Checking Your Business Model Fits Your Target Market
Before you export products or services outside of your domestic market, it is important that you are certain your business model fits your new target market, otherwise you risk wasting time, money and effort. However, this is about more than simply checking if there is a demand for your product. By nature, different cultures respond differently to advertising, for example, and they will have different expectations of products and services, but also of the entire process of learning about and buying these products and services. To prevent you from wasting energy trying to sell in a way that simply won’t work in your target market, take a look at these tips!
Is Your Path to Market Suitable?
You know there is a demand for your product or service, so now it’s time to establish how best to sell it to consumers. Is it best to consider a local presence, or act as a distance seller? In some countries, such as Japan, when shoppers are buying cross-border online, they prefer to use large, global market places, rather than a foreign business’ website, which is definitely something you should consider. However, in other countries, buying directly from a foreign site is appealing to consumers, who would be more likely to shop directly from these. Does your target market actually shop online, or do they prefer to shop instore? Answers to these questions could vary from product to product, and it is important to learn how your target market shops and then make your products and services available to them in these ways.
Are You a Pure Ecommerce Player? Will That Work?
If you are a pure ecommerce player, you need to be sure that your target market is comfortable with this. Will they mind that all they know of your brand is online, and that they can’t see or touch your products before they buy them? If the answer is no, you will need to think about how you can develop a physical presence in that market- perhaps collaborating with smaller retailers who might stock your products, before potentially opening your own bricks-and-mortar store. Once the target market is aware of your brand, they may then feel more comfortable with making online purchases.
Where Are You Advertising?
It is also important to establish the best method of advertising for your target market, as it could differ wildly from what works in your domestic market. Perhaps your target market responds best to social media marketing, or maybe prefers more traditional forms of advertising, such as print and television? You should also consider the most popular search engines in that market, and invest in SEO for them. Advertising is a vital component for success â€“ how would consumers know about your products without it? – and these are all things you need to be certain of to avoid investing your time and money in something that won’t work.
How Are You Generating Leads?
Generating leads is the first step in encouraging potential buyers through the purchase funnel until they invest in your product, which means it’s important that you get it right for your target market. Producing optimised and informative content for your website can help drive in traffic, as might answering industry-related questions on relevant forums in your target market. Both of these tell potential consumers that you are good at what you do. Don’t forget the power of social media either, and be conscious that popular platforms in your target market may differ to your domestic market. Twitter hashtags can be useful, as can YouTube videos (perfect for tutorials), and having a well-developed company LinkedIn will help to establish a complete image of your business, but your target market may have another key platform that needs addressing. Additionally, incorporating a live chat feature into your website on top of your FAQ page shows potential buyers that you want to help, and could help develop enquiries into sales.
Do You Have a USP?
For a business to be successful, they must have a unique selling point that gives potential buyers a reason to choose to shop with you, instead of your competitors. The focus here really is that the selling point is unique and that you are offering customers something they couldn’t find elsewhere. This might not be to do directly with your product; the service you provide to your customers might be what is unique. That USP may be valid in your domestic market, but if it’s either not relevant, or already well served in your target market, you could find you have a problem on your hands, and your USP might just turn into a plain old SP. Above all though, whatever this USP is, make sure that the target market knows about it. They won’t know unless you tell them!
Successful exporting into another market requires a lot of hard work, and before you even begin to trade internationally, you need to be certain that your business model fits your target market. If it doesnâ€™t, you need to change it. To succeed against competitors, it is important that your target market respects you â€“ enough to choose you over the local national providers youâ€™ll have to compete with, so you need to get it right. A little research beforehand, and getting the right guidance from an international growth specialist, such as Integro, will help you to understand international market behaviours, what techniques are most successful where, and can help you get it right first time.