What Finnish company isn’t interested in huge international markets, particularly those in the US? In addition to their huge potential, these markets are characterised by high levels of competition. What is the marketing strategy that is helping the customer and staff satisfaction analyser HappyOrNot Oy to gain a foothold in the global market?
Kirsti Laasio, head of HappyorNot Oy’sinternational marketing, says that the company’s goal is to establish its position in the American market during 2018 after entering the market three years ago.
‘Our goal is to expand to various sectors. Reliable content that resonates with the target audience and presents the sector-specific benefits we can offer plays a huge role in this. Of course, we want to reach our customers and meet their needs. In the early stages of the purchase path, marketing must speak to customers to help them move forward in their purchase process.
In the United States, which is the company’s largest market, it has its own retailers and resellers. Laasio says that this combination, complete with a partnership network, has proved to be extremely effective.
‘The theme that penetrates the entire organisation is customer success. This refers to travelling with the customer on their journey, with the actual sale representing just a single step. This is the philosophy that underlies our operations. The goal is that every member of our personnel is willing to assist the customer in any situation, enabling us to gain results together,’ Laanio stresses.
Content plays a major role in the initial stages of the purchase path and during the customer relationship
Content is taking on a major role in HappyOrNot’s marketing, particularly in the early stages of the customer journey. Attracting the attention of the target audience with informative content ensures awareness of and interest in the expertise offered by the company. Laasio stresses that this approach is effective for a smaller organisation operating in a huge market, such as the US.
‘When we are trying to reach those who make purchase decisions in supermarkets, clothes shops and electronics stores, we are looking at a huge target audience. We wouldn’t stand out by producing generic content. Our content also supports our resellers and strengthens our customer relationships, while offering guidance and assistance.
Kirsti Laasio says that customer understanding in the organisation as a whole has improved, and all individual company representatives have a clearer view of the importance of their own contribution. According to her, when all employees also look at things from the customer’s perspective outside their own role, customers receive the best possible support to ensure their success.
Laasio explains that the company’s customer success has already produced results. These include:
• Growth in the target market
• Success in local and country-specific operations: HappyOrNot is recognised in the regions it has invested in and sales figures look good
• The customer success approach plays a major role, particularly in the implementation stage, which has resulted in increased customer benefits and improved customer retention.
• Customers use HappyOrNot’s service more actively
Kirsti’s top tips for companies wanting to break into new markets:
1. Pay attention to local and localised marketing! As a key to developing trust among the region’s customers, its significance cannot be overestimated.
2. You need decisive measures and locally credible actions as these shape your company’s local image.
3. Get local resellers on your side
4. Produce content and ensure it has local relevance.