From the earliest times entering a new market has been the goal for many entrepreneurial merchants, who set foot on foreign land only because later return later with overseas products. But before we start, let’s get a definition out of the way.
What is market entry?
Activities associated with bringing a product or service to a targeted market. During the planning stage, a company will consider the barriers to entry, the costs of marketing, sales and delivery, and the expected outcome of entering the market.
Before the era of the Internet, a company that wanted to enter a foreign market, had to bring a product or service to a targeted market in physical sense. Classical forms of foreign market entry strategies are perfectly known:
We won’t concentrate on their analysis in this article. Nowadays when instruments for online promotion are available and unlimited, a business that wishes to enter a foreign market, cannot ignore such possibilities.
International market entry strategies – advantages of digital campaigns
Foreign market entry strategies that include PPC campaigns, growth hacking, content marketing or social media campaigns have obvious advantages:
- a business needs less resources to promote service or products on global markets;
- reduced risk of failures, as a business can analyse the reaction of foreign markets almost immediately;
- foreign market entry promotional strategy can be adjusted at each point of time. Without efforts you can test new channels of promotion e.g. switching from Adwords to a Facebook advertising campaign anytime you need;
- a business does not need to be an international company to enter a foreign market. Thanks to online advertising any medium and small-sized manufacturing and service firms can reduce the risk and enter a foreign market;
- a business can delegate certain tasks, if resources are limited, e.g. PPC campaigns in local language can be run by a freelancer (e.g. from Upwork) or by a local digital agency;
- online advertising is the ideal solution for business involved in healthcare, educational, entertainment, tourism and cultural tourism, or any other companies that would not like to engage in the classical forms of foreign market entry such as partnering or a joint venture;
- the incontestable advantage of online campaigns is that PPC campaigns effectively bring clients from any spot of Earth. Can you attract clients from Moscow, Berlin and Prague at one time? PPC campaigns (or any other form of online promotion) open the door, even when you or your manager are sleeping peacefully or concentrating on how to reach yet another business goal.
If a business incorporates online campaigns into international business entry strategies it can easily follow a voice of brand or keep the same standards of customer service in global markets.
Foreign market entry strategies – disadvantages of digital campaigns
All that glitters is not gold. If you think that PPC or social media is a magic wand, you are absolutely wrong. Still, global market entry strategy requires in-depth analysis, solid preparation and detailed planning. What might go wrong? International business entry strategies that work perfectly for countries in the European Union might not perform well or at all in Russia, Czech Republic or Scandinavian countries. If your resources are limited, e.g. in deficiency of experts, a business relies on subcontractors who might not always implement tasks in a professional way, and the company’s image is compromised as the result.
International market entry strategies – tips
If a business decides to go global and target international clients via online advertising, then:
- check out what channel is the most appropriate and whether there are any restrictions of advertising ;
- use marketing tools (e.g. ahrefs) to find out as much as possible about local and national competitors, their visibility, market share, advantages and disadvantages, strong and weak points;
- if a business runs a PPC campaign, be sure that the keywords you use describe precisely the products or services, and are correct in the targeted language. Don’t assume, that if word A works in lot of countries, it will work just as well in your targeted country;
- collect data on a permanent basis, and analyse on a continuing basis. Google Analytics is an amazing tool;
- if the right channels are not yet defined, test each of them, and compare conversion rates or gained profit. Be open to testing new channels and new solutions.
Online campaigns as an element of new market entry strategy is undoubtedly a cost-effective solution that gives chances to a business of any size to target international clients.