Export marketing – 7 steps to successful communication
In an ever-expanding global marketplace, marketing products and services overseas is no longer reserved for big business. Companies of all sizes are more accessible than ever before, thanks to the digital revolution, and doing business overseas is now an important part of many strategies.
Once you have selected appropriate markets and set up a presence and infrastructure in those markets, telling the world you are there so that you have every chance at success is absolutely critical.
The following steps to success are aspects of your communications plan that should be considered. They do not necessarily have to happen in order, but an appropriate combination of several or all of them will help you to establish and build your brand in new markets.
Step 1: market research
The situation in a new market could be very different to that in your domestic market. You should undertake a thorough market intelligence programme before and during your international expansion to understand the market, anticipate and track changes and evaluate your degree of success.
Step 2: branding and advertising
It is advisable to think about any language or cultural reasons for keeping or changing your brand / brands in new markets and look into any legal and regulatory constraints.
When developing adverts, it is important to take into account the countries they will be used in from the outset. This should impact your briefing to designers, copywriters and translators and help you to select the most appropriate concept.
Step 3: PR
A concerted effort to provide news and content to the press will ensure your reputation is built and enhanced in any new market.
Central to a good PR plan is a news schedule. Always be on the lookout for newsworthy stories that will generate noise in the market about you.
If you decide to translate articles that have been developed for your domestic market, make sure that you adapt them before translating to include relevant market specific information and to meet the stylistic needs of the regional press.
Step 4: lead generation
The key to any successful lead generation campaign is good database management and follow-up. Capturing leads is one thing, but ensuring they are inputted into your CRM system so effective and regular follow up can be done is often the downfall of many businesses.
Step 5: effective sales tools
Understanding and analysing the sales process will help you to identify how and when you need to assist your sales representatives.
Digital tools such as interactive sales tools and online databases may enable you to keep your material up to date and segmented for different regions.
Step 6: trade shows
If you decide to exhibit at a trade show, think creatively about the stand you develop. A modular kit that can be easily adapted and reused will save money and increase the value of your investment.
Pop-up and pull up graphics that you can assemble yourself could save you a lot of money and still be impactful and attractive.There are other ways of being present at a trade show without having to exhibit. Consider hosting an event or taking up some targeted sponsorship opportunities.
Step 7: digital marketing
It is important to consider translating key pages of your website or developing regional microsites or campaign landing pages to show your commitment to a new region. Optimising your site for regional search is critical.
We have helped many b2b companies promote their products and services overseas and the real trick is maintaining your corporate identity while ensuring your materials resonate regionally. Good luck!
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