Connecting with new customers: How to improve your market reach
No matter what kind of company you run, you’ll always want more customers.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a baker, butcher, or candle-stick maker. Finding more consumers will always be a fundamental part of keeping your organisation running.
In an ideal world, every company would have the budget and resources they needed to bring their brand vision to life. With an unlimited budget, your market reach could be limitless – with in-store and online promotions constantly giving new life to your campaigns.
However, in the real world, most ventures will have limitations on how far they can go with their marketing plans. That’s why it’s so important to cautiously plan your market reach strategy and implement the solutions best-suited to bring warm, ready-to-convert leads to your door.
Before you can take your business to the next level, reach new customers, and expand your sales, you need to understand who your target market is, what value proposition you have to offer, and where the gaps in your strategy exist.
By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you’re going to know how you can improve market reach in a sustainable, budget-friendly way.
Let’s get started.
What is market reach and why does it matter to your brand?
What is market reach?
Some of the most successful, popular companies in the world have earned their place in the market by being fanatical about market reach and customer growth. Just look at Coca Cola for instance. Everyone’s favourite carbonated beverage started its life being sold to pharmacies. Without a market reach strategy, this drink never would have accomplished what it has today.
Discovering how to expand and maintain your reach in any industry requires constant devotion to think about how you can engage new customers to replace lost clients and find new shoppers to boost your revenue. In fact, each year, American companies replace about 10% of their client base for various reasons.
No matter how compelling your offering is, you’ll need to keep expanding your audience and improving brand awareness if you want to stay ahead of the competition. The more you know about your current market reach and your goals for the future the more you can:
- Evaluate your existing strategies: Determine whether you’re missing out on any of your chosen marketplace by failing to appear on the right channels or using the wrong tone of voice.
- Minimise risks: The more market research you do, the less likely it will be that you make mistakes running a campaign destined to flop.
- Plan ahead: As you develop closer relationships with your existing audience, you may begin to recognise similar customers who could also benefit from your service or product. Additionally, you might come up with new ideas on how to enhance your product portfolio with new packages and offerings.
Ultimately, understanding your market reach and learning how to expand it is important to any business – regardless of its age, industry or size. If you don’t know how to connect consistently with customers, then your cash flow is bound to suffer.
How to reach a new target market: Defining your next customer
When you first launched your company, you should have established a “buyer persona”, or user identity.
While it’s tempting to simply say that your target market is anyone with an interest in your service – refinement is key to keeping costs low, and profits high. After all:
- 90% of companies with personas have a clear understanding of their customers.
- 71% of companies who exceed their revenue goals have documented personas.
- 82% of companies with personas have improved their value proposition since the beginning of their brand.
Targeting a specific market doesn’t mean that you exclude people outside of your criteria. Instead, targeted marketing is about focusing your dollars and messaging on the market most likely to generate sales. When you’re hoping to expand into new spaces with a market reach strategy, start by looking at your existing customers, and the potential gaps in the market.
Here’s how to find a new customer base for your brand.
1. Get to know your current customers
To develop a marketing reach strategy that connects you to new customers, you first need to understand who you’re already selling to. Why does your current audience buy from you? What are the common characteristics that connect your biggest buyers?
Market research into your consumer base can either be simple, or complex depending on how much information you need. For instance, you could start by supplying surveys to your existing customers or asking them for feedback. Then, to dive deeper, you can gather information from government agencies, trade associations, and research firms.
2. Look at your competition and assess your product/service
Once you understand your existing audience, a great way to find opportunities where you can expand your market reach is to think about who your competitors are targeting. Your aim here shouldn’t just be to chase the same customers but analyse your offering and determine how you can address a niche that they’re overlooking.
Write out a list of your competitors’ products and services, and the benefits they offer to their customers. Then, look at the additional benefits you have that no-one else can deliver. For instance, if you’re a technology company selling puzzles for the video game industry, your obvious market might be young gamers. However, if your puzzles are informative and educational, maybe they could work in school environments too, to help teach coding?
Could your games help people in therapy to come out of their shell? If so, you could target local therapists and psychologists. Think outside of the box when it comes to finding buyers for your brand.
3. Conduct a SWOT analysis of each potential audience
Unless you’re like Virgin and you have a whole host of companies under your belt, it’s safe to say that your brand won’t appeal to everyone. Don’t just assume that a new audience will buy from you because they share similar demographics to your existing market.
