“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change.” – Leon C. Megginson, Professor of Management and Marketing at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge
Megginson offered these wise words of advice almost 60 years ago, and they still ring true today.
When any brand grows internationally, each country provides a new audience and a different set of challenges. What works in one market may not necessarily work in another, which requires the ability to adapt but also a true understanding of the region you are preparing to enter.
Failure to correctly plan can lead to costly bumps down the road.
With nearly 30 years in the industry, our team of experts can offer some key considerations for financial services companies, with a particular focus on ways to optimize costs when entering new markets.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Preparation is key to success and can include everything from comprehensive market analysis to setting strategic objectives.
There’s a lot to be consider, but we’re going to focus on content elements that can help make your market entry effective and economical.
1) Understand the Regulatory Landscape
It’s no secret that the financial services industry is one of the most governed. This can often make it challenging to expand internationally.
However, every market has their own regulatory hurdles. Before stepping into the region, it’s crucial to understand the in-country rules.
If you have a compliance and regulatory team, ask them to research and advise on the challenges you may face to ensure everything is in order to avoid hefty fines.
2) Perform a Full Content Audit
Once you have market objectives set, take a holistic view of all content required for your chosen market. This is a productive exercise to ensure you’ve covered all of your bases.
Try mapping your customer journey from start to finish. Include every communication/touch piece they may require along the way. This can include everything from promotional digital advertising to annual statements.
From this, you can work out how much material needs to be localized and the best way to approach it—providing the most cost-effective plan for your organization.
For example, if you have high-volume, rapidly changing, or highly targeted content, you can affordably reach a wider audience through a targeted combination of machine translation (MT) and post-edited MT.
However, for more complex pieces of content, working with a third-party partner who utilizes a rigorously tested network of industry-expert linguists is key to ensuring high-quality translations that meet regulatory requirements.
3) Create an Effective Organic Search Strategy
When entering new markets, a cost-effective way to gain traction is to build a comprehensive strategy for international SEO. This is the process of optimizing your website so new prospects can find you when browsing online. Not only do you want them to find your site, but you also want them to use it to convert from a lead to a loyal customer.
Every region is different, and while Google may have 92% of global market share, it’s not the primary search engine in some countries. For example, Baidu is the most commonly used engine in China, Yandex in Russia, and Naver in South Korea.
Be sure to understand what your prospects are searching for by conducting thorough keyword research. Do this for every step of your end-user’s journey, targeting both high volume keywords and high converting keywords.
Understanding the digital landscape in your target market will be a huge help when you are optimizing your website. This organic strategy can then be supported with paid media to increase impact and build brand recognition.
4) Test, Test, and Test Again
Once you have an optimized website ready to launch, be sure to implement a bullet-proof testing plan to identify and fix any bugs.
If a potential customer experiences any problems on your website, they will quickly exit and won’t likely revisit. They call it a “first impression” for a reason. Be sure yours is a positive one, as rebuilding your credibility can be costly in the long term.
Don’t forget to test across all browsers and devices to ensure a seamless consumer journey for all users.
5) Automate Your Content
Before launching in your new market, it’s wise to identify how you will manage future content updates. This can be a time-consuming and expensive task in the long term if not planned out effectively. Ask yourself:
- Do I have resources allocated for this task?
- Do I need to automate the process so it’s more efficient?
Using a cloud-based localization management system, such as OneLink, can help you streamline content updates. Doing so removes the burden of IT/employee involvement, making the process much more cost-effective, quick, and impactful.
If you’re planning to enter a new market and would like to talk to one of our experts on the best way to approach it, contact us today for a no-obligation chat about how we can help.