Is your target market growing, shrinking, or just holding steady? Figuring out the answer will help you strategize as to whether you’re trying to gain share by expanding the market, taking share from a competitor, or working hard just to keep the loyal customers you already have.
Market Analysis table
Marketing Plan Pro contains a number of tools to help you forecast your market’s growth (or lack of it) in concrete terms you can translate into action. The Market Analysis table is a great place to start, letting you list the different types of potential customers your marketing efforts are aimed at. Project change in these populations for the next five years for a good medium-range outlook.
Sources for your data
Getting your strategy right depends on getting sound data about your market. Look to industry publications and associations for trends and supporting data. One of the critical parts of the market forecast is not just how many potential customers you have, but their overall purchasing power. U.S. Census data has some great information on industry spending, and if any of your competitors are publicly traded you can compare your numbers with theirs fairly easily.
Reconsider your focus
Sure, the overall market may have one trend, but are you sure that reflects your Ideal Customer? In a shrinking market, you may be able to maximize your outreach efforts by better qualifying your leads, rather than expanding the pool of potential customers. If your Market Analysis table shows far more potential customers than you realistically expect to reach, consider returning to your Ideal Customer description and making sure you have focused in on the best possible opportunities.