Getting Fit to Enter the USA

By Matthew Sawyer

“The #1 company-killer is lack of market,” reports Marc Andreessen, one of Silicon Valley’s most successful venture capitalist. Andreessen believes that companies, particularly early-stage technology companies, need to identify a substantial market and to deliver a product that can satisfy that market. This is particularly true — yet difficult to achieve — for foreign-based companies attempting USA expansion.

“To be successful here in the USA, you need to thoroughly research and analyze the market to identify, create, and validate your company’s product-market fit”, explains Christophe Garnier, Founder at Spark Labs.

While creating product-market fit is difficult and risky, it is absolutely possible with the help of local market development experts. These experts can provide the market intelligence to understand the competitive, customer, and distribution channel landscape. This market intelligence is essential to identify optimal target customers and best value propositions for your products and services. Then, before undergoing an expensive launch campaign, local market experts can test your Go-to-Market and product strategy to improve your chance for success.

For example, Rocket Market Development worked with a foreign-based technology company that wanted to expand their presence in the USA. The company had a technology platform for delivering multi-media, digital advertisements. The USA digital advertising market is $60 billion huge, but highly competitive and fragmented.

Rocket Market Development investigated competitors, interviewed potential customers, and talked with industry experts. We also talked with the company’s product developers and business executives to determine which product features could be highly valued by each market segment. Through this discovery, we identified a market niche — in this case healthcare and pharmaceutical companies — that required flawless delivery of legal and safety information within digital advertisements. This insight became the cornerstone for an effective Go-to-Market strategy for execution that gained an inroad for the company into the crowded market.

So to get fit — or more specifically, product-market fit — for USA expansion, foreign-based companies should get local market development expertise to understand the complicated USA market and to determine optimal Go-to-Market strategy. The investment in market intelligence is well worth the time and effort to minimize your risk and improve your chance for success.

**About the Author**

Matthew Sawyer is Managing Partner of Rocket Market Development LLC, which helps B2B, technology, and foreign-based companies launch new products and enter new markets in the USA by identifying market opportunities and providing market intelligence and go-to-market strategies for sustainable revenue growth. Matthew is an Adjunct Professor of business strategy and entrepreneurship at Parsons School for Design and strategic communication at Columbia University.

**About Spark Labs**

Spark Labs is the global network for innovation. We believe that fostering great businesses starts with having the right environment, team, mentors and local connections. Being entrepreneurs ourselves, we know that launching or expanding a company into the US can be difficult. That’s why we’ve decided to develop a revolutionary ecosystem for entrepreneurs with a very strong focus on community, network and relationships. You can read more about Spark Labs on our website spark-labs.co.