If you have been successful in one marketplace, it can appear to make a lot of sense to choose another international location to expand into. International markets offer significant possibilities to grow, but doing so can be a real challenge that shouldn’t be underestimated. Before you embark on your attempt to break into a different location, it is essential that you should take the time to establish if it is the right move for your business.
Here we take a look at some of the key ways that you can appeal to different international markets with your products or services.
Do your research
It cannot be stated enough that if you are looking to launch into a new international market, you need to do your research thoroughly. Having a successful product or service in one market is impressive, but these results will not automatically translate. Different countries and markets have surprisingly diverse requirements and needs.
First you need to look into whether there is a natural market for what you are offering. It may be that the product or service that has worked for you simply isn’t needed internationally. There may also be specific legal or technical requirements that a foreign government or regulatory body needs to you to fulfil.
Even something as simple as the language barrier can present a problem. For example, if you are looking to reach customers in an emerging market there is a 57 per cent chance that customers, suppliers, or business partners will speak little or no English. This is something that you need understand before you attempt to move into the market so that you can hire appropriate talent.
Put effort into your website
If your website is a vital marketing tool in your native market, then there is every reason to assume that you are also going to need it to be effective internationally. However, many businesses make the mistake of assuming that launching into a foreign territory is as simple as changing pricing to the correct currency.
To get a foothold in an international market you need to realise that you are going to be facing competitors with years of experience in the area. It is important that you begin acquiring and earning powerful links for websites that are native to your new marketplace.
It is also a great idea to work with local content writers to create pages and sections of your site that are specifically written for this new market. Some evidence even suggests that it is a better idea to add a foreign language microsite to appeal to the audience naturally.
Get your foreign language packaging right
If you are selling products then it is absolutely essential that you get your foreign language packaging right. It can look amateurish if your packaging has poor spelling and grammar, or references that simply don’t work in another market. So, you need to work with a packaging specialist with experience in that region.
If you are thinking of working with a company to supply you with packaging – make sure that they have a dedicated microsite or a specific page on their site in the language of the market that you are looking to enter. This can show you that they work with customers in that language.
“We added a French language page to our site,” said Peride Petrica Iulian – Online Marketing Manager of The Bag Broker “it provides customers in French-speaking markets with more confidence in us as a brand and shows our ability in supplying high quality products”.
Work with experienced partners
Launching into a new foreign marketplace is a lot of hard work. Many highly successful businesses have attempted to do so and dramatically failed. It is important, then, to make the right friends in your new marketplace and work closely with those partners who already understand what works in this market – and, crucially, what doesn’t.
Take the time to find those local suppliers and businesses offering complementary services to your own. Working with them not only aligns your product or service with a popular name in that locality, it is also provides you and your team with vital information directly from people who have already succeeded here.
Launching in a new international market can be very rewarding, but it is also one of the most challenging things that any business can attempt. Take the time to understand the experiences of companies similar to yours that have tried to launch in the area you are targeting.