After years of controversy and complex negotiations, Brexit is still an ongoing dark cloud of uncertainty for businesses trading with the UK.
As the UK’s closest trading partner, Brexit has hit Ireland harder than any other EU country, and the knock-on effects will negatively impact production and lower Irish GDP by 3-7 per cent by 2030.
As even its biggest supporters admit that “Brexit has failed”, Enterprise Ireland is helping Irish companies look beyond the Irish sea for stable and sustainable trading partners. Many Irish companies have prospered through ambitious diversification. Exports by Enterprise Ireland-supported companies grew by a record 19% last year to €32.1 billion, while exports to the Eurozone increased by 28% to €7.9bn.
Just like Covid-19 forced the global business community to rethink their business model, diversification is an essential growth strategy for any eCommerce business. Enterprise Ireland’s Post-Brexit Market Growth & Diversification Scheme is a new €2.5 million programme to help Irish SMEs overcome Brexit losses. Its aim is to reduce Irish companies’ reliance on the UK, and develop business in other markets.
You can secure up to 80% funding for a €45,000 go-to-market project — so you could pay just €9,000 to partner with approved EI agencies and consultants and develop a long-term EU export strategy to boost international growth.
If your business has suffered a 5% drop in sales to the UK in 2020, 2021 or 2022 compared with 2019, you can apply. It’s a one-off chance to overcome the impact of Brexit and open up your business to a vast EU audience of 600 million, compared with 60 million in the UK.
The funding will give you access to EI-approved consultants and agencies such as Matrix Internet, to help you develop an EU market diversification strategy, identify new market opportunities and develop a go-to-market plan. Successful applicants will get funding for up to 50 days’ consultancy in developing a new market plan. Matrix has been on Enterprise Ireland’s approved agency list for many years, securing millions in grants for our clients. This may be a new funding opportunity, but we have a proven track record of maximising the potential of the grant landscape.
We are a diverse team of 50+ professionals from 21 countries, with offices in Dublin and Brussels, and we have active professional relationships with many international Enterprise Ireland offices.
As an Enterprise Ireland client, how could you use this funding to take your export strategy to the next level? Enterprise Ireland proposes that successful projects will have four key elements:
An export strategy digital audit is a comprehensive overview of all aspects of your digital presence — in this case with a focus on developing your eCommerce offering in international target markets.
The Matrix digital audit will assess key areas such as content; advertising and PPC; SEO; social media marketing; email marketing and competitor benchmarking. The audit will analyse these current facets of your digital presence, with a thorough scoring system and detailed action points on how to use this data to tailor your strategy towards new target markets.
This will include localised content strategies, segmented email campaigns, localised social media campaigns and research into potential competitors in overseas markets.
A discovery workshop is a hands-on data-gathering process that can identify gaps in your export offering, as well as key areas that need to be strengthened. This will help set goals, objectives and KPIs.
Matrix digital marketing workshops involve a series of customised exercises and discussion points to gather the relevant information and inform the future export strategy.
Workshop areas include SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, localised brand messaging, value proposition, international customer personas, and RACE (Reach, Act, Convert, Engage) export marketing strategy.
As an approved Enterprise Ireland agency, the international team at Matrix has helped dozens of clients work on global marketing strategies, either by consolidating existing growth or entering new markets. We have also partnered with many companies to secure grant funding for digital strategy programmes that have led to international success.
We will work with your team to collect the key success factors from your existing customers and develop customer personas and value propositions for each segment to improve messaging and targeting.
We can create a foundation for international growth through planning in the following key areas:
To navigate the post-Brexit trade landscape, Irish companies need an in-depth knowledge of new international target markets and consumer behaviours.
Matrix takes a deep dive into market research, analysing target demographics, consumer preferences, and emerging trends. We understand the nuances of each localised market, helping us identify potential opportunities and approaches to engaging potential customers.
We closely monitor industry trends, international competitor activities, and regulations that impact international trade — helping our clients reduce potential risks.
Through comprehensive market research and intelligence gathering, Matrix will empower you to make informed decisions and develop more focused strategies, opening up new areas for growth.
We work closely with our clients to identify the best routes to international markets, assessing the benefits and challenges of both direct market entry and partnering with local distributors or retailers.
If a direct approach is deemed the best option, we help conduct market research and analyse target markets, exploring factors such as consumer behaviour, competitive landscapes, and regulatory requirements.
We also identify potential distributors, agents, or retailers in the target markets, evaluating their credibility and capabilities, and ensuring they align with our clients’ business goals.
Effective communication is crucial for capturing potential customers in new markets. At Matrix, we understand that expansion to other international markets post-Brexit will involve developing a dynamic and compelling value proposition and targeted messages for each segment.
Our Digital Marketing team — along with our Benelux team — will work closely with clients to identify and understand their target segments in mainland Europe. Through thorough market research and analysis, we gain insights into the unique needs, preferences, and pain points of these segments, then develop value propositions that will succeed in each segment.
We can also craft tailored messages that resonate with these segments.
From localised website content and marketing materials to targeted advertising campaigns, we will help you make an impact with your messaging.
Get all the official information about the Post-Brexit Market Growth & Diversification Scheme here. The deadline has been extended from May 31 to June 30, but you still only have a few weeks to develop an effective go-to-market strategy. Get in touch with Matrix today to discuss your options for an international roadmap — let’s do this together!
Want us to help with your application? Get in touch!
By Conor McCaffrey