No matter what kind of B2B company you run, cross-border expansion is always a good idea because it gives you access to new markets, growth opportunities, and diverse skill sets. Breaking into a new market abroad can be a lot of work, but it is always worth it.
Think of your business like a fish. Regardless of how much you try to feed your fish, it will not thrive if its tank is too small. Many fish are indeterminate growers, meaning they can only grow as large as their diet and environment allow. When they are confined by the glass walls around them, they will stay small. However, once you give a fish a bigger tank, they have room to grow far larger. If your business were a fish, consider what kind of tank you keep it in: is it a small bowl or a large aquarium?
Cross-border expansion ensures that your area of opportunity is large and that your business will always have room to grow. Rather than confining your B2B operation to domestic clients, you can expand your business across international borders, allowing for limitless expansion. Especially as business operations become more and more internet-driven, globalization is the next logical step for your business. Even if you do not go global, other businesses will, and your domestic market will soon see competition from foreign companies. By expanding your business into foreign markets, you can ensure that your company remains competitive and has room to grow.
Although cross-border expansion is beneficial for businesses in every industry, there are a few B2B industries that especially benefit from expanding into new territories:
First on our list is the Tech Industry, particularly Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Cloud Companies. With the digital age in full swing, many in the tech industry are already well aware of how crucial cross-border marketing is.
The SaaS arm of the tech industry benefits greatly from cross-border marketing because it functions primarily through the internet. SaaS is a means of delivering applications as services over the internet, allowing clients to access software online rather than managing it themselves. The SaaS provider can then run applications on their own server without the client having to worry about security or performance. This remote access to software means that clients do not have to be domestic to benefit from a SaaS company’s services, in fact, due to the nature of the industry, a majority of SaaS clients may actually be abroad. Expanding a SaaS business to be global is also fairly easy since the service is already web-based.
Cloud Companies also benefit from cross-border expansion for many of the same reasons that SaaS companies do. As another web-based service, cloud companies deliver computing services such as servers, storage, networking, analytics, databases, intelligence, and software to their clients via the internet. Because cloud companies also deliver their services through the internet (or “the cloud”), cross-border expansion is easy and efficient.
While B2B tech companies can grow through trade shows and free trials, cross-border marketing may be the way to go when it comes to expanding your client base.
Marketing / Ad Companies
Much like the tech industry, marketing and ad companies rely a lot on the digital sphere in order to spread their content, meaning that global markets are easy and ideal for this type of business. Marketing companies in particular already need to be flexible, since every client will want a unique advertising experience. Even before you have considered taking your marketing company international, you may have clients that want to advertise their business cross-border, so it is ideal for you to already have this service available. Advertising is a competitive industry after all, with 53% of clients evaluating at least 7 to 9 agencies for review. With this level of competition, it pays to make sure that your marketing business has every edge that it can get, such as access to foreign markets. Not only will a cross-border expansion help you acquire new customers, but it will also help expand your opportunities with existing clients.
Ultimately for marketing companies, going cross-border expands both your customer base and your toolbox. By establishing footholds in foreign markets, your company is able to build up a portfolio of countries that you service. So when a business is looking for someone to represent them and help market them to new customers, your global organization will stand out more, since you have access to a larger client base.
On the topic of standing out, successful marketing campaigns rely heavily on brand recognition. In order to snag new customers and prove your advertising agency to be reputable, you need to stand out. Domestically, there may be a dozen companies just like yours, but by expanding across borders, you have a chance to be something truly new and innovative abroad, and build brand recognition before your competitors enter the sphere. This recognition draws in more prospects that are impressed by your company’s footprint in global markets and want you to create the same name recognition for them.
Manufacturing and distribution have become more competitive lately, with the globalization of the industry it is increasingly challenging to bring in new customers since word of mouth is no longer the way of the world. Additionally, with competitors shipping from around the world, your domestic market is not as secure as it once was. For the manufacturing industry, globalization may be the key to weathering industry downturns.
While before, manufacturing and distribution could rely on a few key customers to keep their business profitable, now there is no guarantee that those returning customers will continue to be lucrative. By expanding into foreign markets, your manufacturing business gains extra security should domestic markets plummet. This safety net ensures that your business continues to grow even if your sector in the domestic market is performing poorly.
Expanding your business across borders also ensures that you are diversifying your market and gaining a competitive advantage against business rivals. New markets mean new streams of revenue, and by being the first manufacturer of your kind in a foreign market, you can beat out the competition and establish yourself before your rivals. Being first in the international market gives you the first pick of the available clients and allows you to build up a reputation with the rest of the industry. This ensures that even if some of your customers leave to give their business to competitors, you have built up a strong enough presence in the market to draw in new customers.
The final industry on our list for B2B industries that will benefit from cross-border expansion is the healthcare technology industry. In the past, the healthcare industry tended to stay out of the digital space, but that all changed in 2020, now healthcare has a strong online presence and has been pushing more toward digitization, opening the way for the healthcare technology industry to have a more prominent role.
The healthcare technology industry benefits from cross-border expansion for many of the same reasons that standard technology companies do since both essentially fall under the IT and software fields. The main difference between the two is the target audience, with healthcare tech’s target audience being primarily hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers. Although in the past healthcare tech has remained fairly local, the past few years have proven that the dissemination of healthcare technology and information is of utmost importance. With demand high, expanding beyond borders will help grow your healthcare tech business exponentially.
Cross-border marketing can benefit a variety of industries, but the four listed here stand out among the rest as benefiting from expansion into foreign territories. Tech, marketing, manufacturing, and healthcare tech all see major upsides to expanding outside domestic markets because doing so provides a new customer base, brand recognition, and multiple streams of revenue. Whether your business is in one of these industries or not, hopefully, you will consider taking the leap into international markets and growing to your fullest potential.