International Business Strategies

How to Create a Sustainable New Market Expansion Plan

Learn what a market expansion strategy is and how to create one that takes full advantage of international markets.

Dominic Dithurbide's avatar
Dominic Dithurbide

August 12, 2022


Entering a new market is not only a great way to grow, but often a vital step toward reaching your business potential. In fact, 87% of U.S. companies agree that international expansion is necessary for long-term growth. Yet growth without a market expansion strategy is a recipe for disaster.

What is a New Market Expansion Strategy?

A new market expansion strategy occurs when a company introduces products or services in a foreign market. This typically happens after the company's sales have stopped growing in its own country.

The global market offers unlimited opportunities to reach new customers and increase sales. But not every local market offers the same growth opportunity, which is why you need an expansion strategy to help you decide where to launch.

By developing one, you will:

  • Reduce costs. Targeting customer segments who are most likely to buy will save you money on marketing and production costs.
  • Decrease risks. Market expansion always involves risks, but careful planning helps you avoid unforeseen challenges.
  • Reach more markets. A focused expansion strategy helps you uncover more opportunities and better allocate resources to markets with the highest ROI.
  • Improve tax compliance. With proper research, you can mitigate expenses and enjoy local tax advantages.

How to Create a Market Expansion Strategy

Now that you know more about the benefits of a market expansion strategy, here’s how you can develop one in six steps.

Step 1: Define Your Goals

Like all marketing plans, you should start by defining your goals for the expansion. To ensure they're attainable, we recommend using the SMART method. SMART is an acronym for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

smart goals

SMART goals consider important measures like revenue growth, profit margin, marketing pipeline, and customer satisfaction. Each one focuses on a specific KPI, how to quantify it, and how long it takes to achieve it.

As you develop a growth strategy, ask yourself:

  • Which KPIs do I want to target?
  • Which projections will I use to assess new markets?

There are a lot of benefits of growing globally, and therefore different ways to target different outcomes. If you don’t know what you want to achieve, you probably aren’t ready to launch internationally.

Step 2: Conduct an Audit

Next, you need to audit your current domestic practices. Many people often overlook this step, but it is an essential part of ensuring successful global expansion.

During the audit, you should identify:

  • Your target market and their demographics
  • Products and services that are most popular amongst your target market
  • Elements of your growth strategy that have led to the most success
  • Elements of the business that are gaining traction and losing traction
  • Friction within operations and management

If you discover any issues, it’s important to find solutions before you replicate the same strategy abroad.

An audit will also help you identify the core business components you should focus on at the beginning of your expansion. If you try to expand to too many areas or offer too many products and services, you may spread your business too thin.

Step 3: Market Research & Cultural Considerations

Now it’s time to determine which areas you want to expand into.

Thorough market research will help you evaluate demand, competition, and country-specific considerations such as business regulations and cultural preferences. Google Trends and SurveyMonkey can help you know what buyers want and create buyer personas for different places. This will help you define your international target audience.

As you research, take local language and cultural nuances into consideration, and adapt your marketing plans accordingly. For example, let's say you want to launch in Brazil. That would require adapting your website and other marketing materials to reflect the local culture.

This process is known as website localisation. It goes beyond website translation, and in this scenario, would include:

  • Translating all content into Brazilian Portuguese
  • Adapting website elements such as currency, payment options, and address formats
  • Adapting images and cultural references

This ensures Brazilians feel as though the product is being marketed specifically to them.

Lastly, don’t neglect secondary markets. As you conduct your audit, you may find your domestic market speaks multiple languages. Consider Spanish-speaking populations in the U.S. and how serving them in Spanish can impact your business goals.

Step 4: Analyze Your Competition

Another often overlooked step, analyzing competitors lets you evaluate how competitors position themselves. To take a portion of the market share, you must identify the source from which you are taking it. Consider the following:

  • How they position themselves – are their websites translated? What languages do they provide? Are they local or international?
  • Their strengths and weaknesses.
  • How you can capitalize on their weaknesses and ensure you don’t make the same mistakes.

Understanding how your competition operates in these areas is crucial. Once you know this, you can begin to make final decisions regarding how you'll expand.

Step 5: Adjust Business Structure and Operations

After analyzing the market, target audience, and competitors, decide how you’ll provide your product or service to customers. Common methods of international expansion include:

  • Global Strategies
  • International Strategies
  • Multi-domestic Strategies
  • Transnational Strategies
  • Exporting
  • Licensing
  • Join ventures
  • Franchising

While you evaluate your options, ask:

  • How will it impact operations?
  • Will you need to hire international employees?
  • How will you ship products?
  • How will you provide international customer service?

And don’t forget to address your content marketing strategy. The channels you choose will depend on local preferences, but some of the most popular include:

  • Paid and organic search
  • Paid and organic social
  • Media planning and buying
  • Email marketing
  • Video assets

Localize content for each market, as 76% of consumers prefer buying products with info in their own language. Yet this can be costly unless you have an automated system in place. With MotionPoint’s website translation and localisation services, you’ll get localized multichannel assets such as social media, email, and more—quickly and affordably.

Step 6: Execute, Analyze, and Optimize

Implementing your strategy is just the beginning. You need to continuously monitor operations to ensure everything is running smoothly. How you analyze and measure performance depends on how you expand, but you can:

  • Segment your website and marketing data by location
  • Evaluate conversion rates, CPCs, CPAs, and more

Remember, the metrics you choose to track should be in line with your SMART goals.

Choose MotionPoint for New Market Expansion

As you can see, a market expansion strategy is an essential part of an international launch. It not only enables you to choose the best markets for your brand, but also helps you with marketing considerations.

However, customer communications are rarely one and done. You need to provide ongoing messaging to maintain brand loyalty. That’s where MotionPoint comes in. In addition to our turn-key proxy website translation services, we offer ongoing multichannel localization that will keep customers engaged—in any language.

Ready to develop an effective market expansion strategy that keeps customers coming back? Contact MotionPoint to get started.

Last updated on August 12, 2022
Dominic Dithurbide's avatar

About Dominic Dithurbide

Dominic Dithurbide is a creative, goal-driven marketing leader that's dedicated his career to the translation industry. Dominic brings proficiency in global marketing, demand generation, and go-to-market strategies to MotionPoint's marketing team.

Dominic Dithurbide's avatar
Dominic Dithurbide

Marketing Manager


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