Malaysian Market Research Details

8 digital marketing tips for expanding overseas

Key points for expansion abroad through digital marketing

Japan's population has not been growing at the expected rate due to the declining birthrate and growing aging population. The market size tends to shrink in many areas of Japan. In contrast, in Southeast Asia, the average age group is a lot younger and disposable income are higher. Consumer spending is on the rise and lifestyle are changing with various markets expanding.

In light of the ever changing market environment, big and small to mid sized Japanese enterprises are looking at expanding abroad.

However, due to Covid, exhibitions and business meetings were restricted , causing a strain in efforts of overseas sales expansion. This has in return led to more focus on online efforts including digital marketing initiatives.

Expansion abroad can still be done via online initiatives

Can expansion efforts be realized without travels abroad?
Expansion abroad can be done via digital marketing modes such as online sales channel like e-commerce sites. International digital marketing measures create connection with overseas markets by utilizing multilingual websites, social networking services (SNS) that are prevalent in each country, online advertisements, and so on.

Shall we go over the points for overseas digital marketing measures? 

1.Clear set up of targets

The first matter of consideration is the target audience.
In marketing terms, target audiences can be defined as personas. Personas are defined based on market research in determining user needs, targetted price range, and competitive products, etc.

The customer profile abroad is often different to the one in Japan. The lifestyle, culture, religious practices, race, income etc will be different abroad. Set up of target is crucial in determing your digital marketing strategies.

2.Languages in your targetted market abroad

Without a doubt, communication should be done in the language used in the targetted country, race and market.
In Japan, Japanese is the language most often used. However, other countries might use more than one language apart from their mother tongue. For example. Malaysia is multilingual country with Malay, English and Chinese as its main language among its other languages. It is important to understand the languages used in the targetted market and country in conveying your message through digital marketing strategies.

3.Incorporating local website design and message elements

An addition to point (2), it is also important in understanding the local aspects when incorporating into your digital marketing abroad.
Simply translating between languages often misses out on the accuracy in terms of grammar and error in translation. It is recommended that an understanding of the local cultural background and adaptation of designs, color schemes, images, etc. accordingly will be able to reach local targetted audience easily. It is also recommended to hire web designers and writers who are familiar with the local culture.

4.The importance of networking with local companies

It is important to network with local companies in incorporating local aspects in your digital marketing strategies.
By working with local partners, you get appropriate advice on local marketing scenarios, website design, etc., and also connection channels to distributors, trading companies, retailers, etc. that have local sales channels with the expansion of your exisiting sales channels. You can also obtain local customer feedback and information to improve your products.

5.Design a website that is understable by all

Websites are accessed by users from all around the world.
For example, if a website's screen structure, design, colors and even access to buttons are not easily accesible, users may get lost and leave the website. Even with a properly designed website, layout that is confusing and not clear would likely lead to readers leaving the website. Therefore, it is important to design a simple website that is easy-to-use for everyone. The message should be as simple as possible in conveying its brand.

Reference:Website development for expansion abroad

6.Mobile responsive

Smartphones are now a common market worldwide. There have been an increasing number of internet usages on smartphones rather than desktops in current markets. With a population of around 32 million people, Malaysia is growing into a mobile user nation with around125% of the population, utilizing a mobile device.

Mobile optimisation is an essential part of your international digital marketing practice. If you have a website, make sure it is responsive and designed for mobile settings.

7.Sell through international e-commerce sites

In 2021, the global online shopping population is estimated to be at 2.14 billion. In Malaysia, 25 million people (80% of the population) currently use the internet, of which 88% have visited an online shopping site at least once. 75% from these visitors would have purchased goods online from these websites. During Covid, it is estimated that selling through online channels have increased.

When selling on an e-commerce platform as a means of digital marketing, it is advisable to go with e-commerce platforms that are commonly used in different countries. Shopee and Lazada are well-known e-commerce platforms in Malaysia.
Related info:【Malaysia market survey】Explanation of Malaysia's 2020 e-commerce market.

To set up your own e-commerce site, we recommend Shopify, which provides multilingual and multi currencies support.
Shopify was founded in Canada back in 2004 and is currently the world's No. 1 e-commerce platform with more than 1 million stores across 175 countries. It provides international shipping, so that international shopping experience is possible.

8.Start small first

Instead of focusing solely on the Japanese market (which is sadly shrinking), companies should look beyond the border and try to explore new markets. Even if its only a small segment. If we start moving after a big fad, it will be too late. We recommend that you start working on overseas expansion in small steps first whilst you still have time to do so.

Fortunately, overseas expansion has become more and more accessible in today's world. Even if you wish not to set up a company or hire employees abroad, you can simply use digital marketing tool and international e-commerce platforms in expanding your business abroad at a lower cost.  Just take the first step. By doing so, you can broaden your business horizons.

Related info:Supporting overseas digital marketing based in Malaysia

Bridge International Asia Sdn Bhd is a comprehensive IT company established in Malaysia. Bridge International Asia supports businesses with the expansion of their sales channels abroad through various digital marketing measures. Please contact us for more information.
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We hope this article will be useful for those who are considering of doing business in Malaysia.    
This article was written by Bridge International Asia Sdn Bhd based on locally gathered information.
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