Covering New Ground

A Case Study on Successful International Expansion for Our Clients

Overview

For any organization, international expansion is a high-risk venture with the potential to yield great returns. Expansion risks entail several aspects, including having to complete business processes over long distances, a lack of operational manpower on the ground, different time zones, barriers to communication, and more importantly, having to cater to a different audience than usual. Planning is key, and this is why Clipatize exercises a structured methodology when working with clients looking to expand their offerings to international markets.

Our Proven Approach

Our success with clients’ international expansion is largely due to our proven four-pronged approach— the CUES that clients take from us in order to claim their stake in international markets.

C - Collecting marketing insights

Without concrete marketing insights, it is impossible to create a strategy  - this is obvious when acting on a local market, but even more important when planning an expansion to foreign, distant markets. Clipatize leads market research through the investigation of primary sources of information: Individual In-depth Interviews (IDIs), focus groups, qualitative analysis through questionnaires, and secondary sources of information - desk-research - in order to make calculated decisions when planning a strategy. See this presentation to understand the area of market research services available from  Clipatize.

U - Understanding the target audience

With the data and insights gathered, Clipatize then meticulously interprets the information to form a deep understanding of the target audience, paying close attention to their beliefs, tastes, behaviour, habits and eventually most relevant communication channels. This allows us to concoct relevant messaging and adopt precise creative concepts, especially for media planning. [link to L4L article]

E - Envisioning the product or service in international markets

Depending on the outcomes of the research phase, we might need to build new creative ideas for the presentation of the product and formulate new messaging. The new concept and messaging will need to resonate with the audience of the new market, their beliefs, lifestyle and ambitions.

S - Solidifying the launch-kit

Building a product or service launch kit is essential for both sales and marketing goals. The launch  kit may include:

  • sales materials - eg. presentations, samples, a list of conversation starters, troubleshooting questions and answers for the sales processes,
  • as well as marketing materials - including (but not limited to)  social media assets, how-to videos, content marketing articles, etc.

 

Read the following cases to understand where we bring value in the go-to-foreign-market process.

Oceanic - Long4Lashes

The Challenge

Leading Polish cosmetics company, Oceanic specialises in a wide variety of beauty products, including Long4Lashes, their successful line of eyelash- and eyebrow-enhancing serums. The company approached Clipatize with plans to cover new ground in the Middle East.

The key obstacles for Oceanic in this expansion were:

  • Adapting product offerings to an unfamiliar market

This involved creating a value proposition for this whole new market that is highly saturated with beauty products.

  • Navigating unchartered territory

Although Oceanic had proper knowledge about its local audience, they needed comprehensive insights into the market they were planning to deal with. They found themselves having to start from scratch in order to gain a deeper understanding of this new target market. Specifically, issues related to being “female”, such as beauty and exposure of eyes, are distinct and very much different from what is common for the European market.

  • Not knowing which communication channels to use

The company also sought for a deeper understanding of the new market’s media consumption behaviour and trends, in order to plan an effective paid marketing campaign.

What We Did

Clipatize spearheaded a market study through focus groups that provided actionable insights for the company. Understanding the particularities of the new market was the first step in developing an entrance strategy.

How We Did It

With the purpose of entering the Dubai market, Clipatize created a solid Social Media campaign based on Social Listening activities, the interaction of powerful influencers and constant production of creative content, in order to increase awareness before officially launching the product into the market. Clipatize also concluded that the best approach was to work with Instagram influencers.

Under the product launch campaign, Clipatize worked with Oceanic to develop a Chatbot for the Long4Lashes Facebook fan page that would invite viewers to interact by offering an Augmented Reality selfie-camera filter and prompting viewers to discover more L4L products and where to buy them.

The Outcome

Several digital metrics and outcomes of the pre-launch campaign were tracked in order to understand the different cultural aspects of the MEA market and makeing changes to the strategy accordingly. The insights from focus groups were key in understanding that the best approach was to go with an Instagram campaign in its entirety.

By engaging two Instagram Influencers, the video campaign reached a total of close to 68,000 of the influencers’ followers, with a total of 535k views. This created a huge increase in brand awareness in the region that translated to an increase in Oceanic’s sales numbers.

The chatbot was an incredible milestone in communicating value proposition to the targeted market. The use of AI and augmented reality represents an incredible opportunity to get to know a new audience, create a positive impact and increase awareness exponentially. 

Merck

The Challenge

Pharmaceutical leader, Merck manufactures the interferon,  Rebif, which is used to treat MS (multiple sclerosis). The company approached us for video localisations to be used for marketing their flagship product into Lebanon and Iran and to introduce a new product to the UAE.

The key obstacles for Merck in this communication project were:

  • Creating awareness in two new markets
    To commemorate the 20-years anniversary for Rebif, Merck wanted to embark on an awareness campaign for two new and different countries: Lebanon and Iran
  • Ensuring relevant impacts on both audiences

The company found it a challenge to develop effective messaging that could equally address the unique cultural and language and differences for both countries.

What We Did

Clipatize concluded that the best way to create awareness for both campaigns was to create a video piece that could effectively reach every geographical segment for the Rebif 20 Years Celebration.

How We Did It

Clipatize first managed the creation of two different versions of an emotional video piece featuring the story of a woman suffering from Multiple Sclerosis for Iranian and Lebanese audiences. Each piece was customised for Iranian and Lebanese audiences respectively, with careful consideration of several cultural aspects in the animation, such as the background, the looks of its characters, the music, and the language used.

The Outcome

Merck managed to reach each geographical segment by adapting the same key messages for two different cultures. The Rebif 20 Years Celebration Video was a touching campaign with a positive impact on product awareness about the product and its benefits.

 

Rebif: A better life for MS patients (MERCK Lebanon) 

Rebif: A better life for MS patients (MERCK Iran)

Conclusion

The successes of our clients’ business development are largely due to our proven, structured approach in helping clients deal with the challenges of international expansion. We continue to hit our stride which effective planning, problem-solving and implementation of strategies that help our clients cover new grounds.

 

"However trivial it sounds, understanding the targeted market is of utmost importance. If a business seriously considers going to a foreign market, then there is no better source of info that own, carefully defined research project. Well educated guess can be sufficient when selling consultative services or in b2b as the direct interaction drives insights from each meeting with a client and insights can be build gradually. But if your dominant connection with the Client is marketing, you better make sure you know how to speak to her. Otherwise your brand will be classified by your audience as not relevant and changing this mindset might be very hard."

Jakub Lebuda