Nigel Barker, Digital Marketing Adviser at the Department for International Trade (DIT), explains how he helps South West businesses with their eCommerce, social and digital marketing, and localisation needs.
What does your typical working week look like?
My typical week involves meeting with clients across the region to advise them on their online strategies. No two weeks are the same as I work across all sectors and segments with clients ranging from one person with a great idea to large established businesses looking to increase their global presence, and everything in between.
I also deliver workshops across the region, which are invaluable to my own learning as they are to our clients. I try to create a space for sharing ideas and problems and I think many people respond really well to the peer level discussions that take place there. It also helps me understand their problems and concerns more.
What is the role of the Exporting is GREAT campaign?
The Exporting is GREAT campaign is designed to inspire SME’s to explore international markets. It sounds like a cliché but there is a world of opportunity for the right businesses. However, it is important to understand that unique and innovative products will have greater growth potential along with specialist services.
What are the top three pieces of advice you would give to a small business looking to break into a new, international market?
Research, research, research.
1) Research the market thoroughly
- Really understand the audiences
- Understand how to localise for those audiences
2) Research the competition
- What they do
- How they succeed
- Where they fail
3) Research yourselves
- What do you bring to the party?
- Why should they buy from you?
- Is your current proposition strong enough?
How does your previous experience help you in this role?
I have worked on both sides of the digital world. Firstly as a systems architect throughout Europe, developing solutions with and for some of the largest tech companies around. And then latterly as a digital and creative marketing consultant, delivering online, eCommerce and social communication and marketing strategies.
What do successful exporters have in common?
1) Ambition to succeed
2) Investment – not purely financial, although some budget is essential, but also an investment in time.
3) A very strong and unique product or service with a great proposition for their target audiences.
Why did you become a DIT adviser?
For the fast cars and excitement? Oh hang on, I drive a Volvo – no, not that then.
Living in Cornwall it can be really easy to forget there is a whole world out there. Businesses that look beyond their self-imposed borders are really exciting to work with and I wanted to work with positive organisations who are looking to step out of their comfort zone.
How to get started
To find out if there's demand for your product or service in global markets and what you need to do next, contact our International Trade Centre today. Submit your enquiry now and one of our export experts will be in touch to help in any way they can.
Call us on 01275 370 944