Marketing Strategies for your USA Market Entry

By From www.Gasgoo.com| Feb 16 2007
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The following article will give you some interesting inputs in regards to marketing strategies for your USA Market Entry. Please do not expect a textbook-style scientific essay about Marketing. There are enough textbooks out there which serve that purpose much better. Please also keep in mind that there are plenty of very diverse opinions about the "right" and the "wrong" marketing strategies. Opinions are getting even more diverse when we are tapping into a new market and developing a Marketing Strategy for the USA.

This article about USA Marketing Strategies provides only a couple of inputs; a few best practices which worked for many USA businesses. What works for your USA business needs to be decided and accounted for by you.

Before we start: Making an inventory of potential Marketing Instruments
Successful businesses should already know which marketing instrument works well for their specific markets and which won't. However, will the same marketing instruments work just the same in the United States? The momentum of entering the USA market is an ideal opportunity to make an inventory of the marketing instruments which were used in the past. This inventory should include for example the determination of which instruments were successful and which not. Which of the instruments showed short-term success and which rather paid off over a longer period of time? What was the typical Return on Investment they brought? And so on.

After we did a basic inventory of the Marketing Instruments which were used in the past, we can make an assumption on how they probably suit the market in the United States. In general, your USA Market Entry will be a balancing act between reaching some short-term success and the long-term process of positioning your products and company in the American market place. It is a great help to have some kind of model and assumptions on what instruments you want to use to work in the which directions.

Finally, we should have a list of Marketing Instruments we could use for the USA Market Entry. Unfortunately, having such a list is probably not a guarantee for being successful in the USA market place. It is just a starting point. The next important step is to evaluate each of the instruments on their suitability in regards to the USA Market Entry Phase as well as enhancing the list with additional Marketing Instruments you may want to work with in the United States

Localizing your Marketing for the USA market
After making an inventory of marketing instruments, we need to localize all your marketing tools in the next step. You need to be aware that you are tapping into a new market with a different language, a different cultural background and different ways people are doing business and making buying decisions. While this may sound challenging in the beginning, it is offering some interesting opportunities. Setting up a new operation in the USA is offering the opportunity to start "from scratch" with setting up marketing instruments. This opportunity should be taken to create efficient state-of-the art marketing communication tools without being too limited by existing circumstances.
Localizing your Marketing means especially, that you are addressing your future USA customers in a way they are feeling comfortable dealing with your company. You should for example invest some time and think about some of the following points:

    Corporate Identity: A Corporate Identity is - generally speaking - the way how your business is perceived by potential clients, business partner and suppliers. A corporate identity is including everything your company is communicating with the outside world. Many people often misunderstand Corporate Identity as an exclusive instrument for large corporations. However, Corporate Identity and company size has nothing to do with each other in the first place. It is quite the opposite: the smaller your company, the more you should focus on your Corporate Identity. In regards to your USA Market Entry Phase it is very important to have a crystal-clear strategy on your Corporate Identity, since your USA business is a new entity and many USA clients may be suspicious about your company. Especially as a new, small and maybe (at least in the United States) inexperienced company your potential clients have to be double-convinced by your ability to deliver the products and services they are going to pay money for. 

    Company Name: Your company name in the United States can be critical for the success of your USA business. Clients and business partner will hear, read and probably say the respective name a couple of times. The character of this name can give everyone an immediate feeling of trust, distrust or potential confusion. Ideally, established companies would want to keep their name for their USA market launch, but sometimes it is maybe required to do some adjustments to accommodate future USA clients

    Marketing Collateral - All material to market your products or services: If there is marketing collateral in English available, you made one step in the right direction, but still need to go some steps further. It is highly recommended to create American versions of product information and not stop at a point where "one English translation fits all". To address the U.S. market properly it is important to have American product information. U.S. target groups need to be targeted with localized style and design, content and reasoning as well as in language. There are a lot of possible pitfalls in creating and giving out product literature which is not in your mother tongue. The worst part of those pitfalls is that you are typically not getting any feedback for improper localized literature. Nobody who is representing your company is usually physically available when customers are reading the brochures and have the chance to correct misunderstandings. While reading the brochure, all communication between your company and your potential client is reduced to this brochure in a potential poor English. Unfortunately, it is not only the language which is a source for challenges and misunderstandings. It is the complete way of communicating with product literature. Therefore you need to invest a lot of your personal energy and probably some professional help, to make sure that the "American version" of your English product information is not only acceptable but highly professional and targeted.

