New markets mean new opportunities. How can you seize them?
Expanding to new markets sometimes feels like wandering into the complete unknown. Will my products be sold? Is the sales strategy the team worked for so much going to work there? Where to start?
There’s no single answer, but the good news is, unlike back in the days, plunging into new opportunities isn’t as costly as it used to be.
Yes, each international market is different and new processes are needed to adapt. So here are three tips for when expanding your horizons:
There’s no need to start with a literal foot there, websites make this easy. All you need to do is go online. But, the language barrier is a big issue. If a Spanish-speaking client can’t read your terms and conditions in Spanish, they won’t feel safe when buying from you. So when you do go online, try a multilingual website.
Don’t stick to your origin language, but explore what your brand looks like in other countries, with other expressions. Adapt your content, so when you advertise it, you can do it locally, with personalized geo-targeted ads that lead to an amazing friendly website that speaks your tongue.
Ideally, this content will be localized by a language professional that can integrate the tiny details and localisms that will make your site stand out, or better said, blend in. Don’t be a stranger in the market unless you mean it.
You can also go online with a multiregional website, focused on countries and not languages. This gives you the chance to adapt content, products, and services according to each zone. Which brings extra flexibility to try new things and create market strategies accordingly.
The advantage of a multilingual website is that you can target a wider audience, but it also means you have to be extra thorough with a copy for a greater audience. For example, a vest could mean different things in the UK and the USA, so be careful.
Do you need to translate everything? Not necessarily. But your main marketing materials, main sections of your website, the price of your products in the appropriate currency, terms and conditions, and any core touchpoint or part of the process that determines the user experience is a must.
If you’re looking to implement either of these, don’t hesitate in contacting our team of language professionals from all over the world. They’ll get the job done in no time the way you need it.
DO YOUR RESEARCH AND CREATE ALLIES
Performing market research is the obvious first step. Be it legal research (do you need any permits? certifications? Are there any legal procedures?) or focused on trends and numbers (in what region? Is what I’m trying to sell something new? Is there anything similar? Do they call it by the same name?).
It’s easier to start small and target one specific part of the world, rather than everywhere. At least to test drive and then go big. Is there a market that is similar you can try out first? Is there a specific reason why it could work out there? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Geo-targeting markets don’t refer only to regions or country grouping, which implies a wide range of resources, or specific countries, which tends to be the most commonly used type of grouping; but it can also mean cities or smaller areas. For certain types of business, such as restaurants, specific cities with their specific characteristics can be very interesting.
You don’t have to do all this on your own. Another friendly tip is to find allies in new markets. Be it marketing allies, a franchise, someone local who can conduct the market research. It’s easier to work with someone who already knows the ground rules. If there’s a language barrier, don’t worry, you can always find a local interpreter in a matter of minutes.
MEASURE EVERYTHING AND TEST SMALL
All this means nothing if you don’t measure. Measuring is key to improving.
Are you using analytics on your site? Are you measuring which tabs create more engagement? Which products sell more and why? Can the strategy used for that product be replicated onto others?
Measure everything that you consider relevant to your KPIs in order to know how you are doing in this new terrain: number of visits, users and their demographics, sessions, your ROI, and so on.
You can also A/B test (also known as split testing, which refers to a randomized experimentation process wherein two versions of a variable are shown to different segments of website visitors at the same time to determine which version leaves the maximum impact and drives business metrics) ads, to see in which areas they perform best.
The best you can do is start with small, controlled tests, and steadily multiply them to see if they sustain at a larger scale.