How to break into the US Market as a small Digital Marketing Agency
Running a business is tough, especially in red-ocean industries. According to LendingTree the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports about 20% of US small businesses fail within the first year. By the end of their fifth year, roughly 50% have faltered. After 10 years, only around a third of businesses have survived.
Now, remember that this is data related to small businesses that are already in the United States, and you’re a digital marketing agency outside of the United States in a much smaller market. Is there no hope? Should you just close up shop and sit the game out and get a job somewhere? No! It’s obviously not easy, and that’s why you’re reading this blog post looking for answers.
The good news is that as specialists in helping small businesses that operate online open new markets, we have tips and tricks that you can use to come out on top, break into the US market, and win as a small digital marketing agency year in and year out.
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, read this blog post to the end. You’ll learn about how to form an ICP, establish a solid value proposition, and how American decision-makers prefer to be contacted to be successful.
Getting your outreach strategy ready for prospecting in the United States
In order to win at anything, you need a strategy. Don’t think that finding clients in America is any different. Keep in mind that there are thousands of marketing agencies of all shapes and sizes in the United States and others targeting the United States already.
So, the key is to have a plan. When you have a plan, you can begin to understand what makes your company better or more unique than your competitors. Take the time to set your goals; really understand what you want to achieve by entering a new market. Once you’ve confirmed that you have goals and that you’re ready to find new clients, it’s time to understand those clients.
Formulating an ICP that you know needs what you have to offer
The very first thing you need to do to lock down new American clients is to formulate a rock-solid Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). The SalesAR blog has a few great posts about ICPs and how to formulate them. Take a look, you’ll find a ton of value! However, in short, an ICP is a description of the company that meets all the necessary criteria to be considered your client or customer.
For a company to be considered your ICP, it needs to meet certain criteria that the sales and marketing department(s)/team(s) have identified as key areas of relevance. These criteria include but are not limited to the following:
- Industry and/or vertical
- Employee headcount and/or department headcount
- Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) Budget
- Geography and/or mother language
- The technology used Size of customer/client base
- Level of organizational or technological maturity
Because the US market is so large and there are a lot of players fishing for the same fish, it’s crucial that you have a very targeted idea of who you want to be your client, so that you can create an even more tarted approach to prospecting them.
Formulating a solid Value Proposition
Now that you have your Ideal Customer Profile locked down, it’s time to understand their pain points and the value that you offer as an agency. Leaders often work tirelessly to improve their company’s product or service, thinking that it’s the most valuable role they can play. But for your business to “click” with your target audience, you need to stay just as close to your clients as you do to your offerings.
What is a Value Proposition?
A value proposition is a simple statement that summarizes why a client would choose your product or service. It communicates the clearest benefit that clients receive by giving you their business. Every value proposition should speak to a client’s challenge and make the case for your company as the problem-solver.
A great value proposition may highlight what makes you different from competitors, but it should always focus on how clients define your value. Likewise, conversations around brand strategy and taglines should stem from a value proposition, but they aren’t one and the same.
You may be wondering: Why bother learning how to write a value proposition? It’s like investing in the foundation of a house. You may not see the foundation, but everything you do see — and the long-term safety and security of your home — rest on it having a strong place to start from.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to make a Value Proposition, check out our blog post that covers just that.
Understanding how American decision-makers think
While reading this next section, understand that it’s impossible to categorize all Americans into one kind of decision-maker; however, it is possible to generalize how decisions are made as a culture and society.
United We Stand, Divided We Fall: this common American sentiment is also a powerful, and often deeply held, American value, which can be manifested in the belief that making a decision quickly and getting behind that decision as quickly as possible leads to efficiency, which in turn leads to success.
What we all can gather from this is that Americans tend to make decisions individualistically with the expectation that the rest of the team will follow and if changes need to be made, will be made at a later date.
So, when prospecting Americans, make sure to understand that decisions can be made faster, but your offers and contracts need to be flexible. Americans can agree to one thing and then change it after a week of starting, which can be really stressful for a lot of business cultures. But if you aren’t flexible enough, Americans will view you and your agency as “inefficient.’
In conclusion and to sum up
As a B2B business development agency, or if you prefer the more direct terminology – a B2B lead generation and appointment-setting agency, we’re focused on using ICPs and buyer personas to guide our direct email marketing campaigns.
Everything starts with an in-depth discovery phase:
- Once the SalesAR Account Executive and you are all on the same page about the process, you’ll fill out an ICP form that the SalesAR Researcher will use to generate a list of ICPs.
- After the list has been approved by you, you’ll be required to fill out a Buyer Persona form. The Researcher will continue to generate a list of contacts.
- Using the list of contacts and the Buyer Persona form, the SalesAR copywriter will begin to develop unique messaging to be used in emails.
- Then the SalesAR Sales Development Representative (SDR) will take the Buyer Persona form and the emails to organize the outreach strategy.
- From there, the SDR will start emailing contacts and handling their responses to set sales appointments for you.
- After the cold outreach campaign is launched, your Account Executive will keep you updated every step of the way.
Really, without a clear ICP, there’s no way to set up an effective ABM campaign. However, don’t worry. We’re here to help!