Fail to plan and plan to fail, as the saying goes - setting up in any new market will require strategy and planning. This, unfortunately, is where many go wrong. The leading market-entry agency, Bridgehead, shares their advice on a winning strategy.
You’ve proven demand for your offering in your home market. Success! The next step is getting that product or service into the hands of new customers, in new markets.
Of course, you want to take advantage of the over 746 million consumers living in Europe and 579 million living in North America.
But, if it was as simple as replicating the exact same strategy from your home market over here, everyone would be doing it.
So where, when, and how do you start? How can you guarantee successful market entry?
This is where many go wrong. You might try to do some marketing, hire a sales team, perhaps hire a lawyer under the guidance of an expensive consultant, or maybe approach a distributor if you’re selling products. To no surprise, all of this rarely brings in the desired results.
BEFORE your sales and marketing plans, before setting up an office of hiring huge teams - you need a Go-To-Market strategy.
What is a go-to-market strategy and why do you need one?
Every successful market entry starts with one. The official definition of a Go-To-Market strategy is:
“A company’s Go-To-Market strategy is a blueprint for how they will successfully deliver their unique value proposition and reach target markets, channels and customers to achieve competitive advantage.”
It’s essentially an action plan setting out how you will sell your product or service to reach your target customers and gain a competitive advantage. It will enable you to accelerate entry into your new market, establish a clear presence and quickly generate income streams, giving you a competitive advantage.
It sounds simple, yet so many fail. Make sure to follow my top tips for a successful market entry.
Successful market entry tips
International expansion doesn’t have to be a leap of faith. Follow Bridgehead’s advice to increase your chances of success.
- Do your research
Research allows you to make informed decisions. It enables you to gain a deep understanding of your target market and how your potential customers are likely to receive your product or service.
- Focus on sales
Don’t get distracted at the early stages by other things on the to-do list, such as appointing lawyers and accountants, it isn’t necessary, yet. ‘Put the horse before the cart’ as we call it, and generate a pipeline.
- Establish a differentiated position
Your offering needs to solve a problem and solve it better than the substitutes and alternatives. What’s your unique value proposition, to this specific audience in this specific market?
- Local and cultural differences matter
Many underestimate the resources required to navigate language and cultural barriers. Be mindful that even when countries share the same language, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t cultural variations between these countries or even regions!
- Create a Go-To-Market strategy
Prepare a detailed strategy outlining your how you will sell your product or service to reach your target customers and gain a competitive advantage with your unique value proposition. To win big your strategy must be innovative, different, and very compelling.
- Get help
If asked about any regrets, most successful business owners will tell you they wish they had gotten help sooner. So seek advice and get help. Whether that’s using your connection that has ‘the in,’ or r working with a local agency that has the knowledge and network for rapid results - you don’t have to do it alone.
- BE PATIENT
A worthy strategy will take time and effort to put together. Your network won’t result in sales overnight. New channels will take time to become productive. Be patient, and keep at it - it will be worth it.
For more tips on creating a Go-To-Market strategy download Bridgehead’s top tips ebook here.