If you are looking to take your start-up or SME global, here are some tips on developing an effective international B2B Go to market strategy to help you take your business to the next level.
Your B2B Go to Market Strategy will guide how you will get your product or service offering you’re your chosen markets as well as be a core component of your roadmap for growth.
It brings together all of the key elements that drives your business including Marketing, Sales, Service and Support, Pricing, Distribution and Product
The Foundation to Developing an International B2B Go to Market Strategy: Listening
In order to determine how best to take your start-up or SME you need to be listening (i.e. gaining an in-depth understanding) on 3 Levels.
Listening to “You”
This means having clarity and understanding of your start-up or SME in terms of the following:
- The goals and vision for the company
- What business issues and problems does your product and service offering solve
- Where does your company’s strengths lie (i.e. What types of industries, companies and customers has your start-up or SME had the most traction/success?)
Having this clarity will help you in the next task of identifying the international market opportunities to pursue.
Listening to the Market
Listening to the market is about gaining an in-depth understanding of both the geographic markets you are entering as well as industries within those markets that you will be targeting.
Factors you should closely examine include:
- Market size
- Market Growth
- Industry drivers and Conditions
- Ease of Entry
- Economic conditions
- Local Market Regulations
- Their strengths and weaknesses
- Their positioning
- Note: Remember to view competitors from a buyer perspective
Listening to Customers
When looking to expand into new markets, it is still critical that you obtain an in-depth understanding of prospective customers. Your aim is still to identify the relevant buying stakeholders for your product or service offering and obtain an understanding of the “5 Secrets of Business Buyers.” These include:
- Who Buys
- How They Buy
- Why They Buy
- Buying Inhibitors
- What They Expect from You
However, when entering new international markets, you also want to identify any cultural factors or other differences in the buying process.
Listening on these 3 levels will enable you to know with certainty which international markets, industries and prospective customers which should form the basis of your B2B Go to Market Strategy.
Marketing Tips for your International B2B Go to Market Strategy
A. Content Is Still King
Consider having your marketing based on a content marketing strategy which is focused on buyer enablement i.e. making it easy for business buyers to progress through their purchase decision process.
Remember, the aim of your content should be to provide business buyers with two things:
- Deliver Value: Provide new ideas, advice and perspectives to help business buyers think about their objectives, priorities and pain points in new ways
- Provide Information: To help buyers progress through various stages of the buying process such as evaluation, selection and validation
If your new markets have different languages, you may need to reassess the SEO and keywords strategies that you are using as part of your Content marketing.
B Build Authority and Credibility
One of the challenges your start-up or SME will encounter as you pursue international markets is gaining the credibility among the target customers you seek. To assist with both penetrating and gain credibility in new markets, you should consider the following approaches as part of your international B2B Go to Market Strategy.
Influencer Marketing: Identify and reach out to the “Go To’s” (e.g. leaders and experts, bloggers, journalists) for your industry in the new markets you are entering.
Try to identify ways you can work with them to gain their endorsement as well as visibility and access to your target customers. Some suggestions include:
- Sharing their articles, papers or case studies
- Promoting their endeavours and/or events among your own networks and contacts
- Guest blogging for each other
- Interviewing them for your podcasts
Advocacy Marketing: Leverage any wins (especially big name wins) you achieve in the new market. Also consider using any big name wins from your home market if they have strong credibility and recognition in the new markets.
Be sure to gain permission to use these wins as testimonials on your website, social media as well as customer references.
Taking your start-up or SME is a huge step. However, with the right amount of “listening” and planning, going global can be the ideal way to achieve the growth and success you seek.
Want to learn more about the B2B Go to Market strategies and approaches discussed in this post?
Make sure you sign-up to LIG updates so you can access a range of resources including articles, videos, planning toolkits and checklists.