Starting a business is never an easy venture. From managing start-up costs to refining your product and learning about your audience to cultivating a loyal customer base, business owners are overwhelmed with tasks from day one. And if your product or service is only useful to a segmented portion of the population, you face one other massive obstacle that can ruin even the best-laid plans: competition.
Market domination is a measure of the strength of a brand, product, service, or firm, relative to competitive offerings, exemplified by controlling a large proportion of the power in a particular market.
Experts will tell you never to compete but dominate your Market. Understanding how your business excels while your competition does not is a crucial element in dominating your market.
Here are some ways to dominate your market and lead the industry:
Step 1: Identify your market competitors
Dominating a market segment is all about building your skill sets and learning everything you know about your market competitors and possible competitive advantages. This strategy of putting more time into research and learning than your competitors is a sure way to gain your business’s upper hand.
There will constantly be new products, new information, and new tools you can benefit from. This means your learning and research will have to be continual. Lots of business owners put in the time to research before they launch. Successful businesses that dominate their niche continue their research indefinitely.
Step 2: Market your business.
Ask any stranger on the street what marketing is, and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. Marketing spans various industries: digital media, reputation management, brand awareness, lead generation, graphic design, social strategy, and so much more. Marketing helps to drive the business forward. It’s difficult in a small business to have a team–let alone a person–devoted to marketing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be your own marketing pro! There are numerous ways to help move your company forward by driving more traffic to your location, developing brand awareness, and increasing sales.
No matter how great your product or services are, no one will pay for them if they don’t know they exist. Making it in a competitive market is about selling yourself as what you are selling, and finding new and unique advantages to promote your business should be a constant goal. Don’t just rely on the latest marketing trends, like social media, without investing time into learning about how older marketing techniques can still benefit you in your market.
There are countless ways to connect with potential customers, and to succeed; you will need to be flexible in how you promote yourself. Promoting your business the right way means researching your options, experimenting, and constantly adapting your strategies as new opportunities and obstacles present themselves.
When thinking through what marketing tactics you think would fit best for your business, consider the 4 Ps of Marketing:
The 4 P’s of Marketing
- How does your product or service solve a customer need? What are its benefits? Why should customers choose you over the competition?
- Is your physical location a destination? Do you have high traffic? Are you remotely located? Can products be purchased online or in-store?
- Are you a low-cost leader aiming for volume or a high-quality value aiming for more brand loyalty? Are you trying to attract brand-loyal customers or just any customers?
- Which mediums own your target market? Do you need sales/specials to excite your customers? What are your on-property strategies? Off-property?
Step 3: Measure the ROI (Return on Investment)
Not all marketing activity can be measured exactly; if you put up a billboard, you won’t know the exact number of people who saw it. But it’s important to track what you can always measure to improve your strategies and understand the effect your campaigns have on your business.
Social media has great visual insights to show how your marketing money is working for you.
- Impressions – people reached or were exposed to your brand.
- Actions –calls, map directions, clicks, webpage page views, etc.
- Sales –daily purchases, sales of a particular product, etc.
If you run special sales or promotions, make sure to track coupon redemptions and/or promo codes to determine how you’re reaching your customers and the conversion rate.
Step 4: Develop a strong brand.
It doesn’t matter how small your business is: branding matters. Especially when working in a particular market segment, you want your potential customers to know exactly who you are and to think of all of the things that make you strong and unique as soon as they hear your business’s name.
Your brand should be based on what makes your business special. Do you have the best customer service in the game? Capitalize on that: in all of your promotional material, focus on the fact that you will always be there for your clients. Make a point of comparing the value you provide against your competitors. Your brand is what crosses your client’s minds when they think of your name. Focus on making it strong, with consistent messaging and strategic focuses on what makes you deserve to dominate your niche.
Build and nurture relationships
With very few exceptions, every significant opportunity comes down to the number and strength of your relationships. It’s important to note that you never really accomplish anything on your own—even if your company consists only of you!
Mentors, media, and customers all play an important role in your success, and because of that, it’s critical to build and nurture relationships.
How relationships help you dominate your market
- Mentors can spark new ideas and connect you to new opportunities and/or contacts.
- Media (traditional media as well as bloggers) can help amplify your message, creating more exposure.
- Customers can help improve other customers’ perception of and trust in your company through their testimonials and/or referrals.