Market Development is a growth strategy that identifies and develops new market segments for current products. A market development strategy targets non-buying customers in currently targeted segments. It also targets new customers in new segments. A market development strategy entails expanding the potential market through new users or new uses. New users can be defined as: new geographic segments, new demographic segments, new institutional segments or new psychographic segments. Another way is to expand sales through new uses for the product. In high tech, where discontinuous innovation is the norm, a successful market development strategy requires crossing the chasm between the early market and the mainstream. A marketing development strategy is important because it helps a business grow and reach new customers in a planned, structured way. Expanding your audience creates the potential for more leads, more sales, and more revenue, but in-depth research is essential to make sure there’s value in targeting new customers. Market Development is the expansion of the total addressable market (TAM) and and how much market share can be claimed.
Market Development is a 2-step process to tap the untapped market. It begins with market research wherein a company does a segmentation analysis and shortlists market segments which are worth pursuing. It is an attempt to use the existing product or service to attract new customers. The goal is to expand the reach or tap into a different segment or unexplored market. A segment is defined as the small sub-group of a larger population. For example, the marketing team of the company can divide the market based on geography, demographics as well as income levels etc. Once the company decides which segment to choose, the next step of market development involves creating a promotional strategy to enter into the market. For that, companies may have to take the support of both audio and visual media to push the product deeper into the market.
Another aspect is the pricing of the product. If there are competitors in the market, you may have to price the product accordingly or come out with a product which belongs to the same segment but differs in features, quality etc. to command higher pricing. To counter competition, the marketing team could look at the penetration pricing where you can aggressively price the product below competitors product to gain market share. The major challenge faced by firms, which want to indulge in market development, is that it is a costly affair. It requires huge capital investment to keep the project going. If the investment in the new segment doesn’t pay off as desired, then the whole exercise turns out to be worthless.
Types of Market Development Strategies
Here are a few popular market development strategies:
- Geographic expansion - One way to reach a new audience with your product is by geographic expansion. For example, If you’re currently only targeting US customers, research what it might take for your company to expand your audience on a global level. Or, if you’re currently only serving tech companies in New York City, research whether or not it would make sense to target San Francisco tech companies as well.
- Upselling to existing customers - If all, or some, of your current customer base, could benefit from your new product offering, consider using your relationship with them as a gateway to introducing your new solution.
- Attracting non-users - Along with (or separate from) upselling to current customers or clients, you can also develop a plan to target non-users of your product. This can be achieved through a variety of methods, including offering free trials, cold outreach, advertising, etc.
- Attracting competitors’ customers - Who else is making a product like yours? And how can you convince their customers to migrate to you? Maybe you can adjust your pricing, offer incentives or discounts, use lookalike audiences in advertising, or deliver a superior user experience.