While most of the UK’s brands are highly skilled in marketing and selling their products online to the UK market, not all are currently embracing the opportunities that lie outside of the UK. So many opportunities exist in other markets that international trade has to be high on the agenda for those trading online in 2013.
Overcoming the fear:
Brands are understandably wary of how they can limit the risks involved in entering new markets.
Paid Search marketing can help overcome some of the biggest challenges by enabling brands to assess the revenue potential from new markets quickly and comparatively cheaply.
Using Paid Search marketing we worked with a clothing retailer who was looking to expand their operations internationally. Running across multiple countries, the campaigns achieved interesting results and unforeseen opportunities from new, untapped markets.
Unlocking new international opportunities – what we did:
We initially targeted the larger European markets, such as France and Germany. Following the success across these countries, we explored the potential of expanding operations to other markets.
As the company had historic sales activity in the Middle East, we decided to explore this country next. We also included Kuwait as a target country. Although our analysis suggested that the amount of traffic in Kuwait would be low, we considered that the market was similar enough to be included in an exploratory campaign.
We ran campaigns across all markets, testing ad copy written in English and specifically aimed at each country such as “We deliver to Kuwait” and “Worldwide delivery available”.
Exceeding expectations – how the campaign worked:
The results demonstrated slow but valuable growth across all countries, with one exception. Confounding our earlier thinking, the campaign was immediately very successful in Kuwait, a previously untested country with perceived low opportunity.
Over a 5 month period, the campaign in Kuwait outperformed all other markets, including the UK;
- CTR on exact brand match terms in Kuwait was approximately double the rate of the UK campaign
- CR in Kuwait was on average over 6 times higher than in the UK
- AOV was nearly 300% higher in Kuwait than in the UK over the reporting period
Conclusion and tips to unlock new international opportunities:
The results of the campaign in Kuwait were highly unexpected, largely because as a previously untested country we were unaware of the potential. In addition, the campaign challenged the convention that countries with the highest brand awareness and the lowest shipping costs will always outperform other markets.
In closing, here are 5 tips for brands looking to expand their operations internationally;
- Research sales activity across all locations, and use this data to inform your expansion plan, as it makes sense to target a territory that has already achieved some sales success
- Take an incremental approach to expansion; learning from one market and applying that knowledge elsewhere. Perhaps start by expanding into culturally similar markets first
- Research the brand awareness of your product / service in the target country and neighbouring countries. If your brand is already known in one country, it is likely that it will also be known in neighbouring countries
- Experiment! As this campaign showed, it is worth testing out a country or region even if your research and analysis suggests that they will be low performing
- Call on experts to support your strategy. Use professionals who can help you with local market understanding and expertise in key marketing areas
We hope this helps, and good luck! Do get in touch if you have any questions.