Capitalising on Unexpected Change to Reach New Audiences
It’s rare for a political event to have such an impact that businesses are forced to reassess their outlook. Nonetheless, when this occurs, it’s important to capitalise on the opportunities such events unexpectedly present.
The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has left many businesses in a state of limbo, particularly when it comes to defining their target audiences. But whilst there is uncertainty, there is also now an opportunity for UK-based businesses to adopt a global outlook, and look further afield for customers never previously considered.
There are huge rewards to be gained for businesses that look for opportunities in Brexit’s impact. However, moving into a new market can be a daunting prospect. It takes careful planning to make the move a success. Although no one market entry strategy works for all, outlined below are five foundational steps organisations should consider before entering a new market:
- Build your customer profile
The more you know about your new market’s audience, the more effective your strategy. Your first step, therefore, is to determine the preferences, demographics and geographic location of your target audience. If you are targeting the same demographic group as in other markets, you’ll already have a detailed customer profile as a basis. However, language and culture will impact this profile. You will need to develop a new target profile based on the market’s cultural differences, and this requires research. Dedicating the time and resources to fully understand your new buyer may seem like a big investment at the start, but skipping this critical research will cost you time and budget later.
- Analyse market trends
It may sound obvious, but gaining a comprehensive, timely understanding of the new market’s movements is a step often missed by over-eager businesses. Knowing your local market does not equate to understanding a new market. You’ll need insight into local consumer habits, local industry trends, local competitors and the media and advertising landscape, both digital and offline. This will reveal potential barriers to entry and success and any political or economic influences your business needs to be aware of, driving awareness and insights that will prove hugely beneficial in step three.
- Make your decision
With the local customer profile built and the new market fully analysed, it’s decision time. Do you see a genuine opportunity for your business’s goods or services here? Does this move make financial sense? Use both your new research and gut instinct to inform your conclusion. If this market isn’t right, identify a new one and move back to step one.
- Devise a strategy
To be successful, your market entry strategy must address several key questions:
- How do you plan to reach the target audience?
- How are you going to promote your products or services?
- Is language a factor? If so, have you identified a language services provider (LSP) to work with?
- Is a pilot project needed?
- What are your KPIs?
- Does your budget address all of the above?
Launching into a new market, especially when a new language is required, takes effort and budget. No matter its specifics, the strategy must align with the overall goals of your business and its attitude to risk. If you expect positive business impact, the rewards can be great.
- Build a team
In any successful venture, the people are paramount. Without the right staff in place to implement your strategy, your brand can’t effectively communicate with its new audience. Your go-to-market team should consist of:
- A project manager, responsible for managing deadlines and ensuring timely, budget-friendly delivery.
- Content creators, not only proficient in your brand’s source language but native to the new market’s language and culture and aware of the nuances of brand building in this space.
- An SEO team that can address technical requirements for adding multilingual content to your site, conduct local keyword research, optimise sites for local search and provide guidance on campaign topics.
- A global webmaster who understands how to build and integrate new localisation-friendly website templates and how to work with localisation publishing processes.
- In-market marketers with understanding of the local language and the tactics required to optimise and tailor campaigns.
For some businesses, additional internal requirements are just not feasible. If this is the case, companies must outsource the required services through an LSP.
Succeeding in new markets is key to international growth, and, amidst changing and competitive circumstances, the stakes are high. Following these steps will ensure your business is ready to take that leap of faith.