Understanding Your Market Opportunity

This article was authored by Jeanne Heydecker and originally published on the Woomentum network.

When determining your financing and Go-to-Market (GTM) strategy, understanding what the opportunities in your market are will impact them in a significant way. Investors want a big piece of the pie. If your market is defined as the entire US consumer market, that’s a big market. If you state you are confident you can achieve 5% market share within two years, that’s not thinking nearly big enough for most investors. They want to see 55% and your GTM strategy should illustrate that.

Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketing is much more expensive than Business-to-Business (B2B) due to the heavy use of traditional print advertising and television commercials and infomercials. Because it relies on a lot of intangibles and difficult to measure data, understanding the Return on Investment (ROI) can be a real challenge to sort out. Was it the billboard across from that high traffic shopping mall, the bus wraps, or the TV commercial (or a mixture of all of them) that convinced that one consumer to buy? What about your different marketing personas within consumers? Teenagers will react most likely to social media and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), while seniors may take advantage of that coupon you added to your print advertising. Testing different options in different quarters could help you establish what mix works best for you.

B2B is much easier to measure because there is much less off-line marketing required to drive qualified leads. Sure, an industry trade show and print advertising in industry magazines can be a challenge to measure as well, but most of your marketing can be focused more online and be more measurable. Your web site and email campaigns can do most of the heavy lifting in getting opportunities to pitch potential clients.

Reach out to a marketing expert who has experience in launching companies in your industry. They’ll know what it will cost to get you there and understand the pitfalls, the suppliers, the players, and future trends that may threaten your business, as well as consumer habits, challenges, price thresholds and more. That in-depth experience will more than pay for itself. Let’s say you can’t find someone with specific industry expertise. Find someone who at least has experience launching and growing small startups. Ensure they know how to get the research done internally.

Market opportunity is up to you and your budget. Limit your targets at first to those that show the most promise, to see whether or not your product or service meets market demand. Once you’ve proven viability, produced a bit of revenue, you will have options on where to go next in scaling your company.

What are you doing to scale and diversify your markets? Any tips, tricks or suggestions you’d like to share? I’d love to learn from you!

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