Making a business global has many positive aspects. Companies that have the chance to export their brand and products abroad should take advantage of this occasion.
The two main and obvious benefits of exploring new markets are the potential lower competition and a wider Audience for your business. In both cases, the natural consequence is an increase of revenues.
However, directors of start-ups and small businesses often think internationalisation is an expensive process. In their mind, the risk of going broke is not worth such an investment.
Who can blame them? There are several stories about companies that failed abroad. But if you examine their approach to the new market, you can see they were superficial and made mistakes in assessing their new audiences.
I want to focus your attention on this issue that companies must ace when they plan on going global. Forgetting to know and understand your new target audience is the best way to fail abroad. You need to plan an efficient international market research.
Who said International Market Research is expensive?
Assuming you have decided on the countries you mean to target, it is time to know your potential audience.
One of the main benefits of understanding the market is that it will help you organise your strategy and create business personas. Another positive aspect to consider is that market research will reduce the risks you may take by making business decisions.
However, the false assumption that market research is expensive makes companies reluctant to create a clear portrait of the new audience.
Prices of regular research vary according the method used, the size of the questionnaire, and the number of people interviewed.
But you may obtain the same insightful information creating your research independently.
Here is a new and working method to research international markets. This formula is based on the thought that asking your potential target customers to make a profile of themselves is the most effective way to create buyer personas.
And you can create a mailing list of new clients and gain links in a foreign language. That means you will have solid foundations when launching your products in the market.
Create your international market research
The reason our method is much cheaper and more effective than others is that you will use resources you have already created.
First, you will need to translate part of the content you published on your website, precisely, the About Us page and the description of your main product. In the second case, you may want to create new content to make it more engaging for your foreign audience.
Once we have translated the content, it is time to design an effective landing page to make your business shine for a new market. The page is ready to be published.
It should be very informative and engaging for a new audience. But, for the time being, it is ineffective for the goal you designed it for. As you probably noticed, it misses the key aspect of market research: a questionnaire.
Once again, write down your own questionnaire and your language service partner will translate it into the languages you need. Pay particular attention to this part of the project.
The questionnaire is the main intersection between the success or failure of your campaign!
Too few questions and you will not have the essential information you need. Too many, and you will risk bothering your client, even before they are in your sales funnel.
If you need help creating an effective questionnaire for your audience, here are a few articles and ideas you may use to investigate the topic thoroughly:
Marketing Research Survey Templates
How to create effective customer questionnaires
Now, the landing page is ready to be published and the market research can begin.
There are many ways to ask your potential client to answer your questions.
Offering them a discount for their first purchase will increase the number of answered questionnaires.
Once your audience answers your research, you will also gather emails and the information you need to grow a mailing list for the new market.
You will end up with insightful information provided by your audience and a list of contacts you can use, once you are ready to launch your brand in the new market. You would easily solve two problems at once.
Generate the buzz for your market research
But how can you make sure your landing page receives enough visits from your potential audience?
There are many ways to achieve your goal. You may organise PPC campaigns or ask your existing client living in the target market to share your content with their friends and followers online.
However, you may want to get the most from your international market research.
Through the page in the language of the market you want to target, you have the possibility to present your products to local media and eventually gain a few links from websites in the country you are researching.
You only have to organise the right PR campaign for your needs. Create a list of local journalists, bloggers, and website that may be interested in your business. Write a press release for the target market, approach them, and create useful business relationships for your company.
Once again, you catch two birds with one stone.
Through a well-organised PR strategy, you can build a good network of acquaintances you may use, once you are ready to launch your brand in the new market.
However, they may write reviews about your product and link to your landing page, giving you extra help gathering the information you need and, obviously, help you rank well in local search engines.
Do you feel it is too early to send press releases about your business in a new market?
No problem, you can organise a PPC campaign to raise awareness about your company abroad. The good thing is that you do not need a long list of very competitive keywords. For the time being, you are gathering information to research a new market.
You will worry about keywords that convert well, once you are ready to launch your product in the new market.
There are many ways to know and understand a new target audience. But there is no reason you have to spend a lot of money for information you may find on your own.
This international market research will give you the possibility to do so. You will research your market through the questionnaire you created, especially for your target audience.
You will create a first mailing list of potential clients. And if this is not good enough, you will build relationships with bloggers and journalist and gain some useful links.
What is your experience with international market research? Is there any other way to conduct effective international market research on your own? Share your ideas with us.