Top Tips... for a successful market entry, by Maarten Verschuere

Top Tips... for a successful market entry, by Maarten Verschuere

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 Totally Gaming

As aspirational companies in the sector begin 2015 with new international ambitions, asked Maarten Verschuere, the founder of BridgefreX, Big Data & Marketing consultants, to provide his top tips on how to enter a market.

Tip 1: Context

“First of all, you need to know the legal context of the market. If you are a gaming company, you cannot open shop whenever and wherever you like. For example, in Belgium there is a strict limitation in terms of the number of companies that are allowed to be present in the market. In Malta, there is more flexibility. Hire a local law firm that can explain to you exactly what the rules are in the market, what tax rates are applied and what the minimum requirements are to enter.”

Tip 2: Customer

“The customer is key. You may nod and then continue focusing on your products – which games to launch, what names to give them, etc. However, the customer is worth some extra thought. Going to a new market means entering a new culture where the customers might have different mindsets and different expectations. So research to understand the customer is required.

“How do they feel about the category? What is their experience? What does the customer believe to be important? There are market research companies in every country that can tell you quickly what the pitfalls are and how to win the hearts and minds of the customer in a specific market. Benefit from the mistakes others have made to be more efficient and effective in your marketing.”

"Think twice about your identity as a company before you make the leap." - Maarten Verschuere

Tip 3: Company

“What is your ambition? For example, do you want to enter the Benelux market at any cost? Even if it means having to build new products, changing your values or cutting your margins? Think twice about your identity as a company before you make the leap. You can't be premium in the UK and a price cutter in Belgium just because the markets have different sensitivities.”

Tip 4: Competition

“Take a good look at the present competition in your new market. Having some other players is good to build the market and break down the barriers. However, entering a saturated market is a whole different game. If you have the bigger budget and the marketing intelligence, let the others build the category before you swoop in and steal the market share away. If you are just as smart as the others without a significantly higher budget, you may want to avoid a bloodshed.”

Tip 5: Collaboration

“If you decide to go for it and enter a new market, find local partners to accompany you. Building a network takes time and money. A new foreign player will also suffer horrible advertising rates. A local law firm, a local media agency and a local marketing consultant will give you the infrastructure to be cost-efficient and impactful from day one. You do not want to be the foreigner that came in, lost a lot of money and time and had to leave after one miserable year.

“If you are thinking about growing in the Belgian market, let me know. I will gladly put you in touch with the right people.”

Top Tip: Be prepared on all fronts and work with locals.

“When you have a great product, you can be sure to attract competition. Initially, the innovator will be able to create the market, win the early adopters and connect the product with the first brand. But soon the competition follows to take advantage of the efforts done to create the market and it turns into a battle between marketeers. The smart marketeers that add value to their customer will gain their fair share of the market. The others will perish.

“Not to depend solely on the intelligence of your marketing team, a recommended strategy for growth is to enter a new market. Win over those local early adopters and capitalise on the experience you have gained in the initial development in your home market.

“However, several factors are to be considered to ensure a successful market entry. I can recommend reading 'The Art of War' by Sun Tsu. It's all about preparation. There are five key considerations to be made. You can call them the five C's of market entry.”

To contact Maarten, please email

Maarten will be speaking on a panel focusing on ‘Considering factors for successful market entry’ at ICE Totally Gaming at Excel in London on Tuesday, February 3. Visit for further information.

American Football

Nevada breaks sports betting record in 2018


Rhode Island sports handle hits $13m in first full month


Caesars launches SG-powered sportsbook in Pennsylvania

New York

NY Gaming Commission sets out sports betting regulations

Gaming Products & Services Directory

The essential directory for the gaming industry