What is a Beachhead Market?
A beachhead market is a small market segment with characteristics that make it ideal as the first target for a new product. It is used by startups and established companies as a means to launch new products or cautiously enter new markets. The term has its origin in military strategy where an invading force would establish a relatively small but secure area within the enemy’s territory.
The beachhead market can help the business surmount product infancy and ride the momentum to scale into other markets. It cultivates customer loyalty, improves return on investment and gives the brand a competitive advantage before it launches into larger markets. Finding the most suitable beachhead market is dependent on the compatibility of the product, target market and available marketing resources.
The main traits of a beachhead market include:
- Prospects already buy similar products.
- Prospects have similar sales cycles to the business and expect the product to deliver value in a similar way.
- Prospects often spread ideas and information by word of mouth thus spurring virality.
Significant research, brainstorming and development precedes the deployment of a beachhead strategy. The business can identify the beachhead market by a combination of:
- Geography including zeroing in on local promoters that will facilitate face-to-face marketing.
- Demographics such as age, education, gender and sexuality.
- Industry vertical and positioning the product to be distinct from the competition.
- Customer profile of early adopters and niche buyers.
- Minimizing variety of users by focusing on specific categories.
Beachhead markets help businesses hedge the risks that accompany venturing into new products and new markets.