Entering a new market is like entering a new world – things seem similar, but still quite different, and the differences are sometimes tiny, but of huge importance. Today we will be talking about remarketing.
Why remarketing when your brand is widely recognized in many countries? Because people may know your brand, but think that it is ‘not for us’. Or ‘something not quite for our market’. Or ‘not quite clear about the value of it’. Or just ‘I know them but I don’t know what this is’. Cultural differences, connotations and stereotypes – this is what makes remarketing a must have when entering a foreign market. Especially if it is the Russian market!
Funny enough, we @ GreenBusiness had a problem when starting our business in 2013 with being incorrectly percepted as an eco activist group, not as a sales and profit optimization agency that we are. The worst thing was at that time that we all are Russians and Ukrainians, but people thought we were close to Greenpeace. This is why I am writing not just a couple of obvious tips, but things that really matter, if you would like to make a right impression on your customers.
Tip #1. Localize your Unique Selling Proposition
Well structured USP is good and necessary. But often it is just a starting point. It is well known that consumers in Russia both in B2B and B2C literally hate what I call blabla marketing and what Guy Kawasaki often refers to as ‘patent pending curve jumping paradigm shifting’. Accurate translation of your proposition for American and European customers would in many cases kill your perspectives and set your prospects against you. Use creative translation. Translate not the meaning, but the message.
Tip #2. Adjust Your Slogan to Culture
If your slogan is about maximizing profit and your prospects in Russia seek for maximum stability not maximum profit, then your slogan has to sound something like Make maximum profit by maximizing stability. In Russian, of course. Before adjusting your slogan and USP make sure you have provided direct access and have researched opinions, expectations and aspirations of your future customers in Russia.
Tip #3. Mind the local digital fashion
This recommendation fits many regional markets. If there you observe clear trends in websites of your colleagues and/or competitors, either you have to support these trends – or you have to fight against them. Staying neutral to digital fashion is not the best way to position your company. The same rule applies to your marketing kits – use the trendiest document types for this particular market – for example use case studies in Russia and pay less attention to spreadsheets and specifications.
Tip #4. Train your partners and employees. Then train again. And finally, train again
Whether it is because of the clip conscious effect or laziness or anything else, many companies notice that Russian employees become very good at doing what they have to do, but after more training than in average other nations require. A saying describes it all: a Russian prepares his cart and horse for long, but rides faster than anyone. Especial attention has to be paid on how exactly your new Russian employees and partners speak about your product, what vocabulary and concepts are used. Train them in Russian, than train them again and don’t believe that ‘they’ve got everything’. And after two times train them again to check, how well they know your product
Tip #5. Pay attention to Russian speaking Support
Often selling scenarios in the Russian market include rapid inquiries, urgent requests for quote and very tough deadlines. In such circumstances Russian sales teams expect simple but fast replies from your support on how much this or that item costs, whether it includes this or that, whether it supports that protocol. Detailed technical documentation would not help, moreover your referring to the docs would often be regarded as abuse and unwillingness to help, which can transform to your unwillingness to succeed in the Russian market. Keen and fast FAQ level support always ready to answer simple questions would probably be one of the best investments in remarketing your company for the Russian market.
A clear marketing strategy is extremely important when you start to expand. At the same time the strategy has to be proven by the reality of the market you are going to – otherwise it just stays a document file reminding of illusions and mistakes which once have cost millions and years.
Make sure you speak the speak when you reach the new market. It is indeed a bit like reaching an other world.