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 remarket when your brand is widely recognized in many countries? Because people may know your brand, but think that it’s “not for us.” Or maybe it “doesn’t quite fit our market.” Or “the value isn’t quite clear.” 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 perceived as an eco activist group, not as the sales and profit optimization agency that we are. The worst thing at that time was that we were all Russians and Ukrainians, but people thought we were close to Greenpeace. This is why I’m writing not just a couple of obvious tips, but things that really matter if you’d like to make the right impression on your customers.
Tip #1. Localize your Unique Selling Proposition
A 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 “blah-blah marketing,” and what Guy Kawasaki often refers to as “patent pending curve jumping paradigm shifting.” An accurate translation of your proposition for American and European customers would in many cases kill your perspective and set your prospects against you. Use creative translation. Translate not the meaning, but the message.
Tip #2. Adjust Your slogan to the culture
If your slogan is about maximizing profit and your prospects in Russia are seeking 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 the opinions, expectations and aspirations of your future customers in Russia.
Tip #3. Mind the local digital fashion
This recommendation fits many regional markets. If you observe clear trends on the 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, laziness, or somethingelse, many companies notice that Russian employees become very good at doing what they have to do, but after more training than other nations require on average. A saying describes it all: a Russian prepares his cart and horse for a long time, but rides faster than anyone. Special attention has to be paid to how exactly your new Russian employees and partners speak about your product; what vocabulary and concepts are used. Train them in Russian, then train them again and don’t assume that “they’ve got everything.” And after the first two times, train them again to check how well they know your product.
Tip #5. Pay attention to Russian-language support
Often, selling scenarios in the Russian market include rapid inquiries, urgent requests for a 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 translate to your unwillingness to succeed in the Russian market. Keen and fast FAQ-level support is 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’re transitioning to, otherwise it just remains a document file reminding you of illusions and mistakes which have been known to cost years and millions in time and money.
Make sure you talk the talk when you reach your new market. It is indeed a bit like reaching another world.