Modern marketers embrace analytics as critical to their business operations - that's a given.

Content Takeover Big Data & AnalyticsWe take careful steps to learn about our customer bases, run small tests, build forecasts, and analyze third­party information before launching any go­to­market campaign.

Despite the benefits that analytics provide, however, it's also confusing. Sifting through multiple, often contradictory, sources of information, marketers may feel buried under more metrics than they can reasonably navigate. This exploration process leads to a crossroads of indecision or, at best, an optimization. There's a gap between strategy, success, and revenue.

Marketers can connect these dots and navigate the ambiguities of entering a new market by asking the following questions.

1. Who are my best customers?

Before entering a new market, it's important to take a step back to identify where your product/market fit is already strong. Your best customers are your best customers for a reason—and it's important to know who they are and why they convert.

When venturing into new markets, you'll need a clear strategic goal. Rather than throwing darts in the dark, you'll want to laser focus on finding more of your best customers. Pay particular attention to their lifecycles and alignment with your long-­term company objectives. Get to know them in depth by sourcing as much detail as possible.

Focus on the following points of information:

  • What are the common characteristics shared amongst your best customers?
  • Are your best customers segmented into distinct groups? What makes them unique?
  • What personas, motivations, and qualifications can you derive based off their characteristics?
  • How do your best customers discover your company?
  • What level of effort from your marketing and sales teams was needed to convert each customer?
  • What information do they need to evaluate your product?

Focus on what works and eliminate what doesn't. Your success factors will become (Read more...) pillars in your market exploration process.

2. How can I find more of my best customers, faster?

Modern marketers recognize the importance of scaling intelligently. When entering new markets, you need to ensure that you're pursuing your most impactful opportunities first.

Traditionally, marketers have relied on annual market opportunity assessments for broad market sizing and revenue potential. These macro­level perspectives, however, will often mask hidden opportunities among submarkets or micro­segments.

That's where data science comes in.

Rather than using the 'big picture' to build your forecasts, you'll want to calculate propensity-­to-buy at multiple levels of analysis. If you're looking at a new market in the United States, for instance, you'll want to break down by cities and industries, and beyond into common behaviors or personalities. Instead of identifying a market that converts at 10 percent, find 10 that convert at 75 percent and saturate those segments.

The bottom line is that you need to look for hidden, untapped opportunities. Identify high-potential prospects by taking the most granular possible view.

3. Are vanity metrics deceiving me?

Vanity metrics look appealing, but they're often ineffective in measuring long-­term customer health signals like market share, segment­ level conversion rates, and key campaign metrics. Even more challenging is the fact that success is often in the eye of the beholder—with data comes subjectivity.

That's why marketers need to monitor a mix of signals when entering new markets. You'll want to cross­check opportunities with historical performance data to ensure that you're pursuing the best possible path for your business.

If you're running a startup without historical data, you can find the answers that you need through third­party resource. A trusted partner, who has worked with companies like yours, will have insights available to help guide you.

The bottom line is that you need to find that 15 percent of your highest value customers. Predictive analytics can help you transform opportunities into guaranteed sources of impact.

Want expert-level knowledge? David Raab, industry-leader and marketing consultant, details How to Unlock Explosive Growth in New Markets in his new free whitepaper.

To instantly answer all 3 of the above questions, visit Radius–predictive marketing software that transforms the way B2B companies discover markets, acquire customers, and measure success.

Radius*Sponsored content in collaboration with Radius. Views expressed in this article are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect ClickZ's opinions.

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