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With UK Firms Optimistic About Exports Despite Brexit, How Can You Reach Out to Overseas Markets?

Though Brexit has caused trade disruption for UK businesses, some 42% of firms anticipate their exports growing over the next year, an Institute of Directors survey cited by City A.M. has found.

The catalyst for this optimism has been the UK inking various free trade agreements (FTA). Deals with Australia, New Zealand, India and Canada have either been sealed or neared completion, while FTA talks with the Gulf Co-operation Council have also gone well, The National reports.

Now would be an especially good time for your British business to start promoting itself to new geographic markets but how could you do this?

Engage with potential customers based abroad

If you are eyeing certain countries as markets your business could potentially enter, how can you be confident that your product or service would be popular in these places?

One simple thing you can do is interact with people from those areas. You could do this by holding online events; for example, driving customer engagement with webinars can help you to figure out what potential customers in these foreign markets really seek.

Draw up a Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy

The term ‘Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy’ has been used in an article published by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

This FSB-published piece warns: “No two markets are the same, and now that the research is gathered you need to put it into context and use it to create an action plan.”

Investigate how the local competition shapes up

You will be entering a market where various homegrown firms have already established customer bases of their own. This situation underlines the importance of you checking out what these businesses are doing on their home ground.

You should, for example, see what promotional channels these brands use as well as their unique selling propositions (USPs).

Even internationally renowned companies can falter if they fail to research a new market properly before entering it. Starbucks, for instance, opened their first Australian store in 2000, but struggled against local competitors like Gloria Jeans.

Tweak your offering to suit the new market

One reason for Starbucks’ failure in the Australian market was other companies offering a beverage range more in line with local market tastes.

You should therefore be wary of releasing identical products across markets that markedly differ in their culture. You could particularly learn from McDonald’s, which combines Nürnberger sausages with beef in burgers sold at the chain’s German eateries.

Meanwhile, in India, McDonald’s has replaced beef with chicken with the Maharaja Mac serving as the Indian version of the Big Mac.

Tailor your marketing methods, too

Many businesses mistakenly think that marketing strategies can simply be replicated across various markets without any obvious resulting loss in effectiveness.

However, it is crucial that you research different marketing channels in order to figure out which of them produce the best results in a given overseas market.

If you wanted to expand into China, for example, your expertise with Facebook and YouTube wouldn’t help you, as both platforms are banned in that particular country.

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