Targeting the Untapped: How to Identify New Markets

Small business owner learning about new markets
In today’s competitive business landscape, small business owners consistently seek avenues for growth and expansion. If you want to grow your business, you’ll need a strategic plan – which should include how you’ll identify new customers, push your products or services into new territory, and capitalize on untapped customer markets. In this article, discover actionable insights and proven methods that empower entrepreneurs to target the untapped and unlock the potential of new customer markets.

Finding New Customers in Existing Markets

Expanding your reach within familiar territories may sound challenging, but there are several effective approaches you can use to attract new customers and increase market share. Before you pursue new customers, it’s important to thoroughly understand your existing customer base. Analyze their demographics, preferences, and buying behaviors to identify any untapped segments or emerging trends. Leverage customer feedback you receive through surveys, reviews, and social media channels to gain insight into the evolving needs and expectations of your customers. Once you re-establish your target consumers, you can determine different distribution channels you could exploit.

Create Marketing Personas

Bring your target customers to life by creating marketing personas. For example, if your ideal customer is a 30-year-old stay-at-home mom, give her a name, learn more about her, and write up a detailed profile that describes her lifestyle, education, income, problems she may face, and other important demographic attributes. The better you know your target customer, the better you’ll be able to find more customers that fit the profile.

Open New Outlets

Where do people who match your marketing personas live and work? Is expanding into different geographical locations an option? If so, research consumer demand for your goods or services in different locations. If the demand is large enough, determine how to go about serving those customers. For example, do you want to open and run a physical location or would franchising be an option?

Consider Vertical or Horizontal Integration

If you’re a wholesaler, can you add a retail outlet? Likewise, if you’re a retailer, it might make sense to add a wholesale channel. Are there any competitors or complementary businesses looking to sell? You might be able to buy them out to extend your reach and customer base.

Sell Your Products and Services Online

Selling online creates a new channel for your customers to purchase your offerings. You’ll also widen your audience – and therefore your reach – to potential customers. Consider: 
  • Websites and Mobile Apps – If your business caters to on-the-go customers, make sure your website design is responsive and mobile-friendly (easy to view and interact with on mobile devices). It may even make sense to develop a mobile app. 
  • Social Media Channels – Many social media platforms now offer businesses the chance to set up shops, and have designed the shopping experience to be sleek, quick, and easy for customers.
  • E-commerce – Selling online doesn’t always mean setting up your own website or mobile app. It may make sense to set up an e-commerce store on a site such as Shopify or Etsy.

Revisit Your Marketing Strategy

What are you doing to attract new customers to your business? Revisiting your marketing strategy is crucial as it allows your business to stay relevant in a changing landscape. By reassessing your approach, your business can identify shifts in customer preferences, optimize marketing efforts, and differentiate itself from competitors. Regularly revisiting the marketing strategy ensures long-term success and sustainable growth in a dynamic marketplace. Use the following three strategies to attract new customers: 
  • Get Your Brand Out There – Attend conferences, network, get involved in the community, and survey your loyal customers to gather their feedback. 
  • Reconnect with Your Online Efforts – Make sure you have a presence on any relevant websites (such as online review sites) and social networks. Evaluate and optimize your existing social media platforms, consider adding a new platform that your ideal customers use or will connect you with a new market, or try out new methods to attract more followers. 
  • Ask for Referrals – Your customers likely know other people just like them who could benefit from your products and services. Setting up a formal referral program may be beneficial. However, many customers are more than willing to refer your business if you simply ask. 
  • Establish a Loyalty Program – Many customers choose one brand over another because they reap additional perks or benefits from their purchases. If you don’t have an existing loyalty program, offering extra incentives or freebies is a great way to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Finding New Markets

If you’ve exhausted the growth opportunities in your existing market, or your existing market feels flat, finding a new market may be the way forward.

Consider Exporting

Overseas markets offer opportunities to expand your business, but there’s a lot to consider. Exporting can be both risky and highly rewarding, making research crucial. Conduct high-quality, on-the-ground research in the countries you’re considering. Make sure to find out what regulations, tariffs, and business risks are present in your new target market.

Explore B2B or B2C Markets

You’ve built a business serving a particular slice of the pie, but other segments could also be receptive to your business. For example, if you’ve built your business with a focus on consumers (B2C), consider whether your goods or services would be of use to other businesses (B2B). Perhaps the government or education sectors have opportunities to explore.

In either case, you may need to tweak your offerings slightly to appeal to the new market. For example, while your existing products or services may be useful to both B2B and B2C markets, businesses and consumers have different pain points, priorities, and problems to solve. You may need to adjust your marketing to address these differences and position your offerings as the solutions.

Get Started Today

Finding new customers and markets could open the door to business growth, but it requires foresight and action. Get started today.

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