B2B Expo logo

27 & 28 MARCH 2019

ExCeL LONDON

Getting International Digital Marketing Right First Time

If you’re thinking about expanding into new markets, then getting your international digital marketing right first time will help ensure you see results within a reasonable timeframe and make your budget work harder for you.

For B2B marketers, deciding which channels will form the most effective marketing mix within your home market can be hard enough, whether online or offline. In the online world, the additional rise of multiple platforms for each channel, and continually evolving technology, only exacerbates the problem.

If you then complicate things further by throwing in new global markets, things can start to spiral out of control. Many countries have numerous native platforms, not to mention a different language (or languages) and cultural norms to be aware of.

If you’re thinking about expanding into new markets, then getting your international digital marketing right first time will help ensure you see results within a reasonable timeframe and make your budget work harder for you.

Market choice and planning

So, you’ve decided to expand into new markets. Maybe you’ve reached peak market share within your home market, or you’ve spotted a gap in a new territory. Whatever your reasons, now is the time to get your head down and do some research. If you think you know which markets you want to tackle, do they really represent the opportunity you believe? If you’re not sure, how are you going to decide?

Depending on your business sector and product/service offering there are numerous logistical challenges that a new market must be able to accommodate. Investigating supply chains, payment methods, deliveries and returns, customer service and support, and local tax and legislation requirements is a necessity.

From a marketing perspective, you’ll need to know how best to reach your new potential customers, the size of the market, how many companies may be interested in your product or service, privacy laws, and who your in-market competitors will be.

When it comes to digital marketing, you’ll want to know if there’s an online interest in your product, if the internet is a significant purchasing channel for B2B, if you need to have a partner or subsidiary within the country, how B2B purchasers access the internet, which platforms they use, what terms they use to search for your products… and so on.

Once you have answers to these questions, you can decide which markets present the best opportunities and begin planning your campaigns and budgets (as well as any logistical arrangements). Now is also the time to decide on what you will consider a successful expansion and how you’re going to measure it.

Localisation

It’s important to note that localisation is about far more than just translation. It’s about understanding the local and cultural nuances within each new market and, therefore, serving potential customers in the best way possible. From a digital perspective, one of the biggest challenges in entering a new market is knowing what consumers within that market expect online, and how to meet those expectations in a way that feels natural.

Decent translators will ensure that if a direct translation feels clunky or sounds unnatural, the text is altered to provide the local turn of phrase or an appropriate alternative to the wording. You will also need to keep an eye on user behaviour on your website. In different markets, there are different norms for website design and how users expect to navigate the site. Messaging that is great for converting browsers in one market may flop in another.

Optimising

As soon as your digital marketing campaign has launched you need to start measuring your performance, as you would within your home market. Use the best practice guidelines for each of your channels and platforms to implement a program of continuous improvement. Test changes to your website, advertising copy, calls to action etc. If a channel or platform isn’t working in a particular market, go back to your research and see if you can figure out why. Maybe you need to stop using one platform and concentrate your efforts elsewhere.

If you see poor results, it is often due to poor research or digital strategy. One common problem is attempting to expand into too many new markets at once or trying to use every platform available. Successful companies concentrate on fewer core markets, localise their marketing correctly, and focus their choice of digital channels.

For advice on market choice, launching into a new market or optimising your digital marketing performance in your current territories, get in touch with Oban International. We can help you plan and implement your digital marketing campaigns in any market on the planet.

Oban International

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