For instance, if you’re a video game company that sells to techy millennials, it’s tempting to think that older generations interested in technology might enjoy your product too. However, other factors can come into play, like the psychographics of your chosen demographic, their tastes, and their ability to use certain products.
Conduct careful analyses of each audience you consider, thinking about:
- Needs: What would cause a new customer to buy your product?
- Culture: Are there any cultural issues that might stunt your selling power? (For example, certain colours can have different meanings in different countries.)
- Psychographics: What are the attitudes and tastes of your demographics? (For instance, millennials are highly focused on environmentally-friendly experiences)
Finding the perfect channels for market reach
Once you’ve begun to successfully think about how you can improve market reach, you’ll need to look for channels through which you can build your new relationships. The platforms you use to reach your target market today might not be the right touch-points for future customers.
As you answer the question “What is market reach” by looking at the inner workings of your companies, and the values you can offer new people, you’ll begin to uncover new opportunities for engagement and expansion.
Here are just some of the options available include:
1. Email marketing
Email marketing is a fantastic way to nurture existing customers and attract new leads too. When it comes to boosting your market reach strategy, email is critical for those who don’t have a great deal of budget to work with but want to get the best return on their investment.
With the number of email users worldwide expected to grow to 2.9 billion by the end of next year (2019), the potential of this channel is astronomical. To add people to your email list, you can:
- Include your email address on all communications.
- Host events (with sign-ups and data capture).
- Optimise your website to encourage opt-ins.
- Get active on blogs and forums.
- Run competitions to get people excited about your brand.
2. Social media marketing
Social media is a natural avenue for market reach. Every person you’re already connected to in your customer base has their own connections that they can refer to you. The more incredible your social media experience is, the more likely it is that your users will want to get their friends and family members involved.
The challenge is transforming your current followers into ambassadors for your brand. Some of the ways you can do this include:
- Running social media contests where followers are asked to “tag” their friends.
- Leveraging influencer marketing campaigns to piggyback on another audience.
- Using paid advertising to target specific audiences.
- Hosting product giveaways.
Sometimes, the easiest way to expand market reach for your brand is to make some good, old-fashioned face-to-face connections. Take part in industry events and community experiences that support the values you’ve laid out for your brand. This will help your company to appear more authentic and transparent. In the meantime, you can connect with people who will help your business to grow.
Other ways that you can improve your networking potential is to establish an online community too. For instance, try joining groups on LinkedIn that are relevant to your industry. This can encourage word-of-mouth referrals. Alternatively, see if you can find any forums or niche websites that you can get involved with.
4. Affiliate marketing
Improving market reach can feel as though you’re launching your business again. After all, the aim is to demonstrate your benefits to a new selection of potential customers. Since you may not have had chance to build your authority in your new marketplace yet, you might need a little help to get started.
Affiliate marketing involves working alongside another website or blogger. Essentially, you ask people to give your company a shout-out in exchange for cash or commission. You can also take a slightly different approach to affiliate marketing by writing your own guest posts for authority sites, instead of asking someone to post for you. The difference with guest posting is that you link to your site in your bio, rather than attempting to advertise your products in the content or blog post.
If you’re planning on using Affiliate marketing to expand your reach, make sure you have the tools available to track your program’s performance. A tracking software like Voluum will ensure you’re getting the best ROI on your campaigns.
5. Search engine optimisation
Expanding your market reach sometimes means adjusting your market materials to suit the needs of a broader consumer base. This might mean adding new keywords to your SEO strategy so that you can rank for different things in the search engines.
When you’re looking for ways to add SEO potential to your marketing materials, evaluate your current image and ask yourself whether it’s conducive to better market reach. For instance, if you’re a clothing company that used to sell products for women, but now offer clothes for men and children too, then you shouldn’t just be talking about “clothes for women”. Your keywords will change, and other elements like your brand colours or logo might change too.
Ask yourself whether a rebrand or refresh might be necessary.
Exploring new horizons: Market reach strategies to try
All brands should have a strategy for looking after their existing customers. After all, it costs five times as much to attract a new customer, than keep a loyal client. Unfortunately, resting on your laurels and relying on too few customers can leave you vulnerable.
If you have no solution for better market reach, every customer you lose could lead to a cash crisis. That’s why today’s entrepreneurs and companies need to ramp up their efforts to attract new leads.
The good news is that there are plenty of market reach strategies out there that can help to expand awareness of your brand and improve your selling potential.
