What to consider in your market entry planning
In this guest blog, our professional translation partner, Peak Translations, outlines the key considerations when planning to enter a new market.
It is often the case that businesses find themselves ‘falling’ into certain overseas markets. A customer in a particular country places an order. That interest creates excitement within the business that a new territory has been uncovered. Your team start to consider how best to capitalise on that early success. Yet, the country in question may not, in fact, be the most lucrative. Or indeed, the market may be so different to your original market that significant investment is required in how the product is adapted, promoted, and serviced.
So how do you determine where to place your best efforts?
There are three key market ‘types’ to consider.
Firstly, the EU, which is a key trading partner for both the UK and US.
Secondly, international markets such as Asia and the Middle East. The wealth and scale of these markets make them attractive; but additional attention is needed when translating into languages so structurally different to English.
Thirdly, English-speaking markets. Whilst it may seem that few changes need to be made to how your product is marketed and sold, some words and phrases carry very different connotations, despite the language being English. A thong in the UK and the US is a form of underwear; in Australia, thongs are flip-flops. A jumper in the UK is a sweater in the US. An Autumn discount in the UK would make little sense to the US market who would expect to see the season described as Fall. Should you get to the stage where you wish to recruit a sales team in your new market, you would ask for resumes in the US and CVs in the UK.
When targeting an unfamiliar territory, there are lots of considerations. At Peak Translations, our translation work is more than just translating your messages. We create a cohesive piece of work which ensures your product or service truly makes sense to a new audience.
Eight key considerations to include in your market entry planning:
1. Your product or service
Is your product or service aimed at the same market across borders? If not, how might the quantity be affected?
Take the example of horse feed. The market in the UK may well be riding schools and jockeys who only need small amounts. In the US, however, purchasers of horse feed are more likely to be ranch owners who have a much bigger volume requirement. This in turn will impact the size of bags and therefore shipping.
2. Getting your message out there
You may determine, at least at the early stages of market entry, that you only need to translate your landing page as opposed to an entire website.
Any content you do translate should include the right messages with the right keywords. At Peak Translations, our keyword research in native language ensures we do just that, and add them to the right elements of your web pages such as in meta titles and descriptions.
3. Impact of your target language on marketing material
You may know that Arabic reads right to left which of course impacts websites and typesetting. Did you know, however, that this applies not only to a page but to an entire document? In other words, a brochure needs to be flipped from what we would consider to be the back to the front page.
4. Your strategy
Do you plan to compete with the leader in that market? Or are you content to pick off the low-hanging fruit? The ambition of your strategy will impact your choice of keywords and therefore cost of any Google Ads campaigns. Clickoo can also help put together a full paid media strategy aligned with your market entry goals.
5. Practicalities of fulfilling sales
Whilst the same consumer rights may apply across the EU, have you factored in different buyer behaviour? The German market, for example, returns more goods bought online than any other EU market. UK suppliers therefore need to factor this into their stock, finances and logistics.
6. Target market value
Is the size of the market large enough to justify your market entry cost? Is your type of product in demand, or do you need to sell the concept as much as the product? If so, that time lag needs to be factored into your sales projections.
At Peak Translations, we will happily point you to relevant trade advisors across the Department for International Trade, as well as the Growth Hub and Chamber of Commerce who can support you with this market research.
7. Your product name
Does your product name have any negative connotations in your target language? Even larger companies can get caught out! When Clairol launched a curling iron called “Mist Stick” in Germany, it didn’t take into account that ‘mist’ in German happens to be slang for manure…
Like most of the world, Europe adheres to the metric system of measurement (kilometres, kilograms and Celsius) whereas the US still uses the imperial system (miles, pounds and Fahrenheit).
There are differences too in the use of the 12-hour v 24-hour clock.
Whichever market you’re considering, our expert team of project managers, translators and interpreters are on hand to help you navigate unfamiliar territory.
For more information on the power of effective translations in communicating with foreign audiences, reach out to Peak Translations.