Marketing and business expansion are very much intertwined and reliant upon each other, but doing your research is one of the biggest factors for both. How do you identify opportunities for building your business in new markets? What is your process for updating your marketing strategy to include value propositions for a different set of prospective clients? Do you think the two parts of your business are connected? 

In marketing and promotions, you need to gain an understanding of your current and prospective clients by determining what news sources they read, what their motivations are, what they hope to achieve financially and which values they hold dear.

Armed with this insight, you can create messages, campaigns and events that speak to prospects’ interests and offer a strong argument for why your company deserves to have them as clients. Without the information, you can end up wasting money, and worse, pushing away prospects and ideal clients with materials that seem out-of-touch. Likewise, in looking to expand your business with new market opportunities, you need to do research before making a move.

Find out about how the demographics in your region are evolving, determine what your competitors are doing and scan the legislative horizon for any new laws or regulations that could impact your business or the lives of your prospective clients, whether individuals or other business owners. Search industry news to get details on new products that may be coming down the pipeline. And do not neglect to investigate potential technological and communication developments that may be available in the coming months and years.

The benefit of conducting this exercise is twofold. First, you have a more complete picture of any market that you are hoping to enter, and secondly, the research may uncover other opportunities that you did not consider previously. How you decide to promote yourself will be influenced by your decision to drill deeper into your current markets (as Norm Trainor discusses in The Entrepreneurial Journey), start pursuing bigger clients and re-frame your geographic reach.

Now, with a better understanding of your new markets and the potential clients in your arsenal, you will be able to update your marketing strategy and cast your differentiating characteristics in a new light. As you may already do with your existing clients, send out monthly or bi-weekly email newsletters that compile articles tailored toward their specific interests. Host relevant seminars that aim to provide them with useful information, not just sell them products. By preparing and researching, you can ensure your next excursion into a new market brings your business to another level.