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Your Roadmap to a Successful Market Expansion Strategy

Your Roadmap to a Successful Market Expansion Strategy

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Market expansion strategies should not be a mere afterthought. As there’s a lot that goes into breaking to a new market, you’ll need to put some serious thought into making it work for your business. To take some of that burden off your shoulders and get you started in no time, we’ve broken down the process in 5 digestible steps. But first, what even is a market expansion strategy?

What is a market expansion strategy and why do you need one?

A market expansion strategy is a deliberate plan undertaken by a company to enter and grow into new markets. It can cover everything including market research, the company’s goals and objectives, all relevant financial investments (e.g., the hiring costs involved), and how the company will measure the strategy’s success.
There are many reasons why you should consider implementing an expansion strategy. Most importantly, it can help your business uncover untapped revenue opportunities which you wouldn’t have otherwise known existed.
In turn, knowing which markets you should target and its potential challenges can save your business money and resources (and a few unnecessary headaches). You wouldn’t want to expand into a new market that might turn out to be less lucrative than you initially expected.
Without further ado, let’s go over the 5 steps you need to take to build a winning market expansion strategy.

1. Select markets for expansion & conduct market research

Selecting which markets you should target will be your first obvious consideration. Below are some useful action points for making your decision:
Identify existing opportunities: Check how your business is already performing with your international customers. Do customers from certain regions purchase more from you more than others? If so, you could leverage this opportunity to expand your business further in those regions.
Utilize real-time market data. Study market reports, industry databases and publicly available data sources for every market you are thinking about entering. Pay careful attention to key indicators like market size, growth prospects, customer demand, competitive intensity and market saturation.
Assess market fit: Consider how well each potential market aligns with your business offerings. If your products or services are already compatible with certain markets’ preferences and needs, entering those markets will be significantly easier and less financially burdensome.
Factor in for local regulations too. Compliance with legal requirements and regulations is crucial for avoiding penalties, reputational damage or even being barred from operating in the market.
Whichever market/s you end up going for, you have to get to know them from the inside out. Do market research or have someone do it for you to save you from the hassle. Key elements you need to think about are cultural differences, market trends, internet usage habits and a myriad of other factors influencing consumer behaviour. Without this knowledge at hand, you won’t know how to adapt your business offerings to connect deeply with your audience and reap all of its exciting financial rewards (more on that later).

2. Create an outline of your company’s goals & measure KPIs

Before you build a detailed plan for how to expand in the new market/s, you need to outline your goals and objectives.

First, you should get a basic idea of whatever you are trying to accomplish. There are a number of market expansion goals you could pursue, such as diversifying your customer segments or capturing market share before your competition.
Next up, you need to make your goals more tangible so you can measure their success. You should be as specific as possible and designate the goal as well as a realistic timeframe for you to actually get there. For example, you could aim to capture three different customer segments within the next 12 months and define the target number of customers (e.g., 1000) for each segment. Don’t forget to keep track of all relevant key performance indicators (KPIs).

3. Craft your market expansion plan

Now we are on the juiciest part of the discussion. What exactly can you do to reach your market expansion goals? Here are just some of the ways that you could go about it:

● Sell your current products and services, if there’s already high demand for it
● Enhance your existing products or services by adding new features or functionalities
● Add new products and services to your offerings to meet unmet market demands

To create your plan, utilise the market research you conducted during the earlier stages of the strategizing process. Possessing a thorough understanding of the preferences, needs and behaviours of your target consumers will enable you to tailor your approach accordingly.

4. Plan for localization

Another crucial component of planning for market expansion is localization. You need to think about investing in localization services and how far you wish to go with it. At the most basic level, translating your website, product descriptions and potentially your marketing materials will be essential.

You might also need to account for the market’s cultural preferences and make adjustments to your branding, imagery and messaging to resonate more deeply with that audience. To do this, you might need to allocate more resources to transcreation.
Finally, you should always ensure that your products or services comply with relevant local laws and regulations. This includes product safety requirements, labelling guidelines, data protection regulations, and any other legal obligations specific to that market.
To keep the entire localization process organized in one place, consider investing in a Translation Management System (TMS). A TMS will provide you and your team with a centralized platform for managing translations, collaborating with stakeholders, and maintaining consistency across the different translation languages.
To select a powerful TMS that’ll be best suited for your specific business needs, check out our list of the top 5 TMS currently in the market.

5. Build a robust team

To launch your market expansion plan, you’ll require a strong team, and of course, a strong team leader.

Developing an expansion strategy necessitates collaboration across all departments, including sales, marketing, operations, finance, and project management. You might need to recruit new talent to fill any gaps in expertise, if necessary.
Above all, the market expansion leader should serve a cross-functional role, serving as a bridge between different departments and having strong relationships with leaders throughout your organization.

Connecting all the dots

As you can tell, building a market expansion strategy requires a lot of work and meticulous planning. Ultimately, outsourcing some aspects of the process is the smartest and quickest way for you to get on top of your international expansion plans.

At Pangea Global, our brand and marketing research specialists can equip you with all the necessary tools and data-driven insights to set you on the path to successful strategy execution. As a reliable translation, localization and transcreation service provider, we can take care of all localization needs and guide you through the local laws and regulations when you need it.
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