COVID realigned services and offerings for many of us. Whether we wanted to or not, we had to pivot. Then we faced a workforce shortage. Again, more realignment. Now, we have a recession (or at least inflationary costs) and many of us are aligning again. We’re trying to do more with less while giving our customers more value so they’ll keep us in their tightening budgets.

If your revenue is leveling out or not growing at the rate you’d like, you have a few choices: raise your prices or restructure how things are priced, offer upsells to existing clients or give them reason to buy more often. You can also move into a new market or market to a new demographic.

These days it may be that your pricing is such that adjusting it is not a possibility. Perhaps your service or product isn’t something people buy all the time. Maybe you’re a luxury offering and you’ve seen that leveling out. If you’ve already worked on creating a referral business, you probably need to seriously consider a new market or demographic.  

It’s not as daunting as it may seem.  

How to Reach a New Demographic or Market 

The Internet has made reaching a new market or demographic a lot easier than it used to be. Before there were focus groups, expensive ad campaigns, and lots of trial and error. Today, it takes a little diligence and some listening. Here are a few ways to break into a new area for your business: 

Identify and Learn 

It can be exciting to select a new market but if you don’t look to understand the needs of the market/demographic, you could be wasting your time. For instance, Millennials are a huge demographic, the largest one in history. But if you sell geriatric supplies, it will be a hard sell to that age group–at least for a few more years. You need to make sure that the market you’re considering needs you.

If they don’t, you’ll need to either drop that idea or give them a reason to need you and market accordingly. For instance, going off of our example of selling geriatric supplies to Gen Z, you may find out that they are indeed purchasing elderly supplies but for their parents or grandparents instead. But marketing to them will be different than how you market to direct users of your product or service. Researching how they shop and make decisions can be critical to a successful new market. 

Market Research the Cheap and Easy Way 

For small businesses, market research may not be in the budget but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. A lot of research can be done online. Once you’ve decided who you want to sell to and what their needs are, you can begin researching the demographic online, learning the industry insiders and thought leaders, and understanding the demographics’ Internet habits.  

If you’re entering a new market you need to be prepared to adjust the marketing you do for that new group. Studying how other companies with the same target market interact with the demographic can give you a lot of ideas for much less than hiring a market research firm. But you must dedicate the time. If you don’t have the time, hire the firm. 

Does Your Team Have It? 

Now that you know what you need to do to reach your new market, assess your internal resources. Does your team have the skills and experience you need to reach this group? If not, decide whether you need to hire someone who does, train your existing group, or freelance it out.  

Reach Out to Influencers 

One of the easiest ways to break into a new market, or get the attention of a new demographic, is to find industry influencers who can help you. These people have sizeable followings in the areas you want to reach. Do your homework and find the influencers on the social media sites who are popular with your desired demographic. Begin building a relationship with them by sharing their content and commenting on it.  Give them value before you approach them with an idea of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Get on It 

This new demographic or market may reside in a space you’re not currently on. If that’s the case, you need to create profiles on these social media platforms. Once you do, talk to your new audience in a tone that is fitting but still vaguely recognizable as your brand. If the tone needed for this demographic varies considerably from your current brand, you could consider a new division of your business. That way you don’t alienate or confuse your current market by switching up your tone. 

Moving into a new market doesn’t have to be frightening. The main thing you need to assess is whether you are a good fit for their needs. Does your business solve a problem that group is facing? If so, find out where they are and begin communicating how you can help through influencers and social media activity.    

Author: Diksha