They searched on Google, gave me a call, and now I have the largest contract that I have ever received.

Joanne Cairney, Aberdeen

Find New Markets

How do you find new markets? Open a new office? Appoint an agent? Attend exhibitions? Advertise?

These approaches all cost money. More importantly, they take time. For many businesses, too much time.

This tip is based on enquiries we have received, and how we have been able to help companies struggling with the oil downturn in Aberdeen. How they can find new markets quickly and cost-effectively. It could be used by other businesses as well.

Spend 1 minute reading the following to see how you could rescue your business.

First, I am not talking about SEO (search engine optimisation). For most companies it will be too slow and won't guarantee results for this exercise. (If you have been doing this successfully, then you have a big advantage over your competitors.)

Second, I'm not talking about re-doing your website. Many will already have been persuaded that this is what they should do. Wrong. At best, it is fiddling while Rome burns.

Third, I'm not talking about social media. Certainly not in the way that most businesses use it. Unless you have something so unique and so compelling, it is not going to stand out from the crowd.

What I am talking about is Google AdWords. It's primary purpose is to generate enquiries from your current operating area. We use it for testing what to optimise websites for. But it is a great way to find new markets.

Imagine you have had a successful business selling widgets in the North Sea. Now the North Sea doesn't want them. You think that you could sell them in the UAE. Traditional avenues to entry are very time consuming. While you are doing that, or even before you start, test your theory. Use AdWords to measure how much real-world interest there is there for your product. Remember, they will be shopping around, knowing that it is a buyer's market.

For the price of a flight you could get this working. You would prove that there was a demand for your widgets. You would generate some warm enquiries. And you might even generate some sales!

Before you rush in, just a few words of caution. Remember time, language and cultural differences. Also, if you haven't used AdWords successfully before, then don't try this yourself.

The good news is that for the oil industry, English is still the predominate language. Second, AdWords can be up and running within days. You are not beholden to your in-house team or marketing partners, and can make use of external specialists. You really can steal a march on your competitors.

Thank you for reading this. I hope that we can help you find new markets. The initial consultation places you under no obligation.

By Kenneth Mackay, 26th January, 2016

This is one of a series of articles that deal with common issues when promoting your business online. We hope that you found it useful. Go to our online marketing tips to see previous pieces of advice. If there are any topics that you would like covered, please let us know.

If you need to promote your business online, then contact us.