U.S. Market-Entry Requires More Than a LassoNovember 2, 2019
For most CEOs of scaling firms, U.S. market-entry isn’t their first rodeo. The majority have withstood the bucking bronco at home—maybe even won the blue ribbon. A handful has had the opportunity to test their skills in other venues (foreign markets) for that added layer of certainty.
Still, no matter how much success a scaling firm has experienced in the home market, much remains unknown about the process of U.S. market-entry. Unknown but not unknowable.
During our September 12th conversation with American manufacturing market-entry guru Lance Scott of Alliance Technologies, we discussed a range of strategies for navigating the challenges of U.S. market-entry. Among them, we discussed how to understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of different regions or clusters in the U.S. market, and whether this knowledge comes at a high price.
The value of market research
Investing in market research can be costly, but not necessarily from a cash perspective. While market research certainly can be expensive, Lance pointed to an array of resources that are available for free, or through low-cost monthly subscriptions.
The true cost in market research comes from making the time to gather these insights.
For competitive landscape research, Alliance Technologies utilizes D&B Hoovers. Through this site, Lance can get a glimpse of the main players in the market and their key accounts. For U.S. market-entry firms looking for key clusters to inform their decision on where to geographically locate, these insights are highly valuable.
“It doesn’t typically matter where the firm is based on the distribution side because many have a massive facility in one location that ships everywhere in the world. But on the key account side, you’ll want to look for these industry clusters.”
Lance even recommends testing this cluster identification strategy in the home market to see if it works for your industry. “I think you’ll find that if you look at your own key accounts in your home market and where their parent companies are located, it’s a good indicator of where these industries are concentrated.”
Lance’s team has spent years collecting links to websites and reports that provide valuable (free) insight into market data. “Whether it’s KPMG’s 2018 Global Manufacturing Outlook, links to U.S. government initiatives like SelectUSA, or industry-specific reports, we aim to make sure an array of resources are available.”
Lance also recommends reaching out to Consulates for foreign connections and useful data.
How to maximize ROI
With all the free and low-cost market research websites and publications out there, it’s clear that making a large financial investment in cluster analysis may not always be necessary.
However, it’s important to recognize that these are only assumptions, and assumptions must be tested. That’s where partners like MEET come in.
At MEET, we help clients engage and enroll quality prospects through trade shows and in-person events. We focus on trade shows and in-person events because we believe they are the most effective way of getting face-to-face with high-quality executive prospects.
Successful execution and continuous improvement of event participation ROI is how MEET solves the budgetary challenge that scaling firms face in determining the most cost-effective way to gain traction and find early success in a new market.
Firms seeking U.S. market-entry can partner with companies like MEET, Alliance Technologies, and other service providers to test their assumptions while gaining early traction, hence maximizing ROI.
For more on the theory of soft-landing your scaling venture, see this post.
While the high risk, high reward reputation of the U.S. market may make it seem like the Wild West, there’s no reason to jump in like a reckless cowboy (or cowgirl).
High-quality, low-cost market research, coupled with the array of soft-landing partners makes it possible for U.S. market-entry firms to make well-calculated decisions without having to sacrifice valuable (sometimes scarce) resources.
So, come earn your spurs in the U.S. market. Flankmen are standing by to help.
For more expert advice on overcoming the challenges of U.S. market-entry, check out our interview with Lance Scott titled: Navigating the Challenges of the American Market: The Impact of a Vast Geographic Territory.
To check out all of MEET’s webinar content on how to successfully scale your company in the U.S. market, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
MEET (meetroi.com) helps international B2B growth companies soft-land and scale in the U.S. through trade shows and in-person events. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp-up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward. Contact Bill Kenney for a no-obligation conversation: firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (860) 573-4821.