Global markets offer huge opportunity – but are marketers able to execute?

Abi Jacks, Director of Marketing UK

The desire for consumer products overseas is rapidly growing, making global expansion one of the largest trends for brands and retailers in 2018. With a peak in e-commerce and globalisation, shoppers’ behaviours are shifting, making appropriate global strategies a must. 

A recent study conducted by Rakuten Marketing revealed that 89% of UK marketers are currently managing international campaigns. However, as few as 11% have a local team in the overseas market to execute these campaigns. With shoppers yearning for overseas goods, it’s imperative that marketing teams have the tools in place to convert these individuals into loyal consumers, even from across borders. 

Diving into high-growth markets

Global markets are a high-growth opportunity for UK brands. With 35% of Rakuten Marketing clients’ transactions taking place overseas, it’s difficult to not see the potential here. Marketers who have targeted APAC specifically say that 82% of their customer base in the region are ‘premium buyers’. Similarly, the Middle East is full of consumers with an appetite for luxury goods not readily available in their current market, with the biggest ecommerce potential coming from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE. 

The future is social 

New global markets ready for exploration bring new means of communication. With the potential of social commerce increasing especially in eastern markets, UK marketers need to adopt new strategies. This is especially the case when looking at WeChat’s marketplace. Along with social networks, QR codes present a large opportunity with as many as 43% of Chinese customers using this method for payment through AliPay and WeChat Pay. Currently, only 39% of UK marketers targeting this region utilise this technology. This gap between utilisation by marketers and usage by consumers demonstrates how vital insights from partners that truly understand the market nuances really are.
Affiliate remains a key tactic

While there are clearly some stark differences between international markets, there are also similarities to be found. Affiliate marketing has been a popular way to drive sales across the globe and continues to be so according to 44% of respondents. This strategy is especially lucrative to the high-growth markets we’ve targeted with respondents in Asia at 52%, the Middle East at 48% and Europe at 45%.

Marketing like a local 

Many marketers are struggling to reach new markets effectively and often are not taking full advantage of the lucrative opportunities these new markets offer, often due to a lack of local expertise. Of course, understanding the complexities of new markets will prove beneficial for UK brands. However, this is only half of the battle – brands and retailers must also understand how to act on this insight. Download the New Horizons report to learn the marketing strategies essential for integrating into these emerging markets.

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