By Adam Kahn
Senior Director, Marketing Operations & Demand
Frost & Sullivan
Your goal is simple – Increase revenue growth by X%.
In the face of a fiercely competitive business environment and an economy that many experts feel is ready to cycle back into recession, this is a challenging goal to meet in 2020. So what should your first step be? Seasoned sales executives and marketers understand that it’s best to start by identifying opportunities in their respective business sector(s).
To do this successfully, you must outline a framework to search for opportunities.
Step 1: Build your framework. Understand your company’s business goals and areas of expertise, including the resources, strengths and capabilities of your company.
Step 2: Analyze and assess. Analyze the market, and assess customer needs and how they are being met by the current market and future disruptors.
Now that you’ve got the framework down, here are five ways to identify market opportunities:
1. Speak to prospects and customers you’ve lost
Ask the simple question: Why didn’t you purchase our product/service? Where you notice trends, there are opportunities to discuss product development and innovation. Just remember, just because you see a trend, it doesn’t mean your company is well-positioned to execute within that gap. Be sure and keep your framework handy.
2. Speak with current customers
Your current base of customers provides the greatest opportunity for growth. You can’t be complacent just because you’ve closed business. Send out a survey, arrange some focus groups and speak to customers to gain their feedback. Ask questions like: Is there anything you think our product or service is missing? What enhancements would you like to see? What do you think our competitors do better than us? What key factor(s) persuaded you to purchase our product or service? Where did you hear about us?
Use this insight to drive product and service enhancements, development supplemental product/service revenue, build stronger market awareness and increase customer loyalty.
3. Competitor analysis
You should already have a competitor list. If you don’t, jump on this right away. Take time regularly to review the list, add new competitors and be sure to think about any outside “disruptors” to your business model, ie: the “Uber & Airbnb” of the world.
Review their websites and collateral and answer these questions: What’s their value proposition? What do they offer that you don’t? What is their target audience? Which competitors are noticeably growing and why? Who are their partners and suppliers? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What is your unique advantage in the face of these competitors? Competitive analysis is a great opportunity to dial in your messaging.
4. Market analysis
Understanding your prospects, customers and competition is imperative, but the insights they provide are only a snapshot of the market. You need to understand the entire opportunity and market research is your best bet to a true market analysis. You need to learn the actual market size.
Is the market prime for growth or contraction? How many people/businesses are buying? Competitive factors and alternative solutions you may not even imagine? Some of this data is available for free, but you should budget to work with a market research company like Frost & Sullivan to access true market opportunities.
5. Review business environmental factors
This area covers six key categories that could directly or indirectly impact your business:
• Technological developments
• Scientific advancements
• Government regulations
• Trade policies
• Social and cultural norms
• Economic shifts
These are the most important key points to get you started. There are other angles you can explore to identify market opportunities once you’ve covered this ground. If you’re looking for a partner to help you identify opportunities, please contact Brand and Demand Solutions today. We can help you to not only identify but to engage, validate and close.