Finding New Markets: Middle Managers as Intrepreneurs

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Potential New Customers: How do you target customers you don’t have yet?  This is possible, but sometimes difficult to pull off. Potential customers may not even be customers of your company’s existing market, and may misinterpret a sincere effort to obtain information and conclude that your “research” effort is merely a disguised sales call.

Primary/Secondary Research: There are of course, other avenues for obtaining market data, ranging from do-it-yourself to full-service assistance.

  • Online Research: Go online and look – market survey templates and services are available on the web such as: Business in a Box, e survey pro, and Survey Monkey. A Google search can also be of great service.
  • Market Survey: Develop a market survey and contact potential buyers.
  • Outside Help: Engage the services of a market research firm to perform this service and/or conduct focus groups.
  • Go to College: Hire or recruit college and university students to obtain and survey market data.
  • Ask the Government: Contact the US Dept of Commerce for market research assistance, if the market area would result in overseas exports.

Media: The trade media often carries information about new developments, marketing ideas and product data. Certainly reviewing both print and online resources is an important source of data, don’t confine your searches to existing media – include related industry media as well.

Trade Shows/Trade Associations: Trade shows and associations are a good way to meet existing vendors and potential customers in industries which your company has an interest. Often, the marketing teams of the exhibitors are available to answer questions, and with a little probing,  you can obtain market intelligence. Certainly when trade shows exhibit their products or systems, customers are on hand – usually on the trade show floor – and are a bit more open about their purchase plans.

Use Available Resources to Research Market Data

There are other sources of information for market data: State agencies, venture capital forums and other U.S. government agencies outside the Department of Commerce, for example. The hunt for new markets, new technologies, and new products requires an eclectic and intrepreneurial approach to marketing. It is difficult to predict where a new industry might spring up, but a savvy and flexible approach is mandatory in formulating a new market strategy.

Resources:

Acevedo, L. Advantages & Disadvantages of Internal Marketing Research Departments. (2013). Houston Chronicle. Accessed October 10, 2013.

Mann, D. Hitting the Market. (2000). Accessed October 10, 2013.

Willet, M. Could This New Technology Destroy The Value Of All Famous Art? (2013). Accessed October 10, 2013.

Mui, C. Five Dangerous Lessons to Learn From Steve Jobs. (2011). Forbes. Accessed October 10, 2013.

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