Posted: Fri 16th Oct 2020
When I'm working with clients to help them grow their businesses, I help them look in depth at what I refer to as the five areas of opportunity.
The first most important opportunity lies with your past and present customers.
1. Your past and present customers
Your best, easiest wins come from your past/present customers who you already have a relationship with. By thinking through your company's intellectual assets inventively to develop new products or services that align with their past purchasing/trading history, you can offer new opportunities direct to their inbox via email.
Email newsletters are a seriously undervalued one-to-one engagement tool, allowing you to develop, test and evolve new thinking.
You are cutting out all the noise of social media, talking to them at their desk. This privilege should not be taken lightly and needs careful planning.
2. Your future clients
Your next smartest area of opportunity will be your future clients. Sure, you don't really know who they are, but by monitoring trends - understanding behavioural change in different parts of the economy, age groups, diverse backgrounds - you can devise new products to attract these people to engage with you.
And you can also evolve new business and revenue models that tap into new paradigms. Marketing to these has to be about going where they are spending time, such as social media or YouTube, and being consistently inventive about your approach.
3. Your competitors
A totally overlooked area for business growth is to consider what you can do with your competitors.
If you have used tech to solve a commercial problem, could you white label it licensing it to others? Can you evolve a new and different offer with them, a new way of exploring your upstream/downstream supply chain?
The best way to market to these people is via networking. Conversations that explore the art of the possible.
Don't see them as opponents, see them as future collaborators.
4. New buyers
The next area of opportunity is what I call new buyers.
Those customers who weren't in your marketplace but now are. These could be investors, VCs, tech disruptors. You can't ignore them as they may come up and bite you in the behind. You need to go looking for them… spotting them before they can do your business damage and engaging with them in new and interesting ways. Often it is the younger members of your team who will see them before you do. This has to involve a direct approach, after following them, engaging with them on social media, getting them to see you as a thought leader, a business who they want to talk to.
5. New audiences
Finally we come to what I refer to as new audiences. What can you sell to people who you've never thought of selling to before?
If you are B2B, what could you be selling to the person in the street walking past now? If you are B2C, is there an additional D2C offer you can evolve out of your knowledge base, or other asset, that repackages and presents this in a unique way?
This obviously involves research, product development and a marketing programme developed for that new approach, but can widen your reach and business base considerably.