Russia Should be Your Next Expansion Market

‘If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind’. While tired and overused, the old adage is certainly applicable to today’s web businesses. Savvy marketers are constantly testing new approaches and innovations in an effort to gain the proverbial leg-up on their competition. New market testing is an often leaned-on area for growth, and Russia is the ideal expansion market.

When we assess markets for expansion, there are three simple characteristics for assessments:

  1. Ease of Entry
  2. Market Size and Potential
  3. Costs

Ease of Entry

Russia couldn’t be an easier market for entry. In today’s news cycle, we hear so much about sanctions on trade with Russia, and their impact on international businesses. There are some truths to this sentiment, but in reality, said sanctions apply to very few. Evidence of this lack of applicability is illustrated by the steady and significant growth in the number of international businesses advertising in Russia over the last three years.

The primary reason that entry into Russia is easy is the support provided by the nation’s leading search engine, Yandex. Yandex recognizes the challenges that international advertisers face in Russia – most commonly the language barrier – and offers full service assistance to mitigate. Most international advertisers are eligible to receive a Yandex Account Management assignment to aid with market entry AND market performance.  A bilingual Yandex account manager can help with all your needs, including, but not limited to:

  • Account Construction
  • Keyword Research/Development
  • Ad Localization in Russian language
  • Account Optimization toward target metrics
  • Industry and Market Trends and Reporting

The process for entry is easy. Yandex will help advertisers get off the ground, and then intelligent marketers will let the data determine the longevity of their investment in Russia.

Yandex has international offices located in the US, Switzerland and China to assist International advertisers.

Market Size and Potential

Russia is home to one of the world’s largest Internet audiences, and the largest in Europe. In fact, Russia is 50% larger than next largest European Internet audience in Germany. The chart below shows the discrepancy in size among European markets.

Perhaps even more attractive than the market’s size is its growth potential. As you can see in the chart above, Internet penetration in Russia trails the other markets, so that 110 million number will continue to rise while the other markets are more likely to plateau.

In addition to its size and its potential is the Russian market’s growing thirst for International brands. International brands are often viewed as trustworthy, well-made and, in some verticals, trendier than their domestic counterparts. As the Russian Internet continues to mature, so does the interest in International brands.


Cost of doing business is a metric shared by all, and perhaps the most frequently cited reason to enter the Russian market. As the Russian Ruble fluctuates, domestic advertisers need to make difficult business decisions regarding their advertising budgets. Combining the budget conscious domestic competition with a lesser number of total competitors than more mature markets (say, the US), International advertisers often secure new customers at low acquisition costs in Russia.

Marketers should always be testing, and market expansion should be considered. Business is more global than ever before, so it’s time that advertising strategies evolve to capitalize on global demand. Russia is an ideal market to test your new ‘expansion market test’ today.