As soon as a company enters a new market, it strives for market penetration. The main objective behind the market penetration strategy is to launch a product, enter the market as swiftly as possible and finally, capture a sizeable market share. Market penetration is also, sometimes used as a measure to know whether a product is doing well in the market or not.
The technique of Market Penetration usually does not affect the overall marketing strategy of a company, but invariably brings a solid growth potential and an increase in revenue generation. A company trying to adopt the concepts of market penetration must remember to also implement specific plans and tactics to challenge the competitors and boost sales figures. However, it must also be considered that market penetration can be a risky affair and has some disadvantages also.
More commonly, this technique is useful whenever a business is selling prevailing products in an ongoing market. Marketers must take into consideration the relevant market development or expansion grid data to decide actually, which penetration tactic to adopt? In other words, the market may be saturated or it may be in an intense competition scenario or the products may have low turnaround time. Now what should be the best tactic for all of these different scenarios? Well, the answer to this question lies in the type of market penetration strategy you adopt. And yes, there are quite a few different penetration tactics to choose from. So without further ado, lets know about a few of them.
Market Penetration tactics
The strategy of Price Adjustment is one of the most widely used market penetration tactic. A market penetration example could be lowering of price of a product or service with the aim of increasing sales is a price adjustment tactic. Furthermore, the alteration (increase or decrease) in the price of a product after analyzing the competitors’ products is also a scenario of price adjustment. But, in the real sense this marketing strategy should be used very judiciously as overdoing it can lead to adverse results. Like, increasing your price consistently may make the customers to believe that you are a company of high-profit motive. Decreasing the price too often would make them to believe that your products are of sub-standard quality.
The drastic increase in promotion of a product (or service) can lead to dramatic results. For example, advertising can be a wonderful tool for increasing brand awareness. Companies do have a choice of making their campaigns long-term or short-term which depends upon their needs and budget. However, the thing to be considered is that whatever be the size of the campaign, it must be well-planned and thought-out. An easy to counter promotional campaign would be simply ruined by competitors in this age of cut-throat competition.
The strategy of Distribution Channels is one of the most constructive market penetration strategies. This strategy typically involves opening of new distribution channels through focusing on a particular distribution channel. For example, if selling through retail outlets is your primary channel, then you can learn to gain new channels like telemarketing, e-mail marketing, online marketing etc. Such opening of new distribution channels pave the way for more new channels and thus lead to increased market space and overall profitability.
It is true that to really appeal to your customers, you must improve your product quality. However, sometimes by communicating to them about the better standard of the product itself can do the trick and no major improvement in the product may be needed. This is because most consumers are encouraged to buy a product just by its appeal and do not necessarily check whether it proves itself or not. Thus, only by doing slight adjustments with the product and it’s packaging you can appeal more strongly and increase your sales revenue.
A very potent method of market penetration is that of increased usage of any product or service. If a marketing promotion campaign is effectively delivered at a specific area, then it would lead to an upsurge in product use which would thus lead to better market penetration with the increase in sales figures.
Knowing Risk and Growth
Most marketers whenever think of growth, think of new launches. However, it is only partially true. Actually, it can be risky too. When a new product is being launched, there exists the risk of it being successful or not. But, an efficient distribution channel along with a smooth delivery process makes it sure that the product does meet the expectations. Similarly, entering a brand new segment of the market can be risky as well. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to know your market and your product in order to do well and beyond expectations. An effective way to do this is to properly communicate with the customers and be sensitive to their requirements and wants.
Create barriers to entry
When it comes to adopting strategic options, it is crucial to leverage your business’s strengths in a correct and just manner. For example, by minimizing your variable costs, you can boost your sales and establish a barrier to entry for others. This is why many firms with superior technology and distinct processes are able to reduce variable costs and earn better gross margins per item sold. With a substantial share in the market and an efficient marketing process, your business could create a barrier to entry to prevent competitors from coming into your industry.
Be unique and think differently
Although, the entire process of market penetration seems simple and monotonous, yet it’s a big challenge if you perceive it to be. To overcome the challenge, you need to be more unique and highly innovative in your approach. A repetitive selling strategy would yield unsatisfactory results and hinder your growth potential. So, it would be better to think different and modify your penetration tactics as and when required. By being more innovative and adding value to your products you enhance your success chances.
Some actions you could consider to be unique are:
- Educate your customers – This is important as many times people are unaware of the quality of the product and how it could be of use to them.
- Make purchasing easier – Many successful businesses lend a credit facility to their customers and thus increase the customers’ ability to buy.
