Written by: Kaitlyn Sifford, Digital Brand Strategy Intern
In 2020, we as humans are more connected to each other than ever through the internet and social media. This allows more businesses to expand globally and dip their toes into new marketplaces. For your company to succeed it is imperative that you reach the right consumer in a smart way.
So, you want to expand your products and services globally, where do you start?
1. Research the market and speak their language
When entering a new marketplace, you want to research the space, the customers, the competition, cultural attitudes, political happenings and so on. The goal is to understand as much as you possibly can to successfully narrow your target audience to the right consumer you are going to serve. Without thoroughly researching the marketplace you run the risk of misunderstanding your audience and missing an opportunity to expand your business.
An example of this is Starbuck’s failure to succeed in Australia from lack of due diligence in understanding the market. Australia is first off one of Toughest market in the world to break into. Secondly, Australia is one of the largest coffee markets in the world annually bringing in 5.5 billion in revenue. Starbucks did not take the steps to understand that the Australian consumer who loves their specialty coffee with 95% of cafes being independently owned. Australia’s strong coffee culture solidified in the mid 1990s as Italian and Greek immigrants popularized espresso. The market appreciates quality coffee from their local independently owned cafes where they know and build quality relationships with the employees. Due to the insufficient research on the market and the lack of strategizing Starbucks closed 2/3 of stores in the Australian market.
Truly understanding the market, you are trying to break into allows you to narrow the customer you are wanting to reach. Once you know your target customer then and only then are you able to move forward with smart and specific strategy to reach this customer. An integral part of reaching this customer is building and maintaining relationships and partnerships.
2. Form relationships and partnerships
Not everyone in your new space is competition, seek out the other companies or brands that will compliment your own. In competitive markets we often forget sometimes it is more valuable to work together than against other businesses.
Because you have taken the step to learn who your target audience is now you will know what type of business will compliment your own. Establish a relationship with these brands and companies and work together. Collaborations look different for everybody and only you know what will successfully grow your business, perhaps it is collaborative marketing effort co-promoting each other? Maybe this relationship looks like carrying each other’s products or referring customers for complimentary services.
These collaborative relationships allow your business to get your foot in the door to the local community being supported by an established local business. Advocacy from an already trusted brand will allow you to gain more credibility among the local consumers you are trying to reach.
While maintaining relationships with local brands and businesses you also want to make sure you are building relationships with your target audience as you begin to plan your transition into this new space.
3. Up digital marketing and advertisements
As a business you want to not only reach your customer but feel connected to them and vice versa. Like any relationship the connection with your customer takes time and energy to build and maintain. You need to meet the customer where they are. If you are not currently in the market you are entering the use of digital marketing and advertising is a good place to start.
Before marketing you will want to first introduce yourself, get your name in the community. This organic strategy will allow you to understand what to expect locally through the local SEO and organic digital or social media advertising analytics. In doing so this allows you to leverage your funds to reach the right audience through paid advertising. Once established a company will begin to see word-of-mouth advertising, but beginning a digital strategy allows you to have a global version of word-of-mouth advertising.
The goal is to establish your business as part of the local community. Make sure through this process you set measurable goals for yourself and to continue to go back and evaluate how you are meeting not only your goals, but the impact you have on your customers as well.
Ultimately your goal is to provide a product or service to your customer. Remember to do this you must be intentional in your strategy and branding to tell your story. Your story will set you apart and create a connection with your customer that will ease you into your new space.
Now go and impact Humankind!