When offline and online worlds meet: forging business relations abroad across digital channels.
The United Kingdom (UK) has been making significant advancements in e-commerce in the last decade and is currently the leader in e-commerce retail in Europe. According to the most recent figures from the Office of National Statistics (UK), the country's e-commerce revenue in 2020 amounted to just under 100 billion GBP. Although e-commerce has been growing steadily over the last decade, this dramatic increase from previous years is clearly linked to the onset of the pandemic.
With the arrival of Covid-19, many productive companies found themselves under pressure to make quick decisions on the future of their company in a short space of time. While some businesses repurposed production or unfortunately had to close, others took the opportunity to test new selling tools and strategies to establish local and international business relations. The pandemic brought about new customer trends and a shift from physical to digital shopping. According to McKinsey & Company - Survey: UK (December 2020):
40% of consumers have shifted to online shopping
61% of consumers are now willing to try a new way of shopping and new brands
83% of consumers intend to continue online shopping long-term.
Performance Marketing and digital channels have turned out to be a real trump card for all modern businesses: companies have grasped the importance of creating an online presence and implementing a digital strategy to improve commerce across virtual reality. This trend is set to continue.
We have collected the most common marketing objectives among our exporting clients to get an overview of what a company might realistically expect from opportunities offered by digital channels today. We have listed these business goals below:
Increase the number of visitors to company stand at events abroad, arrive at the fair with pre-scheduled appointments, and attract visitors more likely to request a quote.
Collect online contacts from potential new customers abroad that can be relied on to negotiate within the sales network.
Test new global markets before undertaking commercial initiatives that incur high expenditure of resources (economic and otherwise).
Increase the conversion rate and sales of e-commerce business in the UK and abroad.
Build a strong community and relationships on social media to subsequently facilitate up-sell and cross-sell products and services.
Retain a loyal customer base while also intercepting similar users and promoting the brand to them.
First and foremost, Performance Marketing builds its foundations on data analysis and optimisation, with a view to constant and continuous improvement. But how is such a strategy structured on digital channels?
We've listed the steps below:
The first step is undoubtedly to collect as much data as possible on the company's performance in the various countries. From the analysis of this input data, the reference metrics (KPIs) are then extrapolated to understand whether or not the export project is proceeding in the right direction and meeting company business objectives.
The study of actual and potential customers, an evaluation of which strategies to adopt to get their attention, and gauge which messages and commercial initiatives might get the best response.
Identification and study of competitors to understand their targets and strategies and how to stand out from them.
Choose channels to promote the company based on corporate values, business objectives and available budget.
Creation of an ad hoc performance marketing strategy based on the desired end result.
The main feature of Performance Marketing is orientation towards the end result: one of the key points in creating an online strategy for a B2B company, an e-commerce business or a B2C company, is the study of how to get the desired outcome. Based on whether the company goals are clicks, reactions or sales, Performance Marketing adapts and transforms its strategy to meet these goals while conducting a parallel study of audiences, competitors, and channels.
Offline, in the world of trade fairs and in-store customer interactions, visiting customers come and go without leaving any traces behind; online, every point of contact with potential and existing customers is traceable. Thanks to digital channels, it is possible to pursue website visitors with ad hoc promotions on social media. Site visitors can even be reminded of their abandoned e-commerce trolleys via newsletter. If they linger long enough on the website, the company banner advertisements will be shown to them.
Now that we understand how Performance Marketing works, let us investigate how it can help expand customer base by entering the market of a country abroad with a winning performance marketing strategy.
Obviously, an in-depth study of the country and its regulations is a must as well as an awareness of the country's characteristic features, including cultural and linguistic factors. In Performance Marketing abroad, this analysis is fundamental for optimum success of the strategy. Good knowledge of the new market, the public it serves, and the competing market for this country is vital. An awareness of products and services already offered is equally important and makes the difference in the success of an export strategy.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not enough to make a carbon copy of the strategy used in the UK and apply it in another country. For optimum performance, you need to know what to propose, in which language to communicate, whom to contact and how to contextualise your offer in the new country.
In the online world, communication is essential; knowing how to do this engagingly and convincingly in another language is not for everyone. This is why Mintense has chosen to specialise in multilingual Performance Marketing: thanks to 12 years experience in promoting our customers in over 49 countries and nine languages, we offer multilingual SEO and PPC campaigns, as well as social media campaigns like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, to support the company in its new venture abroad. To discover all our methodologies divided by commercial sector, click here.
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