- Widen the distribution network – Making your product available at more locations and better delivery and service options can also significantly boost your sales figures.
- Generate referrals – If you can encourage your customers to give referrals, it would certainty affect your chances of sales. For example, you can offer gift coupons or reward points to those customers whose referrals do actually get converted.
- Changing product designs – By making the product in a more user-friendly manner, your chances of sales conversion significantly get a lift. For example, you could make a lengthy novel a paperback one instead of a hardbound one.
The product penetration tactic of diversification entails manufacturing new products for new markets. The strategy of diversification is usually followed whenever, there is saturation in the current market or when environmental changes such as societal, economic, technological or regulatory make it very hard to generate new sales in those markets. This strategy is most commonly followed by those businesses in the health sector, such as hospitals. Hospitals have now diversified their services in the form of long-term care facilities, reimbursement, network referrals and utilization. Those firms that have diversified on opportunities of their strengths have been able to gain the most.
For some organizations, it is difficult due to one or more reasons to enter new markets. To solve such an issue, many of these organizations enter into a kind of strategic alliances with one another to operate in a particular market. Although strategic alliances can be formed into many forms, the more common one is the joint venture business, in which each partner business holds an equity position. The most common and natural strategic alliances are found in the pharmaceutical industry.
Pros & Cons of Market Penetration Strategies
The Market penetration strategies make benefit of reduced prices to upsurge product demand and increase your market share. As the demand for your product increases, your business saves money on product manufacturing costs due to the larger volume of produce. Market penetration strategy isn’t going to work for all products and all types of businesses. So, some companies utilize different marketing strategies than the normal to be more effective.
Here are some advantages of practicing market penetration strategies:-
- Swift Growth – If the aim of your business and marketing activities is to expand your customer base, then market penetration is the exact remedy you need. When you propose lower prices than your rivals, tempting their customers becomes possible and you receive what you expected. Thus, fast growth is heavily dependent upon lower prices. The more rational these are the better will be your chances.
- Cost-effectiveness – Certainly it’s reasonable to say that penetration leads to cost-efficiency. Market penetration can lead to cost advantages if your business processes go in the manner as you anticipated. By keeping low prices, you ensure that customers stay with you and it also means that you can order more quantity of products from your suppliers that eventually results in higher profit figures. This is why certain companies take the risky route and first buy products in bulk due to discounted prices and then they implement penetration strategy.
- Contest Competitors – One of the more challenging segments of the market penetration strategy is to combat with your rivals. Just try to imagine, you have plentiful competitors who are desperately trying to evolve and slow you down and are stealing your customers which results in lowered profits for you. Now following the rule of survival, your only way out is to fight and defeat them to stay at the top. For example, low initial prices will force your competitors to move to alternative strategies with changed market penetration pricing regulations. By this way, you will appeal to the lost consumers and it will render competitors on the defensive or leaving the market altogether.
Now, let’s look at some of the disadvantages of market penetration strategies:-
- Unachieved Production Costs – Lowering the product price as you will is not always possible. Sometimes, products are costly to manufacture and tiny businesses find it difficult to survive while producing sufficiently to lower the production and price. This becomes more complicated when you have to deal with competing firms. Under such circumstances, it’s best to focus on marketing campaign, product packaging and enhancing public image because these have the same potential having a low price structure has.
- Missed Chances – Some firms whom produce luxury products commit the silly mistake of marketing it as an inexpensive item. Hence, customers who adore luxury products would avoid it being marketed as a “inexpensive item.” Thus, if you’re concentrated on making luxury products, then do consider that low prices may make your sales thinner and the product might even fail in the market.
- Bad Company Image – When your company has numerous product lines that also include a luxury line then, adopting a market penetration strategy would certainly be adverse. For example, if you apply a particular market penetration strategy on a single product, it might badly reflect on the remaining of the product lines. Therefore, if a big number of customers get familiar with your cheap product, it’s highly likely that they would forget that you also produce luxury items and your brand’s status as a luxury manufacturer will disappear.
- Lack of Results – Market penetration strategy isn’t going to work at a place where prices are previously set low. For example, when prices are previously low, the consumers have by now built trust on an existing company, and thus entering that market and attempting to beat the competitor would be an highly ineffective manner of action. Rather, a new company should focus on gaining its worth in the business, by trying to create low prices of products.
In the given article, we’ve tried to showcase the several market penetration strategies. However, such tactics will be applicable best when you make use of multiple ones together. The increase of reach of your product should be accompanied with a subsequent increase in your promotions. After increasing the promotion, you are bound to grow the product usage and on the other hand attract competition from your rivals.
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