Market share is one of the most critical measures of a company’s success. No matter the size of the market, there’s a finite number of buyers available, so it’s natural to assume that there won’t be enough revenue to share for all companies that are competing.
Therefore, estimating market share and the potential for market growth is one of the most important metrics that a business should keep tabs on.
But what is market share, anyway? How can you achieve market growth in your industry? What are some of the most effective strategies you should consider?
Let’s answer these and other important questions below.
Market Share & Other Essential Terms
Market share, market growth rate, market size…keeping track of all these different terms isn’t always easy. Luckily, once you understand the basic principles, navigating between these essential terms becomes much more manageable.
To simplify market share, it’s good to imagine a pie cut into pieces. For instance, Microsoft has a 78% market share in the desktop operating system industry, which amounts to more than three-quarters of the pie.
That means that for every four operating system products sold, more than three of them are from Microsoft.
Meanwhile, the market growth rate defines the rate at which a specific market is growing. As more customers become buyers in a market, its size increases, which increases the size of the pie that companies can divide up.
So, continuing the Microsoft OS example, even if it maintains the current market share, the growth rate of the market itself can mean that sales increase year after year.
When the overall size of the market increases, companies can enjoy growing revenue, which can become even more powerful if they can achieve market growth as well.
With that in mind, let’s explore some of the most effective strategies for increasing market share below.
Essential Strategies for Improving Market Growth
Many strategies can help you achieve market growth and take customers away from the competition. But to make your efforts worthwhile, you need to think which of them will have the biggest long-term impact and not prioritize faster results.
Growing market share isn’t just about increasing market share for a few weeks or months, but about actually sustaining the gains for longer.
The approaches below will serve as the foundation that will help you make steady gains that will be much more consistent.
Understand Your Competition
Operating in a market means that you’re always dealing not only with your customers but with the competition as well. You can offer a good service, but that won’t matter if the competition has a better or more affordable solution.
Therefore, your first step should be to perform thorough market research, which will serve as a guiding post, telling you which direction you need to focus on to gain an edge.
And that usually comes down to staying ahead of your competition.
In most industries, companies are always researching ways to make their products better, more affordable, or more comprehensive.
Something that was considered the industry standard just a few years ago might be obsolete and subpar today, not because it stopped working but because the selection became much better.
And that’s one of the primary reasons why shifts in market share happen in the first place.
When a company achieves a breakthrough and makes its product better, that can disrupt the entire marketplace and help it quickly gain a massive advantage.
But at the same time, even something that might look less impactful, like rebranding or repositioning a product, could produce equally powerful results. If you’re the first business to highlight a new benefit, even if it’s for an old product, that might help persuade more people or even bring in customers that weren’t interested before.
However, for any of this to work, you must have a complete understanding of everything that’s happening in your market.
That includes what the competition is doing, what products they have, their strengths and weaknesses, their unique sales proposition, their brand reputation, and anything else that might be relevant.
Even though compiling this information takes time, it can be invaluable when you’re looking for new opportunities, as you can discover a new direction you could go in that would separate you from everyone else.
Become More Visible
Visibility and brand awareness are integral parts of business success. If you want to make sales and grow your audience, having great products isn’t enough, as that doesn’t guarantee that people will want to buy from you.
Instead, you need to become known and familiar to the people that are your ideal customers, getting in front of them in places where they hang out or seek solutions to their problems.
That’s why, as a business, you must have a diverse and comprehensive marketing strategy that encompasses not only direct sales messages but also building brand awareness, authority, and a relationship with your audience.
But what types of marketing strategies work best in 2021?
Well, even though the mediums which people use to find solutions might be evolving, the basic principles remain relatively consistent.
For instance, even though taking out a newspaper or magazine ad might not be suitable in all industries anymore, becoming visible in digital publications can be even more powerful.
If you can get published on some of the leading blogs, news sites, and communities in your field, you will instantly gain credibility as a though-leader in your field, attracting people who need to trust that the solution they are getting is from someone who knows what they’re talking about.
My company, Shortlist.io, is focused on doing exactly that while also offering powerful SEO benefits. By writing high-quality guest posts on various sites, we can not only help emphasize the benefits of our clients’ products but also create powerful backlinks that attract targeted leads.
And SEO is an integral part of the equation as well.
Google receives around 2 trillion searches per year, and a significant percentage of them are people looking for specific solutions to their problems.
Companies that appear in front of those searches and offer relevant products or answers will be in a prime position to convert more prospects into customers and increase their grasp on the market.
Finally, if you want to stand out, make sure to align yourself with some of the more important figures in your niche.
You can probably find prominent social media influencers in almost all fields. By partnering with them, you can gain instant access to thousands or even millions of followers while simultaneously increasing your authority.
Provide Exceptional Customer Experiences
Attracting new customers is an essential part of market growth. But at the same time, you also need to keep your current customers if you don’t want all that effort to go to waste.
SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) companies know this all too well, as a large part of their success is dependant on the ability to minimize the churn rate. But while this is a great example of why it’s essential, the same principles apply in almost any industry.
Since attracting customers can be as much as five times more expensive than retaining your current ones, focusing on the existing customer base is always the most cost-effective strategy.
But how can you make sure that your customers want to stay with you and not leave for the competition?
Well, even though there are many customer retention strategies, end the end, it comes down to meeting and exceeding your customer expectations.
If your product is subpar, or if the expectations for what it can do are not realistic, you will have very little chance of maintaining customers, no matter what tricks or strategies you employ.
Meanwhile, if you go above and beyond in catering to your customers, listening to their needs, and improving your offerings, people will stay with you simply because it is valuable to them, month after month.
And that can be accomplished by adhering to two basic rules:
- Continually work on your products
- Provide top-notch customer support
By making improvements in your products and services, you will ensure that you stay ahead of the competition and that what you have to offer is always on-par or beyond what your customers can get elsewhere.
And at the same time, you also need to learn how to address your customer concerns and solve the problems they are facing as soon as possible. Things will go wrong, so you need to have multiple ways for people to reach you and get the answers that they are looking for.
Having a contact form on your site is no longer enough, as people will rarely wait days for a response when they have an urgent issue. Therefore, you should consider using your social media platforms as a support hub, and even employing chatbots both on your site and on social media for situations when a live representative isn’t available.
At this point, you should have a solid understanding of what it takes to grow your market share. And while the journey isn’t easy, the rewards that you can reap over the long term make the effort worth it in every situation.
What are your biggest challenges when trying to achieve market growth? And what are some approaches that you have found to be the most successful? Share your experiences in the comments section below!