Most companies are ambitious when it comes to growth. If they’re not growing then they’re not doing well.
But what if a company is entering a mature market or is already in one… Is growth then put on the back burner, because of the nature of a mature market?
Instead, shouldn’t the business, or the owner of the business focus on a strategy to successfully enter the mature market or build a strategy to help penetrate a market that is slowing down?
As a Marketing Agency in London, we understand that a mature market may not be known for its innovation or even be exciting for most entrepreneurs out there, but it’s a market that can still be used and profited from. In this article, we’re going to help you use the following marketing strategies if you or your business is in a mature market:
- Targeted Marketing
- Product Redesign
- Increase Product/Service Reuse
- New Channel Creation
What Is a Mature Market & Its Characteristics
- Earnings and sales growth is slower
- Low price to earnings ratios
- High dividend yields
Challenges of a Mature Market
The obvious challenges of doing business in a mature market are that growth in market share can be expensive and acquisitions don’t tend to work.
You may also find that there is one business which has a monopoly-like hold on the market and they scare off any new entrants.
This would also likely mean that you’re in a market that has a lot of brand awareness behind it and customers are familiar with the brands that are already there.
To add to this, you then have customers who already have expectations in place with regards to price so if you’re coming into the market with a higher price point, you may experience backlash.
Lastly, expect to pay top-dollar upon entering a mature market because you have to establish your brand and then promote yourself 10 times more than your competitors.
Opportunities of a Mature Market
There are positives to entering a mature market, however, which can see you have a higher success rate than if you were to enter a new market with few competitors.
You can decide to target a segment of the mature market such as higher/lower spenders and find a niche in the market you’re targeting. Most likely, you’ve probably found a new and better way of doing things that your competitors haven’t introduced yet.
If so, make sure to go all-in and highlight this feature to your customers because you’re going to need something special to attract and then move eyes away from your other competitors.
This could include:
- Product innovation
- Service innovation
As briefly mentioned, you can find opportunities to enter a mature market by using targeted marketing.
Instead of going for the masses or even a category of people, try finding areas of the market that can be specifically targeted even further.
For example, if you’re in the healthy food market and your competitors are targeting people who only eat organic produce, you might find in your market research that there are sub-groups of people who are gluten-intolerant and therefore use these organic products but need an organic, gluten-free product.
This is a niche that can be exploited.
Make it clear that you’re the only provider of an organic, gluten-free product in that market. This is an example of targeted marketing.
Product or Service Redesign
A lot of companies get comfortable with the product or service they are selling.
But it soon becomes clear that customers don’t; they want the next shiny thing that is going to make their lives a whole lot easier.
What are your competitors not doing that you can?
For example, the gym market was and still is a competitive market to enter, with many companies in the space looking for a bigger chunk of the market share.
Nobody thought that a gym could enter the market that wasn’t already done, but 24-hour gyms started popping up out of nowhere. It started with one gym chain creating a 24-hour fitness venue and then other companies followed suit because there was a big enough market for them to enter.
These 24-hour gyms catered for the early-riser, the insomniac and those who work unsociable or night-time hours, who couldn’t get to a gym between normal working hours.
If you do redesign a product or service, it doesn’t have to be complex and it’s most likely staring right at you, but if you can find an area which isn’t being targeted then you should take your competitors by surprise and their customers!
Increase Product/Service Reuse
If the market is slowing or stalling, then you may have run out of customers.
Your target market might be experiencing a new or different trend, or there might be a fluctuation in your market’s needs/wants.
This isn’t the end of the world however, because growth will eventually slow down to a point where you need to target your existing customers regardless.
For example, what would you rather:
- Customer A who comes into your cafe every day and orders the same £5 breakfast
- Customer B who comes into your cafe 1-2 times a month and gets the deluxe breakfast for £10
Consistency is key. You want the person who buys from you every day and to spend your efforts on keeping them happy.
Repeat purchasing is the name of the game and it’s the one you want to master.
So, here are some questions you need to be asking and answering yourself:
- How can I make my product or service so good that people can’t help but buy again?
- Why are my customers only purchasing once? (This is fine if you’re selling a product/service that has long lifetime usage.)
- Could I introduce a subscription service?
Ensuring that you support and cater to customers who are engaging in service or product reuse is an important factor in a mature market. By making sure you can maintain customers, there is also more likelihood of drawing new customers in – a reliable customer base means social proof for your business or company, which attracts an element of growth, no matter the size.
New Channel Creation
At times, it can seem as though new channels for marketing are introduced almost constantly.
We’re now looking further than social channels the likes of Facebook & Instagram and looking to other channels such as Tik Tok. Other marketing channels such as Pinterest and LinkedIn are still an open-field and not many people are focusing their attention on them.
It’s important to give your business an advantage over its competitors within these social channels.
You might be in a mature market, but a mature market where competitors are using the same social channels.
Dip your toe in the water and see if there’s any life in the marketing channels which aren’t being used by your competitors.
See, it’s not the end of the world if you are entering into, or you already are in a mature market.
The saying, “Where there is a will, there is a way,” still holds true for mature markets and if you can find a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors then you stand a chance of being successful.
Are you in a mature market? How will you use this to your advantage?