Finally: Launching USA Marketing Campaigns
The good thing about the process of actually launching Marketing Campaigns in the United States is, that there is typically not too much rocket-science involved in it. Launching Marketing Campaigns in the United States can be even one of the easiest tasks in the process of starting a Business in the USA. Thousands of companies related to USA marketing such as address brokers, mailing companies, advertising specialists, public relations firms, trade show companies and many more are available to support you to launch any campaign you could imagine.

There are certainly a variety of aspects which needs to be understood while launching USA Marketing Campaigns. Also, if you are bringing your business to the United States, there will be typically a natural level of uncertainty about different procedures and different ways things are done in the USA. Still, those issues can be easily overcome by an open mind and hard work. Trade Shows for example are slightly different in the United States than in other places. However, the companies organizing the trade shows are highly organized and will provide detailed instructions to make it as easy as possible for companies to represent their products on those shows.

While launching campaigns may be an easy task, the one million dollar question remains open: Where should we invest money, energy and resources to get the highest ROI (Return on Investment)? Participating for example in a trade show for $25,000 seems to be a tremendous success when plenty of potential customers visit your booth. However, what if none of the potential customers can be turned into a paying client? On the other hand, investing hard work and $2,000 for Public Relations to place an article in the industry leading magazine could bring in high quality sales leads which may turn immediately into one or the other big deal.
The key to Marketing Campaigns in the United States is to pick the right campaign for your business. Still, how can you know what will work and what not? Beyond your personality as an entreprenuer and your knowledge about your specific market eco-system, the "Trial, Error & Correction Strategy" in the next paragraph can may offer a little help.

USA Marketing Strategies - Trial, Error and Correction
When launching your USA business, you are potentially in a tough spot: Speaking a different language, coming from a different cultural background and being used to a certain way things are working. Being in this spot and launching a new business in the United States will require some flexibility in regards to your USA Marketing Campaigns. Part of this flexibility may include the ability to question every aspect of the way you did Marketing before. Even while most USA Marketing Instruments and USA Marketing Campaigns may work similar in the United States in comparison to your home country, you need to keep an open mind to find out which aspects will be different in the way you do your USA Marketing.

The other part of the required flexibility is that we should be able to set up your USA Marketing Strategy in a way which allows several directions you may could go. You need to be aware that different Marketing Instruments and Marketing Campaigns will lead to different results and a different Return on Investment in different market eco-systems. Nobody knows exactly what will work and what won't in the USA market place, so you are in a "trial and error situation" anyways.

One part of your job in the first two years of your USA Market Entry is to implement a process of continuously evaluating your success with different Marketing campaigns and Marketing instruments. Gradually, you'll then choose those paths with the Highest Return on Investment and the ones which makes your business the most successful.

Working and adjusting different USA Marketing instruments and gradually correct your directions if necessary bears the risk of loosing your focus. Thus, even with a lot of flexibility, you need to keep your basic focus. A strong, more settle underlying company vision will allow you to operate flexible in the areas you need to. It may be a balance act, but in today's continuously changing circumstances, this is a strategy with a lot of potentials.

Wrapping it up
There will be several keys to make your USA Marketing Strategy successful. While this short article may only highlight a tiny fraction of them, there are a few points which are definitely worth you put your focus on.

First, it is important to put your Marketing efforts on a solid foundation. Making an inventory of existing marketing instruments is one aspect of that: you need good Marketing tools to address the USA market with success. A proper localization of Marketing Instruments is another important aspect. The process of actually launching campaigns is more an operational task and you should not be too worried about it.

One of highlights of this article is definitely the last paragraph: "Trial, Error and Correction". Even if many Marketing Professionals strongly disagree and suggest to stay on course no matter what, there will be some USA Marketing Campaigns which may lead to a dead-end. You need to determine those deadbeats, get rid of them and move on. Successful entrepreneurs are never too worried about making errors; they simply accept the errors as such and take it as a business lesson. When launching your USA Marketing Campaigns, there will be some potential pitfalls and you may fall into one or the other. Learning and adapting will be one of the greatest potentials for you to make your business successful.

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