How to craft a digital marketing strategy for a small business in a new country
Every aspect of changes when you decide to relocate or expand in . Nowhere is this more evident and impactful than in marketing.
In this article, you will find some tips on how to craft a
digital marketing strategy if you run a small business in a new country.
Keep in mind that this does not mean you will read about all the steps of crafting a marketing strategy. This article will focus on how doing digital marketing in a new country differs from doing it in your native country.
Acknowledge and study the culture
Marketing rests on culture. Sure, there are some universal
truths and ideas that span cultures, but for the most part, marketing will be
greatly influenced by the culture of a country or a part of the world.
Just take a look at these embarrassing examples of not being aware of
the culture that you are marketing to.
If you wish to craft a digital marketing strategy for a
small business in a new country, you need to acknowledge that this new
country could have completely different cultural mores to those you are
You also need to study the culture of this new country,
keeping in mind even the most minuscule possible details. For example, colors
have different meanings and associations in different cultures. Whereas red
symbolizes good fortune, prosperity, and happiness in most Asian countries, in
parts of Africa, it is associated with death.
The best way to study the culture of a new country is to
immerse yourself in it – watch movies and TV shows from those countries. Find
satellite TV channels and watch ordinary TV. Read books. Talk to people from
Not only will this give you a strong foundation that you can build the rest of your strategy on, but you might even stumble upon a few ideas for your campaigns.
extra time on market research
There is no marketing strategy without market research and
when you are doing market research in a new country, you have to be extra
careful and vigilant.
For instance, while you might know all about your
competition in your own country, the new country where you will be marketing
your business might have completely different competitors or they might be
stronger than you expected in this new country.
Also, you might discover that certain product or service
qualities are more (or less) valuable in this new country. Something that might
have been your business’ selling point in one country might be inconsequential
in the new one.
You might also discover that the demographics are completely
different from what you are used to. For instance, while the majority of your
users in your original country might be in the 18-24 age group, in the new
country the users of similar products/services to yours may be between 35-50
years of age.
You can never know what you can expect in a new country market-wise, so do your homework very, very thoroughly. You will also take the same extra care when segmenting the market.
Finding the right channel
In order to maximize the effectiveness of your digital
marketing strategy, you will also need to know which channels are the best
suited for your needs in this new country.
Different countries go for different social media platforms.
For example, while in India less than 3% of people use Twitter, in the US
this number grows to 15% and in the UK to over 30%, at least according to statcounter.
You have to keep in mind that the variations might even be
more dramatic when certain market segments are in question (for example,
educated professionals and such). Your social media marketing strategy will depend
greatly on this.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the markets may also greatly differ in the type of device that is used to access the internet. For example, the percentage of people who predominantly access the web on their mobile devices is far greater in India and Asia in general than in Europe or North America.
Crafting the right message
All of your digital marketing strategy and tactics will be
useless if you do not craft the right message. This is why the actual creative
part of your digital marketing will have to be approached more carefully in the
strategy for the new country. This is where the knowledge
of culture will come in handy.
Digital marketing often depends on conveying exactly the
right message in very limited content and the language barrier can be
insurmountable here. This is why it is often the best idea to approach local
professionals or agencies that can help you with this.
But, the issue of localization for the new market may be a consideration for some future articles on the subject.
About the author
Rebecca, a translator and avid traveler, a book worm and horror flick
enthusiast. My job has given me the amazing opportunity to travel to dozens of
countries around the world, and writing on Rough Draft gives me a chance to try to
showcase some of them.