Here’s your guide to making your market reach plan more profitable than ever:
Step 1: Discover your “unreachables”
Thanks to your extensive market research and your understanding of your customer personas, you should have a basic insight into the people in your target market that could benefit from your product but aren’t yet aware of your services. These are the “unreachables” that belong in your strategy but have remained out of your grasp so far.
Ask yourself why this group is currently uninformed or uninterested in your business, products, and services. Could it be that you aren’t on the right social channels? Are your marketing materials turning them off? For example, if you want to let men know that you now sell clothing for them, a website and brand that’s designed entirely in pink could be the wrong way to go.
Step 2: Customise your approach
Once you know who your unreachables are, you’ll be able to customise your approach so that you’re connecting with them, as well as your existing audience. Remember, the key to good market reach is making sure that you don’t swap one audience from another. While you’ll need to adjust your strategy to bring in new leads, don’t change so much that it’s hard for your existing customers to recognise you.
For instance, when “Sound of Music” changed their name to “Best Buy”, they opened their doors to a range of new customers and improved market reach. However, they still stayed true to their principles – offering low price products, without a compromise on quality. Try making small and subtle changes first before you resort to a complete rebrand. This will help to ensure that you maintain your existing audience and reach new ones too.
Step 3: Generate awareness for your brand
The new additions to your market reach strategy will likely be in the “awareness” stage of their buyer journey. This means that they don’t know whether they need or want the product/service you’re offering. That’s why you need to focus on highlighting what makes your solution so appealing to the audience in question.
Improving market reach is all about making sure that customers can see your product in connection with a new idea or perspective. For instance, your market might already see your company as a great source of delicious baked goods – but they won’t consider you a healthy eating brand until you show your authority in this new space. To boost awareness of the right characteristics, reach out to influencers who connect with your target market.
You can also work on content marketing strategies that show your authority in a new niche. Blogs, case studies, videos, and more can all help your customers to understand the true potential of your brand.
Step 4: Focus on your brand reputation
If all your hard work in the form of offline and online marketing strategies piques the interest of a new audience, then you’ll need to make sure that you create the perfect first impression. Market reach is powerful, but it can only have an impact on your bottom line if you reach people who value what you have to say, and the products you have to offer.
To keep your reputation on the right track, and make it easier for new customers to trust whatever you’re selling, remember to:
- Choose your tone of voice carefully. Don’t be too cocky, obnoxious, or political until you understand your new audience better.
- Avoid putting competitors down or using negative language.
- Highlight the things that make you compelling with proof (case studies and testimonials are great here).
Try to show as many different forms of credibility to your audience as possible. This might mean asking customers to share their reviews on feedback sites, or even posting testimonials on your website. You can also place awards and certification badges on your “about” page and draw attention to positive mentions on social media.
Step 5: Be the kind of brand your new customers want to connect with
Finally, keep in mind that in today’s highly-social and connected world, customers follow brands for a range of reasons. While some clients will come to your brand because they’re impressed by your product and background, others will make their decisions about working with you based entirely on emotion.
Better brand reach comes from learning how you can establish affinity with a new audience, without losing the loyalty of your existing clients. This often means expanding on your existing personality in an authentic way that makes sense. If your current customers love the quality of your clothing products, but your new ones care about social responsibility, try publishing a case study about how you create great garments, without harming the environment.
The key to success is making sure that you embrace personality features that complement, rather than contradict each other. The more you build on your existing reputation, the more you’ll become the kind of company your preferred audience simply can’t ignore.
Grabbing attention: Improving your market reach strategy
Ultimately, no matter what you do, or what you sell, customers are essential to any business. Without a constant stream of new leads, you’ll never be able to grow your profits or stay ahead of the competition. Therefore, it’s vital to constantly improve market reach, while retaining your existing customers.
A good market reach strategy doesn’t have to mean transforming your business. Instead, it’s about considering where you can break into the market, and which customers you can serve that aren’t already aware of your offering. The more you explore the unique benefits of your services, product, and brand, the more you’ll find new people and demographics to connect with.
The important thing to remember when you’re working on reach for your target market is that the best results rarely come from trying to force your organisation into places where it doesn’t fit. While every organisation would love to have the opportunity to sell to the world, carefully planned brand expansions are often a safer route.
Think about the unique benefits that you already offer, and how you might be able to sell these benefits in different ways. Then, when you’re ready, adjust your marketing strategy to suit each new audience, and watch your market reach grow.
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