The Ins and Outs of Successful International Market Penetration
Preparing to enter a new international market is an all or nothing strategy. There’s no dipping your toe into the water to test the temperature. Extensive research, preparation, and adequate funding, among other things, must all be at the forefront of a strategy for a successful international market penetration.
1. Concentrate Your Efforts on the Local Market
You may have content that has worked wonders for you in other national markets, but once you make a move to a foreign market, it’s time to revamp your strategy. To ensure a successful international market penetration, make it relevant to your target market.
Localizing your content also ensures sensitivity to the market’s culture and technology limitations. Running content through a generic translation software may accurately translate the language word for word, but you may lose any nuances or dialects in the translation.
If the connection speed is unreliable and the number of desktop users is far outweighed by the number of mobile users, then it’s important to avoid larger files and images that may not be formatted for a mobile platform.
Mobile apps are becoming more prominent every day and are the primary access point for approximately 7.5 billion people, which is approximately 95.5 percent of the global population, according to Ericsson’s November 2016 mobility report.
If your company’s site is not optimized for mobile devices and you do not have a mobile app, then you’re behind the ball and your focus should be to remedy these two weaknesses before moving forward with any market entry strategies.
2. Research Your Demographics
Who is your audience? Research their demographics and break it down into categories such as age, income, ethnicity, gender, etc. Looking at the information, is this your preferred target market? If there are not enough potential customers to substantiate focusing on this particular market, then it may be time to set your sights elsewhere.
If the demographic breakdown is favorable, delve deeper to determine if you’ll prefer to launch regionally or nationally based on this data. Find a local expert to help understand the regional culture and their habits.
There are a vast number of variables that may determine whether a demographic of buyers may become your customers whereas another group of the same demographic may not. As an outsider, you may not be privy to these nuances.
Is this an area where you can score some wins in the near future? Openview notes that one of the best expansion strategy practices is to build momentum as quickly as possible and then be ready to ride the roller coaster of ups and downs that are inherent in any manner of international market expansion.
3. Establish a Partnership
Working with a leading company that can supplement your service or product can strengthen both companies. As reported in Forbes, when looking to cement a deal with China Mobile, Tim Cook of Apple went to China and formed a relationship with China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua. Apple is now the leading smartphone developer in China.
What better way to facilitate a smooth expansion than to develop a relationship with a team that has direct experience with the target market? You will then have access to increased pools of resources including talent, vendors, and the chance to network with competitors.
Borrowing the reputation of your new partner will diminish any chance that your market entry strategy will be unsuccessful due to a lack of connections and competitor domination. In fact, it may even lessen the overall waiting period for ROI and successful global growth. It will still take time. Just, not as long.
4. Run the Numbers to Make Sure Your International Market Penetration Strategy is Feasible
The numbers won’t lie. Whether you’ve established a partnership or are continuing forward alone, does your plan make sense financially? It’s expected that it will take time for revenue to exceed overhead. Facilitating a successful international market penetration is going to require some spending.
After running the numbers, if there is still a questionable opportunity for growth and revenue, then this market may not be the right one. It comes down to what your level of comfort is with waiting for your ROI and a successful foreign market entry. Again, foresight is essential here.
Target Marketing has found a simple metric to validate and calculate success. If you’ll need to convert a customer number exceeding the upper echelon of the penetration range, odds are low for succeeding in that given market.
Extensive research, adequate planning, and realistic expectations are vital when deciding whether international market expansion is right for your business. If knowledge is power, then market penetration planning may be tantamount to earning your Masters in Successful International Market Penetration.