How to Market to Americans
July 21, 2015
How to Market to Americans
The United States, as a collective whole, is fast-moving, constantly connected, and fully embraces the world’s shift toward digital business. The US is focused on efficiency and time management, which is fully evident in how Americans communicate, both in and out of the office. In short, you need to grab them early, maintain their interest, and be sure to deliver on what is promised upfront.
In order to maximize your company’s launch and post-launch impact, use the following tips as a guideline toward penetrating the US marketplace.
1. Define your audience
By carving up the vast US geographic market in order to target a series of segments, small- and medium-sized companies entering the US can focus on using their resources to best effect.
You might consider defining your segments in a number of ways:
- By products/services
- By different benefits based on segment
- By product relevance for each location
- By industry sector
- By customer size or type
- By consumption patterns
Each segment can then be prioritized and treated as a distinct market (for your finite marketing and sales budgets), at which your pricing strategy, product mix, promotions, and points of distribution can be aimed in a logical way—in line with the benefits each such market expects from your product/service.
2. Embrace the “American Way” of engaging customers
Successful UK companies take care in choosing their marketing partners abroad, assessing their business philosophies, gracefulness, reputation, and deftness in managing the market.
Get to the point and be prepared to quickly provide specific information about your products and services, including pricing. Arrange your material, your story, and facts in simple formats. Can you distill your proposition on a one-page Executive Summary? Develop a brief pitch of what your business offering is and why someone should work with you.
Like the rest of the world, Americans appreciate long-term relationships, and the benefits that come from them. However, they also want to know information quickly and efficiently; if they don’t hear your core value proposition right away, they will move along to a competitor.
3. Take advantage of US expertise
Many UK firms enjoy the benefit of hiring American marketing expertise in America—whether in the form of management consultants or hired management. Generally, this is a more common way forward than it is for US firms expanding into the UK and hiring UK managers for key positions.
The advantages of having knowledge of US business practices and customs, social and professional networks and marketing practices are increasingly recognized as a valuable asset to a budding UK company in the US.
4. Embrace the benefits of US connections
UK firms sometimes try to hide their origin in order to integrate in their new market. Often, use of the word “American” in the company name is seen as a way to minimize any possible prejudice that comes with being a foreign company.
Strategically, UK firms also often use the US as a stepping-stone for other markets, or as an export base for other parts of the world. For example, UK manufacturing companies who have made their way into US markets are now consolidating, and working smarter with fewer people.