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Increase Market Share

To increase market share, a business has to take customers from its competitors, or attract new customers. Achieving this requires having a thorough understanding of both your customer base and that of rival businesses.

Having the answers to the following questions will help you build a comprehensive picture of your market and your competitors and put you in a stronger position to win a bigger market share.

  • Who are your existing customers?
  • Are there any other groups that may require your product or service that you haven't targeted before?
  • Can your product or service be used for other purposes that you had not previously thought of that could make it appealing to a wider market?
  • What are your competitors' strengths? Do you have these too? If not, why not - and should you have them?
  • Why do customers buy from your competitors? What advantages do you have over your rivals that may attract their customers? How can you communicate with your competitors' customers to get them to switch and buy from you instead?
  • What is your unique selling point?
  • Apart from obvious rivals, are there any other ones with customers you may appeal to?
  • Are there customers who have stopped buying from you? Do you know why? If not, you may want to ask them.

Will you need to change pricing, marketing, distribution, service levels? Could those changes upset current customers? Will your employees remain motivated?

 
You Need to be More Visible or More Attractive
Advertising can do two things:
  1. It can make potential customers conscious that you exist (i.e. increase your visibility).
  2. It can change the perception which customers have about you. (i.e. increase your attractiveness).
Sometimes changing one is enough to provide a short term result, but if you want to increase and sustain market share over the longer term, you need to work on both. 
 
People tend to buy from the sellers who they see the most. If your competition is being seen in more places, and more often, than you they are more visible. In this situation, you may be able to increase market share by simply raising your visibility - and being seen more than they are.
 
When both you and your competitor are highly visible though, increasing visibility might have very little impact.
 
It is easy to enter an advertising war with a competitor, where both of you end up spending all of your profit on promotions, and at the end of the day; neither of you are any better off.
 
Once you reach a level of saturation advertising, any extra promotional spending may be a waste.
 
 

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