One of the key elements to ensuring success in a foreign market is to approach it in the right way. There are many different ways to approach markets, all of which have varying levels of involvement, cost and resources. Here I’m going to look at just a few examples and the requirements for each in terms of how you communicate with your target audience:
Many companies who are starting out on their export journey access their chosen markets remotely. They will usually have an online presence through their website and social media campaigns, backed up by the UK-based support team. This approach gives companies the opportunity to dip their toe in the market without incurring the cost of establishing a physical presence.
The considerations in terms of communicating with the target audience would include:
The next approach would be to look at engaging a trading partner in your target market, such as an agent or distributor. This would still keep set-up costs low but would impact on profit margins and pricing. However, as long as you choose your partner wisely, the agent or distributor should have some good contacts in the market which would hopefully ensure more reliable returns on your investment. They will also be able to deal directly with the customer base in the target market language and handle orders, enquiries and after sales.
Aspects relating to communication would include:
This approach represents the greatest investment and commitment to a market and involves setting up physical presence in the target market. Native speakers in the target market are likely to be employed and therefore can handle communication with customers.
As such, the issues for communication to be considered would include:
Whichever approach you decide to take and whichever stage of the journey you are at, if you invest in talking to people, whether they are customers, staff or representatives, in their native languages, the returns in terms of sales, understanding, loyalty and trust will be much greater.
Helen Provart, MD