Strategic Planning for Export Markets
Strategically planning your web presence in export markets ensures you get best value for your investment: Work and investments are rigorously prioritised and aligned with your business strategy and there is a clear plan for web presence localisation and marketing.
Entering a new market is exciting. It is an opportunity for you to grow your business by selling your existing or indeed new products and services to new customers. In addition, even within Europe, markets such as the Germany, France or the UK are considerably larger than the Irish home market: Whether you operate B2B or B2C, there are more potential customers you can sell to.
However, all businesses have limited resources, so you need to be very clear where the new export market fits into your overall business strategy for internationalisation – what goals and objectives you have for that market, what resources you can make available, what channels you use to reach and serve the market, and what role the website will play in your channel strategy.
In parallel to looking internally, you also need to look externally, as entering or indeed properly penetrating a new market requires a deep understanding of that market and the overall business environment and where you might fit into that. Competition in larger markets is considerably stronger. Customer needs and expectations can be quite different. This often requires that you revisit your value proposition and your USP and refine them for your new market based on the findings of market research and in line with your decisions on the overall business strategy.
So, whether you are new to the export market or whether you ‘just’ add online presence to the channel and marketing mix for an existing export market, the process should always start with the strategic planning, i.e. the development of a web presence localisation strategy, based on a review of your current business strategy and value proposition in the light of business environment in your target market, including supply, demand, competitors as outlined in the figure above.