How do you solve a problem like… entering a new agency market?

Each week, we ask agency experts for their advice on real problems facing today’s marketing practitioners. This week, as part of our Deep Dive on globalization and the marketing industry, we ask how agencies should navigate their entry into new regional markets and territories.

Every business aspires to growth, but expanding in a new market or territory is difficult. Recently, we’ve seen big names from the agency scene, such as Accenture Interactive and S4 Capital, investing in South American markets; similarly, WPP’s new campus in Milan signals its ambitions to grow in Italy.

For an agency approaching a new national or regional market, what should they be focusing on? What are the biggest obstacles facing an agency attempting to gain a foothold in a new territory?



Lars Lehne, group chief executive officer, Incubeta

Going into new territories is a delicate process – the risks are high and costs significant. It’s important it’s fully backed and supported by management, clients and global partners. Both can point to the right people and organizations in the market, and even help facilitate early conversations.

It’s critical to have trustworthy people on the ground who understand the local challenges. Succeeding depends on the necessity for the business, which determines the willingness to spend and take risks. However, entering new territories makes a business more colorful and diverse, and with that we gain strength and value for our clients and partners.