From the Isurus Archives: Entering new markets

Over the years Isurus has published various thought and opinions pieces on the challenges B2B marketers face. Every now and again we look to the past to see if what we said then still rings true today.

The recent recession is not the first time B2B technology vendors have faced challenges meeting their revenue expectations. In the post era many vendors considered expanding into new markets. Isurus published a white paper called “Water, water everywhere but is there a drop to drink? How to successfully enter new markets” which explored some of dimensions companies commonly overlooked as they evaluated new markets. The following are a few highlights.

Faced with the need to increase revenue, technology vendors often view expanding the markets they serve as the best opportunity available. Unfortunately, when vendors enter new markets they sometimes overlook the importance of branding and market perceptions and the realities of the new marketplace. Successful market entry requires discipline, resources and a thorough understanding of the new segment. The first step is to understand:

1. The needs of the new segment: Technology vendors must keep in mind that just because a new segment’s processes are similar to existing segments, it does not mean the pains and urgency they feel are the same.
2. The barriers to overcome: A variety of barriers may exist; e.g. a lack of awareness, lack of credibility, lack of functionality, internal business processes.
3. Competitive positioning: When entering a new segment, technology vendors must understand how they compare to key competitors (positively and negatively) in areas that go beyond product comparison, e.g. perceived credibility, market leadership.
4. Implications for the sales force: Selling to new segments often requires new and different skills.

Once these dimensions are understood the next step is to apply the appropriate level of resources to address any disconnects that exist between strategic objectives and the realities of the marketplace, e.g. raise awareness, adjust functionality, change the sales structure or target.