Are you planning to go international? Is your business ready for global markets? If your business is in the process of global expansion, or if you are considering entry to the US, you need to master essential global marketing strategies for expansion.
- Research the Targeted International Market
Many companies skip this crucial step and jump right to market penetration. They open an office in their target market and hire a local salesperson. After a year, they find that this office still has more expenses than revenue. To protect yourself, we suggest carrying out brief research in order to identify the local market needs. This helps identify specific market trends, competitors, and ways the solution can be customized to meet demand.
This step delivers a positioning strategy that enables you to refine your marketing messaging and define your potential client segments. For example, if you would like to enter the US market, you should first determine what states are a good fit for your solution and first focus your attention on these regions. This will lower your initial costs and enhance the likelihood of turning prospects into clients.
- Create an Actionable Marketing Plan
In place of a short planning phase, most SMEs choose to respond to random opportunities. For example, a potential reseller contacts them and they say to themselves, “Sure, why not bring them onboard.” After two years, they find out the reseller is not delivering results. By this point, the company has invested a lot of resources to train this reseller without seeing a return on that investment
To avoid this scenario, we suggest building a marketing plan to generate demand based on the initial research (as described in Step 1) and the available budget for your targeted international market. Choose international marketing tactics that enable you to focus on the target market that best fits your product/service. Encourage prospects to learn more about your offering while your sales team is still operating from your headquarters. If your company is looking to develop a distribution network, our plan will include a process to identify, validate, and monitor resellers.
- Adjust Branding/ Messaging
International markets are different and there are many considerations to examine. Trade barriers, proximity, and currency are some of these. But what about cultural differences? How do you handle these?
To this end, we implement the positioning strategy from Step 1 and make sure to adjust the website, sales and marketing material, in addition to other documents designed to reflect the localized message. After all, if your messaging does not match your target market, potential clients may overlook your solution.
- Customize the International Marketing Plan
While executing the marketing plan, you want to make sure that you have someone on your team who understands the cultural or linguistic nuances. A lot of the time, companies assume that they can deploy marketing tactics the same way they do in their local market. This is not necessarily true. We have seen campaigns where the use of certain wording in a different context results in market rejection. Sometimes, colours in one culture drive a message that a company had no intention of conveying in another culture, negatively impacting the attractiveness of their solution. Thus, it is important for an expert in the targeted market to review the plan before it goes international.
- Measure Impact and Improve
You need to measure each international marketing campaign on a regular basis to ensure the company is receiving the desired results in a timely manner. The assessment should concentrate on both quantitative and qualitative aspects of the marketing plan. For example, though the number of prospective clients is important, we highly suggest assessing the quality of the prospects and defining whether the potential clients meet the specific definition of the potential client base as defined in step 1.
- Research the Targeted International Market
Following the above steps will help you go international safely.
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