Getting a foothold in the world’s largest economy is a big deal for any company. Here are four digital strategies you should consider before setting up shop in the U.S.
By Weld Royal
The U.S. accounts for about 15% of global GDP and its markets gobble up everything from tulips and electric vehicles to oil and semiconductors. Seeing the purchasing power, and the powerful business lessons that can be learned from working with–or competing against–U.S. companies, many CEOs outside of the U.S. seek to master this massive marketplace.
Climate and clean energy tech is one area where foreign investors are particularly active. In March, Vietnamese EV automaker VinFast, for instance, announced it had delivered its first vehicles to California customers, on the heels of its December filing for an IPO in the U.S.
A U.S. launch can mean new revenues, access to innovation, and bragging rights by selling to discerning consumers or recognized U.S. brands.
But Is It For Everyone?
Before entering the U.S. market, digital due diligence is in order. Without a clear understanding of the digital landscape around the products and competition, a new market entrant runs the risk of running aground.
We have helped many companies enter the U.S. using communications, content, and social media strategies. We have also helped them understand what they face, and how to better prepare for their journey.
Here are four digital tools and analytic strategies we like to deploy to help inform decisions:
- Social Media Listening Tools: Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can provide valuable insights into consumer or B2B customer behavior and market trends. You can monitor conversations about your industry, brand, and competitors to understand what people are saying about products and services. And you can go deeper. For instance, filters available on LinkedIn allow you to focus research on the U.S. and look at industries, the size of companies in those industries, as well as company names. You can also gain information on people working in those companies or industries, including data such as job title, job function, job seniority, education, gender, age, member groups, interests, and hear what experts in your target industry are saying about your competitors.
- Online Surveys: Online surveys are an efficient way to gather feedback from your target audience. They reveal things about customers you can only learn by hearing from them directly. Tools such as SurveyMonkey, Pollfish, or Google Forms can be used to create and distribute surveys that can help you collect information on customer preferences, buying habits, and satisfaction levels. Start by identifying the questions that you want to ask your target audience. Then, use one of the aforementioned tools to create a survey and distribute it to your target audience. Once you have collected enough responses, each of the survey platforms offers analytics tools to help you analyze the data and identify trends and patterns.
- Search Engine Data: Search engine data can reveal what consumers or business professionals are seeking online. By using tools like Google Trends, Keyword Planner, or Semrush, businesses can analyze search volume, trends, and competition for specific keywords. Understanding the SEO keyword landscape in the U.S. for your business’ product or service is an important step in building a robust content strategy. It can also help identify which keywords to target in marketing campaigns, and offer insights into customer behavior and preferences.
- Competitive Analysis: Understanding the competition is crucial for launching a successful product or service. Digital tools such as Similarweb, SpyFu, or Ahrefs can provide insights into competitors’ website traffic, keywords, backlinks, and social media activity. This can help businesses interested in launching in the U.S. to identify gaps in the market, as well as develop strategies to differentiate their product or service from competitors.
In short, digital tools can provide valuable insights into customer needs, preferences, and behavior, as well as help businesses identify competitors and market trends. By using social media listening tools, conducting online surveys, analyzing search engine data, and launching competitive analysis tools, businesses can conduct market research more efficiently and effectively. This can help businesses make informed decisions about product development, marketing strategies, and ultimately help launch a successful product or service in the U.S. market.
Weld Royal is a Senior Director at RooneyPartners. Weld has held senior corporate communications and content roles developing strategy and teams for global brands including Panasonic NA, the NYSE, and Northwestern Mutual. She spent the early part of her communications and content career in Juneau, Alaska, at the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.