The world of marketing and business strategy is full of snazzy-sounding processes and methods, and one of these is market mapping. Market mapping is a highly effective method for getting a handle on your business’s challenges and opportunities, but it can be difficult to know how to do it.
In this article, we’ll go over what market mapping is, how to do it, and its benefits and shortcomings.
Market mapping allows companies to understand the competitive landscape they’re a part of.
You can market map products, competitors, or customers.
Market mapping shows you market trends and gaps, helping you create more effective business and marketing strategies.
What Is Market Mapping?
Market mapping is a strategy used to measure the competitive landscape surrounding your product or company. You can map several market aspects, including products, competitors, and your audience. This information is valuable in creating business strategies and targeting market gaps.
Three Types of Market Mapping
Market Mapping Products
When market mapping products, you’ll create a graph comparing your products to the products you’re competing with. You’ll pay attention to factors such as:
Market Mapping Competitors
Market mapping your competitors can help you see what sets your company apart and who you’re going up against. When creating a market map for your competitors, note information such as:
Product price level
Market Mapping Your Audience
Market mapping your audience is necessary for creating a strong marketing strategy. This map will identify the type of customer that is most valuable to your company, allowing you to target them more effectively. You can use a variety of data points to map your audience, including:
Frequency of purchases
Stage of life
Steps To Market Mapping
Whichever market map you decide to make, here are the steps you’ll need to complete to do so.
Idenfity The Market
The first key to effective market mapping is to set boundaries around your market.
This is important because if your market is too broad, you’ll quickly drown in data or find yourself comparing your company to others that have little to no crossover with yours.
Identify the geographic region and potential (or current) customers you want to study, and narrow down your list of potential competitors to those whose products are trying to solve the same customer problems you are.
You can always create multiple maps with different boundaries if you’re worried about covering everything.
Identify Your Brand’s Unique Features
You can’t accurately compare your company or product to others if you don’t know what it is you offer, so make sure you have a firm grasp on this before you start your market mapping.
You also can’t accurately make comparisons on every single feature of your company, so narrow down which benefits, costs, or other features you want to compare for this market map.
Do Your Research
If you don’t already have all the information you need to create a market map, conduct customer surveys, read through reviews, and examine advertising data to understand the value you bring to your customers and how your products compare to your competitors’ offerings.
In addition to this, you can look up competitive companies’ public reports to find out their pricing, growth rates, and revenue, and find as much information as you can on their marketing strategies.
Data is key to effective market mapping — just remember to stay within the parameters you set for yourself earlier in the market mapping process.
Make a Graph
Now it’s time to plot each product, customer, or company on a graph. Exactly what your graph looks like will depend on what data points you’re examining, but here are some examples of what the two axes of your graph could be:
Product price and product quality
Market share and product price level
Market share and customer age
Customer location and number of purchases
Once you have your data graphed, you can quickly see where market clusters and gaps are.
Market mapping is most effective when you do it regularly. This will help you see changes over time, helping you identify market trends, learn your competitors’ strategies, and see where your customer base may be shifting.
All of this information is vital for creating effective business and marketing strategies and keeping your company’s competitive edge.
Benefits of Market Mapping
There are many benefits that come with market mapping, from creating better strategies to identifying future mergers or acquisitions.
Creating business and marketing strategies.
Anticipating future market trends.
Identifying potential mergers and acquisitions.
Identifying market gaps to move into.
Shortcomings of Market Mapping
As with any strategy, market mapping has its limitations and downfalls that you should be aware of.
These include facts such as:
Market gaps don’t necessarily guarantee product success.
Just because you map it doesn’t mean it’s helpful.
Market mapping doesn’t usually explain the how or why behind the data.
To make up for these shortcomings, use your market map as a jumping-off point for further research before you make any major decisions.
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