Situation: A technology-based company has a very successful product in a niche market. The team has been brainstorming about additional markets into which the product could be introduced. The only experience that the CEO and team members have is with the existing market. While other markets are appealing, they lack the experience and contacts to penetrate new market opportunities. How do you introduce a product into a new market?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Hire someone, either an employee or a consultant, who intimately knows and can introduce you to the new market. If you have more than one good candidate consider hiring them both.
- Start with clients that you already serve in your current market but who also serve the new market. This can provide quick wins and proof of concept. Overlap is important because you will have a shorter sales cycle with these clients.
- Another company moved from on-site consulting to turn-key services. They found the purchase process to be completely different. Originally, they were unprepared for this, so the transition took longer than it might have.
- Talk to existing customers and learn about their companies’ purchasing processes to organize your fact gathering and strategy.
- Read case studies of other companies’ experience moving a single platform between markets.
- Another company moved from niche photography – holiday photos – to photos for Fortune 500 companies. This was the same expertise, but the market and decision processes were different.
- Key to the successful move was understanding the people in Fortune 500s who were making the buy decision and the structure of their decision process. The CEO of this company registered for conventions attended by client prospects. This provided a quick way to meet and learn about key people and their decision processes.