal data should teach you all you need to know about your existing customers to develop a market development plan for success.

Remember, your main goal is to market your existing products to new markets, which means finding the best marketing channels.

Luckily, in-depth market research can tell you where your customers spend their time. For instance, if they primarily discover new products on social media instead of using search engines, you'll know to invest more money and resources into social media marketing efforts.

Finding the right strategy can help you avoid a poor marketing campaign that affects your ability to increase sales. Ultimately, you want a competitive advantage, which means reaching new customers in the most effective ways possible.

Regardless of the marketing tactics you employ in your market development strategy, you should choose metrics that help you measure success. Earlier, you outlined your business goals and objectives.

However, each marketing strategy should have its own goals. If you advertise on Instagram, you might want to increase brand awareness. Meanwhile, if you invest in Facebook lead generation ads, you might want to measure the number of leads generated and sales from those leads.

Evaluate and improve your strategy regularly

Market development strategies can ensure success when entering new markets and learning about a new target audience. With the right business growth strategy, you can increase brand awareness and find new customers with existing products to diversify your revenue sources and grow the business.

A marketing plan is crucial when entering new markets. Use Mailchimp's suite of marketing tools to send surveys and conduct market research and begin implementing your market development strategy.

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